Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2021

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

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58 MARCH 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2021 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY LOU SOMOGYI W hen the spring semester of the 2020-21 academic year com- menced at Notre Dame on Feb. 3, there were 89 football players on scholarship, including 13 of the 27 freshmen who had not yet enrolled early. It is a balanced roster with 42 on offense, 43 on defense and four spe- cialists for the kicking game. There is no acute shortage at any position, but there is some imbalance with the class years. Because the NCAA ruled that 2020 was a free year in terms of not us- ing up a year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Notre Dame could technically have two-thirds of its roster with four years of eligibility. Running back Kyren Williams is an example. He was redshirted as a freshman in 2019, and 2020 was his "waiver year." If he so desired, he could still have four years of eligibil- ity from 2021-24. However, that's unrealistic after his stellar sophomore season in which he rushed for 1,125 yards. More realistic is he could turn pro next season if he has another productive campaign like the one in 2020. By 2022, the normal 85-scholarship limit is slated to return, which will require some careful navigation and likely a plethora of players across the nation entering the transfer portal for better opportunities to play else- where. According to SportsSource Analyt- ics, in the last week of January there were approximately 1,825 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivi- sion whose names were in the trans- fer portal, including several from Notre Dame. As of our print date on Feb. 9, here is the Fighting Irish scholarship ros- ter by position and class entering the winter strength and conditioning program. An asterisk with the fresh- men denotes enrollment for the 2021 spring semester. Quarterbacks (5) Fifth-Year Senior — Jack Coan Seniors — None Juniors — Brendon Clark Sophomore — Drew Pyne Freshmen — Tyler Buchner* and Ron Powlus III* Note: Coan, a graduate transfer from Wisconsin, started 18 games in 2018-19 before sitting out 2020 with an injury. His experience makes him the front-runner on an otherwise green corps, especially with Clark needing cleanup work on his knee. Running Backs (6) Senior — C'Bo Flemister Juniors — Kyren Williams and Kendall Abdur-Rahman Sophomore — Chris Tyree Freshmen — Audric Estime and Logan Diggs Note: Williams rushed for 1,125 yards last season to go with 35 catches, while Tyree had 496 yards on the ground and snared eight passes. Wide Receivers (11) Fifth-Year Senior — Avery Davis Seniors — Kevin Austin Jr., Law- rence Keys III, Braden Lenzy and Joe Wilkins Jr. Juniors — None Sophomores — Jay Brunelle, Jor- dan Johnson and Xavier Watts Freshmen — Deion Colzie, Lo- renzo Styles Jr.* and Jayden Thomas Notes: Davis is the top returning wideout with 24 catches. No one else caught more than seven passes in 2020. Senior Micah Jones entered the transfer portal. Tight Ends (5) Seniors — George Takacs Juniors — None Sophomores — Kevin Bauman and Michael Mayer Freshmen — Cane Berrong* and Mitchell Evans* Note: Tommy Tremble bypassed his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, but Mayer tied for the team lead in receptions (42 for 450 yards and two scores), a Notre Dame fresh- man record at his position. Offensive Tackles (8) Fifth-Year Senior — Josh Lugg Seniors — None Juniors — Quinn Carroll and An- drew Kristofic Sophomores — Tosh Baker and Michael Carmody Freshmen — Joe Alt, Blake Fisher* and Caleb Johnson* Note: All five starters on Notre Dame's line last year at one point played tackle, so there could be some shuffling here as well — or possibly 2019-20 starting center Jarrett Pat- 2021 Scholarship Breakdown By Position And Class Year After redshirting in 2019, running back Kyren Williams burst onto the scene as a sophomore, leading the Irish with 1,125 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. PHOTO BY MIKE MILLER

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