Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff are still hard at work closing out the recruiting class of 2014, but on Sunday they got a huge addition to the class of 2015 when Blake Barnett, one of the nation’s elite junior quarterbacks, committed to Notre Dame after a second visit this season for the BYU game.
Barnett was rumored to be close to committing to Notre Dame for a while now, but on Sunday he made it Twitter official.
Extremely excited and and very honored to announce my commitment to the University of Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/jgjK28EJoK— Blake Barnett (@BlakeBarnett_8) November 24, 2013
This is a HUGE addition for the class of 2015 for multiple reasons. First off, Barnett is considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2015 – if not the top quarterback – giving Notre Dame an elite quarterback in next year’s class in addition to what should be a rock solid depth chart at quarterback in the future. Barnett’s commitment means that Notre Dame will have at least a 4-star quarterback recruit in each of the last three classes joining Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer.
As we’ve seen this year, a deep depth chart at quarterback is something vital to be an elite team.
Aside from giving Notre Dame a top talent at the ever crucial quarterback position, getting an elite quarterback in the class this early in the process is a huge boost for momentum purposes. Elite recruits want to play with other elite recruits so when you can add an elite recruit at quarterback to build a class around this early, its benefit can’t be understated.
Barnett is also a perfect fit for what Notre Dame wants out of its quarterbacks – big, tall, fast, and smart (highlights below). Barnett is already 6’4″, 200 lbs with very good speed for a quarterback. He won’t run a 4.4 40 yard dash but he has enough speed to add the threat of the run from the quarterback position – something that has been absent from the Notre Dame offense this season.
Before committing to Notre Dame on Sunday, Barnett had picked up offers from Arizona, Cal, UCLA, and West Virginia but was getting more interest in recent weeks as one of the fastest rising juniors in the class of 2015. Despite all of the interest though, all it took for Notre Dame to jump to the head of the pack was his visit for the USC game in October. Since then Barnett has been rumored to be leaning towards the Irish and his second visit this weekend sealed the deal.
Barnett plans to enroll early just as the last five Notre Dame quarterback recruits – Tommy Rees, Everett Golson, Gunner Kiel, Malik Zaire, and Deshone Kizer. Barnett will enroll in January 2015 and will very likely be the unofficial spokesman for the class as many of the recent quarterback recruits have been for the Irish.
Notre Dame now has two commitments for the class of 2015 with Barnett joining offensive lineman Jerry Tillery who committed back in June.