About six months ago, top 100 wide receiver Deion Colzie decommitted from Notre Dame. This came during the initial COVID-19 shutdowns, when recruiting across the country was in flux. Then Notre Dame lost out on highly coveted five star running back Will Shipley, and suddenly a once promising class appeared to be falling apart.
Then cornerback Philip Riley committed, the same day as Shipley announced for Clemson, and that was seen as the silver lining to an otherwise bad couple of months.
Ironically, and in keeping with this crazy year, it is now Colzie who is the silver lining commitment after Riley decommitted last week. Colzie decided to re-join the class, and Notre Dame is back there they started in April, with some key additions picked up along the way.
With Colzie back in fold, lets take a look at where Notre Dame recruiting is at the moment, and where it could be going.
The Class Stands At #11 Nationally
Following Colzie’s pledge, Notre Dame is sitting with 18 commitments, nine four stars and nine three stars, and just outside the top 10 on the 247 team composite rankings. It also gives Notre Dame two top 100 caliber receivers in the class, both with complimentary skill sets with each other.
Colzie is ranked #86 nationally and stands at 6-4, 193. Obviously, a bigger player who uses his size to his advantage, but is also pretty good with the ball in his hands. He is very much in the mold of some of the outside receivers Notre Dame has been successful with the past few seasons (Miles Boykin, Chase Claypool, Equanimous St. Brown are all 6-4 or taller).
They also have Ohio athlete Lorenzo Styles in fold, the classic slot type of receiver, who is the #114th overall player in 2021. Styles is fabulous with the ball in his hands and is an excellent route runner and overall playmaker. He is as versatile as you’d like, someone who can play inside or outside, take jet sweeps, screen passes, it’s all in play.
So that’s a pretty good start for a receiving corps that picked up Jordan Johnson, Xavier Watts, and Jay Brunnelle last cycle. But, could more be help there be on the way.
More Coming At Receiver?
Shortly after Colzie announced his commitment, four star receiver and #260 overall Georgia wide receiver Jayden Thomas posted on Twitter he’ll be committing on Friday, October 2nd.
There are currently two Crystal Ball picks on the 247 site in for Notre Dame to secure Thomas’s commitment, and the general vibe here has been positive for Notre Dame for the last couple of months.
Thomas is listed at 6-1, 205 and has a David Givens feel to his game that again is a compliment to the skills sets of Colzie and Styles. If Thomas commits this is as close to a dream class they could have hoped for at receiver this cycle (the true “dream” would be adding Donte Thornton, who is currently favored to land at Oregon) with three four star receivers, one in the top 100 and another just outside of that distinction. It would also likely move the Irish into the top 10, probably to eight barring other movement, if that sort of thing matters to you.
Following the announcements of the two Georgia receivers, left on the board is the aforementioned Thornton, Hawaii athlete Titus Mokio-Atimalala, and current Northwestern corner back commitment Theran Johnson. Those three are listed in the order of their ranking, and while the Hawaiian athlete is listed as a low four star, he is a tremendous player who is being recruited as either a receiver or safety, whose upside as a defensive player is very tasty.
The recruitment of Mokio-Atimalala is in flux because of all of the recruiting restrictions, and while Notre Dame has a very good track record bringing athletes from the island to South Bend, it’s all the more complicated by him not being able to visit. What we do know is Notre Dame thinks enough of him that they are willing to wait. It appears he’s a take no matter what.
Johnson is a take because of the loss of Riley and Thornton is a top 100 player, who Notre Dame is definitely taking. Landing all three puts Notre Dame with 22 in the class, and likely a top 10 finish, assuming Thomas ends up in the class.
After a tumultuous early summer when things were looking very bleak, this has been a very strong close for the coaching staff.