Story Poster
Photo by Kvisuals
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | New Notre Dame S Commit Kennedy Urlacher May Be Underrated

May 1, 2023

Kennedy Urlacher’s junior film allowed the 2024 Arizona safety to collect several Power-5 offers before announcing his commitment to Notre Dame on Monday evening.

But Chandler High School safeties coach Mike Underwood isn’t sure the film fully displayed what the 6-foot, 185-pounder is truly capable of.

“He's actually an elite athlete and you don't necessarily see that on his film all the time,” says Underwood. “In the defense we played last year, he played like a single-high safety. Our program from a high school standpoint has been very, very good, so it gets a little boring back there when you're a single-high safety.

“He has elite athleticism. He can jump out of the roof, that’s one thing about him stands out. He loves snatching the ball out the air. He's very cerebral, very, very smart kid. He asks a lot of questions. He's very, very coachable.”

Urlacher is listed as a safety, but there’s been plenty of talk of him potentially growing into a linebacker and Underwood could see that.

“I think he could move down to the box,” the coach says. “He's definitely a hard-nosed kid. He loves to come up and put his helmet on people. I would see him maybe more as like an outside backer, maybe like a nickel, like an overhang safety just outside the box. He can definitely play in there. He's not afraid. He's strong enough. He's athletic enough. He's fast enough.

“I definitely think he could play in the box and I think a lot of schools are probably envisioning him helping out there, maybe not necessarily in the middle backer spot, but an outside backer/nickel spot for sure. But I mean, if someone wanted to put him as a deep safety, he has the kind of range to be able to do it for sure.”

Underwood says the newest member of the Notre Dame Football family isn’t extremely outspoken.

“He's actually kind of a very reserved young man,” the coach says. “I think that just goes to how well he's been raised first of all and just kind of who he is. He's not a kid who is going to stick his chest out. For the most part, he's kind of a quiet kid. He is very, very coachable. He asks a whole lot of questions.”

And he has shown an ability to accept criticism and allow it to make him better.

“At Chandler High School, we've been a nationally-ranked program for many, many years and we've put a lot of guys all over the place in the college landscape,” says Underwood. “So, we really breed competition at Chandler.

“He's a guy that doesn't pout if things don't go his way or has a bad play or whatever the case is. He's really going to work his butt off. He's not going to shy away from it. He's going to accept the challenge and move forward with it. He's just really a pleasure to work with and a pleasure kid to coach.”

And he certainly isn’t going to big-time anybody based on his last name.

“One thing that I always really loved about Kennedy is he definitely wants to make a name for himself. He doesn't like it when people say, 'Oh, Brian Urlacher's son...' He's like, 'Eh, I love my dad. He's great, but I'm out here trying to try to do my own thing.'

“He's not trying to ride the coattails of his dad. He's trying to make his own way and make his own name and create his own path in a sense.”

Under Armour Navy Fighting Irish HOVR Sonic 5 Running Shoes ($119.99)

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.