Notre Dame All-American defensive end, potential first-round pick Julian Okwara out for the season


No. 16 Notre Dame has lost defensive end Julian Okwara for the rest of the season with a fractured fibula, coach Brian Kelly told reporters on Sunday. The injury occurred late in the first half of Saturday's win over Duke when he went down while chasing Blue Devils quarterback Quinten Harris.

"Julian Okwara, unfortunately, has a fracture and he will not be back this year," Kelly said. "We feel terrible for him. He will have a procedure done here once we figure out all the specifics, but it is a fibula fracture that he suffered when he was pass-rushing."

It's a huge loss for a Fighting Irish team that's still fighting for a berth in a New Year's Six bowl despite falling out of College Football Playoff contention. Okwara leads the team with five sacks. He also has seven tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries in nine games this season. 

The 6-foot-4, 241-pounder from Charlotte was voted to the second team of the preseason AP All-American team prior to the start of the 2019 season. He had 38 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season and played a big part of his team's undefeated regular season and CFP berth. 

Okwara is regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. He's currently ranked No. 25 overall and the No. 3 edge rusher in the latest draft-eligible prospect rankings

Notre Dame will host No. 21 Navy on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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