Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 12, 2022

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

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42 NOV. 12, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame's issues from going to a College Foot- ball Playoff contender to a true threat to the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Georgia over the past several years haven't been because of a weak offensive line. Nor has it been because of struggles at the tight end posi- tion. And Notre Dame's front seven has been pretty solid as well. The challenges have been due to not having an elite quarter- back and needing more talent on the perimeter. The Irish have assembled the type of playmakers it needs in the 2023 class. And speed is re- quired for those players on the outside to match up with the southern powers. On Oct. 23, The Underclassmen Re- port Twitter account posed the follow- ing question: Does Notre Dame has the fastest recruiting class in the country? Their "Max Speed" database lists four Irish commits running the following speeds: • Derby (Kan.) High running back Dylan Edwards: 22.03 miles per hour • Denton (Texas) Guyer safety Peyton Bowen: 21.98 mph • St. Louis Christian Brothers run- ning back Jeremiyah Love: 21.39 mph • Round Rock (Texas) Stony Point wide receiver Braylon James: 20.45 mph Edwards is known as a speedster and caught the nation's attention when he won the Fastest Man competition at the Under Armour Future 50 in the sum- mer. He's been outstanding as a senior, totaling 131 carries for 1,384 yards and 22 touchdowns entering November. He also added a pair of receiving touch- downs and two special teams scores. Edwards helped lead Derby to an un- defeated regular season in 2021 before falling in the Kansas 6A state title game. In 12 contests last fall, Edwards rushed 208 times for 2,603 yards and 38 touch- downs. He also caught eight passes for 101 yards and a receiving score. He earned 2021 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year honors for his performance as a junior. Edwards is listed at 5-8, 155 pounds, while James is listed at 6-2, 185 pounds and is likely closer to 200 pounds at this point. He's a big, physical receiver who also has track star speed. James is also having a strong senior campaign, with 34 receptions for 701 yards and 5 touchdowns through Oc- tober. He was named to the Texas All- District 26-6A first-team offense for his efforts in 2021. In 10 games as a ju- nior last fall, James caught 47 passes for 568 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is committed to play in the Under Armour All-America Game in January 2023. Love is Notre Dame's most recent commitment in the 2023 class, and he will bring game-breaking speed to the Irish offense. He has carried the ball 81 times for 650 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus caught 8 passes for 243 yards and 2 scores during his senior season. The Missouri Football Coaches As- sociation named Love to its first-team all-state offense last year. The MFCA also listed him on its all-state academic first team. Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, Bowen might just be the best p o u n d - fo r- p o u n d p l aye r i n Notre Dame's class. He's been a menace for Guyer High this sea- son, helping lead his squad to a 9-0 record and the No. 15 spot in MaxPreps' national rankings. Bowen has posted 51 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 passes broken up, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a score), plus 4 special teams touchdowns. On3 ranks Bowen as a five-star prospect and the No. 15 player nationally. In helping Guyer reach the Texas 6A Division II state title game and post a 14-2 overall record in 2021, Bowen recorded 67 tackles, 7 interceptions (2 returned for scores), 12 passes broken up, 2 punt return touch- downs and 2 kickoff runback scores. He caught 8 passes for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns at receiver. Bowen was named to the 2021 Texas District 5-6A first-team defense. The Underclassmen Report's data only listed four Notre Dame commits, but that doesn't mean there aren't other speedsters pledged to the Irish. In fact, Houston The Kinkaid School cornerback Micah Bell might be the fast- est player in Notre Dame's class. Bell was named the 2022 Texas Private School Male Track Athlete of the Year. He set South- west Preparatory Conference records in the 100-meter race at 10.46 seconds and 200-meter race at 20.89 seconds. St. Louis Christian Gray cornerback Christian Gray has impressive verified times as well. Gray recorded blazing 40-yard dash times of 4.40 and 4.42 at Ohio State's football camp during June 2021. He also ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at Notre Dame's camp that month. In his first ever track meet back in March 2021, Gray ran 11.13 in the 100-meter and a 21.93 in the 200-me- ter races. Notre Dame's three running back commits are all speedsters. Lake Ste- vens (Wash.) High's Jayden Limar re- portedly ran a 4.53 laser-timed 40-yard dash at the National Preps Showcase March 12 and also was named running back MVP at the camp. ✦ Notre Dame Bringing In Impressive Speed With 2023 Class Irish pledge Dylan Edwards of Derby (Kan.) High, the No. 19 running back nationally per On3, has been clocked at 22.03 miles per hour and won the Fastest Man competition at the Under Armour Future 50 this past summer. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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