Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 32 of 47 FEBRUARY 2019 33 13. MARIST LIUFAU • LB • 6-2, 205 KALIHI (HAWAI'I) • PUNAHOU H.S. Liufau is a former cornerback/safety that has grown into a linebacker, and brings top-notch length and coverage ability to the position. Liufau has good flexibility and quick feet, and his ball skills when it is in the air are impressive. The Punahou standout shows a sud- den burst off the edge as a pass rusher. In the box, Rivals' No. 32 outside line- backer displays nimble feet and easy change of direction ability. His length allows him to cover a lot of ground in a hurry once he opens up and runs. Liufau has impressive hand strength and short-area power. Once he adds more mass and weight room strength his box power is going to explode. 14. BRENDON CLARK • QB • 6-2, 210 MIDLOTHIAN, VA. • MANCHESTER H.S. Clark has a strong arm and is an effortless thrower. His mechanics need to be sped up a bit, but when he does drive off his back foot the ball jumps out of his hand. He throws a nice deep ball, and his touch in the red zone is outstanding. He is a fearless thrower and puts balls into tough spots. Clark shows a good feel in the pocket, and made a lot of plays with his legs on both scrambles and designed runs. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the nation. 15. ISAIAH RUTHERFORD CB • 6-0, 175 SACRAMENTO, CALIF. • JESUIT H.S. Rutherford is a long and agile defender that brings many tools to the position. More of a run- ning back early in his ca- reer, the 6-0 athlete has grown as a cornerback the last year. The Jesuit star, Rivals' No. 10 cor- nerback and No. 101 overall prospect nationally, has loose hips, supreme con- fidence and nimble athleticism, which helps make up for his lack of top-end speed. Rutherford's game projects well as an off-coverage defender that can open up and run, and also plant and drive down on the football. Improving as a tackler is a must. 16. JOHN OLMSTEAD • OL • 6-4, 280 NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. • ST. JOSEPH H.S. The No. 15 offensive tackle and No. 111 overall player nationally accord- ing to Rivals is an old- school power blocker. A tackle for most of his prep career, he moved to guard as a senior, and that is where he was recruited by Notre Dame. He isn't overly quick in space or flexible, but playing guard limits the need to thrive in those areas. Olmstead comes off the ball well and when he moves his feet he can punish oppo- nents. He looked far more comfortable pro- tecting the quarterback at guard, where he could play in tighter quarters and was able to use his power to handle pass rushers. 17. JD BERTRAND • LB • 6-1, 200 ROSWELL, GA. • BLESSED TRINITY H.S. Bertrand is a fluid and rangy line- backer that lacks ideal size, but he has a frame that should allow him to add at least 20-25 pounds. The Blessed Trinity star has fast hands, is strong and powerful for his size, and explodes his hips through contact. When he hits ball carriers they go back more often than not. He has loose hips that allow him to quickly open up and run, and he is quick at planting and driving towards the line of scrimmage. The No. 234 overall player according to 247Sports shows good change of direction skills and stays light on his feet. 18. KYREN WILLIAMS • RB • 5-9, 200 ST. LOUIS • ST. JOHN VIANNEY While lacking ideal size, Williams is a tough, talented and versatile athlete that can make plays with the football in a variety of ways. He showed excellent vision, and he's strong for his size. His foot quickness and abil- ity to make sudden cuts allow him to make defenders miss with ease. Williams spent more time at receiver earlier in his career, and those ball skills make the No. 238 player in the land by 247Sports a dangerous weapon in the pass game out of the backfield or when lined up wide. 19. JACK KISER • LB • 6-1, 205 ROYAL CENTER, IND. • PIONEER Kiser is a productive football player who has to work to add much- needed size. His feel for the game is outstanding on both sides of the ball. He is a fluid player with quick feet, top-level body control and easy change of direction skills. Kiser played quarterback and safety in high school, so learning the nuances of linebacker play is a must. He has good run-pass recognition, flows to the ball well and is a good form tackler, but he needs to use his hands better to get off blocks. The Pioneer star, 247Sports' No. 11 player in Indiana, has impressive coverage potential. 20. HOWARD CROSS III • DE • 6-1, 265 PARAMUS, N.J. • ST. JOSEPH REGIONAL Cross has the power, attitude and motor to shine in the run game. Over the last two sea- sons, he has racked up 32.5 tackles for loss, evi- dence of his dominance against the ground attack. He has a thick, stout frame, and adding weight shouldn't be an issue. The only question is can he add it without affecting his current quick- ness and athletic levels. Cross does a good job coming off the line aggres- sively, staying low and getting under the pads of bigger blockers. He has a strong punch and keeps blockers off his body. Cross is ranked as the No. 27 strongside defensive end in the coun- try by Rivals. 21. JAY BRAMBLETT • P • 6-1, 185 TUSCALOOSA, ALA. • HILLCREST The country's No. 4 punter according to Rivals is an impressive athlete with a powerful kicking leg and a repeti- tive motion. He gets ex- cellent lift on the ball, which allows him to get good hang time, making his punts harder to return and block. The stronger he gets the more dis- tance he'll get, but his early founda- tion is outstanding. Bramblett was recruited to take over as a true fresh- man in place of four-year starter Ty- ler Newsome. ✦

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