Notre Dame picked up another commitment today and it’s a good one. Shayne Simon – a 6’3″, 215 lbs hybrid linebacker/safety from Jersey City, New Jersey – gave Notre Dame its 14th commitment for the recruiting class of 2018. The composite 4-star prospect and teammate to Notre Dame commitments Justin and Jayson Ademilola selected Notre Dame over Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and UCLA.
— ScoutBrianDohn (@BrianDohnScout) July 25, 2017
Mike Elko’s defense brought with it many changes in January, but the biggest was perhaps the introduction of the ROVER position. Notre Dame had players like Drue Tranquill, Asmar Bilal, and DJ Morgan on the roster with the ability to play the hybrid safety/linebacker spot. Then they added Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah on Signing Day in February to man the position. The addition of Shayne Simon, however, may have just given Notre Dame it’s best potential ROVER yet.
Shayne Simon is Built to Be a ROVER
Simon is already playing a hybrid safety/linebacker role for St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, NJ where he will team with the Ademilola twins to give opposing offenses nightmares this fall. Simon’s position might not exactly be called ROVER for the Marauders, but he it is very similar. As a junior Simon recorded 55 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 9.0 TFL, 4 INTs, 13 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble. A little bit of everything as Simon played all over the field.
Simon’s athleticism was on display on the offensive side of the ball for St. Peter’s Prep as well. He hauled in 47 passes for 591 yards and three touchdowns.
At 6’2″, 215 lbs, Simon projects to be a prototypical ROVER in Elko’s defense. Owusu Koramoah was listed at 6″2, 200 lbs last year. Tranquill is listed at 6’2″, 230 lbs on the official Notre Dame spring roster for 2017. With his current build, Simon is a candidate for playing time very early in his collegiate career.
Simon doesn’t just have the build for the position though – he’s got the coverage skills and athleticism needed to really excel at the position. Watch this clip below from The Opening Finals of Simon in space.
He even found himself playing a bit out of position in cornerback drills at The Opening Finals earlier this month. Simon held his own. Considering the position he will play for the Irish, that is an accomplishment given the offensive firepower that was on hand in Oregon.
Shayne Simon is a ball hawk. He’s got safety skills in a linebacker’s body. In short, he is a perfect ROVER for Notre Dame. For some schools, he may have been a tweener, but that isn’t the case at Notre Dame. With the proliferation of the spread offense in college football, Simon will be one heck of a weapon in Mike Elko’s arsenal once he gets on campus.
Shayne Simon is the second commitment for Notre Dame in the last three days. On Sunday the Irish picked up a surprise commitment from running back Jahmir Smith. The North Carolina back made a stealth visit to Notre Dame last week and committed over the weekend.
In addition to his finalists, Simon held offers from Stanford, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and North Carolina among other Power 5 offers. So if you need a little pick me up after this class lost just a bit of steam the last few months, Notre Dame just beat out Michigan, Ohio State, and Stanford for a 4-star defensive player who is currently just outside the top 100 on Rivals and 247 Sports.
After being offered by Notre Dame in late January following the addition of Elko and the arrival of the ROVER position, Notre Dame quickly moved up Simon’s list and the Irish have been considered the favorites for some time. Simon visited Notre Dame in April and then made the trip again in June for the Irish Invasion along with his current and now future teammates Justin & Jayson Ademilola.
As seen just below, Simon got to meet a Notre Dame legend – Jerome Bettis – on his way to campus for the Invasion.
Exclusive! South Bend Business Trip Already UP to a Great Start. THE "BUS" with the Prep Boys! pic.twitter.com/ROOxjjFigQ
— Ade Ademilola (@AdeAdemilola1) June 9, 2017
Notre Dame is developing a bit of a pipeline into St. Peter’s Prep with three commitments in the class of 2018 joining 2015 St. Peter’s Prep alum Brandon Wimbush on the Irish roster. Wimbush, of course, will be leading the Notre Dame offense this fall as the new starting quarterback for the Irish.
Simon had been considered a potential next domino for Notre Dame since before the Irish Invasion in June making his commitment not much of a surprise. Officially having the 4-star talent in the fold, however, should still give Notre Dame fans a bit of a sense of ease – at least for the moment.
Notre Dame now has three linebackers committed for the class of 2018. Simon joins two of Notre Dame’s earliest commitments for the class Ovie Oghoufo and Matthew “Bo” Bauer. The Irish aren’t done at the position either as they currently stand in pretty good position with both Cam McGrone and Jack Lamb. The two 4-star recruits have been high on Notre Dame in recent months though the Irish will have to fight off a very strong push from Michigan for McGrone and battle UCLA for Lamb.
Simon gives Notre Dame its fifth member of the class for the front seven in what is shaping up to be a very deep and talented defensive class – at least up front. The Irish still have much work to do in the secondary where they only have a single commit right now – uber talented safety Derrik Allen. Notre Dame still needs to pull in a few corners and could add a second safety to compliment Allen.
Bolstering the secondary is a discussion for another day though because right now that is looking like a daunting task. For today, Notre Dame just picked up an elite defender with elite offers who is a perfect fit for the new ROVER position in Mike Elko’s roster. Simply put, Notre Dame football got better today thanks to the addition of Shayne Simon.