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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

August 26, 2018
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

In order for Notre Dame to close strong in recruiting the Class of 2019, they’re going to need to put together a strong 2018 season. Modern recruiting is such that the actual football season represents the end of recruiting. The Irish currently have 17 verbal commitments and would love to add some highly ranked impact players to finish out the class. A successful season on the field would go a long way to accomplishing that goal. It would also play well with 2020 recruits. Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on prospects from both classes. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Max Williams‍, CB, 5-10, 170, Junipero Serra High School, Gardena, CA is coming off a season in which numerous impact players graduated and accepted Division 1A scholarships. Critics are forecasting a step back for the Junipero Serra football team, but he’s not buying into that talk at all.

“We lost a couple big time players last year like Kobe Smith and Bryan Addison,” Williams acknowledged. “We’re a younger team and have a lot of tough opponents on our schedule so we’re working really hard right now and trying to approach the game in a different way this year so we can come out with a lot of wins. We’ve got kids who people really don’t know about so we’re kind of underrated.”

Williams says that the team’s goal is to “prove everybody wrong.” With fall training camp winding down, he’s trying to enjoy every moment of it, knowing it will be his last as a high school player.

“It’s two-a-days on Tuesday and Thursday and weight room Monday, Wednesday and Friday with one practice,” he explained. “I look at it as my last camp being a senior, so I go hard at it and take advantage of it.”

Williams is looking to contribute in a big way on defense. He wants to be a playmaking lockdown cornerback, but also knows that teams will be avoiding him.

“It gets frustrating but I also play offense so I get action there and at punt returner and kick returner,” he shared. “I’ve just got to take every play like they’re throwing the ball to the receiver I’m guarding and not taking any plays off, not getting too comfortable.”

Being one of the top cornerback prospects in the nation also means that he has to spend at least some time focusing on where he plans to spend his post high school life. He’s narrowed dozens of scholarship offers down to four, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC and Louisville. While he’s always maintained that he’s going to take an official visit to South Bend, he’s been forced to change the date a time or two. He has finally settled on a visit weekend.

“I’ve changed my date to the 29th for the Stanford game because I’m committing on October 6th,” he said. “I’m close with the staff. I talk to Coach (Brian) Polian a lot. I took a visit there my freshman year and I really like the campus. I’m huge on academics so that’s another reason. It would be like a forty year decision.”

When he visits, he’s going to be comparing Notre Dame to his other finalists to see if it’s the best fit.

“I want to see if I feel comfortable, if I could see myself playing there, the game atmosphere,” he said.

He’s already visited Louisville, but it was an unofficial visit to Oregon that seems to have caught his attention. He will be taking an official visit to the Ducks on the weekend of September 15th. He will also be going to USC, but because of its close proximity, it will be an unofficial visit.

“USC is right around the corner,” he explained. “It’s just always been a top school and they’ve got a good business program, which is what I want to major in. I’m close with that staff as well and I know a lot of players who go there.”

Kevin Pyne‍, OL, 6-8, 275, Milford High School, Millis, MA is looking at major changes of a different sort this season. He just returned to Milford for his junior season after attending that school district into middle school before transferring to Millis High School. Returning to Milford seems a bit like coming home to the four-star Class of 2020 offensive lineman.

“I switched in middle school so I still know a lot people here and a lot of kids,” he explained. “It’s not as new to me as when I originally went to Millis. I’m glad to be back.”

He’s also going to be reunited with his former Millis head coach Dana Olson.

“He’s a great coach,” Pyne said of Olson. “He’s really an X’s and O’s guy. He’s been coaching for over twenty years. You can learn a lot of stuff from a guy like that.”

Olson returned to Milford as an assistant coach after serving as Millis head coach for four years. In those four years he won three league titles and two Super Bowls. Olson wanted to get back to just coaching, leaving the administrative headaches for head coach Anthony Vizakis. As an added bonus, he will also be coaching with his twin brother Dale.

Though the Milford Scarlet Hawks just recently had their first official practice, they actually spent time together at a team camp.

“It was pretty good,” Pyne said. “I thought we got a lot done. I thought we did a good job. Some kids are in better shape than others, but the season is going to go on and as the season goes on it’ll get better for everyone.”

Of course, it was a major decision to change schools halfway through his high school career, but Pyne seems very satisfied with his choice.

“I think this league has a little better competition, it’s kind of a new experience,” he said. “I don’t know where I’m going to end up at college yet, but getting a couple of different offenses and some different defense is helpful to me. I think overall I’ve improved. One of the things is Milford tends to run the ball a lot more. Last year we passed the ball a lot more, so I’m kind of excited to get into that a little bit.”

Pyne has no idea where he’s going to end up in college, but he’s already been presented with a plethora of choices. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska and many others have already extended scholarship offers to him. He has already taken an unofficial visit to Notre Dame.

“Obviously, if you’ve been to Notre Dame, you know how impressive it is just being there on campus, especially with all of the tradition and stuff,” he said.”

If the last name Pyne sounds familiar, that’s because his cousin, Drew Pyne, a Class of 2020 quarterback, has already verbally committed to the Irish. While playing on the same team as his cousin has its appeal, Kevin knows there’s more involved in the decision.

“Going there would be crazy but I also have to look at the bigger picture and make sure if I did choose Notre Dame it would be the right choice for me,” he explained. “He (Drew) kind of just talks about the legacy we’d leave together and the impact we’d have, not just at Notre Dame, but also on the local level. We’d draw a bigger crowd, more attention.”

Pyne has been primarily recruited by Notre Dame Offensive Line Coach Jeff Quinn. The Massachusetts standout has only positive things to say about Quinn, but acknowledges that he needs to look at all his options.

At this point, Pyne doesn’t have any fall visits scheduled, nor does he have any plans to narrow down his choices.

“Honestly, I’m at a new place, new school; I’m kind of just focused and worried about this season coming up and trying to get recruiting out of my head,” he said. “I’ll start worrying about that again in the winter.”

While he’s not narrowing anything down as of now, he does know what will play a big factor for him in his final decision.

“Overall, even though I know coaches change, it’s finding good people to play for,” he shared. “You could be at a place with the biggest stadium, the nicest locker room, the best equipment and jerseys, but if you’re not playing for good people, I don’t see the point in playing.”

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

 
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