Ekanem, who was injured while sacking the quarterback six minutes into the game, said after the loss on Saturday that the initial thought of trainers on the sideline was a torn meniscus.
The injury adds another curve to a recruiting process that has become more interesting in the last two weeks for the 6-3, 245-pound defensive end-linebacker. Ekanem had narrowed his list down to five schools: Virginia Tech, Oregon, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Pittsburgh. However changes to the coaching staffs of some of those schools have made the picture more jumbled.
Ekanem’s recruiter from Pitt, Tony Dews, a Centreville alum, departed to join Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Arizona. As a result Ekanem said he had narrowed the list down to four, eliminating Pitt as an option. Then, Charlie Molnar left his job as offensive coordinator at Notre Dame to take the head-coaching job at Massachusetts.
The senior is set to take his first official visit to Notre Dame this coming weekend, but in the days after Molnar’s departure he had not heard from the school and the move severs his closest connection to the program. Ekanem said last week he was anxious to get the first trip done.
“I’m pretty excited,” Ekanem said. “I heard all this talk about it and I just want to see it. I’ve heard too much about it, so I want to see it first once and see what the campus is about. I heard it’s a pretty cool place.”
Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster visited Centreville last Wednesday, and Pitt also attended the Wildcats’ practice to continue recruiting Ekanem.
The senior is expected to use all of his visits before committing around signing day, he said, and he expects to take the other trips in January.
“Since I didn’t take any visits during the season I’m crammed up,” Ekanem said. “I just want to get them done as fast as possible before national signing day.”