Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2022

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

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36 DECEMBER 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER Notre Dame has landed its quarter- back recruit in the 2023 cycle, with Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II Catholic High standout Kenny Minchey announcing his pledge to the Fighting Irish Nov. 22. A one-time Pittsburgh commitment, Minchey gives the Fighting Irish the big-time signal-caller they've desper- ately needed in the class. The combina- tion of academics and athletics made it a rather easy decision in the end for Minchey, who was on campus for the Boston College game. "Before I went up there, I already knew from talking to different people what Notre Dame can do for you and the connections and network you'll have," Minchey told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "The life after football, those opportu- nities and the brand — it's probably the best in the country." Minchey will sign his letter of intent with Notre Dame Dec. 21 during the early signing period and is expected to enroll at the university in January. The 6-2½ , 215-pounder is the No. 17 quarterback and No. 204 overall player nationally according to On3's 2023 rankings. "I'm a football junkie, hardworking and am willing to do whatever it takes to win," Minchey said. "I want to win a national championship at Notre Dame." The four-star prospect committed to Pitt at the end of April over offers from Michigan State, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and others. On July 30, he picked up an offer from the Irish, but because of the August recruiting dead period — which means no face-to-face contact is permitted between recruits and college coaches — and the start of his senior season, he didn't give the Fighting Irish much attention. He was also solid with his pledge to the Panthers. But Notre Dame continued to reach out to remain in the picture, and its ef- forts paid off. "Coach [Marcus] Freeman and Coach [Tommy] Rees kept in contact be- tween the time they offered and now," Minchey explained. "My parents were pushing for me to take interest in Notre Dame, but I was locked in with Pitt. But when Coach Rees texted me a couple weeks ago, I told my parents, and we had a sit-down conversation about it. "That's when we opened it up and planned on going on a visit the follow- ing weekend." There wasn't a new revelation that caused Minchey to start considering Notre Dame. He simply decided to dive into the possibility of Notre Dame after Rees' recent message and Fighting Irish fans should be happy he did. "It wasn't anything major; it was all the same stuff that I could've taken in- terest in when they did offer me," he noted. "I was keeping my eyes set on my senior season. But after talking with my parents, I listened to what Notre Dame had to say." Minchey officially visited the school for the weekend of the Boston College game. Heading into the visit, Minchey was already strongly leaning towards the Irish, but the trip still needed to go well for him to pick Notre Dame. It did, and he informed the Notre Dame staff of his de- cision to commit privately that Sunday. "I met with Coach Freeman right be- fore I left for the airport," Minchey said. "Before that, I was with Coach Rees to talk about how he coaches, concepts and to talk football. "I told him I was committing at the end of our conversation, and then I told Coach Freeman after that." Minchey attends the same high school that produced former Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate, and the Irish leg- end got in touch with Minchey for the first time in early November. "He hit me up and said how he's proud of the high school career I had," Minchey said. In 13 games played in 2021, Minchey completed 215 of 351 passes for 3,280 yards with 32 touchdowns and 9 inter- ceptions. On the ground, he added 137 yards and 3 scores on 52 attempts. He suffered a shoulder injury in early September and missed most of his se- nior season but was able to return to action Nov. 4 and led his team to a 35-13 playoff victory that night. He felt some discomfort in his throwing shoulder the next week and decided not to risk po- tential injury by playing further. During his shortened senior season that included five full games, Minchey completed 65 of 94 passes for 1,007 yards with 15 touchdowns and 3 inter- ceptions. He added 43 rushing yards on 11 carries. Minchey is committed to playing in the 2023 All-American Bowl in San An- tonio, a game that will be played Jan. 7 on NBC. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS "Minchey shows all the tools to become an outstanding pro-style signal-caller at the next level. Has the arm strength, poise, IQ and leader- ship ability to dominate in college. As accurate as they come, he takes instructions well, shows ter- rific poise in the pocket and will wait until the last second to deliver a nice, catchable ball." — Prep Football Report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming COMMITMENT PROFILE KENNY MINCHEY Notre Dame Finds Its 2023 Quarterback Minchey, the No. 17 quarterback and No. 204 overall player nationally according to On3's 2023 rankings, pledged to the Irish Nov. 22 after decommiting from Pittsburgh eight days earlier. PHOTO COURTESY KENNY MINCHEY "I'm a football junkie, hardworking and am willing to do whatever it takes to win. I want to win a national championship at Notre Dame." MINCHEY

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