Notre Dame’s Mike Elston Continues to Let the Good Times Roll

Notre Dame DL coach Mike Elston

If Notre Dame’s 2018 National Championship campaign ended on a sour note, then the Irish’s recruiting since then has inspired fans with hope that this team can continue to compete for a national championship year in and year out.

In what has already started as an exciting 2020 recruiting class just became electrifying as the Irish locked down yet another 4-star Defensive end prospect earlier this week when Rylie Mills of Lake Forest, IL confirmed what many thought was coming.

The Irish are now officially getting a 6’5 270 man with the versatility to rush on the end or to be a disrupter from the interior defensive line. Despite that massive size, Mills is also said to be quite athletic in terms of speed off the line, and has real potential to be a pass rushing threat for the Irish defense.

Mills was long considered to be leaning heavily towards committing to the Irish, but he did take official visits to Ohio State and Wisconsin.  And anyone who knows a thing about recruiting knows how quickly these things can change.

It seems like two coaches in particular get the credit on this one, and its two coaches we’ve heard a lot about in ND’s recent recruiting success – Mike Elston and Tommy “Don’t Call me Tom” Rees.

Mike Elston once again formed a solid relationship with an elite defensive lineman. Mills was cited as believing Elston is a very respectable coach, and loves the way he interacts with his players.

It seems that many recruits would agree because this is now back-to-back recruiting classes where Elston has brought in multiple 4-star Dline recruits. Retaining Mike Elston after the 2016 program overhaul continues to be one of the smartest decisions Brian Kelly has made in South Bend.

Tommy Rees should also get some credit here for bringing Mills home. Rees, a graduate of Lake Forest High school himself, made many visits to the school to build a relationship with Mills.

I’ll be the first to say I didn’t particularly enjoy watching Rees behind center, but his importance in recruiting lately can not be over valued as he has been cited as a main recruiter in some of ND’s biggest commitments in the 2020 class.

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ND’s 2020 class is really starting to look like it could be Brian Kelly’s best at Notre Dame depending on the staff’s ability to land a few more big names on their board.

The next name to watch fall for ND is Braiden Mcgregor, a 6’6 DE prospect out of Michigan who most believe will end up with the Wolverines or the Irish.

In April, the Irish staff had 3 DL prospects it wanted to add to the 2020 class. They’ve already landed the first 2 in Jordan Bothelo and now Rylie Mills. Mcgregor was the third name, and I believe Mike Elston wants this one bad…

The biggest recruit Irish fans need to keep their eyes on is RB Chris Tyree out of Virginia. Tyree is one of highest rated RBs in the country according to both Rivals and 247.

Tyree has long been connected to Notre Dame, but it has recently been discussed that Oklahoma has made quite an impression on the prospect, but the tide may have started to turn back in Notre Dame’s favor.  A decision from Tyree should be coming sooner rather than later.

Lance Taylor being able to secure an elite RB for the 2020 class would be an exclamation on what has been a very exciting recruiting period for the Irish as well prove that he was the right guy to bring in to solve ND’s RB woes.

No matter what happens with the remaining targets on ND’s 2020 board, this is as exciting as a class as I can remember since the 2013 class that featured Jaylon Smith.

It’s no secret that elite recruiting is how teams like Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson are relevant year in and year out, and it’s inspiring to see that ND is not only landing elite talent, but talent that the above mentioned teams also want.

Let’s see if some of the other coaches on the ND staff besides Elston want to get involved in the fun going forward.

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4 comments

  1. Michael the Archangel 7 months ago

    “Notre Dame doesn’t recruit, it beckons.” Jerome Bettis

    That’s the attitude I identify with. If/when a highly sought recruit decides to go elsewhere, move on to the next recruit who recognizes what ND offers.

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  2. duranko 7 months ago

    Why is it that I think of Lorenzo Booker when Chris Tyree is mentioned?.

    Consider the Tigers from South Carolina: Etienne was instrumental, but it was Ferrell,
    Wilkins Bryant and their droogs that harassed Book into indecision and panic.
    Further those DL Tigers harassed Tua into incompetence in the championship game.

    Running backs are like the shiny penny, they attract a lot of attention.
    But great athletes like CJ Prosise and Jafar Armstrong can, with coaching and time and player development, turn into
    outstannding solutions at running back. What’s that you say? Jury still out on Armstrong? Indeed.

    But he is merely a redshirt sophomore.

    TRenches, on offense and defense.

    ’66:Rhoads, Page, Hardy and Duranko

    ’77: Browner Fry Dike and Calhoun

    What is particularly noteworthy is that the past shoddy recruiting at DT has been remedied.

    In modern spread football with all that running around and 90 plays, you need at least FIVE experienced (as in non-true frosh)
    bulked up (Balised) defensive tackles. ND is not there in 2019. But starting in 2020………………our opponents’ offensive coordinators are going to
    lose a lot of sleep. Our 2020 DE cupboard will be well-stocked, despite the troika of Hayes, Okwara and Kareem departing.
    Fifth year players Ogundeji and Jones, third year player Oghoufo, second year players Osafo-mensah and Foskey will be more than enough
    to rattle opposing QBS, with Wardlow as soybean filler.

    I rebel against false conflation, and my buddy Southside, I gotta disagree with you.

    Georgia is on an echelon different from the one occupied by Michigan (how’s that two game losing streak, Harbaugh?)

    and Stanford.

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    1. southside 7 months ago

      I’ll Fed Ex you a Chicago Style Pizza for the Georgia game. Enjoy , while Jake Fromm runs for his life from Okwara , Kareem and Hayes. Go Irish.

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  3. southside 7 months ago

    Well Blaise Weber , I’m excited about the 2020 class too. But more excited in the NOW of 2019 campaign and the talent on hand. Both O and D can get to playoffs–despite the “Whoa is us” comments because of losing Tillery , Bonner on interior line , TranQuill/Coney at LB , and Love in secondary. This is college football –any kid can rise to fill in for the DEPARTED. Leahy , Ara , Lou — had winning seasons coaching next man in the next season. I’ll bet the posters ” writing off 2019″ will be on edge after losing Okwara , Kareem , Hayes , Pride for 2020— and then “predict” 2021 is the year ! Ha , wonder what they predicted for that 12-0 2018 squad ? I’ve said it before , grow a pair–instead of hearing your sob story about Georgia , Michigan , Stanford on 2019 schedule. Go Irish !

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