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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Brenan Vernon

June 29, 2021

If you’re going to get the 2023 class started, might as well do it with a BOOM. Notre Dame did that with a commitment from blue-chip pass rusher Keon Keeley‍ and then one upped it by landing coveted defensive lineman Brenan Vernon‍.

Considered one of the top prospects overall in the cycle, this is one of the most significant recruiting wins by Mike Elston since his time at Notre Dame and that’s saying something with some of the recent commitments he has secured at his position.

He has a very high floor because of his raw tools and has the potential to be a great one at the college level.

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 240

Projected Position: Defensive end and eventual 3-technique tackle

ISD Grade: 93 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 95.2 (4-star)

What he does best:

He’s got some shock in his hands. He brings violence off the ball and utilizes his length to shed blockers well.


It’s really all about his physical tools that have earned him his ranking. He flashes good twitch and the lateral movement to be a disruptive defender.


He’s long with a great frame. He’s going to be a beast in a few years. Anyone with that kind of size with his motor can become a force.


What he needs to improve:

Though he can be powerful at the point of attack, he can get out of control and lose his feet.

He has a lot of work to do as a pass rusher. Right now he is all power working through the outside shoulder of a blocker, but I don’t see many counters or initial moves.

He doesn’t show a great ability to wrap around the edge. That’s partly why I think he’ll be a much more effective inside rusher. There’s a little bit of stiffness when he changes directions.

What’s his ceiling?

Players with his frame and that kind of motor are rare, which is why he could be scary good once he develops his game. Seeing him as a sophomore reminds me a lot of current Notre Dame defensive tackle Rylie Mills.

I would project Vernon as someone who will eventually grow into a 3-technique defensive tackle or an end if the Irish play three down. I know Rivals has him as a 5-star. He’s not in that category for me quite yet. I want to see how he progresses over the next couple of years, but he has the tools to develop into an impact starter for multiple seasons.

Who he could be:

Former Michigan defensive lineman Chris Wormley

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