Fearless Predictions for Notre Dame’s 2019 Recruiting Class

The 2019 recruiting cycle is finally in the books. The two months after the early signing period make the process seem to drag on forever, especially true this season with Notre Dame having 10 players enrolling early and 21 of the 22 inked in December (It was actually all 22, but Foskey decided to keep his signing a secret till the February period.)

Folks have largely moved on from the 2019 cycle and onto 2020, which is off to a roaring start with five commitments for the Irish and tons of offers going out. This was a big benefit of Notre Dame’s effort in 2019. Usually our staff does a predictions article on each class, but it got pushed back because of the nature of the cycle. A couple weeks after the 2019 class was set in stone, I decided what the heck let’s make some prognostications.

The Star

Kyle Hamilton, Safety

Notre Dame’s highest rated player is also the most likely to turn into a star. First, he is dripping with talent. He’s 6-3, 215, has sideline to sideline range, tremendous ball skills, an aggressive tackler, and has quick enough feet to cover receivers one on one. Second, it’s the last two points there that can get him onto the field early next season. Notre Dame needs an answer at nickel back, and may be reluctant to put Shaun Crawford there because of the needs at corner. Hamilton has the skill set to play inside and is physically ready enough to do it. He’s like a more aggressive Bobby Taylor.

The Sleeper

Kendall Abdur-Rahman, Receiver

Abdur-Rahman is a mid three star prospect who was recruited to play a position that he didn’t play in high school. He was his teams quarterback, and therefore doesn’t have any film of him catching passes or running routes. What his film does show is someone extremely dynamic in the open field as a runner. And we aren’t talking about broken play scrambles here. He was exceptional at designed runs, both inside and outside, and shows tremendous burst once in the open field. There is some talk that he will start his career at running back, and he has the body type and game to do it. I think he will prove to be a very important recruit for the 2019 class.

The Safest Bet

Zeke Correll, Offensive Line

If I had to wager on which player from the 2019 class would start the most games, it’d be Correll. He’s not just playing on the offensive line, he’s being groomed for center. Center is one of those spots where once you have a guy, you stick with him. Correll was the composite 82nd ranked player in the 2019 class, so he brings tons of talent, and looked really good in the Under Armour All Star game in the off season. To top it off, he is already on campus as an early enrollee. There is an outside chance he could start this season.

The Most Important Signing

Kyren Williams, Running Back

Notre Dame only signed one running back this cycle, after struggling last cycle, and landed a really good one in Williams. He has a lot on his shoulders as the only one in his class, joining a green backfield with the exception of Tony Jones Jr. Williams has an all in one skill set as someone who can run in between the tackles, take the ball outside, and lineup at receiver and beat a safety in coverage. There are some questions about his top end speed, although he scored something like 500 touchdowns in high school, a great many from long distance. It wasn’t a problem for him then, but I guess you never know. It also wouldn’t stun me if this guy made his way onto special teams, he was a monster at safety this past season.

Most Underrated

Jay Bramblett, Punter

Notre Dame lost their punter. Notre Dame needed a punter. They got a punter. You don’t often see punters with three star ratings from the services, but that’s where Bramblett was rated by 247’s composite. He was also a very good quarterback for his high school team, something the Irish can keep in their back pocket should they get a crazy idea or two. This is a very important signing that no one really talks about, including me, but no more. Punters are people too.

Early Impact

Kyle Hamilton, Zeke Correll, Kyren Williams, Jacob Lacy (defensive tackle) 

I think these four players burn their eligibility this season, with Jacob Lacy and Hamilton getting the most snaps. Lacy is an underrated athlete on the defensive line; he led his high school baseball team in stolen bases last season. Like Williams and Correll, he is also on campus at the moment. He’s got the size, he’s already in the Irish weight program, and he’s already working with the Irish coaches. And there is opportunity with the departures of Jerry Tillery and Jonathan Bonner.

I think Correll eventually overtakes Trevor Ruhland at center, and Hamilton is the type of guy who will only be on campus for three seasons so you better get the most out of him while he’s here. Williams has the skill set to carve out a niche and get onto the field.


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  1. Greg,
    I was glad to read your comments about Bramblett. Special teams played their best game of the year against Clemson (despite the fact that the on-field refs, who had the recovery exactly right, were overruled by replay officials who could never see the several millimeters in question no matter what angle they used). We need to rebuild our special teams from the ground up. We’ve needed that for a few years. Let’s start where we left off in the playoffs and see who fits in.

    As for Doerner, I remember several times over the decades holding a few for kickers over the summer who I found out on a practice field alone (kickers are always alone, it seems)…Allocco might have been the first, I don’t remember for sure, kicking at some white painted wooden goal posts…possibly old Red Field! That was a while ago! I also remember Gradel explain to me how he wanted the ball set a bit farther out than the hash marks…to make the angle a little more severe… I had him sign an autograph ball also signed awhile before that by TB, Holtz and Yonto…even that was a long time ago! Get out there, Mr. Doerner, and do it your own way for your own style. And thank you to all the kickers over the years.

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. Not ALLOCCO, it was AZZARRO…now I remember! I’d never held before ( I was only or 12 0r 13 YO), and he showed me how to do it…and I remember praying that my hand did not get destroyed on the first one. He only kicked a few, and thanked me.

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. BGC, you’ll like this. It was ‘77. My younger brother and I were visiting cousins in central Wisconsin. We boarded a bus headed for Milwaukee. There was a building with a big “ Y” on it and another with a big “ S”. I started walking toward the Y building. My brother got upset as He wanted to stay at the other building. I told him we gotta save our money for the Morris Inn. Next morning we got into Chicago and got on the South Shore line. It was Air Force game week. We walked all around the campus then the hallowed ground of the stadium. I walked up to the goal post ( before padding) and etched fairly large was “ KELLY” so ingrained. On Friday morning we got a knock on the door and the velvet coated staff member told us we had to leave by noon as our room was let out. We moved to a Holiday Inn nearby. What an experience for us west coast sunshine boys. Everyone standing, cheering the Fightin Irish on. We shut the Falcons out. Their falcon was a great show.

      2. Joe Azzaro from Pittsburgh Central Catholic? Must be the guy. There was a famous story (apocryphal, perhaps) concerning Joe and Father Thomas Brennan, an ND legend whose logic class I was privileged to take.

        Father Brennan offered students a standing bet (this was 1968) that he could beat anyone on campus in a game of pool, bowling, or handball (he supposedly had been U.S. handball champ in his youth). Anyway, one day, according to the story, he bet Azzaro, in class, that he could out kick him. Azzaro, thinking he had a lock, took the bet. Fr. brennan then grabbed an eraser from the chalkboard, and said, “Fine. We’ll use this as the football, and the doorway as the goalpost!. You go first.” He set the football on the classroom floor, and, of course, Azzaro failed miserably. Father then, according to lore, kicked the eraser/football perfectly…hitting flush against the wall, and coming to rest on top of the doorframe!!

        Hadn’t thought about Joe Azzaro or Father Brennan in years, and always figured this was a tall tale about a true ND legend, but it was too good a story not to tell, although I haven’t told it in about 40 years.

      3. You know Greg Kelly, I’ve been thinking about you being at an NC year game (and probably others). Me too, and my brothers as well. But there are a lot of younger people who don’t have that experience (that of an NC for Notre Dame). You’d have to be at least 35 or 36 to have any memory of it at all…40 to really appreciate it. That’s why it is so important to me that we win another one. It’s about time.
        The young fans have seen us finish the regular season undefeated twice…making the “playoffs”…and that was exciting…but we need to “finish our move” here. My prognostication is this: we win a New Year’s Six Bowl this season and return a ton of experience for 2020…and that team wins it all.

        Even though I called it a “fool’s errand” to give BK more time after 2016, I also said at the same time “righting the Titanic, and sticking with a coach to win his first NC in Division 1 could never work anywhere except Notre Dame.” It is on the verge of working (IMO).

        BGC ’77 ’82

  2. “I think Correll eventually overtakes Trevor Ruhland at center, and Hamilton is the type of guy who will only be on campus for three seasons so you better get the most out of him while he’s here.”
    Exactly. To preserve a fifth year for a top recruit who’ll probably be gone after three let alone sticking around for his fifth year is a common sense approach in dealing with 21st century college student-athletes.
    I recall Freshmen at Clemson doing a lot of damage to their opponents without “waiting ’til next year.”

    1. MTA,
      Essentially, I agree. But some guys are not physically ready to go out there on a live field as a freshman. Keeping them off has little to do with future eligibility and a lot to do with safety (men against a boy, and all that stuff).

      Also, on a different matter: After your post on another page about “Dislikes” I suspect you will be getting unexplained “dislikes” from the usual suspects all the time…and almost never with an explanation. A “dislike” from certain members of our posters on this site should be worn as a badge of honor, much like a message of disapproval from certain administrators out there in the Catholic Disneyland! I mean to say, how would you feel about yourself if those people “liked” what you were doing with your life? just remember Michael, in both cases they are small numbers of people, comparatively speaking…and above all, they are people who have never even spoken to you personally. Don’t worry about them.

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. BCG/MTA,

        LOL on the dislike button!! NDCrazyMike must be back with his 10 IPs hahahaha!!!! Just ignore it 🙂

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