The final piece of Notre Dame’s 2019 recruiting class fell into place today when blue-chip defensive end prospect Isaiah Foskey announced his signing. The 6’4″, 233-pound Cal legacy participated in a signing ceremony at his high school, De La Salle, which is one the of the country’s foremost prep programs. The more attentive (and, ahem, longer in the tooth) among you may remember the last De La Salle lineman Notre Dame signed: Derek Landri, who was highly productive for the Irish and had a respectable NFL career.
Foskey took an official visit to Notre Dame in September; while he didn’t officially shut things down, he also didn’t visit anywhere else or entertain any other coaches after then. So the handwriting was very clearly on the wall. In fact, there were some rumors that he signed in December and kept it under wraps so he could announce with his teammates. I pretty much believe those rumors at this point, given the lack of any kind of development around another program in his recruitment.
The final high-level item worth noting is that Foskey gives the Irish a whopping five four-star defensive line recruits in this class; he joins NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Howard Cross, Hunter Spears, and Jacob Lacey. I can’t remember the last time that happened, and boy, do I love it.
Recruiting Service Rankings
247 Composite — 4 star (0.9164 rating), #211 overall, #13 WDE, #28 in CA
247 Sports — 4 star (92 rating), #203 overall, #13 WDE, #27 in CA
Rivals — 4 star (5.8 rating), NR overall, #15 WDE, #42 in CA
ESPN — 4 star (82 rating), #209 overall, #23 DE, #24 in CA
In addition to Notre Dame and Cal, Isaiah Foskey holds offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, and Washington, among others.
I have a hard time getting past the image of a kid who’s 6’4″/230+ pulling away from people in the open field. Wow. Once my blink reflex started backup, I saw an awful lot to like on this film. Foskey shows a tantalizing blend of power and speed, often in the same rep. He had some nice bend coming around the edge, showed a powerful straight arm a few times, has great burst off the line, and is adept at slipping through small creases when he gets a blocker leaning the wrong way. He holds up better at the point of attack on run plays than you might expect from a part-time defensive player. In fact his tape reminds me a lot of Julian Okwara’s, only if Okwara was 30 pounds heavier.
He loses his lane a little too easily sometimes, coming waaay wide of where he should be, but I’m sure Mike Elston will be able to coach that out of him. Otherwise, there’s so much raw material here that it would be more surprising if he doesn’t emerge as an excellent pass rusher.
Given that he spent so much time on offense, it’s highly unlikely that Foskey will make an immediate impact. The good news is that the Irish won’t need him to; the battle-worn Julian Okwara and Daelin Hayes and game-tested Justin Ademilola are all ready to go in 2019. Okwara and Hayes are both done after this season, though, so opportunity will be there in 2020. I think he’ll make his way onto the field in meaningful situations in 2020; I also think he has a great chance to be a multi-year front-line player, like Okwara.
Welcome to the Irish family, Isaiah!