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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

New Notre Dame Offer Notes

July 31, 2020

Notre Dame got on the board in the 2022 cycle with two big commitments. To no one’s surprise, those commitments came from an offensive lineman and a tight end. Those are always going to be the foundation for a Notre Dame recruiting class.

That’s the start, but the staff is looking to build out from there with prospects at other positions and have sent out 12 offers in the last couple of weeks with the primary focus on skill position players and the front seven.

Here’s my notes on all of them.

WR Darrius Clemons‍ (Oregon)

Clemons has number one wide receiver traits. He can play above the rim and has sneaky deep speed, eating up ground with his stride. It’s rare for a number one receiver to not be able to win 50/50 balls and Clemons is no exception. He wants the football and will go up and get it.

A player who who snatches the football with his hands, he also has some suddenness that helps him separate in traffic.

Grade: 92 (4-star)

ATH Brenen Thompson‍ (Texas)

Slippery and electric might sound like a terrible combination in life, but it’s pretty great on the football field. Thompson is both of those things. A quarterback and multi-position star, he has elite speed and acceleration. He’s not the biggest guy, but neither is Louisville’s TuTu Atwell and that would be an appropriate comparison for Thompson as an athlete.

He has surprising balance through contact, but I don’t see him as a running back. He’s likely a slot in college who will get touches running and receiving while being a beast in the screen game. The key is going to be getting him the ball in space. This is a top-100 level talent in my opinion who adds value as a returner as well.

Grade: 93 (4-star)

RB Gi'Bran Payne‍  (Ohio)

Payne is a big play back who frequently kicks it into another gear and runs away from defenders for long runs. He hits the hole with authority and often makes cuts in the open field without losing much speed. He has a really good burst and might be a notch below the other backs they have offered as a prospect, but he has the potential to be a great player at the college level.

Grade: 91 (4-star)

DB Sherrod Covil Jr.‍ (Virginia)

Covil Jr. is one of my favorite prospects I have watched this cycle. He’s long and twitchy and is an absolutely devastating wrap tackler. He’s a fantastic blitzer as well.

Is he a Rover? Is he a box safety? He’s probably a chess piece who can play multiple roles. He’s a fluid athlete who can also play deep with very good change of direction. This is a prospect I expect to see blow up in terms of his ranking as the process rolls on because of his versatility.

He checks so many boxes. He can match up in man coverage. He has strong ball skills and has good instincts in coverage. I love his game.

Grade: 94 (4-star)

DE Wilfredo Aybar‍ (Connecticut)

A tight end on offense, Aybar is interesting because he doesn’t appear to have the kind of frame or length of an elite edge defender. He does have a non-stop motor, though, and does a good job of converting speed to power as a pass rusher.

He needs to be better at attacking half a man and I honestly was expecting him to be a bit more twitchy off the ball. He’s a good prospect, but not an elite athlete in my eyes.

Grade: 90 (4-star)

DE Derrick Moore‍ (Maryland)

Moore on the other hand is one of the top defensive ends in the cycle I have watched. He has a great first step. Probably better than great. He can bend around the corner and has an awesome motor.

A long prospect who is going to be a monster in a few years, he may grow into a 3-tech one day or be an interior rusher on passing downs. If his hands catch up with the rest of his game, he’s going to be unblockable.

Grade: 95 (4-star)

DL Mykel Williams‍ (Georgia)

Williams is long and brings violence off the ball. He definitely looks like a guy who has the frame to get massive and move inside permanently. He may be ranked as a defensive end, but I think it’s a matter of time before he grows into a defensive tackle.

He uses his long arm effectively as a pass rusher and is very strong at the point of attack. He does a nice job shedding his block and finding the football. Unsurprisingly for a kid from Georgia, Williams has the look of a typical elite SEC defensive lineman.

Grade: 94 (4-star)

DL Anthony Lucas‍ (Arizona)

100%, Lucas is a defensive tackle and might not even be a 3-tech in college I could see him playing nose. He’s another prospect who uses his length well and is very strong at the point of attack against the run, but badly needs to improve his snap anticipation.

Lucas runs well for his size. He can lock out and diagnose to get to the football. Right now he only wins with power and not enough twitch. He’s very raw as a pass rusher, but has the physical gifts to become much better.

Grade: 91 (4-star)

LB Devon Jackson‍ (Nebraska)

Jackson has elite speed and is an extremely physical wrap tackler. Though he plays there in high school, I don’t think he is an edge or is going to be the ideal fit for one in college. He sure looks like a guy who would be a handful blitzing as a Rover, though.

He is the kind of athlete who could be a sideline to sideline player and is very intriguing if he can find the right fit. He is raw in a lot of areas and isn’t great at defeating blocks, but his ceiling is very high.

Grade: 92 (4-star)

LB Sebastian Cheeks‍ (Illinois)

He had a shortened season due to injury as a sophomore, but he showed enough in four games to prove he is a big time prospect. He’s an explosive blitzer with good timing. Any time a linebacker can be described as a twitchy playmaker, that’s a great thing. He plays downhill.

A track athlete who runs hurdles and plays running back on offense, he makes splash plays against the run and in coverage at his future position in college. He has the tools to develop into an impact inside linebacker.

Grade: 91 (4-star)

LB Jalon Walker‍ (North Carolina)

Walker is a stud. He plays as a space backer and arrives with violence to the football. A fluid athlete with good twitch, he improved with block destruction as his sophomore season progressed. His speed stands out not just in making tackles in space, but catching passes on offense.

He’s a finisher in coverage with very good instincts. Walker is athletic enough to run with receivers and it’s going to be interesting to see if he stays outside or moves to inside linebacker in college.

Grade: 94 (4-star)

OL George Fitzpatrick‍ (Colorado)

Also a lacrosse player, Fitzpatrick is a former tight end and you can see it with his movement. He has good feet. He has some mean to his game and plays with a good power base. He can reach the edge with ease and does a great job getting out to block on screens.

He has a lot of physical development to do, but he’s only going to get better and this ranking is likely to change in a positive direction as he gains more experience.

Grade: 88 (3-star)

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