Every year you have those guys you just love heading into the draft. College football ballers who’s names jumped out at you as they dominated the field on Saturdays. I remember having that instinctual wow moment while watching Saquon Barkley bully defences. The same with Ceedee Lamb making big time plays like they’re a common task at Oklahoma. Owusu-Koramoah falls into that category. It feels impossible with college football to know the stature of every draft prospect, but I can assure you if you’ve watched a bunch of Notre Dame games this season, you’ll have heard this young mans name by now. I found myself thinking ‘jheez was that six AGAIN??’ So here’s one of my favourite prospects this year, Notre Dames number six…
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB Notre Dame
Jeremiah wasn’t a largely sought after high school recruit. Receiving only 5 offers from division 1 schools, he originally committed to local school Virginia. However after reconsidering his options and checking out both Michigan State and Notre Dame, Owusu-Koramoah eventually landed with the Fighting Irish.
He came out of high school as a three star hybrid, at 6-1 and 197 pounds. He’d be the 17th ranked player in Virginia’s class of high schoolers in 2017. His athleticism had many grade him as a safety, many as an outside linebacker, and some listed him as an athlete, as is often the case with high schoolers when they’ve played multiple positions during their high school career.
Enrolling in a top tier power 5 school such as Notre Dame, as a three star recruit, means you have to earn your playing time. So as a freshman Jeremiah never saw the field. He spent the year on the scout team. However that isn’t a negative reflection on him, he was among 10 scholarship freshman all in the same position. Not to be thrown in the deep end too early.
As a sophomore in 2018 he’d play the first two games, before breaking his foot in a practice session, which kept him out the rest of the year.
So it wasn’t until his third year with the Irish, and his junior season, when Jeremiah was named a starter. He took full advantage of the circumstances, and started to make a name for himself as a linebacker. He tied for the lead in tackles that season, racking up 80 in 13 games, all of which he started. The stat line for Jeremiah is pretty impressive. 13.5 tackles for loss. 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumbles recovered. Plus four pass break ups, which brings me onto his athleticism.
He is going to be a side line to side line outside linebacker in the NFL. The athleticism is going to earn him a very strong first round spot in the draft come April. Teams crave that kind of mobility in the league these days, and as I’ve already mentioned, some had him scouted as a safety coming out of high school, so he has the speed, agility, and dynamic play maker ability to drop in as a sub line backer/safety hybrid in certain packages too. He has tape dropping into coverage with slot receivers, and all of these dynamic traits are only going to attract NFL teams further.
As a linebacker, he plays at his own speed, and by that I mean quicker than everybody else. He’ll outrun his own team mates to get to the action. He has that first round talent level sense of where the play is going to go, and will be there waiting for you in the hole.
As he headed into the 2020 season scouts had already began to talk. He was named a pre season All American, so his name was now in the spotlight. And six did not disappoint. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah only got better and better as a senior in 2020. He was pivotal in the 47-40 double overtime victory against Clemson in the regular season, totalling 9 tackles, a half sack, and a forced fumble, which was absolutely text book technique to strip the ball out while making a tackle.
Notre Dame had a couple of dominating performances defensively in the 2020 season, including a 45-3 win over ACC division opponent Pitt. Jeremiah got his one and only college career interception in that game. He was instrumental in wins again Duke, and North Carolina, adding 9 tackles in both games, and another forced fumble in the Duke game.
What I like about him, is he’s put it all on tape. He’s versatile. He’s got fumbles, a tonne of tackles, an interception, sacks. Speed, athleticism. His dynamic ability shines through when you watch his game, and he will hit you HARD. I’ll pause here while you watch the first two plays of this video…
Right?? The tape is just. So. Dynamic. He’s upstairs batting down passes in the end zone. He’s absolutely crushing guys both in the open field, and in the backfield, then that bizarre play against Travis Etienne and Clemson where he read the play so fast that Etienne hadn’t secured it, and ripped it out of his hands Jamal Adams style, taking it to the house.
He was named ACC defensive player of the year in his senior season, and won the Butkus award, which is given to the best linebacker in College football, named of course after the great Dick Butkus. Let me read you a list of some of the names who’ve also won said award, so you can get a feel for the kind of talent Jeremiah is. Von Miller, Patrick Willis, Luke Kuechly, Eric Kendricks, Jaylon Smith, Roquan Smith, Isaiah Simmons last year, and Devin White, who of course, just played an instrumental role as a dynamic linebacker in that Super Bowl winning Bucs defence.
NFL scouts are going to be dreaming about all the things that Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah brings to their defence. He’s going to be special. He’s everywhere. He’s so fast for the position, and you’ll need to know where he is and where he’s headed on every play, because if you don’t, it’ll be too late. Amazing prospect, who’ll be off the board in the top 20. Where might he best fit?
I have a feeling his pro day might elevate his stock even more if he performs in the cone drills and runs a very strong 40 time, which he’s most definitely capable of. So who needs a playmaker at the second level in the first round?
In my first mock draft, I had him headed to New York, to give identity to the Giants defence, and I’m sticking with that. I think it’s the perfect fit. I said I was high on him then, and I’m still high on him now. I can see the Giants taking a look at what the Steelers gained from Devin Bush, and then the Bucs with Devin White, and fancying the same sort of franchise linebacker for themselves.
Last year the Giants assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was asked whether the Giants would be running a 3-4, 4-3, 3-3-5, 4-2-5 defence etc? His answer was yes. He wanted to employ all of those schemes. A dynamic defence requires elite dynamic talent, and right here at number 11 in the draft, he’ll be licking his lips at deploying Owusu-Koramoah into the heart of that defence, along with the likes of defensive tackle Leonard Williams, and safety Jabrill Peppers.
The Fighting Irish might not have their names on the back of their jerseys, but everybody knows who six is. Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah could be very, VERY good at the next level. So keep an eye on him.