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ND Football: National “Early” Signing Day

It’s Finally Here! All the travel arrangements, in home visits, all the official and unofficial campus visits comes down to National Signing Day! I like to call it the “reverse draft day” as students pick the schools they want to attend versus being selected to a team. The day starts very early as it is a competition to get their letters of intent in before their future teammates.

Alexander Ehrensberger had a jump on his future teammates as he lives in Germany. He had announced his signing at 2:09 EST on Wednesday. That is almost five hours ahead of Kevin Bauman who sent his letter of intent at 7 AM EST. To set the list in the order of submission got the ND Signing Day page.

Another change in the Signing Day activities was the personalized videos by the parents of the signee’s. The team at Fighting Irish Media worked with the parents to record a message about “when they knew” and personally I think it’s brings the parent’s into the signing process. The biographies below can also be seen at the Signing Day link as well. There are eighteen in coming Freshman and one grad student with two years of eligibility. That’s a solid foundation to work on.

Here Come The Irish!

Alexander Ehrensberger

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 58 defensive end in the 2020 class and No. 1 player in Europe by ESPN.com (77 Scout Grade)
  • No. 67 strong-side defensive end and No. 2 player in Germany by 247Sports.com 
  • 5.6 Rivals rank
  • In 2019, posted seven sacks, three forced fumbles, a safety, two blocked kicks and two fumble recoveries
  • Spent six months in the United States as a high school sophomore at Fryeburg Academy in Maine
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Kevin Bauman

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 130 overall player nationally, No. 5 tight end nationally and No. 2 player from New Jersey by Rivals (5.9 Rivals rank)
  • No. 240 overall player nationally, No. 6 tight end nationally and No. 7 player from New Jersey by 247Sports.com
  • No. 275 overall player nationally, No. 36 player regionally, No. 5 tight end nationally and No. 8 player from New Jersey by ESPN.com (80 Scout Grade)
  • Selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 18, 2020 in Hawaii
  • Named 2019 first-team All-New Jersey by the USA Today Network and was selected as a New Jersey Mini Max Award recipient from the Maxwell Football Club, an award that recognizes athletics achievement, academics and community service
  • In 2019, posted 35 receptions for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns. On defense, also added four tackles. 
  • Played for coach Frank Edgerly at Red Bank Catholic

Chris Tyree

  • A five-star recruit by 247Sports
  • Four-star recruit by Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 25 overall player nationally, No. 1 all-purpose back nationally and No. 1 player from Virginia by 247Sports.com
  • No. 20 overall player nationally, No. 5 overall player regionally, No. 3 running back nationally and No. 1 player from Virginia by ESPN.com (87 Scout Grade)
  • No. 43 overall player nationally, No. 2 all-purpose back nationally and No. 2 player from Virginia by Rivals
  • As a senior in 2019, tallied 71 carries for 655 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine gamesโ€ฆAlso caught 13 passes for 184 yards (14.2 yards per reception) and two touchdowns
  • Under Armour All-American Game Captain and selected to the Polynesian Bowl
  • Played for coach Kevin Tucker at Thomas Dale

Landon Bartleson

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 556 overall player nationally, No. 29 cornerback nationally and No. 6 player from Kentucky by 247Sports.com
  • No. 39 cornerback nationally and No. 8 player from Kentucky by Rivals (5.7 Rivals rank)
  • No. 371 overall player regionally, No. 58 running back nationally and No. 7 player from Kentucky by ESPN.com (76 Scout Grade)
  • In high school, played running back and cornerback
  • In 2019, rushed for 404 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns and two scores in the air. On defense, posted 37 tackles (21 solo), a sack and three interceptions
  • Named a 2019 Kentucky First-Team All-State Defensive Back
  • In 2018, tallied 35 tackles and two interceptions. That season, Boyle County went 13-1 and reached the Kentucky 3A state semifinals
  • In 2018, rushed for 768 yards and 12 touchdowns on 109 carries, and in 2017, posted 1,143 yards and 20 touchdowns
  • Played for coach Chuck Smith at Boyle County 
  • Also ran track 

Jay Brunelle

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 81 player regionally, No. 106 wide receiver nationally and No. 5 player from Massachusetts by ESPN.com (78 Scout Grade)
  • No. 7 player from Massachusetts by Rivals (5.6 Rivals rank)
  • No. 840 overall player nationally, No. 129 wide receiver nationally and No. 8 player from Massachusetts by 247Sports.com
  • Set a Central Massachusetts record with 2,666 career receiving yards
  • In 2019, racked up 52 catches for 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns, helping Saint Johnโ€™s to a MIAA Division 3 state semifinal appearance
  • Played for coach John Andreoli at Saint Johnโ€™s 
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Mike Carmody

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 139 overall player nationally, No. 13 offensive tackle nationally and No. 2 player from Pennsylvania by 247Sports.com
  • No. 122 overall player nationally, No. 17 player regionally, No. 16 offensive tackle nationally and No. 2 player from Pennsylvania by ESPN.com (84 Scout Grade)
  • No. 35 offensive tackle nationally and No. 2 player from Pennsylvania by Rivals (5.8 Rivals rank)
  • In 2019, played for an O-Line that led the way to 230 rushing yards per game and 31 touchdowns on the seasonโ€ฆThe offense averaged 23.1 points per game
  • Named first-team All-State during his senior season
  • Selected as a U.S. Army All-American and to the Polynesian Bowl
  • Played for coach Scott Heinauer at Mars Area 
  • Also played basketball
  • Brother of current Notre Dame basketball player Robby Carmody

Michael Mayer

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 48 overall player nationally, No. 2 tight end nationally and No. 1 player from Kentucky by 247Sports.com
  • No. 37 overall player nationally, No. 3 tight end nationally and No. 1 player from Kentucky by Rivals (6.0 Rivals rank)
  • No. 81 player nationally, No. 33 regionally, No. 3 tight end nationally and No. 1 player from Kentucky by ESPN.com (84 Scout Grade)
  • Named the 2019 Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year
  • In 2019, posted 49 receptions for 970 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding two rushing touchdowns
  • On defense, tallied 102.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four interceptions (returning one for a touchdown)
  • Helped Covington Catholic to a Kentucky 5A State Championship in 2019, and was named the MVP of the title game
  • Named 2019 Kentucky Football Coaches Association Mr. Football and 5A District 5 Player of the Year
  • Selected to the 2020 U.S. Army All-American Bowl
  • Played for coach Eddie Eviston at Covington Catholic

Isaiah Pryor

A graduate transfer to Notre Dame, Pryor will enroll at Notre Dame beginning in the spring semester of 2020. He played three seasons with Ohio State, totaling 31 games played, 47 tackles and one interception. 

AS A JUNIOR (2019)

  • Played in four games for the Buckeyes, posting three tackles
  • Graduated in December of 2019 and transferred to Notre Dame to begin the spring 2020 semester

AS A SOPHOMORE (2018)

  • Played in 13 games with seven starts for Ohio State, totaling 31 tackles (20 solo) and one interception
  • Notched six passes defended on the season, the second-most on the team
  • Posted a career-high six tackles at Purdue
  • Notched his interception in the win vs. Minnesota
  • In 2018, Ohio State went 13-1, including a win over Washington in the Rose Bowl

AS A FRESHMAN (2017)

  • Lettered as a true freshman after playing in 14 games for the Buckeyes, tallying 13 total tackles (nine solo)
  • Noted a season-high four tackles in the win vs. UNLV
  • Ohio State won the Big Ten Championship

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL

  • Was a four-star safety coming out of IMG Academy in high school
  • No. 45 overall player nationally and No. 3 safety in the 2016 recruiting class by ESPN
  • No. 7 safety in the nation by 247Sports
  • At IMG Academy, went 12-0 as the No. 1 ranked team in Florida and No. 4 nationally
  • Posted 54 tackles
  • Named an Under Armour All-American
  • Finalist for the Watkins Award, honoring the nationโ€™s top African American scholar-athletes
  • At Archer, posted 40 tackles as a junior (2015)โ€ฆWas named honorable mention Class 6A All-State and All-Gwinnett County
  • Played for coach Andy Dyer at Archer
  • In 2014, Archer went 11-4 and made a state 6A title game appearance
  • Also participated in wrestling at Archer
  • Father Richard played defensive end at the University of Iowa from 1984-88

Alex Peitsch

  • No. 1 long snapper in the country by Kohlโ€™s
  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports
  • No. 2 long snapper nationally and No. 18 player from Washington D.C. by 247Sports.com
  • 5.4 Rivals rank
  • No. 1 long snapper nationally and No. 20 player from Washington D.C. by ESPN.com (69 Scout Grade)
  • Named a Under Armour All-American and a U.S. Army All-American
  • Helped St. Johnโ€™s to a WCAC State Championship appearance
  • Played for coach John Cassamento at St. Johnโ€™s College

Drew Pyne

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 118 overall player nationally, No. 7 pro-style quarterback nationally and No. 1 player from Connecticut by Rivals
  • No. 193 overall player nationally, No. 7 pro-style quarterback nationally and No. 1 player from Connecticut by 247Sports.com
  • No. 166 overall player nationally, No. 26 overall player regionally, No. 9 pocket-passer quarterback nationally and No. 2 player from Connecticut by ESPN.com (83 Scout Grade)
  • In 2019, completed 161 of 252 passes for 2,107 yards and 24 touchdowns with just seven interceptions
  • Also ran 57 times for 259 yards and eight touchdowns
  • Ended his career as New Canaanโ€™s career leader in passing yards and touchdowns, throwing his 100th career touchdown pass on Nov. 15, 2019. 
  • Two-time Connecticut state champion, as well as New England Regional Champion
  • Named an Under Armour All-American
  • Played for coach Lou Marinelli at New Canaan 
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Clarence Lewis

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 728 overall player nationally, No. 58 cornerback nationally and No. 17 player from New Jersey by 247Sports.com
  • No. 82 cornerback nationally and No. 19 player from New Jersey by Rivals (5.6 Rivals rank)
  • No. 89 player regionally, No. 112 cornerback nationally and No. 16 player from New Jersey by ESPN.com (77 Scout Grade)
  • Played on both sides of the ball at Mater Dei, posting 39 receptions for 639 total receiving yards (67 yard long) and four touchdowns, also rushing for 44 yards
  • On defense, hauled in three interceptions, helping Mater Dei to an appearance in the state championship
  • Played for coach Dan Mangiero at Mater Dei

Xavier Watts

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 459 overall player nationally, No. 75 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 player from Nebraska by 247Sports.com
  • No. 75 overall player regionally, No. 67 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 player from Nebraska by ESPN.com (80 Scout Grade)
  • No. 89 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 player from Nebraska by Rivals (5.7 Rivals rank)
  • In 2019, caught 61 passes for 1,072 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed six times for 85 yards and a touchdownโ€ฆOn defense, totaled 68 tackles and three interceptions, returning two for touchdowns and helped Harry A. Burke HS to a state quarterfinal appearance
  • Local Fox 42โ€™s Thursday Night Lights Scholar Athlete of the Year
  • Nebraska High School Scoreboard Show Heisman Award
  • Played for coach Paul Limongi at Harry A. Burke 
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Caleb Offord

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 512 overall player nationally, No. 37 cornerback nationally and No. 13 player from Mississippi by 247Sports.com
  • No. 43 cornerback nationally and No. 11 player from Mississippi by Rivals (5.7 Rivals rank)
  • No. 253 overall player regionally, No. 42 cornerback nationally and No. 13 player from Mississippi by ESPN.com (78 Scout Grade)
  • In 2019, posted 22 tackles, four pass break-ups, one interception, one fumble recovery (returned for a touchdown) and one forced fumble
  • Competed in the 33rd annual Alabama-Mississippi Football Classic (Win, 17-16)
  • Is the first player from Mississippi to sign with the Irish during Brian Kellyโ€™s tenure
  • Played for coach Ed Rich at Southaven 
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Rylie Mills

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 161 overall player nationally, No. 9 strong-side defensive end nationally and No. 3 player from Illinois by Rivals (5.8 Rivals rank)
  • No. 164 overall player nationally, No. 8 strong-side defensive end nationally and No. 4 player from Illinois by 247Sports.com
  • No. 139 player nationally, No. 8 overall player regionally, No. 14 defensive end nationally and No. 2 player from Illinois by ESPN.com (83 Scout Grade)
  • In just seven games in 2019, posted 45 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks
  • Was named to the 2019 News-Gazette All-State football team
  • Played for coach Chuck Spagnoli at Lake Forest
  • Also participated in track and field, competing in the shot put and discus
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Aidan Keanaaina

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports and ESPN.com
  • Four-star recruit by Rivalsย 
  • No. 30 defensive tackle nationally and No. 4 player from Colorado by Rivals (5.8 Rivals rank)
  • No. 82 player regionally, No. 33 defensive tackle nationally and No. 4 player from Colorado by ESPN.com (79 Scout Grade)
  • No. 394 overall player nationally, No. 38 defensive tackle nationally and No. 4 player from Colorado by 247Sports.com
  • In 2019, totaled 77 tackles (13 for loss), four sacks, seven hurries, eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal
  • Selected for the 2020 Polynesian Bowl
  • Played for coach Vincent White at J.K. Mullen

Jordan Johnson

  • A five-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals
  • Four-star recruit by ESPN.com
  • No. 25 overall player nationally, No. 3 wide receiver nationally and No. 1 player from Missouri by Rivals (6.1 Rivals rank)
  • No. 28 overall player nationally, No. 4 wide receiver nationally and No. 1 player from Missouri by 247Sports.com
  • No. 47 overall player nationally, No. 8 player regionally, No. 5 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 player from Missouri by ESPN.com (85 Scout Grade)
  • Helped DeSmet to the 2019 Missouri Class 6 State Championship, the first for the school since 2005
  • As a senior, hauled in 29 receptions for 587 yards and eight touchdowns, adding one rushing touchdown
  • Selected for the U.S. Army All-American game, played on Jan. 4, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas. 
  • Played for coach Robert Steeples at DeSmet Jesuit 
  • Also ran track

Tosh Baker

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN
  • No. 43 overall player nationally, No. 4 offensive tackle nationally and No. 3 player from Arizona in the 2020 class by 247Sports.com
  • No. 48 overall player nationally, No. 5 offensive tackle nationally and No. 3 player from Arizona by Rivals (6.0 Rivals rank)
  • No. 25 overall player regionally, No. 22 offensive tackle nationally and No. 8 player from Arizona by ESPN.com (82 Scout Grade)
  • Won the inaugural Randall McDaniel Offensive Lineman Award as the top offensive lineman in Arizona following his senior season
  • Selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 4, 2020, and the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii on Jan. 18, 2020 
  • As a senior, played for an O-Line that aided Pinnacle to 1,840 rushing yards (29 touchdowns) and 2,654 passing yards (27 touchdowns)
  • Played for coach Dana Zupke at Phoenix Pinnacle
  • Also played basketball, starting at center on two Arizona 6A champion teams at Phoenix Pinnacle in 2018 and 201

Jordan Botelho

  • A four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 114 overall player nationally, No. 6 inside linebacker nationally and No. 1 player from Hawaii by 247Sports.com
  • No. 198 overall player nationally, No. 12 inside linebacker nationally and No. 1 player from Hawaii by Rivals (5.8 Rivals rank)
  • No. 183 overall player nationally, No. 26 player regionally, No. 14 inside linebacker nationally and No. 1 player from Hawaii by ESPN.com (82 Scout Grade)
  • In 2019, tallied 35.5 tackles, including 10 sacks, helping Saint Louis to an undefeated season and state championship
  • With Saint Louis, won three-straight Hawaii football state championships
  • One of five high school finalists for the 2019 Butkus Award, honoring the nationโ€™s top linebackers
  • Played for coach Cal Lee at Saint Louis 
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Ramon Henderson

  • A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.com
  • No. 602 overall player nationally, No. 32 cornerback nationally and No. 54 player from California by 247Sports.com
  • No. 63 player from California by Rivals (5.6 Rivals rank)
  • No. 144 player regionally, No. 73 cornerback nationally and No. 82 player from California by ESPN.com (75 Scout Grade)
  • On offense in 2019, tallied 29 catches and 581 receiving yards with seven receiving touchdowns (totaled nine touchdowns on the season)
  • On defense, posted 12 tackles (10 solo) and nine passes defended
  • Played for coach Bryan Nixon at Liberty 
  • Also ran track in high school
  • Will enroll early at Notre Dame, beginning in the spring semester of 2020

Brian Kelly Press Conference

Brian Kelly

“Certainly excited about the signing class of 2019 here. We may have room for one more. We’ll see how that plays out this afternoon. But just a great group that represents all the things that I’m looking for and our staff has been charged to find when it comes to recruiting football student athletes to Notre Dame. Number one, fit. And when we talk about fit, cultural fit, academic fit and certainly, they have got to be able to fit as it relates to the skill in the classroom
and on the football field.”

“All of these young men are going to develop here at Notre Dame and graduate and contribute to championships. And so that was our charge. I think we
have done a great job in certainly filling potential needs that we have, but also addressing areas that I think more than anything else bring not only positional needs but personality, competitiveness, and overall football awareness and instincts into our program. Sometimes we get caught up with looking at the depth chart and saying, well, I need another corner back hear, I need another wide receiver here. These are football players that also have the ability to play on either side of the football as well and not that we’re in here to talk about
guys that could change positions, but what struck us about these guys is that they excelled both on offense and defense in high school and we love that about
players that have that competitiveness.”

“Obviously, a great job by our recruiting office led by Aaryn Kearney. He’s done an incredible job. Jazz and the entire staff, Coach Polian. Everybody that puts
together our weekends, Jack Swarbrick, our entire admissions, Bob Mundy, who just retired was a big part of this class. Don Bishop. Just, there’s so many people
to thank. I’m sure Brian will pick up the slack for me in those areas relative to thanking all of those people.”

Media Questions

Media Question: “Isaiah Pryor is an interesting guy to me because he’s going to be a grad transfer with a couple years, doesn’t have a history of injuries. Is kind of your threshold for grad transfers health and a potential starter when you’re shopping now?”

Coach Kelly Response: “Certainly. And you have to have a connection and somebody very familiar. Kerry Coombs, who is on my staff, I’m very close with Kerry, and Kerry recruited him, coached him, and was a strong advocate for him. So that has to be part of that recruiting process, too, when we’re talking about transfers. There has to be some connection there with, certainly, the other things that you talked about, years of eligibility — we would be very hesitant if we had, you know, injuries at a position that requires contact like that. If it was a shoulder at a wide receiver position, we would probably be less concerned. But a safety, if have you shoulder injuries, that would be certainly a red flag.”

Media Question: “How much of the focus on offense was a response to the Clemson game and then the playoff and maybe not being able to score as much as you would like to in that kind of a setting and maybe pitching to those guys and making them believe that maybe they’re a part of being the answer to those issues?”

Coach Kelly Response: “Yeah, I don’t — we never go into a home and talk about what we can’t do, it’s what we can do with you and what it would look like adding you to this. So I think when it comes to each one of these guys it’s picturing yourself, here’s where we are, here’s where we can go, adding you to the success that we have already had. So I think painting that picture is certainly important, but we certainly do it from a positive perspective and then let them take it from there.”

Media Question: “You talked about having established a better calendar and a deeper evaluation protocol. How does that help you with the long-term management of your program instead of having to spend the next couple of months scrambling and I guess maybe allows you to move forward and constantly be working ahead in recruiting?”

Coach Kelly Response: “Well I don’t know that we were ever scrambling, per se, as much as it’s allowed us to plan out or plan further ahead. I think everybody was kind of seeing, two years ago when we went to the early signing day, how would this play out moving forward, especially in the summer months, in terms of who is going to take visits, things of that nature. So I think we were a bit reactive, grant you that. But I think now that we have established a pretty good calendar it’s allowed us to plan accordingly a couple years out in terms of what this looks like. So as I said earlier, I think this is the established signing day for us and we’ll continue to operate accordingly moving a lot of the things that we do around this signing day.”

Brian Polian Press Conference

Brian Polian

“Just to piggyback some of the thoughts shared by Coach Kelly. We want to thank
some folks as it relates to all the help that we get in recruiting. First and foremost, the relationships that we have on campus. We would not be able to function as a recruiting department if it weren’t for these relationships; admissions, administratively, the athletic administration, frankly, our faculty and their willingness to meet with prospects. We can talk about how elite the
education is here, but it’s hard to do that justice unless our prospects aren’t able to spend time with faculty on campus. And those folks willingly give of their time to spend time with our kids, which is unbelievable and we’re eternally grateful for it. Our recruiting staff did an excellent job. Dave Pelquin and Aaryn Kearney, Jazz,
Riley, everybody really has done an awesome job and I think the way that we manage the unofficial and official visits on this campus are incredible and it’s really a team effort. We never say thank you to our ambassadors. We have students from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, Holy Cross, that volunteer to be a part of this program and they make, in some cases they’re making the first impression on campus, and they do an excellent job.”


” I also want to recognize, I don’t know if you guys were able to see today, the creative team at FIM and what they did today with the parents volunteering to call in and kind of do the voice-overs. In a world where we’re trying to be creative and a little bit different, I think we did that today without looking silly. The folks over at FIM that came up with that idea and executed it was really excellent. Our staff really grinded hard on this class. I think we’re 15 or 16 different states, a foreign country, from — we joke all the time. We’ll go from Hawaii to New Jersey to find the right people. Well, this year we did go from Hawaii to New Jersey to find the right people. And I think too we have to acknowledge the families of the coaches. We walk away from our wives and children, we’re on the road, not only with the football season, but out in recruiting. And we owe them a debt of gratitude for allowing us to do what we do to put this class together.”

“So today’s a culmination, it’s a celebration, it’s exciting. I know I don’t sound excited, but we’re going from the Stanford game to two weeks on the road to now bowl prep. So but we’re excited about this class. Coach Kelly was unbelievable. I think before anybody asks, the transition on the coaching staff, obviously, that was a difficult decision for him. And when that decision was made Coach Kelly did an unbelievable job of getting out and addressing it with the prospects. I think our
staff in general did an unbelievable job of rallying up. But, again, no one person is greater than the university, and in all these cases, like Coach said, the power of
this brand over rides any single relationship.
The power of this place. And that’s what we found. There was not a lot of agita. There was a couple of very honest
conversations, and then we moved forward, and we’re excited to welcome all these guys into the class.”

“From a football point of view, I think for me personally, a great reminder of the power of length was Kyle Hamilton this year. If you can get a really good athlete
who has got length that’s better than just a really good athlete that doesn’t. They’re able — Foskey, the same way. McGlinchey before that. Just how powerful length is and especially at the skill positions. And I think there was a concerted effort this year to, if we have two equal grades on a guy, let’s go with the guy that’s got a little bit more length. I know there was some consternation earlier in the year about the defensive back board and defensive back situation. I would tell
you from our football staff’s perspective we feel, we feel more comfortable with this group than probably any group we have recruited in the last couple years
because we know the most about this group.
Terry Joseph, Coach Lyght, Clark Lea, myself in the spring recruiting, we flew all over the country. We watched
these young men workout at track, in spring football. In whatever it was that they were doing that we were allowed to evaluate, we watched these guys. We have
verified times on every one of them, whether it be a track time, a 40 time at a camp, we know more about this group than we probably do in the last, any group
the last couple of years. So we’re excited about this group and feel very positively about it.”

Media Questions

Media Question: “How much influence do maybe the players that are already on the team, how much do you speak to them maybe when it comes to how a player might fit in culturally?”

Coach Polian Response: Oh, that’s invaluable feedback and that comes from our head coach. If there’s ever a doubt in our mind about whether a guy fits, we will
immediately go to the host. And Coach Kelly will do that. And he’ll ask, do you want this guy on your team? And that has worked in both directions. That has been times when we felt like a guy might fit and our players came back and said, hey, when he’s out in a social setting, it does not fit our mission here. It does not fit
our culture.
And we listen to that. And there have been times that we have thought, well, I don’t know. And guys that we trust on our football team have come back and said, he’s one of us, don’t worry about it, he’s going to be fine, he will fit in just fine here. So that feedback is a critical part of our evaluation. And
I mentioned the ambassadors earlier. Our ambassadors will give us feedback in terms of when they’re with a prospect and the family, say, for a home game and spend a great deal of time with them, more than we will, for an unofficial or official visit on a home game and come back and say, hey, I don’t know. There’s some things that they were talking about that don’t necessarily jive. It’s not the decider, but it’s a big piece of information as we’re trying to put the puzzle together. No doubt.

Media Question: “What’s the challenge when you know you have fewer scholarships available than, maybe, the average class of going about addressing that? And is there just less flexibility with you know have you to have guys at a specific position and you have to drill down that early on?”

Coach Polian Response: “Yeah, it’s, you may have to slow down a little bit at a given position because can we get best guy in the country, or are we looking to take the yes that is willing to come as quickly as possible, given the fact that, for lack of a better term, we have a salary cap. And this was a year that we could not afford to take 25 guys. So, and then trying to get Coach Kelly and myself trying to see the big picture and get our guys on either side of the ball, hey, this is the number that you’re working with. You can’t veer off from this.”

“And then there’s a little bit of we got to be judicious in the sense that looking at our roster — this is the one thing I don’t like about the new calendar, is that we’re
signing a class before underclassmen have to officially declare. Or before the semester ends for that point. So trying to figure out, is there going to be movement on our roster. Now, we’re a little bit of an outlier. We don’t
have 12 guys in the portal, like we have seen in the last month at some other places. So trying to judge what will the movement be on our roster and how does that affect our numbers and what we can do. And that’s a world that I’m not comfortable with because I don’t like the chat boards talking about, well, we’re at this, somebody’s got to go. I think sometimes that conversation is a little irresponsible, because there are people reading that that are wondering, is my son the one that’s going to go? Well, we think long and hard about this and we have plans and we know what we’re doing. So I think in those cases it’s like one of those deals where it’s like I wish people would just trust us, that we probably know a little bit more about our roster than the guy who is posting on the chat site.

Signing Class Of 2020 Summary

The signing class of 2020 includes eighteen Freshman, one Grad Student (2 years of eligibility. Offense: three receivers, two tight ends, two offensive linemen, and one quarterback. Special teams: one long snapper. Defense: Four cornerbacks, four defensive linemen, and one safety. Nine will enroll at Notre Dame in January: Alexander Ehrensberger, Landen Bartleson, Jay Brunelle, Drew Pyne, Xavier Watts, Caleb Offord, Rylie Mills, Jordan Botelho, and Ramon Henderson.

Cheers and Go Irish!๐Ÿ€๐Ÿˆโšก

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