Speed freaks, rejoice! Notre Dame picked up its most important skill position recruit in a long, long time when elite back Chris Tyree pledged to the Irish today. Tyree is the kind of home-run threat Notre Dame needs to land to field an offense that can run with the big boys; he ran the fastest 60 meter time in the nation this past indoor track season, and he has run the 40-yard dash under 4.4 at camp events. So, yeah, he can fly. At #29 overall in the 247 Composite, Tyree is only the 15th top-30 commit for the Irish in the 20 years of the internet era of recruiting. He’s Notre Dame’s highest-rated running back since James Aldridge, who was #27 overall in the 2006 class, and highest-rated ball-carrier since Michael Floyd, who was #14 overall in the 2008 class.
Considering all that, this is clearly a pretty big win already for Chip Long and Lance Taylor. What makes it even more impressive is that the Dixie Duo went toe-to-toe with very formidable opponents – Alabama and Oklahoma both pursued Tyree heavily. Yes, Tyree is an excellent fit for Notre Dame and that’s part of why he showed interest. But a prospect as elite as this also makes his decisions for football reasons, and Long And Taylor convinced him that the best combination of reasons lies in South Bend. That’s huge.
Recruiting Service Rankings
247 Composite — 4 star (0.9831 rating), #29 overall, #1 APB, #1 in VA
247 Sports — 4 star (95 rating), #51 overall, #1 APB, #1 in VA
Rivals — 4 star (5.9 rating), #60 overall, #1 APB, #2 in VA
ESPN — 4 star (87 rating), #22 overall, #3 RB, #1 in VA
IrishSportsDaily — 4 star (96 rating), #30 overall
Note: If Tyree’s Composite ranking holds, he’ll be a five-star when they do their final rankings towards the end of the cycle.
In addition to Notre Dame, Alabama, and Oklahoma, Chris Tyree holds offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, and Tennessee, among many others.
This is just fun. Tyree’s long speed is, as you might expect, excellent. Perhaps more importantly, his burst is also exceptional – he goes from 0-60 absurdly fast. It’s on display over and over again, but there are a few plays that really stuck out for me: the opening play, at the 3:53 mark, and at the 7:08 mark. In each case somebody had him dead to rights in a crowd, and he either ran through contact or made someone miss in a phone booth and then hit the jets. I hesitate to say it because I know I’ll catch some heat, including in the writers’ room, but… he sort of reminds me… maybe a little bit… of… [whispers] Rocket. There, I said it…
He’s not quite as fast, of course, and Rocket’s agility was just off the charts stupid good, but I see some similarities. They’re both tougher than they should be at their size. Both use a combination of balance, power, and agility to run effectively inside. They both run past people like they’re standing still. And they both make defenses freak out every time they touch the ball. Friend of the Site Jaime Uyeyama, from ISD, compares Tyree to Warrick Dunn and Tavon Austin. It’s high pressure, but it’s also high praise for Tyree that those comparisons is even possible.
Notre Dame has a few solid young backs on campus now, no question. Those bodies may present a bit of a log jam, but make no mistake, Chris Tyree will find his way on the field early. Like Braden Lenzy last year, he would have to go on a month-long beer-and-wings bender to be considered slight, so he’ll have to hit the weight room. He’s also further along as a football player than Lenzy was last year, though, so he should need less ramp-up time. And he’s faster than Lenzy, as hard to imagine as that is, and that kind of speed just doesn’t stay on the bench. Tyree will bring something to the field that no other Irish player can at the moment. He’ll play early and I expect we’ll enjoy our three years with him.
Welcome to the Irish family, Chris!