Measurements listed: 6’5″, 289 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: Sophomore Oneye has all four seasons of eligibility remaining after failing to appear in a game in 2021.
Depth Chart: Oneye will provide depth somewhere on the defensive interior of Notre Dame, or a third option with a three-step tackle behind the fifth course Jason Ademilola and senior Howard Cross or a fourth stringer in the bow gear behind the elder Jacob LacyHarvard transfer Chris Smith and sophomore Gabriel Rubio.
Recruiting: Rhode Island recruits rarely attract attention, especially those who barely played in high school, but reputedly three-star and 43rd defensive finish in class, according to competitors.com. still received offers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Tech, among others.
Actually, to get the point across in an anecdotal manner, contenders.
CAREER FOR TODAY
Onye did not enter the field on Saturday in the fall of 2021.
Onye moved from the “big” end to the interior at some point last year, the timing is somewhat vague, simply because he’s barely been a topic of conversation at any point in the last 12 months. However, this was not a completely unexpected move, given then defensive line coach Mike Alston’s comments when Onye joined the Irish.
“Jason will be a big end for us,” Elston said in February 2021. “Now he weighs 275-280 pounds. It will be a huge end, as we now call it. It gives us good positional flexibility.
“Maybe he’ll come in and play one of the three techniques.”
NAME, IMAGE, SIMILARITY
Every player on the Notre Dame roster already has a suit, a uniform that hints at the team’s graduation. It’s only a matter of time before some clothing sponsor signs up the entire roster to a NIL deal that will allow him to trumpet claims on these suits.
WHAT WAS FORECAST A YEAR AGO
“Onye will take some time to develop, an assumption supported by a number of facts. First, there is the luxury of Notre Dame: the Irish have a lot of talent, experience and depth in defense.
“The rest is about Onya more specifically. Rhode Island is not known for its football talent. This is not a blow to Onya, but more of a recognition that he will need to adjust to the university level of talent even more than most freshmen.
“In addition, Onye injured his foot during his senior basketball season, which cost him the Rhode Island spring football season. He didn’t play in a competitive match for nearly two full years, and even then, Onye was raw, playing only one full season of high school football.
“He already has the size needed to compete at the next level, but Onye is looking forward to developing overall, development that he will focus on in 2021. It may be such an emphasis that it will not even appear in the Toledo breakthrough. …
“It will be interesting to see how Onye’s career develops. Wherever it is currently between 245 and 280, it is already big. If he puts on a lot of weight, he will inevitably move inward to the triple technique. If, however, he can keep length as his main attribute, then he will have a long-term development.”
FORECAST FOR 2022
Depth matters in a defensive line. Onye, who has gained weight – recruiting was down to just 245 when he signed with Notre Dame in December 2020 – should give the Irishman more depth than he needs with a flashy new defensive line coach. Al Washington will jump.
Consider a three-tech grip. Ademilola is on the cusp of stardom and may be the only thing keeping Cross from 40 tackles. Onye has no chance to heal this deep injury.
But if Marsall or, more likely, Cal is lost in September, Washington will take the chance to spare Ademilola and Cross snaps in the fourth quarter. Giving Onye this experience would serve both the purpose of keeping the veterans’ feet fresher and giving him a chance to shine in his new, if always somewhat assumed, position.
ON THE WAY TO
Onye raw. He just didn’t play much football. The second-generation Nigerian immigrant lost a crucial developmental season due to the pandemic, and then in 2021 he also didn’t play a competitive snap.
Give him time.
His size and length make Onye the perfect defensive prospect. With Ademilola moving to the NFL after this season, Cross should start next year with a three-handed tackle. Onye will compete with an early enrolled freshman Tyson Ford to serve as Cross’s main backup, though both should see extra playing time.
Notre Dame was expecting a longer term when he signed Oneier. Neither the length of the timeline nor the eventual expected return have changed.
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
From Blake Groupe to Braden Lenzi, the off-season countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Group, kicker, transfer of the State of Arkansas
No. 99 Riley Mills, junior guard, player who now plays more in the end.
#98 Tyson Ford, early freshman, quarterback hired as a four-star endgame.
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore, quarterback, still “wide like a Volkswagen.”
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a young defender who tore his cruciate ligament in March.
#91 Josh Bryan Sophomore Kicker
#91 Aiden Gobaira, Freshman Early Enrollment Guard, Four-Star Recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defender, the German project is nearing completion.
#89 Eli Raridon Rookie Freshman Tight End with an ACL tear.
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer Jr. Tight End, Likely All-American
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, Jr. Tight End
#83 Jayden Thomas, Sophomore Receiver, Four-Star Former Rookie
#80 Kane Burrong, sophomore who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish strikers.
#78 Pat Coogan, sophomore at center, recovering from a meniscus injury.
No. 77 * Tai Chan, offensive tackle starter, former four-star rookie.
No. 76 Joe Alt, Sophomore, Beginning Left Tackle
No. 75 Josh Lagg, sixth year hitter, likely starting right back.
#74 Billy Shrout, early enrolled forward freshman after foot surgery.
#73 Andrew Christophic, senior forward turned defenseman.
#72 Caleb Johnson Sophomore Offensive, Former Auburn Bail
No. 68 Michael Carmody, junior offensive line mate.
No. 65 Michael Vinson, Long Bass, “Milk”
No. 65 * Chris Smith, defensive tackle, Harvard transfer.
No. 59 * Aamil Wagner, Common Four-Star Freshman Forward
#57 Jason Ademilola, fifth-year quarterback, after shoulder surgery.
No. 57 * Ashton Craig New Freshman Center
#56 Joey Tanona, early-listed hitter with a concussion.
No. 56 Howard Cross, senior quarterback with heavy hands, and that’s good.
No. 55 Jarret Patterson, Year Five Offensive Linesman, Three Year Starting Center, Captain
No. 54 Jacob Lacy, senior quarterback, is now lighter and in the starting lineup.
#54 Blake Fischer, Sophomore, Starting Right Tackle, “Huge”
No. 52 Zeke Correll Senior Center or Possibly Left Back
No. 52 Bo Bauer, Fifth Year Linebacker, Ironman
No. 51 * Donovan Hinish, freshman starting quarterback, Kurt’s brother.
No. 50 Rocco Spindler Sophomore Shooting Guard
#48 Will Schweitzer Sophomore Turned Linebacker