Notre Dame had a surprise addition to its class of 2021 on Sunday night when edge rusher Will Schweitzer abruptly decommitted from Nebraska and committed to the Irish shortly after. Notre Dame had been working the former Nebraska pledge for a while apparently and was successful in their attempt to flip the versatile pass rusher and add him as the 18th commitment for 2021.
At 6’4′, 220 lbs right now, Schweitzer has the frame to be a VYPER in Notre Dame’s defense even though he is ranked by 247Sports as an outside linebacker. That is actually the position that Nebraska recruited him for in their 3-4 alignment. In Clark Lea‘s defense at Notre Dame, however, he projects as a pass-rushing defensive end.
Schweitzer had been committed to Nebraska since June, but when the David Abiara decommitment rumors started circulating around Notre Dame’s class; the Irish expanded their board at defensive end and have silently been working Schweitzer. In fact, Notre Dame’s newest pledge took an under the radar, self-guided tour of Notre Dame over the weekend before finalizing his decision to flip from Nebraska to Notre Dame.
Prior to his original commitment to Nebraska, Schweitzer held offers from Arizona State, Cal, Michigan State, Oregon State, Virginia, Duke, and Arkansas among others.
Like many recent commitments, Schweitzer is a versatile athlete. He is projected to play defensive end for the Irish, but he has the coverage skills to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and some even think he could play MIKE at the next level depending on how much weight he adds once he gets into a collegiate weight program.
Versatility has been prioritized by the Irish staff in this cycle. Joe Alt plays tight end now, but projects as a tackle for Notre Dame. Mitchell Evans is a jumbo tight end who could also grow into a lineman. Chance Tucker was recruited for the secondary but could play on offense.
For Notre Dame, the appeal of adding Schweitzer to the class is pretty simple – he’s a versatile edge rusher who compliments the current class very well and provides excellent insurance in the event that Abiara ends up decommitting. Note: there have not been any new rumors around an Abiara decommitment but there is still concern that he ultimately may not end up at Notre Dame.
Even if Notre Dame retains Abiara, and Notre Dame fans should really hope they do, Schweitzer is a good fit in this class. Both Abiara and Jason Onye, Notre Dame’s other defensive end commitment, could end up growing into more strongside defensive ends given their current size/builds. That seems less likely for Schweitzer at this point who projects more on the weak side of the defensive line.
If Abiara does end up decommitting, adding Schweitzer gives Notre Dame a complimentary end to pair with Onye.
With Schweitzer’s commitment, Notre Dame is up to 18 total commitments with just a few spots remaining in the class. The Irish staff would love it if those final few spots went to Georgia wide receiver Jayden Thomas, Hawaii athlete Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, and Maryland wide receiver Dont’e Thornton. The latter of which still seems less likely than the first two, but still very much in play.