Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2021

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 83

16 MARCH 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2021 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY LOU SOMOGYI S igning a full 11-man unit at each position on offense or defense seldom occurs in a given football recruiting cycle. Yet Notre Dame achieved both in 2021, and added a kicker to boot (pun intended). Last year's recruiting effort on of- fense measured up among the best on paper in the Brian Kelly era, and the impact of tight end Michael Mayer and complementary role of running back Chris Tyree were vital during Notre Dame's second advancement to the College Football Playoff in three years. This year the overall group should be collectively better balanced — al- though maybe not as impactful right away. Our grading system, strictly on paper: A — College Football Playoff/Na- tional Title Contention B — Top-10 Viability C — Top-25 Viability D — Trying To Be Bowl Eligible Quarterback Signed (Rivals Ranking): Tyler Buchner (No. 114 overall player na- tionally) and Ron Powlus III (three- star prospect) Meeting Needs: Every school wants to sign one in each cycle, and the Fight- ing Irish landed their top target in Bu- chner. His high-water ranking reached No. 42, with a chance to become Notre Dame's first five-star recruit at the po- sition since Gunner Kiel in 2012. That was prior to issues about his mechanics/accuracy — similar to 2018 top-100 recruit Phil Jurkovec, now the starter at Boston College — at the Elite 11 camp in Nashville, Tenn., that dropped his rating. Buchner is slightly above 2020 re- cruit Drew Pyne (No. 118), but at a listed 6-2, 205 he possesses more size, and his mobility with 1,610 rushing yards as a junior is valued consider- ing how the graduated Ian Book's 1,517 career rushing yards were so integral to the program's success. Pyne's level of competition in Con- necticut was not high level, nor was Buchner 's his junior season, which is why he transferred to San Diego's Helix High as a senior. However, California did not have high school football last fall because of the CO- VID-19 pandemic. BALANCE SHEET The 27-man class fills out a full offense and defense, plus kicking game

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - March 2021