Notre Dame picked up a surprise commitment over the weekend in the form of kicker/punter Kyle Brindza. The commitment came as a surprise because not much had been reported about him and because it came at a position most felt the Irish wouldn’t recruit this season with two sophomore incumbent starters handling the kicking duties for the Irish.
Brindza adds a strong leg to the Irish roster. In the videos below, his leg strength is on full display on kickoffs, punts, and field goals. Before committing to Notre Dame, Brindza had an offer from Michigan and was receiving some interest from Ohio State; but he told the South Bend Tribune that he grew up a Notre Dame fan.
“My whole life I’ve always been a Notre Dame fan,” said Brindza, who said that Michigan also was trying to get him into school so he could play this fall. “For sure, I’ll be Fighting Irish.
It is certainly interesting to say the least that Brian Kelly decided to recruit a kicker this year with both Ben Turk and Nick Tausch only entering their sophomore seasons. Turk handled the punting duties for Notre Dame for most of the season in 2009 and Tausch did the same with place kicking. Both showed promised as freshmen in 2009, but did struggled with consistency at times. Turk especially struggled early on in the season, but did come on strong down the stretch.
The really interesting aspect of Brindza’s recruitment though is that he might be able to join Notre Dame for the 2010 season. Brindza is an excellent student in the classroom and could potentially graduate a full year early and enroll for the fall semester if the Notre Dame admissions department passes him. That would allow for him to compete with Turk and Tausch for the punting and place kicking duties. At a bare minimum, it would seem obvious that he would get a look as the kick-off specialist as well.
The addition of a kicker speaks volumes about Kelly’s commitment to special teams. Notre Dame is going to be up against the 85 scholarship maximum with this recruiting class and scholarships will be limited this year. Adding a kicker despite the scholarship limitations this year goes to show that Kelly is indeed committed to improving the Irish special teams.
Brindza’s scholarship could end up counting towards the class of 2010 or 2011 depending on when he enrolls, but in actuality it doesn’t matter which class it counts against since neither will be over the 25 scholarship/class limit. It will, however count towards the overall limit of 85
Kyle Brindza Scouting Video
Notre Dame now has three commitments this year with Brindza joining offensive lineman Jordan Prestwood and defensive lineman Brad Carrico.