Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 26, 2019*

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 55

42 OCT. 26, 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame compiled a very strong 2020 defensive line class by add- ing three Rivals' four-star talents and one very intriguing edge rusher from overseas. The Fighting Irish have a com- mitment from a disruptive force in Denver Mullen nose tackle Aidan Keanaaina, Rivals' No. 4 recruit in Colorado and No. 25 defensive tackle in the country, and a prospect who can play tackle or nose with Lake Forest (Ill.) High's Rylie Mills, who is the No. 9 strongside defensive end and No. 160 overall prospect nation- ally per Rivals. In addition, Honolulu St. Louis drop end Jordan Botelho is one of the country's best pass rushers, and Ri- vals ranks him as the No. 16 outside linebacker in the land. Botelho will play across from Dusseldorf (Ger- many) Fryeburg Academy defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger, a three- star prospect with incredible length at 6-7, 235 pounds. Notre Dame is looking to continue its strong defensive line recruiting with the 2021 class. Defensive line coach Mike Elston has already landed one key piece in St. Peters (Mo.) Lu- theran of St. Charles defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio. Rivals ranks the 6-5, 280-pounder as the No. 7 defensive tackle and No. 86 overall prospect in the country. In June, he selected the Irish over Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State and many others. In the first six games of his junior season, Rubio unofficially recorded 50 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. Adding a strong edge rusher in the 2021 class is a priority for the Fight- ing Irish. There may not be a bigger target on the board than Lakeland (Fla.) Christian's Cade Denhoff, who is listed as the No. 22 prospect in the Sunshine State and the No. 15 defen- sive end in the nation by Rivals. Denhoff camped at Notre Dame in the summer and landed an offer from the Irish after a strong perfor- mance. The competition to land the 6-5, 225-pounder will be fierce, with Clemson, Florida, Ohio State and many others pushing for him. Elston is continuing to pur- sue for other edge players for the Notre Dame's defense. This fall, the Fighting Irish have offered Napa (Calif.) High's Brock Bowers, a 6-4, 220-pound pass rusher who is rated as the No. 24 prospect in California by Rivals, and Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay's Jeremiah Williams, the country's No. 15 outside linebacker and No. 189 prospect per Rivals. Both 2021 prospects are intrigued with the Irish and want to check Notre Dame out in the offseason. Solon (Ohio) High defensive end Najee Story, who is the No. 5 weak- side defensive end and No. 75 overall recruit in the country per Rivals, has a good connection with Elston. Ohio State will be tough to beat for Story, but Notre Dame has a chance in his recruitment. Like Mills in the 2020 class, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep defensive lineman George Rooks has the ability to play inside or outside at the next level. Rooks visited Notre Dame over the summer and had great things to say about his time in South Bend. Rivals ranks the 6-5, 250-pounder as the No. 9 strongside defensive end and No. 134 overall prospect in the 2021 class. Carrollton (Ga.) High's Chaz Chambliss could play inside line- backer, drop end or defensive end with his frame and athleticism. Notre Dame offered Chambliss in the spring of 2018, and Elston has been keeping in touch with the 6-3, 225-pounder. Chambliss hasn't been to Notre Dame yet, but the Irish are hoping to host the Peach State product in the offseason. Rivals ranks Chambliss as the No. 19 outside linebacker and No. 235 overall prospect nationally. A couple of interior defensive line prospects of note are Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic's Twyone Malone, the No. 4 defensive tackle and No. 36 overall recruit in the junior class per Rivals, and Pittsburgh Central Cath- olic's Elliot Donald, the nephew of NFL superstar Aaron Donald who is the country's No. 6 defensive tackle and No. 78 overall recruit nationally. Donald placed Notre Dame in his top eight schools list in August, and Malone visited the Irish in July, but neither prospect is expected to be seriously considering the Irish. At linebacker, Notre Dame isn't too far along with many prospects. Alexandria (Va.) Episcope's Bryce Steele, the country's No. 20 outside linebacker according to Rivals, vis- ited Notre Dame over the summer and would be a nice addition for the Irish as a rover. Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett's Barrett Carter has expressed interest in Notre Dame, but the Irish have an uphill battle with Carter, who is rated as the No. 4 outside linebacker and No. 56 overall prospect in the country by Rivals. Look for Notre Dame to ramp up its efforts at the linebacker position in the 2021 class in the next few months, especially after the staff opted not to take one in 2020. ✦ The Fighting Irish want to add a strong edge rusher in the 2021 class, and Lakeland (Fla.) Christian four-star Cade Denhoff is a top target. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Notre Dame Is Ramping Up Its Efforts With 2021 Front Seven Prospects

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 26, 2019*