2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

Issue link: https://comanpub.uberflip.com/i/1133608

Contents of this Issue


Page 159 of 163

158 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2019 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY LOU SOMOGYI T hrough the years, one discovers that few topics seems to draw the wrath of Notre Dame recruiting zealots more than a former verbal commit to the Fighting Irish football team having a change of heart and deciding to go elsewhere. The individual often gets labeled any- where from a lying turncoat to a flake — except when it is to Notre Dame's benefit. Having completed 10 recruiting cycles at Notre Dame, head coach Brian Kelly has seen more than three dozen recruits origi- nally commit to another school, only to opt later to enroll under the Golden Dome. The early signing period that began in December 2017 has reduced some of the 11th-hour drama in recruiting, as has some strong identification on prospects. Still, after 10 years, we have assembled a "Kelly Recruiting All-Flip Team" during the decade of 2010-19 on offense and defense: Quarterback Ian Book (2016, Washington State) This position in particular has been promi- nent with flips — and it is just as likely to have more transfers and graduate transfers after they do enroll. Everett Golson (2011), who originally committed to North Carolina, and Brandon Wimbush (2015), who first cast his lot with Penn State, also could be viable choices here with the success they experienced at Notre Dame before deciding to become graduate transfers at Florida State (Golson) and Cen- tral Florida (Wimbush). Yet neither achieved the lofty status of five-star Gunner Kiel (2012), who first chose Indiana and then LSU before becoming a mid-year enrollee at Notre Dame out of the blue. After redshirting behind Golson for the 12-1 team in 2012, Kiel decided to transfer to the University of Cincinnati. The nod goes to Book for leading the Irish to a dramatic fourth-quarter rally in the 2018 Citrus Bowl and helping elevate the 2018 offense to receive its first College Football Playoff berth since the structure's incep- tion in 2014. Book's No. 17 national finish in pass efficiency was the highest ever by a Kelly QB at Notre Dame, and he added 280 yards rushing while getting named team MVP. Running Back Dexter Williams (2015, Miami) The Orlando, Fla., native was going to stay close to home with the Hurricanes, es- pecially with an ailing mother, but the family collectively opted for Notre Dame. There may have been a lot of misgivings after an unfulfilling first three years and a FLIP CHART During the Brian Kelly era, the Irish have benefitted from a lot of changes of hearts Will Fuller, who originally committed to Penn State in 2013, finished his stellar Fighting Irish career with 30 touchdown receptions, second in school history. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

Articles in this issue

view archives of 2019 Notre Dame Football Preview - Digital Edition