Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Day 1 AAB | West Practice | Notre Dame Highlights & Notes

January 3, 2023

SAN ANTONIO – It probably didn’t require Day 1 of All-American Bowl week to learn it, but Day 1 sure helped confirm it.

Drayk Bowen‍ is a dude.

The Notre Dame linebacker signee more than looked like he belonged during the West’s afternoon practice.

No, the Indiana native stood out from the rest.

The combination of quickness, speed, athleticism, instincts and physicality makes for quite the player.

Bowen quite simply looks the part even when he’s just walking through things or even when he’s not.

But when the action started, that’s when Bowen truly separated himself.

He flies around to the ball, showing good instincts and even when the ball goes away from him, he’s relentless in his pursuit, which was on display during one screen pass he ran down.

Watching Bowen, even in a light-contact practice, it’s easy to see he craves physicality and seems to be itching to get popping during the game on Saturday.

Irish offensive line signee Sullivan Absher‍ had more of an up-and-down, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering he didn’t even know he’d be playing in this game until a few days before he arrived.

The late addition to the roster is a massive player, even among the linemen, and is listed at 6-7, 290.

Even with the size, Absher moves well and is light on his feet. There’s no doubt he’s an athlete.

He’s clearly more comfortable in the running game, which is understandable since that is what his high school offense did primarily. Absher looked natural pulling and clearly knows when and where to park his body to seal off defenders.

The only part of the day when Absher struggled was during one-on-ones, which again shouldn’t be a shock considering the offense he played in during high school. Absher also acknowledged it took him some time to get used to the speed of his opponents in San Antonio versus those he faced in North Carolina.

We’ve seen several offensive linemen struggle during one-on-ones at showcase events and go on to stellar college and pro careers. So, while he would have no doubt liked to have done better in that portion of the session, it’s any sort of major concern at this point.

I didn’t get to see nearly as much from defensive back signee Micah Bell‍.

The Houston native sat out much of the drill work, preserving himself for the team periods.

Bell did most of his work at safety on Tuesday, although the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder said the secondary was moving around most of the day trying to see where they fit best. He may seem undersized, but certainly doesn’t play undersized and comes in a powerful package. When it was time to close on the ball-carrier, Bell showed more aggression than would be expected of a player his size.

I didn’t get to see Bell truly open up and run, but there’s no doubt the speed will be there when he needs it. He did a good job, from what I saw, in pass coverage.

Looking forward to seeing more from Bell as the week goes on.

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