Heading into the 2019 season, then junior rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had not taken a snap of defensive football during his Notre Dame career. There was no questioning his talent, but a redshirt season was followed by a season lost due to injury to start his career, so the native of Virginia was far from a known commodity.
Fast forward one year and Owusu-Koramoah is now considered one of the nation’s best linebackers. In fact, ESPN ranked him as the sixth best returning linebacker in the entire country.
"Now the "rover" (safety-linebacker hybrid) in Notre Dame's defense, Owusu-Koramoah didn't really get a chance to see the field on defense in his first two college seasons, but he broke out when he was given the opportunity to start in 2019. Six of his seven highest-graded games came in his final six games; he didn't give up a single explosive play over that span and allowed just 36 yards across 114 coverage snaps. He also recorded 10 pressures on 29 pass-rush reps (five of which were sacks), which further sets the stage for an important 2020 season for the talented sophomore linebacker."
In his first season in the starting lineup, Owusu-Koramoah racked up a team-leading 13.5 tackles for loss. His 54 solo tackles also led the Fighting Irish defense, and Owusu-Koramoah tied for the team lead with 80 total tackles and 5.5 sacks.
He made his presence felt immediately, racking up a pair of tackles for loss in the season-opening victory over Louisville. As the season got deeper his overall play improved, and Owusu-Koramoah became a far more consistently effective player, registering at least one tackle for loss in four of the final five games of the season.
Owusu-Koramoah was at his best in the bowl victory over Iowa State, tying his season high with nine tackles and setting new career highs with four tackles for loss and three sacks. The junior rover also had a forced fumble in the game, which he recovered.
Now with a year of experience under his belt, Owusu-Koramoah is expected to become one of Notre Dame’s best players.
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