With the 2018 class officially wrapped up (a bountiful 27 players*) we’re moving on to the next cycle. To date, the Fighting Irish already have 3 commits in the class and if you were too focused on National Signing Day this week here’s a quick refresher:
QB Cade McNamara – Committed back in mid-July as a relative under-the-radar prospect from Reno, Nevada. Throwing up 99 total touchdowns and 7,236 total yards as a sophomore and junior raised some eyebrows. He’s now made an ascent up the recruiting rankings settling in as a solid 4-star and the No. 7 pro-style quarterback at the moment.
DT Jacob Lacy – The second commit of the class coming a couple weeks after McNamara. A major priority for a long time he’s an early anchor of the class as the No. 10 national defensive tackle and currently just outside the Top 150 prospects in the country.
CB K.J. Wallace – He became part of the class just a couple weeks ago. Not quite the national prospect of his classmates but still comfortably a 4-star just inside the Top 300 rankings.
*Following Wednesday’s flurry of signings the Irish are sitting at 90 scholarships and will have 6 months to get down to the mandated 85-man limit.
A nice little start to 2019 as we turn the gears to figure out the numbers game for next year. With a massive 2018 class you’d think the next cycle is bound to be small but maybe not! Will it be 7 straight years with at least 20 recruits? Roster management, for the win!
Out of Eligibility Following 2018 Season:
WR Freddy Canteen
RB Dexter Williams
TE Nick Weishar
OL Sam Mustipher
OL Alex Bars
OL Jimmy Byrne
DT Jerry Tillery
DT Jonathan Bonner
DE Jay Hayes
LB Drue Tranquill
LB Te’von Coney
CB Nick Watkins
S Nicco Fertitta
S Nick Coleman
K Justin Yoon
P Tyler Newsome
In stark contrast to last year this list is loaded with impact players. Including the special teams we could see 13 starters walking out the door no matter what. It’ll be a lot of production to replace but at the same time also a good way for the 2019 class to be larger in size.
2019-20 Academic Classes:
3 Verbal Commits
77 Total Scholarships
This is usually where we notate any recent transfers or scholarship losses. We haven’t had any for a couple weeks now.
List of Eligible Grad Students
CB Shaun Crawford
TE Alize Mack
OL Trevor Ruhland
WR Miles Boykin
LB Asmar Bilal
QB Brandon Wimbush
WR Chris Finke
DT Micah Dew-Treadway
I can’t remember a cycle when most or all of my initial Tier II players didn’t eventually made their way to Tier I status in later editions of these posts. As I’ve said before I’d bet this is Mack’s last year at Notre Dame before heading to the NFL so there’s one scholarship opening up.
Somewhat controversially (maybe?) I have Wimbush in Tier II mainly because Notre Dame is in a vicious cycle of Irish quarterbacks not finishing up their eligibility in South Bend and if he ends up losing his job at some point in the fall the likelihood of a transfer is pretty high.
2019 Recruiting Cycle Needs
The late addition C’Bo Flemister brings the scholarships to 4 and of course we may see someone move here during the spring, as well. If you’re thinking about moving someone then this position should be a priority in 2019. I think most are pretty high on C’Bo and Jahmir Smith as 3-star recruits. Yet, 2 more bodies could be needed next year and if it’s just one it has to be a definitive blue-chip talent.
The Irish closed with Jarrett Patterson and a healthy 4-man class but as I wrote on Tuesday it’s a modest group for Notre Dame standards. In terms of need, it won’t be bodies as much as talent. We can probably expect 3 linemen although a 4th may be too much.
When is this not a need? Technically, only one defensive end was signed (Justin Ademilola) and many expect him to grow into an interior prospect. So the 2018 class could potentially feature zero ends which isn’t ideal. There is unlikely to be more than one loss at this position (unless one of Kareem, Daelin Hayes, or Okwara have a huge year) which allows for some wiggle room. Since we’re losing Jay Hayes you’d think the strong-side will be more of a focus for 2019 but it does seem like the Irish have more trouble getting impact guys on the weak-side.
This is a tough one because the Irish just signed 4 freshmen and all of the receivers could be coming back for 2019. The 2018 class also has the potential to be the best of the Kelly era. Nevertheless, putting so much pressure on said freshmen class exposes the fact that more help should come in for 2019, too.
If Dew-Treadway doesn’t come back for a graduate season then 3 tackles will be gone from the roster next year. The young talent brought in for 2017-18 puts the program in a nice position moving forward, for sure. Any time you lose a couple starters there should be enough room available to hit this position with some firmness.
I’m including the Rover position here (or rather Drue Tranquill) which would mean the loss of 2 very important pieces in addition to Coney. At this point, 3 more linebackers for 2019 seems like it might be too much but we’re so far away from next Signing Day and I bet this will be the target number with a better idea of the future playmakers who are currently underclassmen.
We’re more than good here. With McNamara on board there could be a max of 5 quarterbacks on the roster in 2019. That seems like a lot doesn’t it? See Wimbush above, there’s likely some movement within this unit before 2019 begins.
If you’re going to plan as if Mack isn’t coming back (as I would) you could make the case that tight end should be a little more of an emphasis this cycle. That probably depends on who could join the 2019 class. If it’s going to be Hudson Henry (.977) just shut it down and move on to other positions.
The Irish just signed 5(!!!) corners. Yes, it’s likely someone is moving positions but that’s still a ton of wiggle room to get the right guys in place on defense. With only one corner for sure running out eligibility this might be a very light haul for this cycle.
Whether it’s Houston Griffith moving to the back end or someone else I’m pretty sure this wrapped up 2018 class will feature 3 safeties when it’s all said and done. The Irish seem to be cycling through the roster here quickly (Fertitta, Crawford into their last year with questions about the future abilities of Elliott and Studstill) and there should be a little more emphasis here than corner.
22 Total Scholarships