Five Set to Enroll Early at Notre Dame

Tomorrow five commitments from the recruiting class of 2011 will enroll at Notre Dame for the spring semester – a group that could help define the 2011 season for the Irish. Aaron Lynch, Ishaq Williams, Everett Golson, Brad Carrico and Kyle Brindza all reported to Notre Dame over the weekend and will start classes tomorrow.

This year’s group of early enrollees features several instant impact type recruits that could see the field very early for Notre Dame.

Lynch and Williams are the type of elite defensive recruits that have eluded Notre Dame for years on the recruiting trail.

Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore are entrenched at the starting defensive end positions for Notre Dame in 2011, but Lynch should provide immediate depth and will almost certainly be in the two deep by opening day. With the speed in which the Irish offense aims to run at, Notre Dame will rely on a deep rotation of defensive ends – a rotation Lynch will almost certainly be in early on.

Williams meanwhile could challenge Prince Shembo and Steve Filer for a starting position at outside linebacker opposite Darius Fleming. Shembo was a major bright spot for the Irish defense in 2010 which would make unseating him for a starting role a difficult task, but at the very least, Williams figures to be in the two deep on opening day just like Lynch.

The last defensive recruit Notre Dame landed the caliber of Lynch and Williams was Manti Te’o two years ago. Te’o didn’t start from day one, but it didn’t take long for the Hawaii native to find himself in the starting lineup. Te’o, however, did not have the benefit of enrolling early like Lynch and Williams so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if either or both has a prominent role in the 2011 defense.

Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, Brad Carrico will provide additional depth at the defensive end position for Notre Dame as well. Carrico isn’t as accomplished of a pass rusher as Lynch, but he has the size necessary to provide depth for the Irish this fall – especially since he will have a full off-season in the weight room with Paul Longo.

Moving over to offense Everett Golson will throw his name into the quarterback derby this spring thanks to his early enrollment. It will be a major challenge for him to grasp the offense quick enough to seriously challenge for the starting role, but he will have a few things working in his favor. First off, he comes to Notre Dame after playing in a similar spread offense in high school and secondly, he is tailor-made for Brian Kelly’s offense due to his combination of mobility and passing skills.

None of the quarterbacks on the Notre Dame roster are as mobile as Golson. That should give the South Carolina native a fighting chance and at the very least could give Brian Kelly the ability to design some packages for him to run.

Golson will also walk-on to the Notre Dame basketball team, but will not be able to participate in basketball activities for this season.

Last, but not least, Kyle Brindza will challenge for a few roles within the special teams this fall. Brindza may have the strongest leg of any of the kickers on the Notre Dame roster for 2011 and could very likely be the kick-off man for the Irish in the season opener.  Brindza could also push Ben Turk for the punting duties as well. Turk was very good at placing punts inside the 20 yard line, but didn’t have many “booming” type punts that really changed field position this year.

The recruiting of each of these early enrollees was as different as the positions they play.[intlink id=”6429″ type=”post”] Carrico was the first commitments in this year’s class[/intlink] and there was never much of a questions where he would end up. Ever since his commitment, Carrico was a solid commitment for the Irish and never wavered in that commitment.

[intlink id=”6569″ type=”post”]Brindza was an early commitment for Notre Dame[/intlink] as well, but it wasn’t always clear whether or not he would enroll early with the Irish. At one point it looked liked Brindza would be giving up his early enrollment slot because Notre Dame was going to have too many early enrollees. Matt Hegarty and Ben Koyack, however, both decided against enrolling early and a spot opened up.

Williams and Lynch meanwhile were recent commitments. Williams committed on Friday with [intlink id=”7745″ type=”post”]Lynch recommitting to Notre Dame on Saturday[/intlink] after a wild recruiting saga that has been well documented. Both were huge recruiting coups for Notre Dame since it looked like neither would be coming to Notre Dame at various times over the last few weeks. Brian Kelly, Bob Diaco, and Tony Alford were still able to land both elite recruits and get them on campus in time to enroll.

In previous years Golson wouldn’t be considered a late commitment, but with the rise of early commitments over the last several years, Golson could be considered a late addition to this class. Originally committed to North Carolina, Golson reopened his recruiting when the NCAA started looking into North Carolina and some its players and ended up [intlink id=”7403″ type=”post”]committing to Notre Dame in early December[/intlink].

With all five recruits on campus and set to start classes, Notre Dame fans can breath a little easier knowing that the Irish have these recruits locked up and secure for this year. With only a few spots remaining in this class, the staff’s main focus will be on shoring up all of the current commitments and making sure all sign their letters of intent on Signing Day.

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  1. , maybe he has a lot of room to grown and improve. In other words, maybe his ceiilng is higher in the future than I’m letting on.I think Tommy’s best attribute is his calm and composure. He doesn’t have all the physical tools which I believe limits his ceiilng but he wins games, when he doesn’t turn the ball over. His arm strength is not going to improve much compare to Dayne or Hendrix who have cannons. But he can become a smarter QB. Watch him, he’ll still stares down receivers and won’t make it through his progressions. The game still moves a bit fast for him. This is stuff he can improve upon, regardless of God-given ability.Not bashing Tommy; again, I like him. Alabama has won a few football games with QBs often regarded merely as serviceable.’ Hendrix, though, does give us a nice new look, and probably the offense Kelly really wants to run. But we’ll have to wait and see next year if he ups his game a level and can make the necessary throws.Thumbs Up/Down: 0 0

  2. Not sure about this, but rite after word came out that tuitt decommitted, Ray Drew changed his plans, and is thinking seriously about filling that gap for us.

  3. I believe that the 5 early enrollees can count against the 2010 recruiting class. Doesn’t this mean that we have more scholarships available for the 2011 class? With the added numbers, this could really be a watershed recruiting year.

  4. Awesome group of recruits… Lynch and Williams are awesome I can’t wait to see them tear up a quarterback!!! Is Tuitt still on board though?? I read where he was looking elsewhere.

  5. Don’t think Savon will commit, but we are the best choice. Here are the choices. Rutgers, their o line was horrible last year. Like ND’s the one year with Weis, when Clausen was a freshmen. Going there would be a big gamble. It’s hard to run when there isn’t a hole. UNC is an even bigger gamble(sanctions looming). Although some programs seem to get through NCAA problems faster than others. Auburn will come back down to earth without Newton, and Dyer will get a lot of carries next year. Michigan State does run the ball a lot, but just don’t see it happening. Notre Dame is the best for academics, but he won’t come in and get all the carries by any means. Early playing time is not likely with some highly touted backs already on ND’s roster. Who knows what he will do, his list isn’t that great, besides ND that is.

    1. Chase Hounshell (DE/OT), Troy Niklas (DE/OT), Savon Huggins (RB), and Bryce Haynes (LS) are some. There was also a report that ND was interested in former Michigan commit Jake Fisher (OL), but that was before Nick Martin committed.

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