The Dotted Line: NaNa Osafo-Mensah says Texas, Notre Dame in 50-50 heat

Posted May 1st, 2018


Stay updated on latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of The Dotted Line will publish M-F at 10 a.m. each morning to provide Texas fans with an in-depth look at the latest for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail. 

State’s top pass rusher torn with decision looming

NaNa Osafo-Mensah is scheduled to commit to either Texas or Notre Dame on May 19. The four-star defensive end took his official visit to Notre Dame in April, leaving impressed. The Longhorns get their shot to host the 6-4, 227-pound pass rusher this weekend when he and his family travel to Austin.

Osafo-Mensah, the state’s No. 8-ranked player on the initial 2019 Fabulous 55, heads into the visit torn on his upcoming decision. He’ll be accompanied by his family and will arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday before taking two weeks to review his potential decision.

Outside linebacker NaNa Osafo-Mensah of Nolan Catholic is one of the top 2019 prospects in the state. (Mike Craven)

“It is a dead heat going into the official visit. I’d call it 50-50,” Osafo-Mensah said Sunday following The Opening regional camp at Euless Trinity. He walked away with the defensive line MVP award and was invited to The Opening Final at the end of June in Frisco. “If I was asked to commit right now, I couldn’t because I really don’t know.”

Osafo-Mensah couldn’t be blocked Sunday at The Opening camp. He raced past offensive tackles with ease, showcasing the speed around the edge that makes him a unique prospect with enormous upside at the college level. The Fort Worth Nolan Catholic star took the camp seriously and it paid off.

“This was a camp I was looking forward to because I was invited late last year and couldn’t attend one out of state,” he said. “I wanted the invite. I told my coach before I left that I was going to ‘Get Open’ and bring that invite back to Nolan Catholic. My school had a sports award ceremony last night, but I missed it to get some extra sleep.”

Both Texas and Notre Dame possess positives and negatives in the mind of Osafo-Mensah. Notre Dame is cold but offers more diversity in the student body with kids from all over the country, and world, converging on South Bend.

Osafo-Mensah pointed out that Texas’ student body is mostly native Texans, but the proximity to his home and the idea of living in Austin helps the Longhorns.

“This visit, I want to see my family’s reaction. They loved Notre Dame, and I know it’s not them going to college, but I still cherish my family and their opinion,” he said. “Both programs want me to do similar things, which is get after the quarterback. Texas asks its defensive ends to do more in coverage.”

Three-team race for grad transfer Tre Watson

Texas wouldn’t mind bolstering its backfield with an experienced addition before the season begins. Help is on the way in the form of 2018 signee Keaontay Ingram, but it’s hard to expect a true freshman to take control of the position.

Tre Watson, a grad transfer from Cal, could give Texas a one-year option at the position.

Watson visited Texas during the Orange-White game. He took an official visit to Texas Tech earlier in April and then an official visit to LSU last weekend. He announced on Twitter that he’ll pick between the three schools shortly.

Watson is a 5-10, 190-pound running back who suffered a season-ending injury in Cal’s second game of the season. He recorded 504 yards on 89 carries as a sophomore and 709 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. Watson has also shown the ability to catch out of the backfield and help as a kick returner.

Texas’ leading returning rusher is quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

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