Brian Kelly and Notre Dame received a huge boost to their 2020 recruiting class today when 29th overall ranked Chris Tyree committed to the Irish over Alabama and Oklahoma. With this commitment, the Irish class bumps from 8th overall to 6th, jumping Florida and Florida State. Tyree made his announcement live on CBS Sports HQ at his high school in Virginia. This gives Notre Dame four commitments in the top 100 nationally and six in the top 125.
What Notre Dame Is Getting
Tyree is the #1 overall all-purpose back in the nation according to 247 sports, and with his 29th overall ranking is literally one spot away from composite five star status. Tyree is listed at 5’9, 178 pounds, with a game that is all about speed and elusiveness.
As a comparison to former Notre Dame backs, he’s a faster version of Armando Allen, who had a cup of tea in the NFL after leaving South Bend as a senior.
There just are not many – maybe any – other running backs in this year’s recruiting class in the same class as Chris Tyree speedwise. Earlier this spring Tyree posted a 6.30 55 meter time, which was good for best in the nation at the time and has a 100 meter best of 10.66 which he ran last year as a sophomore. It’d be more than fair to refer to him as a burner.
Chris Tyree is not just an outside threat though. He is a complete running back who is also comfortable running inside the tackles as well as to the outside, and knows when it’s necessary to get as much as he can and not chase the home run. Tyree carries the ball aggressively and is willing to take a hit.
He’s also very good out of the backfield and would be an excellent compliment to Jafar Armstrong should he return for his senior season. They have similar games and the offense could seamlessly incorporate both, with Tyree being a smaller, faster version of Jafar. Tyree is pretty much the exact type of back Chip Long is looking for in his offense.
What It Means For The Class And Recruiting
There’s no sugar coating it, this is a huge commitment for Notre Dame. Should he ultimately end up signing his letter of intent, Tyree would be the first top 30 running back to sign since James Aldridge (27th) in 2006, and the highest ranked player overall since Tommy Kraemer (26th) in 2016.
In addition to that, Notre Dame has not had a top 50 running back and a top 50 receiver in the same class in the modern era, going back to the 1990’s. Tyree (29th) and Jordan Johnson (37th) would give the Irish that distinction. The only other running back/receiver combo to even crack the top 100 in the modern era came with Cierre Wood (63rd) and Shaq Evans (92nd) in 2009, and Michael Floyd (14th) and Jonas Gray (92nd) in 2008.
This represents a huge victory for new running backs coach Lance Taylor, who replaced Autry Denson this spring and who was brought in to specifically win recruiting battles like this. And there is no tougher battle than to go toe to toe with Alabama and Oklahoma for a prospect.
Let that sink in for a second. Notre Dame just landed the nation’s #1 all-purpose running back over the likes of Oklahoma and Alabama. Simply put, that has not happened much over the last 20 years.
We have yet to see how well Lance Taylor can actually coach the backs, but this recruiting victory for Notre Dame is unequivocal proof that the man can flat out recruit.
This was a tough battle to win for Notre Dame. The Irish looked like the odds on favorite for Tyree earlier this spring but a visit to Oklahoma threw that all up in the air. The Sooners staff did such a good job on Tyree’s visit that not only did they temporarily overtake the Irish, but Tyree would later admit he contemplated committing to Oklahoma on the spot. Lance Taylor and offensive coordinator Chip Long stepped up their efforts and weathered the storm though.
Luckily for Notre Dame Tyree didn’t pull the trigger on that visit and now the Irish have an elite running back in what is shaping up to be a program altering recruiting class. A status that could be further cemented tomorrow when elite defensive end Braiden McGregor announces his college decision between Notre Dame and Michigan.
It has been widely reported Notre Dame may shut down running back recruiting altogether with the Tyree commitment, although things can change over time if some prospects fall through. Tirek Murphy, Kyle Edwards, Michael Drennen, and Jutahn McClain have been linked to the Irish this cycle.