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Irish Set To Sign Balanced, Talented Offensive Class

December 17, 2019

Even without an offensive coordinator in place, Notre Dame is set to sign a well-rounded, dynamic offensive class on Wednesday, National Signing Day for the Class of 2020.

News broke last week that Chip Long would not return as offensive coordinator for the Irish and although Long had formed strong relationships with some of the offensive recruits in the class, all say they’re sticking with Notre Dame.

Quarterback Drew Pyne‍ kicked off the class when he committed way back in April of 2018. The Connecticut prospect hit the college football recruiting radar early, picking up multiple offers, including one from Florida State before ever taking a snap at New Canaan High School. A record-setting quarterback, playing for Notre Dame was a dream and Pyne snapped up the opportunity, committing months before his junior season started.

A mature, grounded young man, Pyne embraced his role as quarterback of the class and paid close attention to the other prospects on Notre Dame’s radar, reaching out to do some recruiting of his own.

Tyree is pictured above flanked by Michael Carmody & Tosh Baker

One of Pyne’s earliest targets was “The Jet” or as he now calls Virginia running back Chris Tyree‍, “The Golden Jet.” 

One of the most dynamic prospects in the entire country, Tyree ended up choosing Notre Dame over offers from schools like Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Penn State among several others. Invited to The Opening Finals in Dallas as an underclassman, Tyree twice won the title of Fastest Man. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back is the highest rated player in the class, according to our ISD Rankings.

Pyne and Tyree are surrounded by several other potent weapons in the class, including a pair of tight ends who are poised to help Notre Dame retain the label Tight End U.

New Jersey’s Kevin Bauman‍ was the second member of the class, committing after only Pyne. Bauman didn’t need long to make his decision, committing within weeks of landing his Irish offer. Bauman could be one of the most under-the-radar prospects in the class, but Pyne’s New Canaan teammates got a close look at what the Red Bank Catholic target could do as a pass-catcher during a summer 7-on-7 tournament.

Bauman’s partner at the position, Kentucky’s Michael Mayer‍, certainly isn’t under the radar, not after a dominating performance at The Opening Finals that saw him walk away with MVP honors. The second-highest ranked player in the class, according to ISD, Notre Dame beat out schools like Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State among several others for his signature.

Pyne has a trio of other pass-catchers at the receiver position as well.

St. Louis’ Jordan Johnson‍ emerged early as one of the top targets in the entire class. It was clear his interest in the Irish was serious after a pair of visits to South Bend in the first part of this year. He committed at the end of the second trip, giving the Irish one of the top wideouts in the entire 2020 class.

Massachusetts wideout Jay Brunelle‍ took a different path, holding off on his recruitment long enough to earn an offer from Notre Dame during Irish Invasion in June. Michigan made the decision a tough one for a while, but when the Irish really put the fullcourt press on Brunelle to let him know how badly he was wanted, he came to the realization that Notre Dame was the place for him. Having to earn the offer was fitting for Brunelle, who embraces the fact that he’s had to work to prove himself every step of the way. It’s an identity that should serve him well in South Bend.

Nebraska wide receiver Xavier Watts‍ came down to a pair of schools as well and also came to the same decision as Brunelle. An athletic prospect who the Irish said could play offense or defense at the next level, once Notre Dame offered Watts in January, it kept close tabs on him. He narrowed his list to six in the spring, but after an official visit to South Bend in June, it was clear this would be an Irish-Cornhusker battle and one Notre Dame would win.

Up front, the skill guys will have a pair of talented, highly-sought offensive linemen.

Arizona’s Tosh Baker‍ committed to Notre Dame back in May after a couple visits to South Bend convinced him there was no other place for him to be. A talented basketball player, Baker looks like a future left tackle and a good one at that. In addition to the in-state schools, Baker also had offers from programs like Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, Washington and Texas A&M among others.

Like Baker, Pennsylvania’s Michael Carmody‍ is also a talented hoopster. In fact, he’s the younger brother of current Irish basketball player Robby Carmody. The younger Carmody already had several major offers before Notre Dame pulled the trigger this past spring, but the family being so familiar with the school made it easier to catch up. A pair of visits in June ended with Carmody choosing the Irish over programs like Michigan, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Penn State. A former tight end, Carmody has only played tackle for a couple years, meaning his ceiling is “extremely high,” according to ISD expert Jamie Uyeyama.

Drew Pyne (10) and Tosh Baker (79)


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