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 157 of 163

156 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW Abiara, however, has been rumored to be backing off of his verbal. When Blue & Gold Illustrated went to print, Abiara was still committed to Notre Dame, but the question of whether or not he'll actually sign with the Irish is a valid one. Notre Dame is looking at adding another pass rusher in the class, which could be in addition to Abiara or to replace him. Defen- sive line coach Mike Elston and Co. are in pursuit of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas' Dallas Turner, the No. 7 outside linebacker and No. 135 overall prospect in the country per Rivals. Notre Dame has a lot of work to do with the 6-4, 222-pounder to pull him out of the South. Don't be surprised to see the Irish dish out more defensive end offers as well. Linebacker/Rover Committed: 0 Projected Take: 0-2 Synopsis: In the 2020 class, Notre Dame opted not to take a linebacker. They signed eight players at the position group in the pre- vious two cycles, so it was understandable that the squad passed in 2020. For the 2021 class, the Irish are once again recruiting light at linebacker. Granted, the defensive staff loves to take prospects who come in at safety but end up moving to line- backer (a la Drue Tranquill), so this will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. The staff may also see a prospect as a rover candidate who is listed by Rivals at a different position. Jonesborough (Tenn.) David Crockett three-star Prince Kollie is considered an "athlete," but Notre Dame projects him as a linebacker. The Irish will have to beat out the likes of Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma and Texas to ink him. Defensive Back Committed: 3 Projected Take: 4-5 Synopsis: Notre Dame struggled to land its top defensive back targets in the 2020 class but has had much better success this cycle. The Irish scored an early pledge from Bolingbrook (Ill.) High's Justin Walters, the nation's No. 21 safety per Rivals, in February. They also hustled to capture a pledge from Valrico (Fla.) Bloomingdale's Philip Riley, a Rivals four-star recruit and the No. 20 cornerback in the land. Riley's May com- mitment was a surprise, given that he was rumored to be leaning towards Virginia Tech and had never set foot in South Bend. Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard's Ryan Barnes, who Rivals views as a three- star talent and No. 55 cornerback in the country, picked the Irish June 6. Barnes isn't ranked highly right now, but he was one of the most coveted recruits nationally, attract- ing offers from Clemson, Michigan, Penn State and many others. Notre Dame would like to take another defensive back or two in the 2021 class. A prime target for Notre Dame is Ewa Beach (Hawai'i) Campbell's Titus Mokiao- Atimalala, a four-star prospect and the No. 49 wide receiver in the land according to Rivals. The Irish like his skills on offense, but project him to play safety or nickel back in Clark Lea's defense. Notre Dame picked up safety Kyle Ham- ilton from Atlanta in 2019 and want to add more premier defensive backs from the Peach State. They're after Alpharetta (Ga.) High's Jaden Slocum, Rivals' No. 20 safety in America, and Dracula (Ga.) High's Kaleb Edwards, the No. 24 athlete nationally per Rivals. Two of the top targets on the defensive back board are Los Angeles Loyola's Ceyair Wright, Rivals' No. 3 athlete and No. 100 overall prospect in America, and Tallahassee (Fla.) John Paul II Catholic's Terrion Arnold, the nation's No. 15 athlete and No. 209 over- all recruit per Rivals. Both prospects have indicated they don't plan to end their recruit- ments until later this year, and the Irish staff will continue to work hard on both. Notre Dame dished out an early June offer to Encino (Calif.) Crespi Carmelite's Chance Tucker, a three-star prospect who has seen his stock skyrocket since March. He will be one to watch if the Irish staff pushes for him. There are a few other names who could develop into bigger targets for Notre Dame. Denton (Texas) Guyer four-star Deuce Har- mon committed to Texas A&M in May, but the Irish are expected to continue to target him. La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat three- star Dyson McCutcheon, Lafayette (La.) Comeaux four-star Malik Nabers and White Castle (La.) University Laboratory School three-star Jardin Gilbert are all names to know as well. Specialist Committed: 0 Projected Take: 0-1 Synopsis: There is a chance Notre Dame takes a kicker in the 2021 class, but it could also put sophomore Harrison Leonard on scholarship. At this point, the latter option seems more likely. The chances of taking a scholarship punter or long snapper are very low with the pres- ence of sophomore Jay Bramblett (punter) and freshman Alex Peitsch (snapper). ✦ The NCAA canceled the spring evaluation period, which has slowed down recruiting in the 2022 class, and the Irish don't have a commitment from a rising junior yet. However, the Notre Dame staff remains active in finding top talent despite the circumstances. Here are a few early names to know: QB Brady Allen 6-5, 196 • Fort Branch • Gibson Southern The Skinny: Notre Dame has not offered any quarterbacks in the 2022 class yet. Not having the spring recruiting period or June camp sessions have affected the search to find a signal-caller in the next cycle. Notre Dame is plenty familiar with Allen, and he's in contact with the coaching staff. The four-star pros - pect, who holds offers from Indiana, Kansas, Purdue, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin, is one to watch. RB Gavin Sawchuk 5-11, 175. • Highlands Ranch • Valor Christian The Skinny: Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor uses his time coaching Carolina Panthers All-Pro Christian McCaffrey as a recruiting tool. In Sawchuk's case, the four- star prospect comes from the same high school as McCaffrey. The Irish offered Sawchuk, another explosive all-purpose back, in February. OL Joey Tanona 6-5, 280 • Zionsville, Ind. • Zi- onsville The Skinny: Notre Dame is in early on some top offensive line talent, and Jeff Quinn and Co. would love to add Tanona from the Indianapolis area. Notre Dame will have to beat out the likes of LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and others for the four-star prospect's services. CB Will Johnson 6-1, 180 • Grosse Pointe, Mich. • Grosse Pointe South The Skinny: Notre Dame has the opportunity to sign a highly regarded cornerback from the Mid - west, but Johnson's father played for the Wolverines, who are considered the early favorite. The four-star recruit does have high interest in Notre Dame and already has been on campus. — Mike Singer Names To Know In 2022 Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian's Gavin Sawchuk, a Rivals four-star talent and All- American Bowl commit, would be a welcomed addition to Notre Dame's 2022 class. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview - Digital Edition