Welcome back to this latest edition of the 2020 Football Recruiting Big Board! Since our last big board update, the Irish have received verbal commitments from four different prospects — receivers Jay Brunelle and Xavier Watts on offense, as well as defensive backs Landen Bartleson and Caleb Offord on defense.
With us reaching the dead period for recruiting, and with the Irish class sitting at 17 commits with maybe three or four spots left, it doesn’t make much sense to have separate big board updates at this point. So we’re now going to be doing big board updates for both offense and defense at the same time.
|Position||247C||First Name||Last Name||Temp||Hometown||State|
Commits: Drew Pyne (.9315)
Long-time Irish commit Drew Pyne just finished competing at the Opening and Elite 11 earlier this week. Pyne showed a lot of polish as a passer and performed very well in the 7-on-7 tournament — well enough to make the final Elite 11 group. There wasn’t any official ranking of the Elite 11, but depending on who you ask, Pyne was somewhere between #5 and #10 out of the 20 quarterbacks in attendance.
Presenting the 2019 Elite 11 🏆
— Elite11 (@Elite11) July 3, 2019
Commits: Chris Tyree (.9823)
Notre Dame’s blazing fast running back commit also put on a heck of a show at the Opening. He was a big threat to make catches out of the backfield in the 7-on-7 tournament and ended up winning the Fastest Man competition, beating out Ohio State commit Julian Fleming in a final race that wasn’t even that close.
— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) July 2, 2019
Tyree’s testing numbers at the event were as follows:
40 — 4.37 seconds
Short Shuttle — 4.19 seconds
Power Ball Toss — 37 feet
Vertical — 40.8 inches
Commits: Jordan Johnson (.9844), Xavier Watts (.8777), Jay Brunelle (.8593)
At the moment, this looks like it will be Notre Dame’s receiver haul in its entirety.
The Irish appeared to be in good position with Jalen McMillan (.9752), but a surprise commitment to Washington resulted in a painful punch in the daddybags for the ND staff and fandom alike. Notre Dame will likely not stop pursuing McMillan. Up to the day before his commitment to Washington, he was still adamant that he would take his official visit to South Bend in the fall. We’ll just have to see how this plays out. Unless a late bloomer comes along some time later in the fall, McMillan is likely the only receiver the Irish will pursue.
Commits: Michael Mayer (.9619), Kevin Bauman (.9200)
The Irish are still sitting pretty with probably the best tight end haul in the country for this class. Michael Mayer was in attendance at the Opening and dominated the event, earning MVP for the 7-on-7 tournament. He may just be due to for a ratings bump by the recruiting services in the near future.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) July 3, 2019
Commits: Tosh Baker (.9671), Michael Carmody (.9412)
Notre Dame would have preferred to land three offensive lineman this cycle, but after missing out on a couple of their top targets they appear to be deciding it’s best not to use up a scholarship just to take an extra body along the offensive line. They feel good about the pairing of Baker and Carmody, and they feel really good about where they stand with blue-chip prospects from the 2021 class.
|Position||247C||First Name||Last Name||Temp||Hometown||State|
Commits: Rylie Mills (.9412), Aiden Keanaaina (.8871)
The combination of Mills at 3-tech and the Big Kahuna at noseguard is a very exciting pairing. Both are very powerful, violent players that move very well for their size. This is a good haul for the Irish.
Commits: Jordan Botelho (.9471), Alexander Ehrensberger (.8413)
Notre Dame is in a pretty good spot at defensive end this cycle. Botelho is an absolute stud who fits in perfectly at drop end. He was supposed to compete at the Opening this past week, but decided not to attend so he could nurse a minor injury.
Ehrensberger is definitely underrated by the 247 Composite right now, but it’s unlikely he gets a boost any time soon. He lives in Germany, and he’s already finished his high school career, so the only way to reevaluate him is in person. I know 247 makes it out there every now and again to check out the talent overseas, but the last time that happened Ehrensberger was unable to work out due to an illness.
The Irish will likely be looking for one more drop end to finish recruiting up at defensive end. Mitchell Melton (.8668), the last serious target left on the board, just committed to Ohio State this week. The Irish may decide to kick the tires on Top 50 prospect Phillip Webb (.9782), but it’s unclear at this point if he will be a serious option down the road. We should be on the lookout for any new targets to come up once senior film starts to get evaluated, but the staff isn’t going to just take a body like they’ve had to do in the past. So there’s also a chance Notre Dame might be done at defensive end for this cycle.
In what many view as a somewhat puzzling move, the Irish decided not to pursue a linebacker for this cycle. Cody Simon (.9374), the younger brother of Shayne Simon, committed to Ohio State recently.
Commits: Caleb Offord (.8702), Landen Bartleson (.8660), Clarence Lewis (.8647)
With the commitment of Caleb Offord on Independence Day, the Irish have likely filled up at cornerback for the cycle. This haul likely won’t wow anyone that’s just looking at the recruiting ratings, but each of these guys are lengthy, athletic prospects that fit very well into the current scheme. There is a lot of potential to work with here.
This is the area of greatest need for Notre Dame heading into the dead period, and it’s also the position on the board with the most question marks.
Lathan Ransom is the top target left on the board regardless of position, but he might make a commitment any day and the Irish are probably sitting in the #2 spot behind Ohio State for him.
Both Jerrin Thompson and Malcolm Greene have expressed interest in Notre Dame, but neither has visited yet at this time. Greene was supposed to take short visits to Notre Dame and Michigan a few weekends ago, but he ended up cancelling that Notre Dame visit and only made it to Michigan, which probably isn’t a good sign. He does have Chris Tyree in his ear for the Irish though, so we’ll see. Both players will likely be making official visits in the fall, and we’ll have a better sense of Notre Dame’s chances at that point.
Christian Gonzalez was in South Bend a couple of weekends ago on an official visit. He’s a good student and player, but for whatever reason it sounded like things just didn’t click for him on his visit.
RJ Moten seemed like a guy Notre Dame could have had a shot at, but he recently announced that he will be making his decision later this month on the 23rd. Since he has yet to visit South Bend, I’d say it won’t be happening for the Irish here.
Then there are guys like Elijah Gaines and Ricky Hyatt. Despite holding offers from the Irish, Notre Dame hasn’t been making either of them a priority. Does that change if Notre Dame misses out on Ransom and fails to make headway with Thompson or Greene? I’m not really sure. Gaines goes to the same high school as 2019 signee Litchfield Ajavon, and he’d likely be receptive if Notre Dame started to dial up the heat with him. This may also be a case of Notre Dame needing to see senior film of guys before deciding who they really want to pursue. We will likely see some new names pop up on this board later in the fall.
If anyone wants to tell you Notre Dame isn’t in a good place for 2020 recruiting right now, don’t listen to them. The Irish have a VERY good group in the fold right now, the future is just a little more murky. New names will pop up, though — it happens every year — and one or two of them will likely be very exciting prospects.
Until then, let’s hope this dead period passes us by as quickly as possible!