January 23, 2012

Hokies impress Ekanem

Clifton (Va.) Centreville linebacker/defensive end Ken Ekanem is down to two schools and just visited the first when he took an official to Blacksburg, Va. this past weekend. Did the Hokies take the lead over Notre Dame heading into his last visit this upcoming weekend?

The four-star, who is rated as the No. 15 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 209 prospect in the land, went to Virginia Tech this weekend on his official visit.

"It was a good visit, I liked it and talked to a lot of the players," said the 6-foot-3, 226-pounder. "I spoke to James Gayle a lot about about how they use the defensive ends there."

Ekanem was hosted by Ronny Vandyke and took the trip with current Hokie commitment Devin Vandyke.

"I also knew a few kids from my school there," he said. "I met with all the coaches and spent a lot of time with coach Foster, coach Wiles and coach Beamer and we talked about how I'd be used and when I'd play. I'll redshirt because of my injury (torn ACL) but after that I think I can compete for a starting job as a redshirt freshman or at least as a redshirt sophomore."

Ekanem is a bit of a 'tweener with the size of a defensive end but the mobility of a linebacker. Does he have a preference?

"I like standing up so I prefer a 3-4," he said of the defense that Notre Dame plays. "But at Tech the ends are standing up a lot of the time as well, so I know I'd be comfortable there as well."

Next up for Ekanem is his last official visit to Notre Dame this weekend and then a decision on Signing Day, Feb. 1.

"I've never been to Notre Dame while I've been to Tech like three times now so I'm looking forward to seeing it," he said. "I hear it's a really nice campus and you can get around easy. I'd like to see how comfortable I feel there and talk about playing time. My recruiting coach is coach Diaco now that coach Molnar is gone to UMass so I want to get to know him more and learn about the defense."

Is there a family favorite?

"My mom likes Virginia Tech because she's familiar with it," he said. "But she also likes the prestige of Notre Dame and the academics. The decision is really up to me and I will know better after my visit. I just got back from Tech so they might be ahead a little bit but we'll see what happens at Notre Dame."

Coach Foster will be in to see Ekanem on Wednesday and he is unsure when Notre Dame will be coming this week. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly hasn't used his in home visit yet so that could occur later this week.

"I'm not sure yet," he said. "I just got back late last night from Tech so I have to talk to Notre Dame."


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