Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2018

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

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48 MAY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY COREY BODDEN Notre Dame's 2020 class received quite the start April 16, landing a commitment from New Canaan (Conn.) High quarterback Drew Pyne, a Rivals four-star prospect. The 6-1, 175-pounder picked the Irish over Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Miami, Okla- homa, Penn State, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, among others, just four days after he made a visit to South Bend. "I went down to two games last year [Georgia and LSU]," Pyne told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "The Geor- gia game they only lost by one and Georgia almost won the national title, and then they beat LSU in the bowl game. That really impressed me. … Lastly, the education is unbelievable. I'm going to study business and they have the number one undergraduate business school in the country. "It was a good fit for me, and it felt like home when I went." Even before his recruitment process started in the eighth grade after offers from Florida State, South Carolina and South Alabama, Pyne had emo- tional ties to Notre Dame. The Irish and a certain player captured Pyne's heart when he was young. "I grew up watching 'Rudy' and I watched it every single day as a little kid," Pyne said of his early Notre Dame fandom. "As long as I can re- member, I watched that movie. "Everywhere I went I wanted to be Brady Quinn. He was my idol grow- ing up and made me passionate about being a quarterback. … He was the Notre Dame quarterback and I saw him every week. My dad pointed him out to me. He was a big role model for me. That's why I wear number 10 now. I really liked him growing up. "He and that movie really made me love Notre Dame. I went there one time when I was little, which made me love it even more. … It's pretty awesome. … Now, I'm going to Notre Dame. It's been a cool experience." Despite his love for the Irish pro- gram, Pyne made sure to not let that be the only deciding factor when he made his final choice. "I liked Notre Dame growing up, but I definitely tried to keep an open mind and try to find that right fit for me, emotions aside," Pyne stated. "It ended up being Notre Dame." After seeing Pyne throw at its camp this past summer, the Notre Dame staff knew they had the player to lead their offense. The sophomore is ex- cited about his fit. "They were very honest and up- front with me," Pyne explained. "They haven't offered another guy in my class and haven't really talked to anyone else in my class. That was cool to me and showed the relation- ship we have. "The offense is very creative and allows you to do multiple things at quarterback. I take a lot of pride in being accurate, [so I hope to bring that]. That included, I can always get better in every scenario of quarter- backing." Working with quarterbacks coach Tom Rees impressed Pyne during the camp, and Brian Kelly and offensive coordinator Chip Long followed suit the rest of the process. "I like Coach Long and Coach Rees, and Coach Kelly is really driven to win a national title," Pyne said. "… Coach Rees has the experience play- ing at Notre Dame and him being the quarterbacks coach is going to be re- ally helpful in my development. "Coach Long's offense is awesome and obviously Coach Kelly is an un- believable coach." Now that he is part of the class, Pyne plans to be active on the re- cruiting trail. His first target? Millis (Mass.) High 2020 Rivals four-star offensive tackle Kevin Pyne, who is a close relative. "Hopefully I'll be able to bring some guys in," Pyne stated. "I'm go- ing to start off close with my cousin and hopefully I'll be able to get him on the line. "Other than that, I'll be trying to help with that. I can't wait for it." During his sophomore season, Pyne completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,355 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He added 273 yards and seven scores on 93 rushing attempts. In 2016, Pyne connected on 64.1 percent of his throws for 2,347 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 intercep- tions during his freshman season while leading New Canaan to a state title. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Drew Pyne is highly advanced for his age from a mental standpoint; he makes accurate reads and his ability to anticipate openings is beyond what is normally seen from a sopho- more … Has an extremely quick release and shows top-level footwork, which helps him stay in position to get the ball out when a receiver is open … Shows a strong feel for ball placement and does a good job changing speeds when necessary … Is a quality athlete that moves quickly around the pocket and can do damage with his legs in the run game. Areas For Improvement Just a sophomore, so he is still young and his body must continue to mature, which will add to the power he already gets on the ball … Advanced for his age, but always has to con- tinue improving on his ability to work through progressions. — Bryan Driskell COMMITMENT PROFILE DREW PYNE Emotional Ties Help Lead 2020 Quarterback To Notre Dame Pyne was one of the first 100 players in the 2020 class to receive a star ranking from Rivals, earn- ing four-star status. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM "Everywhere I went I wanted to be Brady Quinn. He was my idol growing up and made me passionate about being a quarterback." PYNE

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