2019 Recruiting: LB J.D. Bertrand Commits to Notre Dame

Notre Dame football fans received some excellent news tonight, as 2019 4-star linebacker JD Bertrand has verbally committed to the Fighting Irish. The 6-1/220 pounder out of Roswell, GA is the 21st commit in Notre Dame football’s recruiting class of 2019 (22nd if you also want to count PWO kicker Harrison Leonard).

This was looking for a while like a situation where Notre Dame had a kid who really wanted to be Irish, but maybe there wouldn’t be room for him. I know some of you have been fretting over the size of this recruiting class and whether or not Notre Dame would have enough scholarships to go around next year. Well, it looks like JD decided to take matter into his own hands and commit to the Irish — despite reports at this time saying that he doesn’t yet hold a scholarship offer from Notre Dame.

That’s right. A 4-star athlete loves the University of Notre Dame so much that he has decided to commit to playing football in South Bend whether or not a scholarship will be immediately available to him.

Recruiting Service Rankings

Rivals — 4 star (5.8 rating), #247 overall, #12 ILB, #29 in GA

ESPN — 4 star (80 rating), NR overall, #26 OLB, #40 in GA

247Sports — 4 star (91 rating), #234 overall, #15 OLB, #25 in GA

247Sports Composite — 4 star (.8984), #315 overall, #17 OLB, #14 in GA

Cohort

JD chose the Irish over other offers from Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Stanford, and many others.

He was previously committed to Georgia, and the Irish quickly got in touch with him after his de-commitment. The biggest competition at the end appeared to be Wisconsin.

Highlights

JD is your classic run-stuffing linebacker. His film will occasionally show him dropping back into coverage, but it mostly consists of clips of him heading downhill and meeting the ball carrier at the line — hard. His athleticism isn’t going to wow anyone, but he makes quick reads and has the excellent ability of being able to diagnose where the play is heading almost immediately after the snap. And when he meets the opposing player at the line, he hits hard and with textbook form.

Impact

This is a solid pickup for Notre Dame. The proven depth at linebacker after this season ends is… Not ideal. Tranquill and Coney, probably the best leaders on this defense, will be gone. Bilal will still have eligibility, but after that, who do we know will step up? I mean, we can speculate about the potential of a guy like Shayne Simon, but he’s yet to see any significant number of snaps to this point.

More numbers at linebacker means better odds that someone will be there to step up in the future. And JD Bertrand is no slouch. His ceiling is probably lower than all of the other LB commits in the Class of 2019, but his floor is probably higher than most of them as well. And the Irish haven’t even used a scholarship on him to this point, either.

But I’d expect that to work itself out sooner rather than later. JD might not have his scholarship in hand when he signs his LOI, but with the usual attrition I wouldn’t be too surprised if he’s got it before fall camp starts. And I hope it works out for him, too. It says a lot about the character of a kid when he decides to make the best decision for himself, even if it may not be the easiest path to success.

 

Welcome to the Irish family, JD!

By |2018-11-19T20:58:31+00:00November 19th, 2018|Recruiting|19 Comments

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IrishGushScarponiIrishchamp23juiceboxClay Cossé fka Mouth Recent comment authors
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MDIRISH
MDIRISH

I don’t want to cause a fuss but I wouldn’t commit without an offer if I were in this kid’s shoes. Like all of you, I think a ND degree is very valuable but I don’t care if I was Rudy, I’d probably take a scholarship to play at Georgia. But hey, I’m glad to have him.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Was his scholarship pulled at UGA? I mean, I love ND as much as the next guy, and by all means I’m happy and impressed if a kid will do that for ND, but that’s an interesting life choice (unless his folks are otherwise well-off).

Orlok
Orlok

What is the theory behind not offering this 4-Star guy a scholarship but then offering a 3 star tweener from Hawaii? No offense to the other guy, but I was surprised by that offer and now I’m just downright concerned that we’re missing out on a strong player while offering weaker ones.

tlndma
tlndma

Gotta trust the coaches. They get payed way more for their football knowledge than the guys handing out star ratings.

shark.run
shark.run

Maybe he’s confident he can play freshman year and is hoping to be on the field in Athens on Sept. 21, 2019. Plus we play at Georgia Tech in 2020.

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

Looking at the highlights, “he won’t blow you away with his athleticism” was not my first (or fifth) reaction. Looks to close pretty well when pass rushing. And of course all the great things you’d expect from a wrestler. I bet the staff makes him a Mike, right? Maybe like a Coney–not super long or fast, but stout as hell, really physical, and runs pretty well.

IrishGush
IrishGush

I think Coney seems to have always had more athleticism than Bertrand. Remember, Coney started outside and only moved to MLB this year, and there was never much doubt about offering him if we could lure him to South Bend.

Bertrand reminds me more of classic physical MLB’s like Nyles Morgan, who was good against the run, and generally good enough to play the pass, but didn’t possess NFL caliber athleticism, which showed against Miami. Bertrand might fit as a rich man’s Carlo Calabrese, who platooned with Fox, depending on the opponent’s style of play.

He should develop into a good physical presence in the middle, which we particularly need to bang against the Big Ten and Stanford offensive lines. Against spread passing teams, I’d guess he’ll have to take another step in technique and athleticism. Let’s hope he does — and even if he doesn’t, he still could prove to be a valuable defensive weapon.

juicebox
juicebox

Is the whole “no scholarship but you can come here if you want” even allowed at this point? Isn’t there some level of recruitment that stops you from being able to walk on at a school?

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Not sure what the rule is, but it’s out there. And as I referenced above, not like Schmidt had to go to Cincy or Air Force or anywhere that offered him. Still get to chose where you want to go to college no matter how premiere the player.

Just natural that football teams will usually have a scholarship offer to the top ranked prospects. But Bama did the same to have a top-10 ranked 4* DE in 2017 join the program without a scholarship. A quick google search makes it looks like he hasn’t played, not sure his status.

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football-recruiting/2017/2/1/14456310/jarez-parks-alabama-national-signing-day-2017

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

There is no rule against it. Baker Mayfield walked on at Oklahoma after having started half the season at Texas Tech.

Scarponi
Scarponi

So is this a preferred walk-on situation? Or TJ Sheffield situation? Or is it that ND has told him they might have a scholarship for him and they might not, and he’s committing either way?