Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Weekend Recruiting Notes

August 18, 2019
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2020 Notre Dame wide receiver commit Jay Brunelle‍ and his St. John’s High School squad opened up preseason camp on Friday.

The Massachusetts native worked extremely hard all offseason as he tried to raise his recruiting profile at camps and combines throughout the spring and summer. It paid off in the form of scholarship offers from several Power Five programs and he ultimately chose the Irish over Michigan in a tight battle.

Now, Brunelle will get to apply all of that work to the high school stage as he enters his senior season feeling better than ever.

“I feel faster out of my cuts,” said Brunelle.

Of all the feedback he received from college scouts last season, that was one thing that kept coming up, so Brunelle really worked at that along with getting bigger, faster and stronger.

“I really do feel a lot smoother than I did last year heading into camp,” he said.

After winning a state championship at Gillette Stadium in 2017, St. John’s lost in the state semifinals last year. Brunelle is looking to go out on top as a senior, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily looking forward to the end of the season.

“It’s exciting and a little sad at the same time just knowing this will be the last few months to play with some of the kids I’ve been playing with since childhood,” he said.

St. John’s will be tested early with contests against two of the state’s best programs, Everett and Catholic Memorial, in September.

More on Brunelle and his upcoming season this week.

GENTRY SAYS HE HASN’T ELIMINATED ND YET: Andrew Gentry’s recruitment has been a unique one from the start since the Colorado offensive lineman is technically in the Class of 2020, but plans on taking a mission, which means for practically purposes, he’s more of a 2022 recruit.

After a pair of visits to South Bend, including an official back in April, Notre Dame hasn’t been mentioned with Gentry as much as some other schools, but he says he’s still thinking about the Irish.

“I’m still considering them,” said Gentry.

He hasn’t been in as much contact with the staff as earlier in the process, but said he’s still thinking about a return trip this fall.

“It depends on football schedules right now,” said Gentry, who added that he’d like to get a feel for the gameday experience in South Bend.

He’s not sure of any other officials yet, but said he’s thinking about BYU. He acknowledged that BYU, Stanford, Virginia and Michigan are among the schools he’s really looking hardest at now.

2021 BYU COMMIT STILL OPEN: Logan Fano‍ Fano committed to BYU when he was in eighth grade and while the 2021 Utah linebacker remains a Cougar pledge, he also admits he’s open to other schools.

He visited Michigan back in April, has been to Utah often and is thinking about taking in the Apple Cup at Washington this fall.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is also interested in Notre Dame; the school, the culture and the football team.

Fano was invited to camp in South Bend this summer, but had his own team camp at the same time, so he couldn’t make it. He said he’d welcome the chance to visit in the future, possibly as soon as this fall, and would like to learn more about the school in general and the faith aspect of the school specifically.

ALSO…: Like many, our ears perked up when Brian Kelly said the Notre Dame coaching staff stays completely out of the mechanics business when it comes to quarterbacks.

But after some digging, we found out the Irish’s approach is actually common.

“Very common,” Will Hewlett of QB Collective, who works with Ian Book told Irish Sports Daily.

Hewlett pointed to time limitations as the biggest reason why programs across the country avoid tinkering with deliveries and such.

“The limitations coaches have don’t really allow them to focus on individual mechanics, especially if you’ve got three, four, five, six quarterbacks on a roster,” he said.

While Hewlett looks for little things – such as Book’s lead arm being a little out of sync last offseason – college coaches have to focus more on the X’s and O’s of the system. And he says they appreciate that he doesn’t try to interfere with how his clients are being taught to process things

“I think they respect the fact that I’m not going to tell him something different,” he said of the Irish coaches. “It’s like, ‘You tell me what the expectation is at Notre Dame and I’ll fit my coaching into that.’ That’s the process I’ve taken with all of my athletes and it’s been successful.”

This offseason, Book focused on fine-tuning everything rather than making any monumental changes, according to Hewlett.

“We’re not trying to prove anything. It’s more about, ‘How can we get more out of what you’re currently doing?’”

Much more from Hewlett coming this week on ISD.

 
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