Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Decision Day | 2020 Four-Star DE Braiden McGregor

May 24, 2019

Notre Dame landed 2020 four-star defensive lineman Rylie Mills‍ on May 6th and defensive line coach Mike Elston made it clear there was one more piece to the puzzle. 

Enter 2020 Port Huron Northern (Mich.) defensive end Braiden McGregor‍, who will make his commitment on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. ET. 

The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder will choose between Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame. Florida hosted McGregor last weekend for an official visit, but the Gators are still considered a long shot by some. 

McGregor was clearly impressed with Florida head coach Dan Mullen as they developed a relationship over the last couple of months, but I personally feel it would be a massive shock if he chose the Gators. Distance would be the main factor here as the McGregor family is extremely close and he would have two options much closer than Gainesville. 

When you look at Michigan and Notre Dame, the two programs couldn’t be in more different situations. 

Michigan has yet to land a 2020 defensive lineman, so McGregor would be the building block to the class and potentially start momentum for first-year defensive line coach Shaun Nua. 

As Elston tweeted, McGregor would be the final piece to the puzzle for the Fighting Irish defensive line as the Michigan native would join Mills, Jordan Botelho‍, Alexander Ehrensberger‍ and Aidan Keanaaina‍ in the 2020 recruiting class. 

The pros and cons have been discussed to the point of exhaustion on every Michigan and Notre Dame message board over the last five days, so I won’t take you too far down that road. 

I believe this is a rare occasion where no one will be surprised (unless it’s Florida) as Michigan and Notre Dame make sense. 

The McGregor family has taken more trips to both schools than you can count, so there is a comfort level with each program. I believe that’s why McGregor was focused so hard on the relationships at each program during his final set of visits. 

When it comes to relationships at Michigan and Notre Dame, I’m not sure either school distanced themselves in his mind. It’s clear the players on the current team meshed well with him and it’s clear he would fit into either locker room. 

On the Notre Dame side of things, McGregor openly admitted he thought about committing during his official visit, but held off. It’s clear something was giving him hesitation and if the choice isn’t Notre Dame, I’m not sure we’ll know. 

Multiple sources even mentioned Elston and McGregor grew much closer over the last month as the conversations moved to a much deeper level than just football. 

Nua deserves a ton of credit for not only building a relationship in a short amount of time, but making McGregor feel comfortable. One person at Michigan who probably doesn’t get enough credit in this recruiting is Director of Recruiting Matt Dudek. 

If Dudek’s name sounds familiar, it might be from the recent Twitter exchange with Notre Dame’s Twitter account over South Africa, but that’s a story for a different time. 

Dudek was able to build a solid relationship with McGregor, but also his family. If Michigan lands McGregor, Jim Harbaugh should give Dudek a much-deserved raise. 

Overall, I credit McGregor and those around him for keeping the decision airtight as nothing has leaked all week, which is extremely rare and impressive in itself. 

He said it: “Both teams have really good guys. I could see myself hanging out with the players at both schools. It’s one of the reasons both schools are in my top group.” – McGregor on the relationships at Michigan and Notre Dame 

She said it: “We don’t want to sway him one way or another. This is his life and his decision. My husband and I try very hard never to influence where we are feeling. Would I ever put it on him so he would carry around this guilt of staying close to home? We haven’t done that at all to him. He realizes we are close enough to get through any distance. I think he truly feels no matter where he chooses, we will be supportive.” – Tara McGregor (Mother)

Braiden McGregor Always Goes Above and Beyond

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