Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

September 1, 2019

Written by Joe Bradshaw

Experienced fans of recruiting know all too well that until a recruit signs a letter of intent his recruitment isn’t over. The early signing period helps teams focus on the handful of unsigned prospects the last couple of months of the season and eases recruitniks anxiety as well. Still, it’s a good practice not to consider verbal commits as locks until the letter of intent fax is in, coaches don’t.

It’s also good for Irish Sports Daily to keep tabs on the verbal commits as well. Last week ISD reported on two Notre Dame Class of 2020 verbal commitments, just checking up on them as they prepare to begin their senior high school season. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Jordan Johnson‍, WR, 6-2, 190, De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis, MO is a member of ISD’s Fab 50 and a Notre Dame verbal commit is the number four ranked wide receiver in the nation. The scary part for his opponents is that he has spent the summer working to get better.

“We’ve been working all summer to be honest,” he said.

Johnson’s confident that the hard work has paid dividends and he’s eager to get out there and prove it.

“I love any time I can get back in the pads to be honest,” he said. “It’s obviously been a long time since we’ve been back playing. It was fun to get back to it, fun to get back with the guys. I’m just ready for the season.”

De Smet finished 9-3 last year and lost in the district championship game. Johnson and his teammates look to build on that success.

“The team goals are to be better than what we were last year, play to our standards and a state championship,” he shared. “As seniors and leaders we need to step up and lead the young guys, teach them how it is to be an older guy, putting them on the right path. If we get the younger guys on the right path and get everyone on board, I think we’ll be fine.”

Johnson feels like he accomplished one of his offseason goals.

“I’m getting faster still, still working on my legs,” he explained. “I’m definitely going to be way faster this year.”

If Johnson can get his coaches permission, he hopes to return to South Bend for the USC game.

“I’ve never been to a Notre Dame game,” he said. “I’ve heard the culture at the game is nuts. I’m just excited to see the culture and how everyone is, the fans and everything.”

The four-star receiver also hopes to spend time with his future teammates.

“Every commit that commits is added to this group chat,” he explained. “It’s going to be cool to see them in person.”

Johnson was the first commit at the wide receiver position but since then the Irish have added Xavier Watts and Jay Brunelle.

“Those guys are some dogs,” he said of his fellow wide receiver commits. “Any time we can get more great guys, great athletes around the team, it’s good.”

Like Johnson, Jay Brunelle‍, WR, 6-2, 205, Saint John’s High School, Paxton, MA spent the summer getting better. Also like Johnson, he’s eager to get back to playing football.

“I’m really excited to get back into a routine,” he said. “I think it’s a great time to develop. Just getting back into the groove, especially as a captain this year, continue to get to know my teammates like I have been. We’re all working towards a state championship right now, so I’m really excited for camp.”

Brunelle’s offseason hard work had a secondary purpose. He also wanted to impress college scouts for the purpose of earning scholarship offers. Clearly he accomplished that goal but he also believes that he’s become a better player, a better athlete.

“In general, I think I’m just an overall better athlete,” he said. “I feel faster out of my cuts and stuff. I really do feel a lot smoother than I did last year heading into camp. I’m really excited to up my game from the level where I was last year.”

Brunelle believes Saint John’s offense will be solid this year with several starters returning. He also feels confident in the players on the other side of the ball.

“I definitely think our offense is going to click and we have a few key guys on defense who are really going to contribute,” he explains. “If we can all come together as one unit I think we can really go on a run.”

Though Brunelle still has a lot of football to play after his senior season in high school, he admits to possessing mixed feelings about concluding his high school career.

“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. “I’m just going to take advantage of it and really enjoy every moment of it.”

Saint John’s will begin their season with Grafton before taking on perennial powers Catholic Memorial and Everett. And for the first time, they will be playing the majority of their home games on Friday night. Saint John’s just recently added lights to their playing field, making Friday night games possible. The combination of Friday night games and two highly regarded opponents has Brunelle fired up for the start of the season.

“Some of the best games of my life are coming up right now and some of the biggest teams we’ve played in our program’s history,” he said.

Brunelle is planning his Notre Dame official visit for the USC game in October, but that isn’t set in stone just yet.

“I think it’s going to be electric with the green out and getting to see some of these commits for the first time,” he opined. “I know some guys have been committed for a while now unlike me. I’m really excited just to get back on campus as a commit and to take in the atmosphere.”

These two summaries are just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

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