Notre Dame picked up a big verbal commitment on Thursday at one of its biggest positions of need in this year’s recruiting class when Arizona native, 4-star cornerback Cole Luke committed to the Irish just days after seeing Notre Dame beat Oklahoma 30-13 and continue their perfect season.
Cole Luke, one of the top ranked corners in the country this year, has seen Notre Dame in person three times this year. He saw Notre Dame’s 50-10 win over Navy in Dublin thanks to his high school playing a game in Ireland as well. Then Luke traveled to South Bend for an official visit for Notre Dame’s 13-6 victory over Michigan in September. Luke made it a trifecta of Notre Dame victories last weekend on an official visit to Oklahoma where he saw the Sooners fall to Irish 30-13 thanks to a huge fourth quarter effort from Notre Dame.
Less than a week after witnessing Notre Dame win a third game in person in just two months, Luke decided that was all he needed to see and joined Notre Dame’s already very strong recruiting class. Luke gives the Irish an elite corner prospect to form a very solid trio at the position along with Rashad Kinlaw and Devin Butler.
Luke, a 6’0″, 165 lb prospect, is ranked a 4-star corner by Rivals, 247 Sports, ESPN, and Scout. 247 Sports has Luke in their top 100 while Rivals has him in their top 250 overall regardless of position. Before committing to Notre Dame Luke had picked up offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas among others.
Coached by former versatile Notre Dame alum Steve Belles, Luke is actually the first Belles pupil to select the Irish after several elite prospects from Belles’ Hamilton program in Chandler, Arizona after several others considered Notre Dame over the last few years but eventually wound up else where. Gerrell Robinson immediately comes to mind as the one Belles protege that came the closest to selecting Notre Dame although there have been others over the years as well.
Notre Dame needed corners in this class badly after the loss of Ronald Darby and Tee Shepard to last year’s class left the Irish short on numbers. Current freshman Kei’Varae Russell ended up moving over to corner this summer and while the move has been a stunning success, numbers still remain an issue for Notre Dame moving forward – especially since sophomores Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson have had trouble establishing themselves and earning playing time so far. Assuming Notre Dame holds on to all three corners currently committed, Brian Kelly and staff will have done a tremendous job of restocking the shelf as this position in this cycle.
With Luke’s commitment, scholarships in this year’s class are very scarce and only a couple of spots likely remain depending on 5th years, NFL departures, and any decommitments. A couple of currently committed prospects – Alex Anzalone and Danny Mattingly – have been rumored to be looking around although Anzalone is set to visit Notre Dame this weekend so his spot could either be cemented or opened up in this year’s class in just a few days.
Notre Dame is likely done at corner back in this class now unless another elite corner like Mackensie Alexander of Florida were to want to hop on board as well, and they will certainly continue to recruit Max Redfield, an elite safety currently committed to USC, as well.