January 3, 2014 // Recruiting

Notre Dame Recruits ’14 Under Armour Bowl Recap

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Corey Holmes - Notre Dame WR

Corey Holmes (7) of Team Nitro (Green) in action during the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game between Team Highlight (White) and Team Nitro (Black) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame was well represented in Thursday afternoon’s Under Armour All-American Bowl with six commitments and one pending commitment competing in the annual all-star game.  Here’s a quick recap of everyone’s performance.

  • Corey Holmes – Holmes caught two passes for 20 yards and came close to scoring a touchdown int he second half when he was one of two wide receivers to be wide open in the end-zone for Team Nitro.  Unfortunately the ball didn’t come Holmes way but that shouldn’t diminish the great week Holmes had in Florida.  Holmes was one of the most impressive receivers in individual drills throughout the week. 
  • Nick Watkins – Watkins didn’t show up in the stat sheet much – he had just one tackle – but that was primarily because he was solid in coverage and the ball was not thrown his way.  Watkins didn’t get beat deep by Team Highlight and like Holmes had a very good week of practice.
  • Alex Bars – Bars started at left tackle for Team Nitro and more than held his own as the anchor of Ntiro’s offensive line.  Bars showed why he is one of the highest rated recruits in this year’s recruiting class by starting at the most crucial offensive line spot in an all-star game.
  • Sam Mustipher – Mustipher didn’t start like Bars, but he saw plenty of action for Team Nitro as well.
  • Andrew Trumbetti – Trumbetti suffered a slight injury on the opening kick-off and was limited throughout the game, but when he played he showed a great burst off the line and moved very well.  Trumbetti won the Lineman Challenge during the week of practice
  • Tyler Luatua – One of two tight ends in Notre Dame’s class of 2014 saw action early on for Team Highlight but did not record a catch during the game.

The most impressive recruit with Notre Dame ties was actually Isaiah McKenzie – the speedster wide receiver from Florida.  McKenzie committed to Notre Dame in the fall but is still working on getting his academics in order to be admitted by Notre Dame.  McKenzie was a dynamic kick and punter returner for Team Nitro taking one kick0ff 75 yards and one punt 25 yards.  McKenzie had a chance to take both of those back for touchdowns but just got tripped up.  His other two punt returns only netted three yards, but it was clear that he has the potential to be an absolutely electric returnman on the college level.  Where McKenzie stands with regards to his academic situation is not exactly clear at this time.

The next all-star game for Notre Dame fans to look out for is the US Army All-American Bowl on Saturday afternoon on NBC.  Notre Dame has three committed recruits playing on Saturday – offensive line Quenton Nelson, Nic Weishar, and Richard Yeargin.  That total could increase to four if Nyles Morgan commits to Notre Dame during the game as many expect him to.

Comments to this Article

  • duranko commented on January 3rd, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Frank, nanice update! This roster is getting more talented. Trumbetti looked good winning the linemen challenge. He’s pretty athletic, and not a lot of baby fat. Nick Watkins is a little different from the last cornerback recruit we got from Texas-Jalen Brown. Cook’s dogged persistence in Texas, when he was swimming upstream against Texas and A&M, has borne fruit.

    This year’s group of Watkins, Blankenship and Hill is, hopefully, a sign of things to come.


  • NoNeedToKnow commented on January 3rd, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Notre Dame is going to be BEASTY this year! Get em IRISH!


    irisheye62 replied on January 4th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I hope so NoNeedToKnow!
    I hope so.
    I’ve watched more FB this week in and out of sleep.
    When watching other teams, ND seems so close –and yet so far. I hope this type of class will REALLY make ND “BEASTY” as you say. In this websites article on the 2014 resolutions for Notre Dame, it covers the major problems which kept ND from elite status. I hope that we don’t “play to the level of the competition” but rather define ourselves as we have in the past while simultaneously looking ahead to get the job done.


  • duranko commented on January 3rd, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Frank, great recap. The talent level on the roster is so much stronger than before.

    Watkins is interesting, when you compare and contrast him to Jalen Brown, the last cornerback recruit we had from Texas. Cooks was swimming upstream against A&M and Texas when he started but this year’s Lone Star haul of Watkins, Blankenship and Hill is a nice group, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

    Trumbetti looked good winning the lineman challenge. NOt a lot of baby fat there.


  • Joeyknucklehead commented on January 3rd, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    … With uniforms that color — it makes me miss black & white TV


  • HURLS commented on January 3rd, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    All-Americans are All-Americans. (skills = skills) A National Champion must have more than skilled-players. BK has not proven to be a National Champion-caliber coach. Yet. BK has not pulled-together a bunch of All-American-caliber players and developed them as a team. Yet. BK has said from the beginning that he’s “trying to build a program.” And he’s doing a great job, considering the extra-effort it takes with NotaDame’s academics, etc. He’s / WE’RE “not there.”
    Brian Kelly doesn’t exude charisma. He’s a blue-collar, Boston Irishman (the best kind, BTW) who’s not cutting corners. He’s DEVELOPING A NATIONAL CHAMPION-PROGRAM.
    And God bless him!


  • irisheye62 commented on January 4th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Hurls–I believe you may be right. L
    iving here in Columbus, Ohio and hearing all things “buckeye” and then remembering how ND “missed her chance” to “get Urban”–hmm
    I know we are better off without an Urban M. type guy.
    Urban loves Urban and Urban is first
    ( heart problems, family, OK cash @ O. State -the flip flop conceit and lies–not to mention a team with an easy schedule that could not compete on a National Schedule year after year as ND does –even in 8-4 seasons.)

    Compare and contrast with many coaches, BK will take a look at BK and see what needs to be done –and in the next year or two could see the fruits of has labor of development. The Diantonios, Pellinis, Mack Browns of this world have that rare combo of leadership and what you see is what you get –and get to business. BK COULD be on the verge of leadership like his with the right play calling, running game and really building and nurturing young men in the University.

    With tough schedules ahead, I hope so–I believe so–We are ND!
    Bring on the BEASTY and GET ER DONE.
    Until next season–
    Irisheye loves ND for always!
    WE ARE —ND!


  • H.ESPO commented on January 5th, 2014 at 1:37 pm



    Ron Burgundy replied on January 5th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Your CAPS lock button is stuck.


  • duranko commented on January 9th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    there seems to be an undercurrent that we are trending toward
    being able to take Isaish McKenzie. This guy is “annoying” for other teams to account for. There are theorists that great kick returners
    are “born” not “made.” He just might be one.

    He showed enough in the Under-Armour game against the best studs in America.

    He can be a “difference-maker.”


  • jeff commented on January 9th, 2014 at 4:42 pm


    I agree with you on this kid. Could be a difference maker and its always good to steal a recruit from the South. What really concerns me the most is our recruiting classes compared to the like of lets say Alabama. If you compare recruiting classes from 2010-2014 you will see that both schools had top 15 classes. When you look at it a little more closely you see that Alabama has landed 32 recruits ranked in the top 50 whereas Notre Dame has only landed 7 in the top 50 and 3 of those 7 either transferred or decommtitted ie lynch, neal, and vanderdoes. Were not even close.


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