football Edit

2021 DE Devin Aupiu Flips From UCLA To Notre Dame

Commitment No. 24 in the 2021 recruiting class is in the fold for Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, with Oxnard (Calif.) Pacifica defensive end Devin Aupiu flipping his pledge from UCLA to Notre Dame Wednesday.

The 6-5, 225-pounder originally committed to the Bruins over California, Oregon State, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington State in April. He planned to sign with UCLA until a late push from Notre Dame came to fruition.

The Fighting Irish staff offered Aupiu Nov. 25, and after speaking more with the Notre Dame coaches and commits as well as doing his own research, Aupiu switched his commitment.

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Oxnard (Calif.) Pacifica defensive end and Notre Dame commit Devin Aupiu
Aupiu is the Fighting Irish’s 24th commitment of the 2021 class.

“Obviously, Notre Dame is a huge school,” Aupiu said. “It’s a staple of college football, and with the season they’re having now, it’s just insane.”

“I’ve been talking to some of the [defensive line] recruits from Notre Dame, like Jason Onye, Will Schweitzer and Gabriel Rubio. They were all hitting me up and staying in touch. Jason and I have built a really good bond.”

During his junior season in 2019, Aupiu led Pacifica to its first-ever CIF 2A state title. In leading his squad to a 15-1 record, the new Irish commit totaled 62 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles and blocked a punt. During his sophomore year in 2018, he totaled 50 tackles, eight sacks, five passes defended and one forced fumble.

“You could definitely tell a big difference between my sophomore and junior seasons — not only with my size, but also with my football IQ and how I understand the game more,” Aupi said. “I played a lot faster my junior season and was able to compete physically. I was so small as a sophomore.”

Aupiu plans to enroll early at Notre Dame, so he will not play a senior season at Pacifica. But he’s made plenty of strides in his game despite the lack of game action this fall.

“A lot has been in the weight room and eating. I gained 20 pounds in a month or two, and I’m at 6-5, 225 pounds now,” he said. “I’ve been getting stronger and working on the technical aspect. I was working with pass rushing coach Ed McGilvra; he coaches a lot of NFL and college guys. In that aspect, I’ve really made a huge jump in my skills.”

Rivals ranks Aupiu as the No. 58 player in the state of California and No. 40 weak-side defensive end nationally.

Notre Dame has four defensive line commitments in the 2021 class. Aupiu and Schweitzer are true defensive ends, while Rubio will play an interior defensive line spot. Onye may play strong-side defensive end or defensive tackle.



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