Meet Notre Dame Football’s ’16 Offensive Recruits

Ian Book – QB

Summary: For a while it looked like Notre Dame might not add a quarterback in the class of 2016.  The Irish appeared to be the leader’s in the clubhouse for elite 2017 QB Hunter Johnson and had just landed the dynamic Brandon Wimbush in the class of 2015 and they were having a hard time gaining the interest of 2016 signal callers.  Enter Ian Book.  The one-time Washington State quarterback who Mike Sanford became familiar with while coaching at Boise State in 2014, didn’t have an impressive offer list – mainly due to his measureables – but he displayed polished passing skills for a rising high school senior and picked up an offer from Notre Dame.  Book didn’t sit on the offer long before taking the Irish up on it.

During his senior season in 2015 Book threw for 3,049 yards with 30 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions for El Dorado Hills HS.  He finished his high school career with 78 touchdowns to 17 picks.  After not being a running threat at all over his first two seasons, Book rushed for 779 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.

Immediate Role: Notre Dame will have another high profile quarterback battle in 2016, but Ian Book will not be apart of it.  His immediate role will be to run the scout team in 2016 with Deshone Kizer, Malik Zaire, and Brandon Wimbush filling the Irish quarterback depth chart.

Long-Term Role:  It will be very interesting to following Book’s career at Notre Dame.  On the surface, it would be easy to dismiss Book as quality depth at quarterback given Notre Dame’s depth and his rankings coming in.  It was probably easy to do the same to Baker Mayfield a few years ago when he walked on at Texas Tech too though.  Book is a polished passer and his floor is likely that of a Tommy Rees type quarterback – his floor mind you.  Book is the kind of quarterback that is a perfect addition to a depth chart like Notre Dame’s because he’s got the skill to be a quality power 5 starter and didn’t balk about jumping on board with a loaded depth chart in front of him.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Hometown/School: El Dorado Hills, CA – Oak Ridge HS

Competition: Washington State, Boise State, San Diego State, San Jose State

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 3-star / #19 PRO QB / #517 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 3-star / #17 PRO QB / #484 Overall
  • ESPN: 3-star / #22 QB
  • Rivals: 3-star / #14 QB
  • Scout: 3-star / #36 QB

Ian Book Highlights:

Boudreaux Parker – OL

Summary: Recruits commit to schools in some creative ways these days, but Parker Boudreaux may take home the prize for the most creative method this year.  Parker committed to Notre Dame in a video posted to Bleacher Report in which he pulled a 16,000 lbs bus.  Parker’s flare for the dramatic is rivaled only by his potential.  While his composite ranking may be just 3-stars, he is rated quite higher by 247Sports as the #13 guard in the country and a top 250 overall prospect.  How he is just a 3-star on some services is still surprising.  Watch the video below of Boudreaux going head to head with the nation’s #1 rated DT Rashaun Gray below and you will likely agree.  Boudreaux is the only interior offensive lineman in this year’s class to go along with Notre Dame’s elite tackle combo of Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg.

Immediate Role: It is almost always better for true freshman offensive lineman to redshirt their first years in college.  The vast majority are just not fully ready physically to hold up at such a physical position so in most cases, a redshirt will be the immediate role for an offensive lineman.  In past years Boudreaux may have been pressed into action but with the depth Notre Dame has built along the OL that is not the case this year.

Long-Term Role: Boudreaux has all of the skill and potential to be a multiple year starter for Notre Dame at guard.  He’s already well put together for a high school lineman and has the demeanor needed to be a great lineman on the college level.  He’ll need to wait his time, but it would be a shocker if he wasn’t in the starting lineup before the end of his career.

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Measureables:

  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 290
  • Hometown/School: Orlando, FL – Bishop Moore HS

Competition: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 3-star / #18 OG / #395 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 4-star / #13 OG / #248 Overall
  • ESPN: 4-star / #21 OG
  • Rivals: 4-star / #21 OT
  • Scout: 3-star / #32 OG

Parker Boudreaux Highlights

Chase Claypool – WR

Summary: Another one of Brian Kelly’s patented under the radar recruits who blew up after getting an offer from Notre Dame, Chase Claypool was a 3-star recruit with most services but ended up as a 4-star prospect with most in the end.  The Canadian native is a huge target leaving some wondering if he could one day grow into a tight end.  He is also very raw at this point as evidenced by his low rating before he started picking up elite offers.

Immediate Role: Because he is raw, a redshirt is very possible for Claypool – especially with Notre Dame’s depth at wide receiver.  At the same time, he’s got the type of size that could make him a red-zone target earlier if the Irish struggle in the red-zone again this year as they did last year.

Long-Term Role: Claypool has the potential to be a dominating wide receiver on the college level given his size, but he’ll need to continue to develop and hone his craft to reach his ceiling.  The floor with Claypool would be that of a massive red-zone threat, but he’s got the skillset to be much more.  It will be up to Mike Denbrock to get all of that raw talent to turn into production for Notre Dame.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Hometown/School: Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford HS

Competition: Michigan, Oregon, Rutgers, Tennesseee

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 4-star / #33 WR / #169 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 4-star / #48 WR / #278 Overall
  • ESPN: 4-star / #19 WR / #159 Overall
  • Rivals: 4-star / #22 WR / #109 Overall
  • Scout: 4-star / #12 WR / #280 Overall

Chase Claypool Highlights

Liam Eichenberg – OL

Summary: One of two elite tackle prospects from the state of Ohio that Notre Dame went head to head with Ohio State for and came out on top.  Eichenberg was an Under Armour All-American and a near consensus top 100 prospect – only Rivals has him outside of their top 100 at #194 overall.  In short, Notre Dame got itself an elite tackle prospect to go into the pipeline of offensive linemen that Harry Hiestand has helped bring in to Notre Dame.  While this was indeed a battle with the Buckeyes, once Eichenberg was onboard, he was all in and never wavered in his commitment.

Immediate Role: Like the other offensive linemen in this class, he might not see the field in 2016 and that can be a good thing. He will start his career behind classmate Tommy Kraemer most likely so a redshirt here does seem pretty likely.

Long-Term Role: Whether or not Eichenberg redshirts in 2016 or not, he has the potential to be a multiple year starter for Notre Dame if he develops more physically and refines his technique under the guidance of Hiestand.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 290
  • Hometown/School: Cincinnati, OH – St. Ignatius HS

Competition: Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 4-star / #7 OT / #80 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 4-star / #7 OT / #60 Overall
  • ESPN: 4-star / #6 OT / #67 Overall
  • Rivals: 4-star / #11 OT / #194 Overall
  • Scout: 4-star / #7 OT / #79 Overall

Tony Jones – RB

Summary: One of the earliest commitments in the class of 2016, Tony Jones is a big, bruising running back from IMG Academy in Florida.  He was a US Army All-American and showed that he can be a very good between the tackles runner on the college level.  Jones is not the kind of running back like Josh Adams or CJ Prosise that will take a hand off and turn the corner enroute to a 90 yard touchdown, but he is the kind of back who can pick up tough yards, and move a pile.  Notre Dame hasn’t had a running back quite like Jones since Robert Hughes a few years back.

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Immediate Role: We learned this year you can’t predict what will happen at the running back position in any given year at Notre Dame, but it would at least appear as though Jones won’t have a large role in 2016 unless the Irish suffer a string of transfers and injuries like they did in 2015.

Long-Term Role: Long-term Jones has every-down back skill but will need to work on his pass catching skills to be an every-down back for the Irish.  He could be a between the tackles runner early on his career and could fill a Robert Hughes type role down the line.  He’s not going to rip off a lot – maybe any – of those long CJ Prosise type runs, but he can be a very effective inside runner in his career for the Irish.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 212
  • Hometown/School: Bradenton, FL – IMG Academy

Competition: Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Pitt, South Carolina

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 4-star / #13 RB / #318 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 3-star / #23 RB / #467 Overall
  • ESPN: 3-star / #37 RB
  • Rivals: 3-star / #21 RB
  • Scout: 4-star / #10 RB / #187 Overall

Tony Jones Highlights

Tommy Kraemer – OL

Summary: Kraemer was elevated to a 5-star prospect on some services following an impressive week of practice at the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January. One of Notre Dame’s earliest commitments, he selected the Irish over his home state Ohio State Buckeyes giving Brian Kelly and Harry Hiestand a big recruiting win over Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.  He hails from the same high school as former Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph.  He has the versatility to play guard or tackle similarly to Quenton Nelson coming out of high school and could follow a similar path to Nelson once he gets to Notre Dame.

Immediate Role: Kraemer has the talent to play as a true freshman but very well could redshirt unless he is pressed into action or simply dominates in camp like he is capable of doing.  It would not surprise anyone if Kraemer was in the two-deep next year already given his talent.

Long-Term Role: It would be a shock if Kraemer wasn’t a high end starter for at least two seasons for Notre Dame by the end of his career.  He could be starting by his sophomore year and it would surprise no one.  Kraemer could very well follow in the footsteps of both Zack Martin and Ronnie Stanley.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 310
  • Hometown/School: Cincinnati, OH – Elder HS

Competition: Georgia, Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 4-star / #3 OT / #27 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 5-star / #2 OT / #8 Overall
  • ESPN: 4-star / #10 OT / #99 Overall
  • Rivals: 4-star #4 OT / #41 Overall
  • Scout: 4-star / #3 OT / #37 Overall

Tommy Kraemer Highlights

Deon McIntosh – RB

Summary: Another running back from the state of Florida, McIntosh brings a somewhat unique skillset to the Irish backfield.  McIntosh is very similar to Amir Carlisle coming into his collegiate career and could play a similar role although a full time move to slot wide receiver does not seem likely.  McIntosh, however, has the versatility to line up in the slot or in the backfield and could end up playing the role the Notre Dame coaches envisioned for CJ Prosise in 2015 before injuries thrust him into a role as Notre Dame’s primary running back.  He is a great compliment to the more bruising, power back role that Tony Jones figures to fill for Notre Dame.

Immediate Role: McIntosh most likely won’t have a big role in the Notre Dame offense in 2016, if at all.  A redshirt season certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Long-Term Role: McIntosh doesn’t have the build to be an every down back and he probably won’t be a full time wide receiver for Notre Dame either.  So what role will he fill?  Most likely the one Prosise would have played in 2015 had it not been for the injury to Tarean Folston and the transfer of Greg Bryant.  Something where he gets 5-10 carries a game as a runner and adds another 5-7 receptions a game and ends up racking up 100+ yards from scrimmage most weeks.

Measureables:

  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 175
  • Hometown/School: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Cardinal Gibbons HS

Competition: Duke, Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Tennessee

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 3-star / #47 RB / #778 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 3-star #82 RB / #1227 Overall
  • ESPN: 3-star / #45 RB
  • Rivals: 3-star / #18 RB
  • Scout: 3-star / #37 RB

Deon McIntosh Highlights

Javon McKinley – WR

Summary: Regardless of what Demetris Robertson ends up doing, Notre Dame has a legit stud wide receiver in this class with Javon McKinley.  The consensus 4-star wide receiver had offers from some dynamic offensive teams, but selected Notre Dame during the US Army All-American Bowl.   During practice in San Antonio back in January, McKinley was one of the most impressive all around receivers.  He isn’t a speed burner like Robertson and he isn’t a giant like Claypool.  What he is, is just an all around great receiver.  Think Rhema McKnight potential with the ceiling of being like a Michael Floyd.    How ESPN has McKinley ranked as a 3-star prospect is beyond me.

Immediate Role: McKinley certainly has the talent to play a s a true freshman, but could be hard pressed to pass some some of the older receivers on the depth chart next fall.

Long-Term Role: I will be shocked if McKinley is not a multiple year starter for Notre Dame by the time he leaves Notre Dame.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 190
  • Hometown/School: Corona, CA

Competition: Oregon, Washington, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 4-star / #16 WR / #110 Overall
  • 247 Sports: 4-star / #12 WR / #111 Overall
  • ESPN: 3-star / #90 WR
  • Rivals: 4-star / #11 WR / #59 Overall
  • Scout: 4-star / #9 WR / #55 Overall

Javon McKinley Highlights

Kevin Stepherson – WR

Summary:  The lone offensive early enrollee in Notre Dame’s class of 2016, Kevin Stepherson is an exciting prospect.  While many of us have tabbed Demetris Robertson as a potential immediate replacement for Will Fuller (and rightfully so), Stepherson has a lot of similarities to Fuller coming out of high school.  Remember, Fuller was not considered to be a speed merchant coming out of Philadelphia.  It wasn’t until his sophomore year that Fuller started burning defenses and grabbing everyone’s attention with his speed.  Listen to the interview below and you’ll hear that Stepherson is very similar.  He’s not necessarily explosive off the line, but has excellent speed downfield and the ability to separate with his speed.   While Stepherson is not a “sure thing” type recruit, his development will be fun to monitor.

Immediate Role: Even as an early enrollee, Stepherson does not figure to have a prominent role in 2016 for Notre Dame.

Long-Term Role:  Stepherson is very likely one of those high ceiling, low floor recruits.  If all goes well, he could be one of those recruits we look at in 3-4 years and say “how the heck was he a 3-star recruit?”.  At the same time, he has a lot of developing to do at the next level to have that be a question.  I think we are going to see Stepherson develop into an excellent outside wide receiver with TJ Jones level production for Notre Dame.

Measureables:

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 180
  • Hometown/School: Jacksonville, FL

Competition:   Colorado, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina

Ratings/Rankings:

  • Composite (247): 3-star / #94 WR / #591 Overall
  • 247 Sports:
  • ESPN: 3-star / #99
  • Rivals: 3-star / #66 WR
  • Scout: 3-star / #123 WR

Kevin Stepherson Highlights

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