Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Instant Reaction: Whoosh! Lenzy is Gone

June 14, 2017

Remember that wave of positive energy that came after Notre Dame's successful Junior Day back a few months ago? I don't think many predicted Kalon Gervin and Braden Lenzy would be Irish so soon after, but it happened.

And just like that, neither of them are in the 2018 recruiting class as it currently stands with zero cornerback commitments after Gervin left and the Irish down to one wide receiver commit with Lenzy gone.

Let's put corner aside for a second and focus on the immediate issue at wide receiver.

What are they losing in Lenzy?

To put it in one word: speed. He was being compared to Will Fuller for a reason. The kid can fly and he really showed some explosion as a route runner as well. Was he ever going to be as productive as Fuller was? It's tough to say, but he likely would have added an element to the offense that they currently don't have at outside receiver.

Lenzy has the talent to get six points from just about anywhere on the field. They need to replace that now and that won't be easy.

What's next?

We can start with who they have committed currently. Micah Jones is a big, possession target. Some may say he might be a better fit as a move tight end eventually at the next level. He has a very specific skill set and hasn't shown the potential to be a deep threat or be dynamic after the catch. He can fill a role, but they need to land others who can do more things in Chip Long's offense.

There was talk that they wanted to land five receivers in this class. I'm not sure if that's achievable at this point, but they are still in contention for at least a few more really good prospects.

Let's start with Kevin Austin. He is not the same type of burner that Lenzy is, but he runs really well for someone his size (6'3" 200). He does have some ability to gain big chunk yards after the catch and does a tremendous job fighting through contact to win at the catch point.

In terms of being a go-to guy that can make plays when they need it on 3rd down or in the red zone, he has the potential at the next level to be a number one option or a high end number two. If the Irish were to land him, and they are doing well with him currently, then that definitely softens the blow of losing Lenzy.

Chase Cota is someone with a similar skill set to Lenzy. He may not be as fast in a 40, but he's not that far off. I really like him as a prospect. The issue is that he is also from Oregon and is actually a legacy there. His interest in Notre Dame seemed to be partly through his friendship with Lenzy as well. I would guess at this point that the chances of him ending up Irish went significantly down after this flip, but we'll see what he says in a couple of weeks at The Opening Finals.

The big fish out there that would make everyone say "Braden who?" are Amon-ra St. Brown and Kamryn Babb. Both of those guys are cream of the crop athletes that could be difference makers at the next level and have visited.

Landing one would be massive for the Irish, but it's too early to tell if they'll be able to pull off a win in the race for either of them. In the case of ASB, I would be surprised if it doesn't go deep into the season and Notre Dame will need a boost from a strong performance on the field.

There are others like newly offered Geordan Porter (who says he will visit this summer) and some who have expressed interest, but not made it to South Bend yet like Anthony Schwartz, Lawrence Keys III, and Shaquon Anderson-Butts. If Notre Dame comes up with three of the eight I just mentioned then Lenzy bolting won't be nearly as bad as it seems at this moment.

They've got to land them first, though, and right now Austin appears to be the only one they could be on the verge of adding to the class. It could go down to the wire as to how good this wide receiver class can be. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out now.
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