Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct 9, 2021

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 55 OCT. 9, 2021 45 PREP PROFILES Notre Dame offered Gilbert (Ariz.) Williams Field class of 2023 wide re- ceiver Kyler Kasper in August, and he's already plenty familiar with the Fight- ing Irish. He's from Chicago and didn't move out to Arizona until a few years ago. Three of his best friends growing up were prospects who Notre Dame looked at in the 2022 class. Notre Dame pursued wide receiver Tyler Morris, but he ended up commit- ting to Michigan. Quarterback Kaden Cobb is committed to Ball State, while Reggie Fleurima Jr., a Notre Dame leg- acy, is pledged to Northwestern. "We loved training and competing to- gether," Kasper said. "That helped make me who I am today." He even remembers going to a Notre Dame game with his family and his three buddies from Chicago several years ago. It's been a while since Kasper has been in South Bend, but he has spent time on campus. "I used to play lacrosse and did a camp there when I was like 9," he added. "It wasn't too far from where we lived in Chicago." Notre Dame wide receivers coach Del Alexander extended the news of an offer to Kasper Aug. 20. "It's big. Notre Dame is a big offer," Kasper said. "I grew up watching Notre Dame. It really means a lot. Coach Alex- ander seems really cool and knows what he's talking about. I can appreciate that." Kasper, who is ranked as the No. 18 wide receiver and No. 132 overall player in the country by Rivals, was slightly surprised to receive the offer from Notre Dame when he did. "A little bit," Kasper noted. "Coach Alexander said they were working on it. Every school has their different ways of offering. I was talking to Coach Alexander and Coach [offensive recruiting direc- tor Dre] Brown. I talked to them a couple times the couple weeks before the offer. "They both seem pretty cool. Coach Alexander is very knowledgeable about the game. Coach Brown is all about building a relationship. He was asking me personal questions." Kasper is the son of former Iowa re- ceiver Kevin Kasper, who spent time in the NFL from 2001-08. Kasper holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Ten- nessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt and others. "I can go up and get any ball, but I can run routes like I'm a 6-foot receiver," Kasper said. "I can run any route on the field. This season is going to showcase my abilities." — Mike Singer Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy had a bye week, so class of 2023 athlete Sam- uel M'Pemba took the opportunity to visit Notre Dame Oct. 2 with his family for the Cincinnati game. The Under Armour All-American re- ceived his scholarship offer in August 2020 and has kept in consistent contact with the Fighting Irish staff. "I talk to him regularly," M'Pemba said about Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston. "That's my guy. A lot of the times we talk, he'll tell me what Notre Dame can do for me outside of football and how they'll use me on the field." With Elston being the lead re- cruiter, one can reasonably assume that M'Pemba's upside at Notre Dame is at the vyper position, but there's no telling what the 6-4, 230-pounder can (or can't) do at the next level. He's even confident about his abilities as a tight end, too. "I can play how [2020 first round Arizona Cardinals draft pick] Isa- iah Simmons was used at Clemson — rover, safety or can come off the edge," M'Pemba said. "I could even play some offense. I just love the game of football." There's a lot that M'Pemba likes about Notre Dame. "When they first offered me, my mom was really big on Notre Dame," he ex- plained. "My family is from St. Louis, and they have [St. Louis John Burroughs de- fensive end] Tyson Ford committed there. I know it's not too far from home, have a great culture and my family is big on faith. "Notre Dame has a great program. The coaches are great. Coach Elston has been there for a long time and puts guys in the NFL. He knows what he's talking about." On Sept. 1 — which was the first day col- lege coaches were allowed to text message and initiate phone calls to class of 2023 recruits — M'Pemba's phone was ring- ing off the hook. He spoke with a few Irish coaches that day, including Elston, defen- sive coordinator Marcus Freeman and de- fensive recruiting director Chad Bowden. "My phone was blowing up all day long," M'Pemba said. "It's good though. It's a blessing. I try not to get too big- headed about that stuff, because it can easily go away." On Sept. 20, M'Pemba announced a top 12 schools list of Miami (Fla.), Geor- gia, Michigan, Florida, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Missouri. M'Pemba previously attended St. Louis Ladue Horton Watkins before transferring to IMG Academy. — Mike Singer Four-Star Receiver Has History With Notre Dame Fighting Irish Are A Favorite For A Top-20 Recruit KYLER KASPER ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Williams Field H.S. Gilbert, Ariz. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Wide receiver Ht.: 6-5 • Wt.: 185 Rivals Rankings: No. 3 player in Arizona, and No. 18 wide receiver and No. 132 overall player nationally SAMUEL M'PEMBA ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ IMG Academy Bradenton, Fla. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Vyper Ht.: 6-4 • Wt.: 230 Rivals Rankings: No. 4 player in Florida, and No. 2 athlete and No. 19 overall player nationally

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct 9, 2021