Early Signing Day Arrives + 2020 Scholarship Needs

College football’s plan to kill the real National Signing Day allow student-athletes to sign their binding Letter of Intent paperwork begins this Wednesday, December 19th and runs through Friday at the end of the week.  The early signing period is upon us and good news for Irish fans, all of the current Notre Dame commits will be taking part over the next several days.

Here’s a list of the current commits:

2019 Recruiting Class

Comp. Score Position Name
.953 Safety Kyle Hamilton
.950 Offensive Line Quinn Carroll
.947 Offensive Line Zeke Correll
.940 Defensive End NaNa Osafo-Mensah
.932 Defensive Tackle Jacob Lacey
.924 Offensive Line John Olmstead
.919 Cornerback Isaiah Rutherford
.917 Linebacker Osita Ekwonu
.914 Safety Litchfield Ajavon
.913 Offensive Line Andrew Kristofic
.902 Defensive Tackle Hunter Spears
.900 Cornerback K.J. Wallace
.898 Linebacker J.D. Bertrand
.895 Defensive End Howard Cross
.890 Running Back Kyren Williams
.879 Quarterback Brendon Clark
.878 Wide Receiver Kendall Abdur-Rahman
.877 Linebacker Marist Liafau
.867 Wide Receiver Cam Hart
.855 Linebacker Jack Kiser
.833 Punter Jay Bramblett

Not only is everyone expected to sign this week but there’s also a large haul of early enrollees who will be starting their time on campus in a few weeks, including: Williams, Correll, Olmstead, Kristofic, Carroll, Osafo-Mensah, Lacey, Spears, Bertrand, and Kiser. Ten bodies!

Jeff Quinn should be excited for spring as he’ll have a projected 16 offensive linemen ready for practices.

Spears will be on campus but suffered a knee injury during his senior season after hurting his knee as a junior, as well. He won’t be participating in spring ball and might miss the start of August camp, too.

I literally know nothing about quarterback commit Brendon Clark. I do know he will be called “Brendan” a lot, Correll and Carroll will be confused for each other, and Kiser will be spelled “Kizer” by many.

I like that Kyren Williams will be carrying the torch from Dexter as guys with “Williams” as last names with cool first names at running back. I also like that he ran for over 2,000 yards as a senior.

We haven’t seen a rise up the rankings quite like Kyle Hamilton. He originally popped up on the scene as a low-3 star safety with a .831 Composite score. He moved over 1,000 spots nationally to become Notre Dame’s top-ranked recruit. Splendid job, Kyle.

This class only featured 2 decommits for the entire cycle. One, from T.J. Sheffield who committed after never really having an offer. He quickly left the class! Also, quarterback Cade McNamara was a part of the class but decided to switch to Michigan back in mid-March.

Technically, linebacker commit J.D. Bertrand was committed as a preferred walk-on but most expect him to gain a scholarship. We’ll act as if he’s taking a scholarship from here on out.

Who Wants More?

Despite really tight scholarship numbers this time of year the Irish may not be done adding to #FightClub19. The most immediate concern is Asa Turner (.902) a listed athlete from the San Diego County seaside city of Carlsbad, California. He is currently committed to Washington and has been since July 11th, however, there is a lot of smoke he is seriously considering flipping to Notre Dame. Either way, Turner is expected to make a decision and sign on Wednesday. The Irish like him as a versatile linebacker which would make him the 15th player at the position next year.

Notre Dame is also chasing weak-side defensive end Isaiah Foskey (.928) from De La Salle High School (notable alumni include Aaron Taylor and Derek Landri) in the Oakland, California suburb of Concord. This one seems pretty locked up for the Irish already, although Foskey isn’t publicly announcing until February even if he signs paperwork this week behind the scenes.

2020 Roster Needs

*Players listed by 2019 eligibility
BLUE denotes returning starter
GREEN denotes major contributor

QB#: Book (r-JR), Jurkovec (r-FR), Clark (FR), Pyne (2020)

RB: Jones (r-JR), Armstrong (r-SO), Davis (r-SO), Smith (r-FR), Flemister (r-FR), Williams (FR)

WR: Boykin (5th SR), Finke (5th SR), Claypool (SR), McKinley (r-JR), Young (JR), Robertston (r-SO), Austin (SO), Lenzy (r-FR), Keys (r-FR), Jones (r-FR), Wilkins (r-FR), Hart (FR), Abdur-Rahman (FR)

TE: Kmet (JR), Wright (JR), Takacs (r-FR), Tremble (r-FR), Mayer (2020), Bauman (2020)

OL: Ruhland (5th SR), Kraemer (r-JR), Eichenberg (r-JR), Hainsey (JR), Banks (r-SO), Lugg (r-SO), Ewell (r-SO), Gibbons (r-SO), Patterson (r-FR), Mabry (r-FR), Dirksen (r-FR), Jones (r-FR), Carroll (FR), Olmstead (FR), Correll (FR), Kristofic (FR)

DT: Dew-Treadway (5th SR), Hinish (JR), Tagovailoa-Amosa (r-SO), Ademilola Jayson (SO), Franklin (r-FR), Lacey (FR), Spears (FR)

DE: Kareem (SR), Okwara (SR), Hayes (SR), Jones (SR), Ogundeji (r-JR), Wardlow (r-SO), Ademilola Justin (r-FR), Osafo-Mensah (FR), Cross (FR), Foskey (???)

LB: Bilal (5th SR), Jones (r-JR), Morgan (r-JR), Owusu-Koramoah (r-SO), Genmark-Heath (r-SO), White (r-SO), Bauer (SO), Simon (SO), Lamb (r-FR), Oghoufo (r-FR), Ekwonu (FR), Bertrand (FR), Kiser (FR), Liufau (FR), Turner (???)

CB: Crawford (5th SR), Love (SR), Pride (SR), Vaughn (SR), Bracy (SO), Boykin (r-FR), Brown (r-FR), Wallace (FR), Rutherford (FR)

S: Elliott (SR), Gilman (r-JR), Studstill (r-JR), Griffith (SO), Moala (SO), Allen (r-FR), Hamilton (FR), Ajavon (FR)

PK: Doerer (r-SO), Leonard^ (FR)

P: Bramblett (FR)

#Not expecting Wimbush to return, doesn’t matter for 2020 anyway.

^2019 kicker Harrison Leonard is coming as a preferred walk-on.

The Irish got a good one in Drew Pyne for 2020 in a loaded year for quarterbacks. The Connecticut native is a healthy .950 in the Composite although there are currently 9 other more highly rated quarterbacks in the country.

Kyren Williams just slipped in as a 4-star so Autry Denson’s blue-chip nightmare is finally over! Still, being able to haul in a no-doubt impact freshman for 2020 would be ideal.

The 2020 season certainly looks like it’s shaping up to be a year for new blood at receiver. We know several upperclassmen will be done and who knows how position switches like Robertson and Wilkins pan out in the coming months. Despite 7 recruits from 2018-19 this position looks like it should be hit very hard for 2020.

The current #1 and #2 tight ends are committed for 2020. This is how Notre Dame rolls.

I’ve always pushed back on the You Can Never Have Too Many Offensive Linemen (YCNHTMOL, for short) school of thought. Sixteen bodies at this position is at least 2 too many, maybe even 3 too many. This makes me think something is going to happen where that number changes. At any rate, 2020 should be pretty light on the offensive line, unless the 2018 class proves to be really bad and we see a couple transfers. Multiple transfers on the line is the last frontier for Irish recruiting because these guys tend to stay on campus a long time no matter what.

The defensive tackle position needs to be addressed. We’ll probably see Kareem, Okwara, and Hayes on the field together quite a bit next fall. Once they leave, you’d hope the interior is a strength of the defense but who knows. Seeing one young impact player (could be Lacy?) in 2019 seems very, very important. Backing that up with a couple freshmen in 2020 who can contribute may be even more important.

Defensive end has to be the top priority for 2020. Assuming everyone stays, this position could be dominant next year and then have massive question marks the following season. I think you have to hope that players like NaNa and Foskey are pushing for starting snaps as true sophomores.

So. Many. Linebackers. This will be fascinating to watch because only Bilal is for sure gone after 2019 and creating a linebacker corps that goes 5-deep isn’t an effective way to balance out the scholarships. Something has to give and if not 2020 should be extremely light at this position.

Corner seems fine if Crawford comes back healthy for a 6th season, Bracy improves a lot by the end of next season, and a young corner blossoms next year. Yet, any one of those things not happening and it could get scary. So maybe not fine at all. With the continuing problems of finding a steady nickel you’d think this position would have bodies like linebacker does but that’s not so.

Safety hasn’t been in this good of a position since I can remember. If Hamilton truly is a difference-maker the staff should be able to be really picky for 2020.

By |2018-12-18T12:49:12+00:00December 18th, 2018|Recruiting|16 Comments

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nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Instead of depth-chart engineering, why don’t we just do trades? Any programs want to do a 4-for-1, linebackers-for-shutdown-corner deal?

Clearwall
Clearwall

Seriously. Not that I’m complaining but what is it that is drawing so many LBs to us lately? Clearly SOMEONE in this list is going to need to switch to maybe SS or DE. Lots of really quality guys in there (Personally I’m a HUGE Bo Bauer fan) but worried about getting them all out on the field.

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Ewell’s move doesn’t seem to make a lot sense from a numbers standpoint but I guess the staff doesn’t think he’ll see the field on D.

IllinIrish20
IllinIrish20

What are the odds that Kareem, Okwara, or Hayes leave for the NFL? I don’t think any of them would be high picks, if picked at all, but woof I’d be worried about our starting front 7 next year if any of them go.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

While nothing is decided, the expectation coming out seems to be that Love is the only player that they might lose early to the draft at this point. Though I guess to qualify unexpected decisions sometimes happen.

Clearwall
Clearwall

I know that recruiting vids are naturally made to encourage overly-positive outlooks on some kids but what I’ve seen from Harrison Leonard is REALLY impressive. One of his HUDL vids was 6-7 kickoffs that he hit out of the back of the EZ kicking from the 40. That’s damn impressive, IMO. It wasnt just once or twice, the body language of the return teams made it look like they knew there was absolutely no chance at a return with him kicking it. Reminded me of a game I did this year with a kid that was going to LSU. Such a huge leg that it was a guaranteed TB every kickoff. I love seeing that. Then to see some of Leonard’s kicking camp clips where he was nailing 60 yarders (with no rush) was exciting.

Scarponi
Scarponi

Well it’s official that all committed prospects signed. Also Asa Turner did NOT sign with UW. Seems like he’s genuinely split.

Clearwall
Clearwall

No Isaiah Foskey either. We should expect both, I think?

tlndma
tlndma

There’s a rumor that Foskey sent in his LOI but, wants it kept quiet til he announces his decision in Feb. with his HS teammates….who knows?

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Not bad for a guy everyone hated as the 10th coach 🙂

@T_Rees11 has been named the FootballScoop 2018 Quarterbacks Coach of the Year.

More Noise
More Noise

Good for Tom(my)!