Recruiting Week In Review

February 3, 2019
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

If Notre Dame is going to take the next step, from finalist to champion, they’re going to need more dynamic playmakers on offense. Despite the thirty points given up by the defense, there were powerful indications that side of the ball was ready for the big time. The offense, however, showed a clear need for improvement. Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2020 prospects that possess the speed and playmaking ability to help take the Irish to that next level. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Jordan Johnson‍, WR, 6-2, 180, De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis, MO has been sitting at or near the top of Notre Dame’s Class of 2020 wide receiver recruiting board for quite some time. He was recently in South Bend for his second visit which only reinforced his already high opinion of the Irish.

“It was great,” Johnson said of the visit. “I had a good talk with Coach (Brian) Kelly. I spent a lot of time with Coach (Del) Alexander and talking with Coach (Chip) Long. It was just great information and a good visit.”

Kelly’s pitch to Johnson was not very different than his pitch to most recruits.

“He was just saying Notre Dame is a great place and was saying how they’re good in both academics and football,” he shared. “Even after football they can set me up for life.”

Johnson also had very positive things to say about Alexander.

“He’s a cool dude, funny guy,” he said. “I feel like he’s a dude that I can rely on and get me to the places I need to be.”

Long made a point of telling Johnson how he would be used in the Notre Dame offense.

“The routes and the offense they run, we kind of run a similar offense at De Smet, so it was great,” he said. “He was saying they’d put me on the outside, running over the top some plays so that was good.”

With the Notre Dame students in town and on campus, Johnson got a much better feel for campus life than he did previously. He also met up with a fellow St. Louisan, early enrollee Kyren Williams

“He was just showing me around and giving me some information,” Johnson explained. “Me and Kyren are cool. He said he loves it. He said he’s really glad he decided to call that place home. I’ve got to take that into consideration too and keep talking with him and getting info from him to see how everything is.”

The only plans Johnson has for future trips is a third visit to South Bend. He’s particularly interested in seeing the team in action.

“To see the spring game and get around the football team since I wasn’t able to make a game just to see how the coaches interact with the players and how the players interact with each other and everything and the team chemistry as well.”

Johnson made it clear that the Irish helped themselves as a result of his latest visit.

Notre Dame also elevated themselves in the eyes of 2020 recruit, Michael Drennen II‍. Drennen II, RB, 5-11, 170, Dublin Coffman High School, Dublin, OH recently trekked to South Bend and received a scholarship offer from Defensive Line Coach Mike Elston. He also left knowing that the Irish will be a serious contender for his signature.

He said ‘I like the way you play. You’re nice and explosive. You’ve got good hips. You’re flexible. I like your overall film,’” Drennen II shared. “He just said, ‘We’d like to offer you a scholarship.’ Then I got to sit down with Brian Kelly and he said if I was the player they think I’m going to be then I can come in and make an impact as a freshman.”

In addition to Notre Dame, he also holds scholarship offers from schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, West Virginia and numerous others. Even among such an illustrious group, the Irish offer stood out.

“It was big coming from a school that was in the Final Four,” Drennen II said. “Especially hearing that from Brian Kelly, the winningest coach in the past ten years, it was a big one.”

Drennen II connected well with Kelly.

“He was a cool dude,” he said. “He’s a funny dude. He was pretty laidback and chill.”

Like it is with most recruits, Drennen II was impressed by the Notre Dame campus.

“It has a religious foundation,” he said. “Touchdown Jesus is there, he’s basically holding up the touchdown sign like the ref. It’s just a unique place filled with tradition.”

Drennen II plans on following up his Notre Dame visit with a trip to Penn State. He also wants to make a return trip to Kentucky. Still, it’s clear the Irish helped themselves.

“I feel like I have to stay in contact with Notre Dame,” he said. “I feel like they’re the school that would most help me out for the rest of my life after college and even if I make it to the pros. I don’t know how long I would play in the pros, so those four years they said would set me up for the next forty years of my life because of that Notre Dame degree.”

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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