High School Sports

NaNa Osafo-Mensah reflects on All-American Bowl. When will he leave for Notre Dame?

Nolan Catholic’s defensive end Nana Osafo-Mensah, left against All Saints during the first Half of Friday’s November 2, 2018 football game at McNair Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Special/Bob Haynes
Nolan Catholic’s defensive end Nana Osafo-Mensah, left against All Saints during the first Half of Friday’s November 2, 2018 football game at McNair Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Special/Bob Haynes Special to the Star-Telegram

NaNa Osafo-Mensah has had quite the senior year at Nolan Catholic. Committed to Notre Dame last May, Osafo-Mensah went through the 2018 season as one of the top players in the state.

The defensive end capped off an incredible run with a trip to the Alamdome in San Antonio for the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.

“It honestly lived up more than my expectations,” Osafo-Mensah said. “The All-American Bowl week was one of the most fun experiences of my life. If I could repeat it I definitely would.”

NaNa Osafo-Mensah
Nolan Catholic’s defensive end Nana Osafo-Mensah chases All Saints quarterback Clark Hillerman during the first Half of Friday’s November 2, 2018 football game at McNair Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Special/Bob Haynes Bob Haynes Special to the Star-Telegram

He was presented with his jersey in November and was a member of the West team. The East team won, 48-14.

Osafo-Mensah teammates included the nation’s No. 1 pro-style QB Spencer Rattler, Hebron’s Trejan Bridges, Lake Travis’ Garrett Wilson, Plano Prestonwood’s Austin Stogner and Flower Mound’s Marcel Brooks.

The East team featured Tualia Tagovailoa, who signed with Alabama. He’s the little brother of Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa.

“It was awesome because it gave me a little insight of what it’s going to be like competing at the next level,” Osafo-Mensah said.

Osafo-Mensah said the players practiced for 90 minutes a day followed by meetings and walk-through before enjoying some free time with the other All-Americans.

His family was in attendance for the game, which was televised on NBC. His girlfriend, cousins and Nolan Catholic coaches also came to support. Even his No. 1 fan, Jacoby Kemp, was there.

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Nolan Catholic senior NaNa Osafo-Mensah with 7-year-old Jacoby Kemp.

“I learned that as long as you have fun with what you’re doing then you’ll excel in anything,” he said. “There’s never a point to stress about performing especially when it’s doing something you love.”

Osafo-Mensah leaves for South Bend on Friday where he’ll enroll early at Notre Dame. He finished the season with 53 tackles, 14 sacks and three fumble recoveries. He was named to the Star-Telegram all-area team and USA Today football All-Texas team.

“Next for me is to start as a freshman at Notre Dame and work as hard as I can to make the NFL and represent my city,” he said.

Nolan Catholic 2019 defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah is ranked the No. 7 weak-side DE in the nation. Video credit: Super K_TFB

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