Baring any last minute changes, Notre Dame will sign seven offensive players in this year’s class. Here’s a quick run down of each along with a look at the lone special teams addition this year.
George Atkinson III – WR (6-2, 195, 4.4; Livermore, CA – Granada HS) – The son of former Raider great George Atkinson. The younger Atkinson is a versatile athlete who can play running back, safety, or receiver. Notre Dame recruited him as a receiver and that is where he will start off his career. He did play safety at the US Army All American Bowl, but his future lies on the offensive side of the ball. Atkinson could also help in the return game.
Davaris Daniels – WR (6-3, 190, 4.5; Vernon Hills, IL – Vernon Hills HS) – Daniels is a big receiver who will line up on the outside for Notre Dame in it’s three wide receiver set. Presents a similar downfield threat as Michael Floyd in that he does not possess blazing speed, but uses long strides and excellent body control to make plays on the ball in the air. Daniels is the son of current Washington Redskin defensive end Phillip Daniels.
Everett Golson – QB (6-0, 170; Myrtle Beach, SC – Myrtle Beach HS) – Golson is a quarterback tailor-made for Brian Kelly’s spread offense. He may lack ideal height, but in a spread offense height is not as big of a factor due to all of the snaps out of the shotgun. Golson possess a big arm and has the speed to move in and around the pocket to avoid pressure or outside the pocket to make plays with his feet if need be. After originally committing to North Carolina, Golson flipped to Notre Dame in December. He enrolled early at Notre Dame and will also tryout for the Irish basketball team next season.
Conor Hanratty – OL (6-4, 305; New Caanan, CT – New Caanan HS) – The son of former Notre Dame quarterback Terry Hanratty, the younger Hanratty committed to Notre Dame very early in the process. Of the three offensive linemen in this class, Hanratty is the only one slatted to play along the interior at guard. He has a bit of a nasty streak that you look for in an offensive lineman. Could have a chance to crack the two-deep as a freshman if he can surpass Mike Golic Jr in fall camp.
Matthew Hegarty – OL (6-5, 265; Aztec, NM – Aztec HS) – Hegarty is the jewel of the offensive line class this year. He will need some time in the weight room, but Hegarty is an elite prospect who held offers from just about every elite program. Hegarty struggled a bit at times in the Army All American Bowl coming off of an injury, but he has a very high ceiling. With Zack Martin having three years of eligibility remaining, its likely Hegarty will get a crack at right tackle first.
Ben Koyack – TE (6-5, 230, 4.6; Oil City, PA – Oil City HS) – Koyack was the top tight end on Notre Dame’s board this year and Kelly and staff were able to add him to the class last spring. Koyack is one of the elite tight ends in the country and is on the top 100 list from ESPN, Rivals, and Scout. Once he bulks up a little, Koyack will give Brian Kelly a lot of options in two tight end sets along with Tyler Eifert.
Nick Martin – OL (6-5, 260; Indianapolis, IN – Bishop Chatard HS) – Nick Martin is the younger brother of Zack Martin – Notre Dame’s top offensive lineman in 2010. The younger Martin was a late addition to class after previously being committed to Kentucky. He has the versatility to play inside at guard if need be, but is most likely destined to play tackle like his older brother.
Cam McDaniel – RB (5-11, 190, 4.5; Coppell, TX – Coppell HS) – McDaniel is the only running back in this year’s class after committing to the Irish shortly after receiving an offer from Notre Dame at the end of November. McDaniel is a shifty running back who has played primarily in a spread offense in high school in one of the highest levels of competition in Texas.
Kyle Brindza – K (6-2, 195; Canton, MI – Plymouth HS) – Brindza is a special teamer but since he was the only special teams recruit we’ll add him here. Brindza enrolled early at Notre Dame and might immediately have the strongest leg on the team. He will challenge for the kickoff duties from day one and could push Ben Turk for punting duties as well.
Defensive recap and a ranking of this year’s class by position coming soon.
Looked at the film for everyone except lineman and the kicker and must say there are some good skill sets here.
– Atkinson: Big and plays fast, plays like a 4.4 guy. Would be a great asset at safety if he ends up on D.
– Daniels: Good size, very athletic and plays quicker than his 4.5 speed
– Golson: ideal spread guy, looked to pass even when the play breaks down and has a fair amount of strength and accuracy on deeper throws.
– Koyack: Looked like Eifert’s younger twin on tape – as he fills out he’ll be a handful
– McDaniel: decent speed, good power, shifty and will only get better once he cuts down on the moves, hits the weights a little and uses his north south abilities more.
Nobody on this list shouldn’t be a solid contributor within two years…great adds with lots of upside.