Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2020

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 47

34 FEBRUARY 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame signed 18 scholar- ship players during the early signing period for the 2020 class Dec. 18-20. The Rivals class rankings formula lists Notre Dame's group of recruits No. 15 in the nation. Ten of the 18 sign- ees are regarded as four-star recruits and four are included in the Rivals100. Below is a breakdown of each Notre Dame class of 2020 signee, listed in order based on their Rivals ranking: 1. JORDAN JOHNSON WR • 6-2, 180 St. Louis • De Smet Jesuit H.S. Johnson is Notre Dame's bona fide five-star who is ranked as the No. 3 wideout and No. 25 overall pros- pect in the nation by Rivals. His high school team has had a strong stable of ball carriers and is a run-first offense, but John- son got a few balls thrown his way each game and makes the most of his opportunities. During his senior season, Johnson caught 29 passes for 587 yards and nine touchdowns. This is a complete receiver who has the ability to play as a freshman and can do anything on the route tree. He will have the chance to get into the rotation at re- ceiver with Chase Claypool and Chris Finke exhausting their eligibility. Programs such as Alabama, Geor- gia, Ohio State and Oregon also of- fered Johnson before he pledged to the Irish. 2. MICHAEL MAYER TE • 6-5, 234 Independence, Ky. • Covington Catholic H.S. Mayer climbed from the No. 205 overall prospect nationally to No. 37 over the past year in the Rivals rank- ings, and it's easy to see why. The nation's No. 3 tight end dominates in any setting, whether it's at a shorts and t-shirts camp, a seven-on-seven tournament or on Fri- day nights. The Bluegrass State product will continue Notre Dame's great tradi- tion of tight ends. He may not play a lot as a freshman due to Notre Dame's depth at the position, but this is an All-American Bowl recruit who was named MVP of the Kentucky 5A state title game and is the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year. 3. CHRIS TYREE RB • 5-9½, 179 Chester, Va. • Thomas Dale H.S. Tyree — the country's No. 2 all- purpose back and No. 43 overall player per Rivals — is one of the most exciting and explosive players in the land. He has battled bumps and bruises dur- ing his high school ca- reer, but he totaled 458 carries for 3,930 yards (8.6 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns. A lot of young men are fast on the track, but their speed doesn't necessarily translate to the football field. That isn't the case with Tyree, though. He is blazing fast and can run between the tackles as well. He may be used as a gadget run- ner early in his career, but Tyree can absolutely develop into an every- down back with some more bulk and experience. 4. TOSH BAKER OT • 6-7, 283 Scottsdale, Ariz. • Pinnacle H.S. Notre Dame has an elite offensive tackle in its 2020 class, and Baker may just be the next great Fighting Irish lineman. With his size, length and athleti- cism, he has traits that has the Fighting Irish fan base and coaches alike fired up. Baker, who is Rivals' No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 48 overall prospect nationally, picked Notre Dame over Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, Washington and many others. He is an All-American Bowl participant and has all of the tools to excel in college. 5. DREW PYNE QB • 6-0, 181 New Canaan, Conn. • New Canaan H.S. Pyne gets overlooked at times be- cause so much attention is on Notre Dame's quarterback commit in the 2021 class, four-star Tyler Buchner. But the Connecticut na- tive is a great prospect in his own right — Ri- vals ranks him as the No. 7 pro-style passer and No. 118 overall player in the land — and is one of the most polished passers coming into major Division I football. Pyne's mechanics and footwork are excellent because he has received extensive offseason training from quarterback gurus. He isn't the big- gest quarterback, but he throws a very accurate ball, has above average arm strength, moves well, shows su- perb leadership qualities and shines during crunch time. 6. KEVIN BAUMAN TE • 6-4, 226 Red Bank, N.J. • Red Bank Catholic H.S. Similar to Pyne being a bit over- looked, Bauman is a forgotten man at times because of all the attention the aforemen- tioned Mayer receives. The New Jersey prod- uct didn't have a mon- ster senior stat line, catching 15 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns for a run-dominant team, but he was a force defensively, and Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston mentioned on National Signing Day that he'd "take him over at defensive end to sack the quarterback as well." RATING THE RECRUITS Blue & Gold Illustrated's insights on Notre Dame's early signees

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2020