The recruitment of Braden Lenzy has come to close right where it began last spring – with the speedy 4-star receiver committing to Notre Dame. This time, however, it’s final with Lenzy inking his letter of intent and signing with Notre Dame on the last day of the new early signing period.
Lenzy gives Notre Dame the pure speed it was missing at the receiver position in this class. Lenzy can flat out fly and moonlights as a track star when he isn’t torching opposing defenses.
Lenzy’s recruitment started back in the spring with an early and unexpected commitment to Notre Dame. A couple months later, however, Lenzy abruptly decommitted and flipped to Oregon. Reportedly, Lenzy grew concerned that Notre Dame would not allow him to run track even though Notre Dame has featured numerous dual sport athletes in recent years including current cornerback/track star Troy Pride Jr.
Lenzy’s recruitment took a few more bizarre twists before coming full circle. In the fall, Lenzy made some not so favorable comments about the Notre Dame coaching staff in an interview about why he decommitted from Notre Dame. Then when Willie Taggart left Oregon for Florida State, Lenzy decided to open up his recruitment which lead a State Representative from Oregon to call out Lenzy on Twitter.
And now here we are. Braden Lenzy is the 21st member of the 2018 Notre Dame recruiting class. If anyone had told me that in early November I would’ve been shocked, but in the end, Notre Dame has the speed threat they always wanted in this class. When Lenzy decommitted, Notre Dame turned up the heat on Geordon Porter and ended up getting him to commit. When the Irish showed renewed interest in Lenzy following his Oregon decommitment, Porter decommitted from Notre Dame.
These are the days of our recruiting lives.
Jimbo Fisher’s decision to leave Florida State for Texas A&M has now helped Notre Dame land two impact recruits in this class. His departure helped lead top 100 defensive back Houston Griffith to Notre Dame earlier this month. Now Taggart’s departure from Oregon helped lead Lenzy to Notre Dame since Taggart wouldn’t have had the chance to leave for Florida State without Jimbo leaving in the first place.
With Lenzy on board, Notre Dame now has three wide receivers in the class. He joins Micah Jones and Kevin Austin giving Notre Dame a very well rounded set of receivers in this class now. They might not be done though with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tommy Bush, and Lawrence Keys all still on the board and in play.
Notre Dame hasn’t had huge contributions from wide receivers often under Brian Kelly, but with the mounting legal troubles of Kevin Stepherson following his arrest for shoplifting and the newly reported charge for marijuana possession all last week, Lenzy could carve himself out a niche in this offense next year. Notre Dame doesn’t have a wide receiver on its roster right now that has Lenzy’s kind of speed and it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which Stepherson plays another down for Notre Dame.
As Lenzy’s senior film shows though (below), he is still pretty raw. He is a dynamic, playmaking wide receiver but he will need to become a more well rounded before he’s ready for a major role. That said, you can’t coach his speed and the Notre Dame staff would be very wise to find a way to get his speed on the field sooner rather than later.
With Lenzy’s commitment, Notre Dame’s early signing period should be finalized at 21 signees.