Blue and Gold Illustrated

BGI April 2019

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

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Page 38 of 55 APRIL 2019 39 FOOTBALL RECRUITING speed quickly. He shows a natural feel as a runner, showing strong anticipa- tion and vision skills, good balance, and the power to lower his shoulder and run through a defender. The Skinny: Mullings visited Notre Dame Sept. 1 for the Michigan game and attended the Notre Dame-Syra- cuse battle at Yankee Stadium Nov. 17. A summer trip is expected to happen. 5. MICHAEL DRENNEN Dublin (Ohio) Coffman BGI Grade: 4.0 stars (top-250 recruit) Upside Grade: 4.5 stars (top-50 re- cruit) Rivals Rankings: Four-star recruit, the No. 3 player in Ohio, and the No. 6 all-purpose back and No. 142 overall player in the land Overview: Drennen has an impressive all- around game. A well- built back (5-11, 190), he plays with good pad level and leg drive, and the more he fills out the more power he'll display. Combined with his balance as a runner, he can do a lot of damage between the tackles. He's a smooth and fluid athlete that can make yards after contact, but Dren- nen's value comes from his combina- tion of running ability and pass catch- ing skills. He is a major weapon out of the backfield in both the screen game and catching the ball down the field. The Skinny: Drennen visited Notre Dame for the first time the weekend of Jan. 26 and was offered during the trip. Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame look like the favorites. 6. JUTAHN MCCLAIN Fairfield (Ohio) High BGI Grade: 4.0 stars (top-250 recruit) Upside Grade: 4.0 stars (top-250 re- cruit) Rivals Rankings: Three-star pros- pect, the No. 10 recruit in Ohio and the No. 10 all-purpose back in the nation Overview: Long loves running backs that have an all-around game, and can effectively run the ball and make impact plays in the pass game. With his speed, big-play abil- ity and dual-threat talents, McClain shows why the Irish coaches are so hot on his trail. At 5-9 and 176 pounds, McClain lacks ideal size for the position and is not someone that can be called upon to carry the ball 20 times a game. He is being recruited to provide impact plays as a runner and pass catcher. Despite his lack of size, he is a tough player that will lower his shoulder pads and hammer forward for extra yards. If Notre Dame cannot land Tyree it would likely put a great deal more at- tention on McClain. He's also an effec- tive blocker. The Skinny: McClain visited Notre Dame for Junior Day Feb. 23 and stated then he plans to return to South Bend for an official visit during the summer. 7. KYLE EDWARDS Destrehan (La.) High BGI Grade: 3.5 stars (top-350 recruit) Upside Grade: 4.0 stars (top-250 re- cruit) Rivals Rankings: Three-star pros- pect, the No. 14 player in Louisiana and the No. 24 running back in the land Overview: A consen- sus three-star recruit, Edwards is seeing his recruitment start to blow up as more and more schools study his game. He backed up ESPN five-star John Em- ery — a class of 2019 signee for LSU — last season, rushing for 709 yards and eight touchdowns. Although a backup, Edwards flashed the talent that earned him of- fers from programs like Notre Dame and Alabama. The 6-0, 205-pounder is a physical runner with a strong lower body. He runs with authority, but he also shows enough quickness to get to the perim- eter. Edwards needs to improve his acceleration. The Skinny: Edwards has been high on Notre Dame for a long time and finally picked up an offer following a visit Feb. 23. He stated following that trip a desire to return for Notre Dame for an official. 8. DEAMONTE TRAYANUM Akron (Ohio) Hoban BGI Grade: 3.5 stars (top-350 recruit) Upside Grade: 4.0 stars (top-250 re- cruit) Rivals Rankings: Three-star recruit, the No. 12 prospect in Ohio and the No. 36 athlete nationally Overview: Trayanum — the No. 209 overall player in the country accord- ing to 247Sports — has a game that is similar to that of Kyle Edwards, and like Kalel Mullings he has been recruited to play defense by some. Notre Dame likes him as a running back, and that is where his size (5-11, 210) proj- ects best. The Hoban standout is a thick and powerful runner. He gets downhill well and is very hard to bring down. Trayanum has a strong lower body and shows excellent leg drive when working through traffic. He lacks top- level speed, but is quick and has a good feel for the game. The Skinny: Following the hire of Taylor, Trayanum has renewed his in- terest in the Irish. He will visit Notre Dame March 30. ✦ RECRUITING NOTES • Notre Dame hosted a Junior Day Feb. 23, welcoming multiple high-level prospects in the classes of 2020 and 2021 to campus. A top target that attended was Lathan Ransom, a four-star safety from Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe. Ransom, the No. 63 overall player in the class of 2020, made his first trip to South Bend and told Blue & Gold Illustrated he felt like a priority the entire time he was on campus. "It was awesome," he said. "I talked to so many coaches multiple times, like Clark Lea and Terry Joseph. I talked to coach Brian Kelly multiple times … I was with the coaches for both days." Ransom said he will likely return for an of- ficial visit. • Another top target in attendance was three- star offensive lineman Reece Atteberry of Cen- tennial (Colo.) Eaglecrest. "It went very well for me," he said. "It lived up to all of the expectations with the tradition and all the people there. It was a great time." On March 10, Atteberry named Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Duke his five finalists. • Other visitors of note included four-star wide receiver Maliq Carr of Oak Park (Mich.) High, three-star running back JuTahn McClain of Fairfield (Ohio) High and three-star corner- back Landen Bartleson of Danville (Ky.) Boyle County. — David McKinney RANSOM

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