Recruiting Week In Review

February 17, 2019

Written by Joe Bradshaw

Athletes, athletes, athletes! One of the key developments for Notre Dame football that led to their first ever playoff appearance was their improved overall athleticism. The Irish coaches have made that a priority in recruiting and it shows. If Notre Dame is to go from playoff appearances to playoff championships, they’re going to need to continue to recruit more athletes with the size, speed and strength that’s found on teams like Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia. Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two 2020 prospects that pass the athleticism test and are very much on the Irish radar. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Cullen Coleman‍, ATH, 6-3, 221, Rye Country Day School, Rye, NY is coveted by some of the top programs in the nation and Notre Dame recently joined the list of those offering him a scholarship. While these schools all agree that they want Coleman, what they don’t agree on his how they would use him. Some see him as a linebacker, others as a running back. What they do seem to agree upon is that his combination of size and speed is welcome on any college football field.

“I think the Irish like him as both,” said Rye Country Day Head Coach John Calandros. “My feeling is the first (coach) came down and loved him as that rush outside linebacker. Tommy Rees can now see him as a running back. He is that unique athlete that can play multiple positions.”

Notre Defensive Line Coach Mike Elston recently followed up on Rees’ visit with one of his own and extended two offers, one of a scholarship and the other for a campus visit. It’s uncertain whether or not Coleman will be trekking to South Bend.

“They offered him and invited him up to their Junior Day on February 23rd,” Calandros shared. “He also plays on our basketball team. I think it’s going to depend on how they do in the coming games based on the tournament. That decision has a lot to do with that.”

Besides Notre Dame, Coleman has been recently been offered by Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Syracuse, Boston College and Purdue.

“He’s taking all of the offers in and really processing it,” Calandros explained. “But who wouldn’t be happy to get an offer from one of the premier academic and athletic schools like Notre Dame?”

It’s no mystery to Calandros why schools are pursuing his star so heavily.

“I think for everybody coming down, they haven’t seen this rare combination often,” he explained. “He’s 6-3, 220 pounds and he’s the 100 meter New York State Private School champion. It’s really something you don’t find too often. It depends on the school, but I think everybody realizes now that he has that unique blend of size and speed, so they want to take him as that premier back, that big back with explosiveness.”

Calandros says that Coleman is just as special off the field as he is on it.

“He’s an unbelievable young man, extremely hard worker, diligent, independent,” the head coach said. “He’s also very humble with all of the success and attention that he’s receiving.”

As of now Coleman doesn’t have a timeline for a decision.

Chris Tyree‍, RB, 5-9, 175, Thomas Dale High School, Chester, VA is a running back that has been on the Irish radar for quite some time. He had developed a great relationship with Notre Dame Running Backs Coach Autry Denson and hosted the four-star Virginian for an unofficial visit during Cotton Bowl preparation. That visit could not have gone better and it appeared that the Irish had put themselves in a very good position. Then Denson took the head coaching position at Charleston Southern forcing the Irish to start all over, this time with new Running Backs Coach Lance Taylor. While Denson’s departure undoubtedly affected Tyree’s recruiting, they nevertheless made his top ten as Taylor gets to know Tyree.

“He seemed very cool and down to earth,” Tyree told ISD. “It felt like he would be the type of coach who would can relate to his players.”

Tyree’s statement, or at least the generic quality of it, makes it clear that Taylor has some work to do in relationship building. Denson made an incredible impression, the Class of 2020 star commenting on the family feel of Notre Dame and the closeness that he experienced in the running back room. Not only does Taylor have work to do but he needs to do it quickly. For his part, Tyree seems very open to giving the new Irish coach every opportunity.

“I look forward to meeting him soon.”

During his junior season, Tyree rushed for 1,446 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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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