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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie| Kennedy Urlacher

May 1, 2023

With a commitment from Kennedy Urlacher‍ to their 2024 recruiting class, it may seem like Notre Dame is making a habit of landing players with Hall of Fame fathers. It’s more coincidental that it is happening back to back for the Irish, but it’s still a fun footnote with their latest two additions this cycle.

It’s unfair to judge Urlacher or Bryce Young‍ and compare them to their fathers. All anyone should do is look at them as prospects on their own merit, but we know that doesn’t always happen.

Evaluating Urlacher through that lens shows a prospect that’s a good football player who doesn’t have a clear position that I would project to right now, but Marcus Freeman has found success with those types in the past.

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 185

Projected Position: Safety? Linebacker? It’s undetermined for me

ISD Grade: 86 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 87.0 (3-star)

What he does best:

He’s an absolutely vicious hitter. He’s a downhill player who punches far above his weight class when he tackles ball carriers.


Urlacher looks his best playing near the line of scrimmage. He is a traditional box safety and a very good one.


He’s not utilized as a blitzer, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him thrive doing that in college. He has great acceleration to the football.

What he needs to improve:

Can he play deep? I’m not sure. He’s instinctive and aggressive going forward, but he isn’t smooth with his transitions and I don’t see the kind of change of direction from him to suggest he could excel in man coverage.

He can clean up some of his footwork, but I’m not sure that addresses everything for him in coverage.

What’s his ceiling?

What his ceiling is and how he projects is probably going to be determined by how Notre Dame chooses to use him and what his position is going to be. If he’s strictly a box safety, that’s not a great fit against a lot of teams on the schedule.

I don’t necessarily see him as a Rover either. He could succeed making plays on the perimeter, but I don’t know about him in coverage from that spot. I also am unsure if he’s going to eventually be big enough to play Will linebacker, but that fits his skill set better than Rover in my opinion.

I know Notre Dame has talked about him in that DJ Brown sub-package role that we got a glimpse of this spring. That’s basically a Dime backer in that scheme and it’s a little bit of what the Irish did with Drue Tranquill in 2015 before he suffered a knee injury. That would have him involved as a player near the line of scrimmage and frequently used as a blitzer.

He’s a genuinely intriguing player in that role and perhaps that’s something Notre Dame plans to transition to more frequently going forward. He’s also someone who clearly loves football and is passionate about it.

My comp for who he could be is former Cincinnati linebacker Jarell White. He was an undersized, but highly productive player in Marcus Freeman’s defense.

Who he could be:

Former Cincinnati linebacker Jarell White

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