The 2020 Notre Dame recruiting class is already off to a flying start. They’ve secured five commitments, three of which come in the 247 composite 150, and the cycle is just starting to heat up.
But, the 2020 class will largely be made by what happens with four, top 75 offensive skill position recruits: running back Chris Tyree, receivers Jordan Johnson and Jalen McMillan, and athlete AJ Henning. Notre Dame is in a strong position with all four; they are listed as “warm” prospects on 247’s site, and all have expressed strong interest in Notre Dame.
There has been a lot of talk about Notre Dame’s lack of skill position talent on offense, especially following the Cotton Bowl when Clemson basically won the game due to their receiving corps making play after play. The Irish have built both of their lines, and the defensive back seven. The tight ends are looking strong and have a top 150 quarterback committed next season. What they need, and what they’ve needed for a few classes now, is multiple top players at the skill positions. 2020 is the year where the stars have aligned with those top players having interest in attending South Bend. Notre Dame has to close.
We start the break down of those four players with running back Chris Tyree.
Chris Tyree, The Player
Measureables: 5-9, 178.
40 time: 4.38
Vertical: 38.2 inches
Tyree comes out of Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Virginia and mainly plays running back. When watching him my first comparison to a Notre Dame player is Armando Allen, if Allen had a little bit of a longer stride. Tyree is also an elite track athlete who displays that in his acceleration. When he gets into the hole he accelerates through there violently, leaving defenders grasping at a player who is no longer there.
He’s good between the tackles and doesn’t run like a small player. If he has to lower his shoulder to get the extra couple of yards, he will. This could serve him poorly in college, the players at this level are obviously bigger. This is more of an example of his attitude. He’s not solely a home run hitter. Tyree also plays out of the slot and is very comfortable receiving the ball out of the backfield and turning and running.
Because he is built lower to the ground, he is very shifty in space and has the ability to make quick cuts without losing speed out of the cut. Obviously, with a track background and a listed 4.38 40 time, he is a home run threat.
Ranking: #29 overall, .9863 composite rating, five star, #1 overall all purpose back
Tyree is offered by pretty much everyone, though he did put out a top 10 that included Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Va Tech, Virginia, FSU, Stanford, Mississippi State, and Nebraska. He is currently “crystal balled” to Penn State, but those are pretty out of date, although they are a big player for his talents. His offer from Stanford is notable, just shows the fit to Notre Dame if he is a.) able to be offered by Stanford at this point and b.) is interested in them at all. Usually a Stanford offer and interest bodes well for Notre Dame in terms of fit.
Interest In Notre Dame
Tyree unofficially visited Notre Dame for the first time in mid December of last year, calling the visit “the best of both worlds” and having very nice things to say about the campus and program. He followed up those words by scheduling an official visit to the Notre Dame campus in June of 2019, the first official visit he has set up in the 2020 cycle.
This is a situation where the addition of running backs coach Lance Taylor can play huge dividends for Notre Dame. He recruited and coached Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love at Stanford, then moved on to coach McCaffrey in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. He also has experience coaching wide receivers, which is a huge plus given the skill set of a player like Tyree. It’s not hard to see a McCaffrey-like role being given to Tyree at Notre Dame.
An early visit and then a follow up official being scheduled is a big sign for Notre Dame’s chances. This indicates real interest on the part of a player. I wouldn’t call Notre Dame a leader at this point, but they are one of the favorites, and this is a must close situation. Everything is there to land this player.