The last time Notre Dame signed a top 100 running back, receiver, and tight end in the same class was in 2008. That was the year #15 Michael Floyd, #29 Kyle Rudolph, and #92 Jonas Gray matriculated to Notre Dame, and it’s fair to say that worked out very well.
The trio of receiver Jordan Johnson (#29), running back Chris Tyree (#34), and tight end Michael Mayer (#77) have all pledged commitments to the Irish 2020 class. They represent the cream of the 2020 cycle so far and have shown themselves worthy of their rankings with their performances on the summer camp circuit. Obviously, these camps can be taken a lot of ways, there aren’t pads, it’s not really football, etc. etc., but it’s not too often Notre Dame skill recruits are the headliners at these things and when they come out of the event winning MVP’s and being the fastest person there, it’s notable.
Notre Dame is currently ranked 5th nationally according to 247’s national ranking, with 17 commits. They are sure to drop as the rest of the programs fill out their classes and Notre Dame likely only adding three or four more commitments. Smaller classes hurt in the rankings, that’s just a fact. Their average star rating is 90.66, slightly higher than last year, so wherever they fall in the final rankings, the talent coming in is commensurate with what they’ve been doing, thanks in no small part to their high powered offensive trio.
Johnson has been less of a fixture on the camp circuit as his other teammates, but when he has shown up, he has dominated. In May he was named the MVP of the St. Louis Rivals camp, a performance that so impressed the ratings services that he was subsequently moved from the 47th rated prospect in the country to the 29th and earning him a 5th star. It was a validation for Johnson who has had to rely on the camp circuit to boost his stock; his high school team doesn’t throw the ball as much as some other schools. Raters want to see Johnson against the top talent in the nation to validate his physical abilities, and that’s exactly what he’s done.
For whatever reason he wasn’t at The Opening Finals in Dallas this last weekend, which could lead to a slight drop in his ranking since when guys below him move up, someone has to drop. Wherever Johnson ultimately finds himself ranked, he’s proven himself to be among the elite in the nation and is a huge pickup for Notre Dame.
Mayer is probably the most overlooked recruit in the entire class based on how highly he’s ranked and how much people are talking about him. He committed early, which never helps in terms of chatter, and he moved up the rankings quietly, also doesn’t help. He committed when ranked right at #100, then fell some spots into the 110’s, then about a month ago shot up to 77th. It was the type of thing that got noted in recruiting articles, but not much else.
Then he showed up in Dallas at The Opening finals, and his undercover status has changed.
He was nothing short of dominant at the top showcase in the country, was basically uncoverable no matter who was matched up against him, and ultimately was named the camps MVP after the 7 on 7 portion.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) July 3, 2019
Because of his size and style of play, there were the Baby Gronk whispers being thrown around, maybe they are apt, maybe they aren’t, but MVP is MVP and that’s good enough for everyone. Coming into the week he was ranked 77th nationally and given his strong performance it’s reasonable to assume he would move up overall, but then he wasn’t named to the camps “Dream Team” by 247’s top analyst, despite being MVP, so the world is full of wonder in the recruiting game. Nevertheless, Mayer has shown himself to be really, really good.
Tyree is Notre Dame’s most high profile recruit due to his ranking and his position. Getting a top 50 running back is a big deal for the class and the program, so whatever he does is going to make waves. In this case, what he did was win the fastest man competition at The Opening. For the second year in a row. Let’s say it again for fun: the top players in the nation all got together in one place, they are raced, and Notre Dame had the fastest guy in the building. When has that ever happened for us?
— The Opening (@TheOpening) July 2, 2019
Tyree was also impressive in the 7 on 7 portion of the camp, catching a camp leading 20 passes (and also not making the Dream Team according to Barton Simmons, despite being the fastest and catching the most passes. Cool, cool.) Anyway, Tyree is showing why he can be so valuable to the Notre Dame offense that emphasizes the big play and versatility out of the backfield.