Photo by Bill Garman/ISD

2020 Recruiting | What Now?

May 8, 2019

OK, now what?

For the second time this week, Notre Dame has added a key member to its 2020 recruiting class with the commitment of Arizona offensive lineman Tosh Baker‍ today.

Baker’s pledge follows that of defensive lineman Rylie Mills‍, who publicly committed to the Irish on Monday, and gives the Irish 10 total commits in this class and most importantly, one of their very top offensive line targets.

Baker joins quarterback Drew Pyne‍, wide receiver Jordan Johnson‍ and tight ends Michael Mayer‍ and Kevin Bauman‍ as a strong nucleus for Notre Dame’s offensive grouping. On defense, the Irish have Mills, defensive tackle Aidan Keanaaina‍, defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger‍ and linebacker/end Jordan Botelho‍. Long snapper Alex Peitsch‍ rounds out the current class.

So, what now?

As is always the case the size of Notre Dame’s class will be in flux until the end, but as of now, the Irish are likely to bring in somewhere between 20 and 22 total prospects. With 10 on board already, that leaves room for up to 12 more.

Offensively, they’re done at tight end and quarterback.

Recently-offered OL Michael Carmody

Baker was almost a must-get after offensive linemen Jimmy Christ and Peter Skoronski both decided to stay in-state, but the Irish never seemed to be in panic mode. Probably because they had a good idea where they stood with Baker or because they felt good about the other guys on the board, most likely both.

With Baker in the group now, Notre Dame is still chasing Zak Zinter‍, Reece Atteberry‍, Geirean Hatchett‍ and Andrew Gentry‍, a Colorado target who plans on taking a mission, so his impact on the numbers wouldn’t be the same as the others. The new name of the group is Pennsylvania’s Michael Carmody‍, younger brother of Irish basketball player Robby Carmody, who landed his Notre Dame offer over the weekend and is now seriously considering the Irish.

Baker’s commitment seriously changes the outlook at the position as it instantly goes from a position of great need to somewhat of a luxury. Notre Dame could elect to add just one more lineman, but more like two, allowing the Irish to be selective and focus in on their current board.

Running back Chris Tyree‍ clearly becomes the most important target in the class if he already wasn’t. The Irish appear well-positioned with the elite running back out of Virginia and he would immediately become one of the class headliners if they were able to land him. Notre Dame has talked about potentially pairing Tyree with a back like Tirek Murphy Jr.‍ or Cullen Coleman‍, who also have high interest. But if the Irish are only able to get Tyree, that’d still be a home run at the position.

They’re still looking for some wideouts to pair with Johnson. Notre Dame may have some decisions to make as to how many they want to add, which could be as many as three and possibly as few as one more. They’re in strong shape with guys like Michael Redding‍, Xavier Watts‍, Jalen McMillan‍ and AJ Henning‍. It’d be hard to turn any of those guys away.

The interest between the Irish and CB Clark Phillips remains very high.

As far as defense goes, the attention remains on Michigan’s Braiden McGregor‍ (pictured at the top), exactly where it was in the aftermath of Mills’ pledge. Ohio State had been pushing hard to bring in Mills and McGregor as a duo, but now that’s a pitch only Notre Dame can make. The Irish are in a strong position with McGregor and if they can add him to the unit, they could be done at defensive line.

Notre Dame is taking a patient approach to linebacker, where Cody Simon‍ seems like the best bet to join the class at this point.

The Irish are being more aggressive in the secondary, where they could bring in three cornerbacks and a pair of safeties.

Clark Phillips‍, Lovie Jenkins‍ and Landen Bartleson‍ are probably the best bets at corner right now while the Irish are pushing hard for Lathan Ransom‍, Jordan Morant‍, Chris Thompson‍ and Kristian Story‍ at safety. Michigan defensive back Cameron Martinez‍ added an offer from the Irish last week and could help out at both positions while New Jersey athlete Clarence Lewis‍ was offered as a cornerback last week as well.



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