Notre Dame fans, did you have a good Saturday? Because the Notre Dame coaching staff certainly did. The Irish hosted their annual lineman camp over the weekend, and gained two massive – literally – commitments for the 2021 class from two 4-star linemen.
Around noon on Saturday, 4 star Defensive Tackle Gabriel Rubio out of St. Peters, Missouri started the party by giving his commitment to Mike Elston.
God. Country. Notre Dame. #COMMITTED #GoIrish ☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️@CoachBrianKelly @CoachMikeElston @Coach_Lea pic.twitter.com/UxcP88UQOM
— Gabriel Rubio (@GabeRubio68) June 15, 2019
Standing at 6’5 290 lbs, Rubio is the 15th ranked player at his position, and the #4 recruit in Missouri according 247 Sports. Mike Elston’s momentum from the 2020 class is not stopping in 2021.
Elston’s recruitment of Rubio was a little different than the typical process. The Notre Dame defensive line coach decided to hold off on offering Rubio right away, but instead offered him a challenge.
Gabriel Rubio (@GRubio68) said he did not take academics that seriously. Then #NotreDame DL coach Mike Elston came along: "I was OK with being average… I feel like from now on, I will dominate in the classroom." https://t.co/evPcoF04Xh
— Carter Karels (@CarterKarels) June 15, 2019
Rubio and Elston decided that the prospect needed to take school more seriously, and decided on a GPA Rubio would shoot for. Rubio delivered above and beyond on that goal and was offered on May 26th.
As a player, the Irish are getting a tall player who has the potentail to be hige come college. Rubio also has a good blend of finesse moves with some good power on his cub moves. People see him as a realistic NFL prospect with his size.
The good news didn’t stop there for the Irish on Saturday. A few hour later the good times continued to roll when they secured a commitment from 4-star offensive line Blake Fisher
IM STAYING HOME☘️☘️ #GoldRush21☘️☘️#GoIrish☘️☘️ pic.twitter.com/VD5kG9DKor
— Blake Fisher☘️ (@bfisher54_) June 15, 2019
Fisher, A mammoth of a human being, stands at 6’6 300 lbs and heils from Avon, Indiana. Fisher is another huge get for Coach Jeff Quinn who has been almost as hot as Mike Elston on the recruiting trail.
Notre Dame was always a school Fisher was interested in growing up in Indiana, but as the 4 star prospect traveled the country to different camps other schools like Ohio State and Alabama threatened ND’s odds at landing the 247 top 100 committ.
Jeff Quinn was ultimately able to mold a relationship with Fisher, and make him see how excited he was to possibly get the chance to coach him. Brian Kelly also hammered academics home with Fisher and his parents which was important to them.
A January 26th visit to South Bend is what ultimately sold Fisher on the Irish. Fisher felt like he gelled well with some guys on the team, and liked the atmosphere he experienced at a ND bball game.
The commitments of Fisher and Rubio give ND huge momentum for their 2021 class coming off the success they’ve had with their 2020 class. Just look at this success they’ve had recently…
In the past 2 months here's what Notre Dame added on the lines in the ’20-’21 classes. All 4-star prospects. Overall rank included.
60. OL Tosh Baker 6-8, 275
90. OL Blake Fisher 6-6, 300
114. DE Jordan Botelho 6-3, 220
133. DT Rylie Mills 6-5, 275
195. DT Gabriel Rubio 6-5, 290
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) June 16, 2019
The Notre Dame 2020 recruiting class is something we’ve talked about a lot and for good reason. It could go down as Kelly’s best class on paper as the coach at Notre Dame. Notre Dame added to their 2020 over the weekend as well with the addition of 4-star offensive lineman Michael Carmody.
It’s definitely great to celebrate a great class like that one, but it’s very important now for Notre Dame to string together multiple strong classes. It’s been a while since the Irish have put together back to back top 10 recruiting classes, and that’s something they have a shot at doing right now.
That is currently what separates Notre Dame from the Alabamas and the Clemsons. It’s the ability to not rebuild on talent, but reload. It’s that kind of thing that prevents an abysmal season like 2016. Alabama doesn’t have that because they’re consistently bringing in elite talent.
Work Remaining to Close out 2020 Strong
The last few months of Notre Dame has been an absolute blessing to watch unfold, and it certainly is going to keep rolling on. Notre Dame still has its eyes on a few guys in the 2020 class that could keep the party going.
Wide receiver target AJ Henning out of Illinois and Lathan Ransom out of California are two prospects who could make Notre Dame’s class of 2020 beyond special. Both have expressed interest in the Irish and recently visited officially together, but as of now both look like longshots.
YES, it is!!☘️ https://t.co/ycFC50zOoV
— AJ H3nning (@AJHenning3) June 10, 2019
Of the two, Notre Dame has a better shot at Henning although a visit to Penn State this past weekend and one to Michigan this coming weekend loom very large. At this point most expect Michigan to ultimately win out here, but if Notre Dame were to pull off the upset, it would be huge. Ransom is even more of a long shot right now, but the two appear to be friends, so maybe that would give Ransom a little more reason to join the Irish.
Notre Dame could continue to add to their 2020 next weekend outside of Henning or Ransom with five or six uncommitted unofficial visitors scheduled to be on campus – the list is a bit fluid now with recent commits possibly taking some others off the board. We’ll have a full breakdown of the visitor list later in the week.