Notre Dame picked up its 16th commitment for the class of 2021 on Friday night with the addition of four-star linebacker Prince Kollie. He is the fifth commitment for Notre Dame’s current recruiting cycle since the start of July and seventh overall (including two class of 2022 commits). He could be the first of a few August commitments for the Irish as well.
Kollie, a 6’1′, 200 lbs linebacker out of Tennessee, is ranked as the 300th overall prospect in the country in the 247 Sports composite rankings, making him the 7th highest ranked current commitment for the Irish. Kollie lands right between Philip Riley (#285) and David Abiara (#335).
When I mapped out Notre Dame’s path to a top-10 class a few weeks ago, that path included Kollie so this commitment is big in terms of keeping Notre Dame headed in that direction. Nothing since then has changed that makes that path look unattainable either.
Prior to committing to Notre Dame, Kollie collected offers from the likes of LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Texas, and Florida State along with some lower tier Power 5 programs like Boston College and Vanderbilt. That is some impressive competition for Notre Dame to beat for a linebacker and is just another big recruiting win for Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea.
Georgia, LSU, and Oklahoma were all making Kollie a priority in recent months as well to give you an indication of the quality of prospect Notre Dame just landed.
After passing on taking a single linebacker in the class of 2020, it looked like Notre Dame might do the same for the class of 2021. That changed, however, after they offered Kollie in the spring and made him one of their top defensive priorities over the last few months.
Notre Dame’s recent success with versatile linebackers who could play multiple positions and move throughout their careers likely helped secure Kollie’s commitment. Kollie is currently listed at 6’1″, 200 lbs which makes him a bit undersized at the moment.
Notre Dame can point to Drue Tranquill who started his career at safety before leaving as a BUCK LB and ultimately being a 4th round pick of the San Diego Chargers, as an example of Lea’s development capabilities. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah reported to Notre Dame as an undersized, raw prospect who as flourished in Notre Dame’s defense.
Kollie is in a similar mold. He will start his Notre Dame career as a ROVER, but once he gets in Matt Balis’s weight program, it would be surprising to see him ultimately move to BUCK ala Tranquil or 2019 starting BUCK, Asmar Bilal.
When Mitchell Evans committed to Notre Dame last weekend, it looked like the next possible commit for the Irish was top-50 OL Rocco Spindler who is announcing tomorrow, but Kollie’s timeline advanced quickly this week. Earlier this week, a few crystal ball/future cast/predictions on various recruiting sites came in for Kollie to Notre Dame before he announced he would be committing this evening.
Irish eyes now turn to Spindler’s decision in less than 24 hours. Things look very promising for Notre Dame’s chances there as well. Should the Irish land Spindler, it would be a hell of a two days for Notre Dame’s class of 2021.