Notre Dame picked up its first commitment for the class of 2019 on Monday afternoon when quarterback Cade McNamara committed to the Fighting Irish. The Nevada native impressed the Irish staff on a visit last month and earned a scholarship offer that didn’t take too long for him to jump on.
With Cade McNamara committed, the Notre Dame recruiting class for 2019 begins with a quarterback commit just as it did a year ago when the Irish landed Phil Jurjovec. Unlike a year ago though, that first commitment won’t come with quite as much fanfare. Jurkovec was a 5-star recruit from some services while McNamara just popped up on many of the services radar following his offer from Notre Dame.
I have made my decision to play quarterback at Notre Dame. I'm all in!☘️ pic.twitter.com/JpZ9KCdENU
— Cade McNamara (@Cademac_QB) July 17, 2017
Prior to picking up his Notre Dame offer in June, McNamara held offers from Wisconsin, Hawaii, Nevada, and San Diego State. Not quite like the list of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Penn State that Jurkovec selected from. Before going to the comments to complain though, this is a really good pick up for the Irish for a number of reasons.
First off, McNamara can play. As a sophomore at Damonte Ranch in Reno McNamara threw for 3,577 yards with 46 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 14 games. That’s some pretty darn good production from a high school sophomore.
McNamara is just getting on the radar of a lot of schools and the recruiting services as well. It did not take Notre Dame long to offer him after his visit last month either. The Notre Dame staff liked what the saw in McNamara’s mechanics and didn’t hesitate to offer him even with some more highly rated quarterbacks on their board.
Notre Dame has a pretty loaded depth chart at quarterback right now. Brandon Wimbush still has three years of eligibility left while Ian Book and Avery Davis will both enter the season with four years left. Book lit up the Blue Gold Game in April and Avery Davis was one of the more pivotal recruits in the class of 2017. Then there is Jurkovec. By most accounts, Jurkovec could be the most talented of the bunch and is the highest rated quarterback recruit in the Brian Kelly era.
Even with all of that depth in front of him, McNamara did not blink and jumped at the chance to join a rather daunting depth chart.
McNamara’s game film (highlights below) backs up the Notre Dame offer. He’s got the arm strength and accuracy that you look for in a college quarterback. The one knock on him right now is his listed height of 6’1″, but as just a sophomore, that could very easily chance by the time he enrolls at Notre Dame in 2019.
If history has taught us anything about the quarterback position during the Brian Kelly era, a lot can and likely will change with the depth chart between now and 2019. The Irish have signed at least one quarterback every year since Kelly has been the head coach at Notre Dame, but many of those quarterbacks ended their careers else. Dayne Crist (originally recruited by Charlie Weis), Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson, and Malik Zaire have all used graduate transfers during the Kelly era.
It is going to be fun to follow McNamara over the next two years before his enrollment at Notre Dame. If he continues to develop and grows an inch or two, Notre Dame will have a quarterback on their hands that is much more highly rated than he is right now. As the first quarterback to be evaluated and offered by the tandem of Chip Long and Tom Rees, McNamara’s development over the next two seasons will give a glimpse into the pair’s evaluation chops as well.