2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Issue link: https://comanpub.uberflip.com/i/1264448

Contents of this Issue


Page 155 of 163

154 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame was on its way last cy- cle to signing a class that ranked in the 10-15 range nationally, which Fighting Irish fans are accustomed to seeing. However, the team inked only 17 prospects in the 2020 haul, the fewest under head coach Brian Kelly since 2012, when his program also signed 17 to rank 20th nationally. Notre Dame's 2020 class ranked No. 22 nationally per Rivals, in large part due to hav- ing less than 20 signees, which hurts in the rankings formula. In 2021, the Irish could be back in the 10-15 class ranking range. As of June 10, Notre Dame had 11 com- mitments and the country's No. 11 class according to Rivals. The Irish are expected to take 18-21 prospects in the 2021 cycle. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA enacted a special dead period, which does not allow for any in-person contact between college coaches and prospective student-athletes, through the end of July. Whether prospects will even take campus visits this fall remains uncertain. Here is the class breakdown we envision: Quarterback Committed: 1 Projected Take: 1 Synopsis: Notre Dame kicked off its 2021 recruiting class with a big-time commitment from La Mesa (Calif.) Helix Charter quar- terback Tyler Buchner. He picked the Irish over Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, UCLA, USC and others. Buchner suffered a knee injury that ended his sophomore season in 2018 after just four plays. That didn't deter the Notre Dame staff from pursuing the four-star talent and ac- cepting his commitment in March 2019. It turned to be a decision with much fore- sight. Buchner erupted as a junior, complet- ing 267 of 402 passes for 4,474 yards with 53 touchdowns and six interceptions for a QB rating of 137.2. On the ground, he rushed 128 times for 1,610 yards and 28 scores. He didn't play against great competition last fall, but he will transfer from The Bish- op's School to Helix Charter for his senior year and face tougher opponents. Rivals ranks Buchner, a 6-2, 210-pounder, as the No. 5 player in California, and the nation's No. 2 pro-style quarterback and No. 46 overall prospect. Running Back Committed: 0 Projected Take: 1-2 Synopsis: Notre Dame went hard after Matthews (N.C.) Weddington's Will Shipley, who is Rivals' No. 1 all-purpose back and No. 38 overall player in America, but came up short when he picked Clemson in May. Running backs coach Lance Taylor and Co. are still after another elite runner in West Bloomfield (Mich.) High's Donovan Edwards, the nation's No. 2 running back and No. 61 overall player per Rivals. Geor- gia and Michigan are among the competition for the 5-11, 193-pounder's services, but he has visited South Bend twice before and speaks highly of the program. Notre Dame is considered a dark horse in his recruitment. Edwards is a longtime Notre Dame target, originally landing the offer while Autry Den- son was still running backs coach. Because Shipley picked Clemson, the Irish expanded the running back board, offering four new recruits — all from the South. BACK TO THE NORM An early position-by-position look at Notre Dame's recruiting efforts for 2021 Notre Dame landed an elite talent when La Mesa (Calif.) Helix Charter standout Tyler Buchner — the nation's No. 2 pro-style quarterback and No. 46 overall pros- pect per Rivals — picked the Irish early in his recruiting process. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview - Digital Edition