2019 Recruiting: QB Brendon Clark Commits to Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s 2019 class added another key piece on offense today when QB Brendon Clark pledged to the Irish. The 6’2″, 217-pound Virginian committed to Wake Forest almost a year ago, but backed away from that commitment after his recruitment picked up steam. He picked up a Notre Dame offer in early June and visited a couple of weeks later; the Irish reportedly made a big move on that visit, enough to overcome distance concerns. Clark chose Notre Dame over fellow finalists North Carolina and Clemson – and yes, Clemson’s interest was very real. We’ll get into this more below, but Clark’s commitment is a big one as it allows the Irish to maintain a solid pipeline at the position.

Recruiting Service Rankings

247 Composite — 3 star (0.8702 rating), #599 overall, #22 PRO, #16 in VA

247 Sports — 3 star (88 rating), #400 overall, #12 PRO, #10 in VA

Rivals — 3 star (5.6 rating), NR overall, #23 PRO, #16 in VA

ESPN — 3 star (78 rating), NR overall, #21 PRO, #12 in VA

Cohort

In addition to Notre Dame, Clemson, North Carolina, and Wake Forest, Brendon Clark holds offers from Duke, Maryland, and Tennessee. I think his early commitment to Wake plus his approach to the recruiting process – he’s a straightforward kid who isn’t interested in being courted – kept this list shorter than it otherwise might’ve been.

Highlights

A lot of people have connect Clark to Ian Book, and to a degree that’s understandable. The undersized Book is seen as the guy between The Guys, with Brandon Wimbush ahead of him and Phil Jurkovec behind him. Similarly, the “undersized” Clark has Jurkovec ahead of him and the prodigiously talented Drew Pyne behind him. I say “undersized” because that’s more of a perception due to the Book connection; Clark is a legit 6’2″ and a hair under 220, which is much closer to Wimbush’s 6’2″/228 than Book’s 6’0″/200.

The reality is that the placement between two higher-ranked prospects is what Clark and Book most have in common. Book is a good football player who can handle the job if needed, but he’s not an ideal full-time starter. I think Clark, on the other hand, has the physical tools to be a true QB1 if needed. Clark has better arm strength, for starters; there are plenty of examples on this film, but the one that jumped out to me is at the 7:15 mark. That’s a really nice throw to the sideline, with plenty of zip on it. There are some mechanical things to clean up; he falls away from the throw more often than I’d like, and his release from the pocket has a little bit of a windup to it. But there’s a lot more positive than negative here. He has that arm, he shows plus accuracy, and when he moves out of the pocket he does a nice job of keeping his eyes up and turning his shoulders. I actually like his release on the run a lot better than from the pocket.

As a runner, Clark shows a powerful north-south style with enough wiggle to make people miss in close quarters. He’s not Wimbush on the ground, but he definitely looks like a credible threat when he calls his own number.

Impact

If all goes well, Clark won’t see the field until he’s an academic sophomore at least. He may never be a full-time starter, but I think he has the ability to fill that role if needed. At worst his floor is a serviceable backup, at best he could potentially be an effective QB1.

Welcome to the Irish family, Brendon!

By |2018-07-05T10:27:32+00:00July 4th, 2018|Football, Recruiting|21 Comments

21
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
5 Comment threads
16 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Eric MurtaughTyler HackjuiceboxRussell Knoxnd09hls12 Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
DrIck
DrIck

The rankings seem to be a copy/paste error. Unless ESPN thinks that if he were to move to Missouri and switch positions, he’d be the 8th best RB in all of the Show Me State, but that seems like a very niche ranking.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I’m a big “try to take a QB every year guy”. Glad they got him since recent history tells us that most likely one or both of Wimbush+Book aren’t going to play out all their eligibility at Notre Dame and the best QB prospects tend to bounce around.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Given that it’s almost done, where do we think the class will end up? 15ish range?

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

It could go anywhere from 15ish to 5ish. They have all of the boxes checked. Now, they can be picky. Find 5 or 6 guys and go all in on them. Their last 5 commits could be the highest commits in the class and raise the average.

Or, they could end up scrambling around and, like most years, steel a few sleepers from other teams.

juicebox
juicebox

We are 12th in composite avg per player. Behind: Bama, aTm, OU, Oregon, tOSU, FSU, UT, Aub, PSU, Tenn.

I feel like we will finish ahead of a couple of them (definitely Oregon, right?), but behind some other teams that will finish strong. 12 feels about right to me.

What do we still want at this point? 1 RB, 2 WR, 2 CB, 1 LB, 1 DE?

Tyler Hack

Seems like the staff will take a combination of the following needs:

1 RB
1 WR
1 TE
1 OL
1 (maybe even 2) DE
1 LB
1 CB

I don’t think we’ll end up with a TE this cycle. Unlikely to get another OL as well, since the staff is really only recruiting 1 or 2 guys at this point.

LB and CB don’t seem like critical needs at this point, but the staff seems to want another good LB (hi, Asa Turner) real bad. They likely wont expand the board much for another CB.

The RB board probably won’t expand much until senior film starts to come out. I think we are likely to get the 2nd WR for the class out of the current group of offered guys and call it a day there.

As for DE… I don’t know, man. Things will have to develop a bit more there for us to have a clear idea of who else we’ll land.

juicebox
juicebox

You were right about the WR!

Tyler Hack

Funny thing is I wasn’t thinking of him when I said that

juicebox
juicebox

I don’t like the idea of only taking 1 CB, especially a non-elite guy. Much too important of a position.

Tyler Hack

Well we landed, what, 5 CBs last year? Wallace is a good player, too.

Staff wants to take another corner, they’re just not going to take a guy just to get another corner, if that makes sense?

juicebox
juicebox

The problem with bringing in 5 CBs last year, is that they did that because there weren’t (m)any left on the team. They brought in a good group. But there was one stud, and a bunch of decent to pretty good prospects. We are still lacking top end talent.

I also don’t think there is any way 5 CBs from the same class last 4 years at ND. At least one will transfer, at least 1 will switch positions. All of a sudden we have 4 CBs over 3 years.

They need to smooth out the numbers, by making sure they don’t have a 0 CB class, then 5, then 1, then get into bad shape in 3 years when only 2 of them are still CBs on the roster. This is true for any position, but especially something as important as CB.

Also, CB is generally where the best athletes start, then they switch positions inward and upward. CB -> S -> LB -> DE -> DT. You barely ever see someone switching TO cornerback. So if you are light on S or LB it’s easier to move someone to that position.

It just seems like it should be a higher priority than it seems to be (granted I have no real insight). Maybe it is, and they are just striking out. Like every year with WDE. But I would still take a 2nd, as long as he is a top 500 level player.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

I thought the hype was this was supposed to be our year for a huge d-line class? Thank goodness NaNa committed.

Tyler Hack

We do still have four 4-star DL in the class right now, so it’s not like that was wrong.

The problem was when Joseph Anderson wasn’t able to clear admissions. That kind of left a whole at DE.

Plus 4-star DT Rodas Johnson would likely already be in the fold if the staff hadn’t decided to stop pursuing him.

We aren’t hurting on the DL as a whole. DT is really well-stocked. DE continues to be a struggle for varying reasons, though.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Good point. Still, in February at least the II guys were making it seem like this d-line class would be a game-changer, and I don’t think it’s quite there unless NaNa overperforms his already-pretty-high ranking.

juicebox
juicebox

Did we offer George Karlaftis (top 100 DE in Purdue’s class from W. Lafayette)? I get that he is from Purdue, but come on, it’s Purdue.

Tyler Hack

Yeah, he was offered early. Staff decided not to pursue for one reason or another

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

I wouldn’t mind if we took an entire class of d-line, o-line, and cb’s. I don’t think we can ever have enough of those guys.

Eric Murtaugh

Some muscles on this quarterback.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

So what’s up with T J Sheffield? I’m seeing he committed, but I don’t see all of the hoopla that usually follows a commit?

Tyler Hack

I just published something on his commitment, so I went into a little bit over there. But his commitment was… unexpected.