When news broke earlier this week that Clark Lea would be named the next head coach at Vanderbilt, the immediate fallout – even before the impact on this weekend’s ACC Championship Game – was recruiting. The news broke two days before the early period for National Signing Day. Linebacker Prince Kollie was the most significant risk given his relationship with Lea and with how pivotal Lea’s system is for Kollie’s skillset. Well, crisis averted. Kollie signed his LOI with Notre Dame this morning.
Notre Dame could not afford to lose Kollie in this year’s class. He was under-recruited earlier this year but blew up during his senior campaign resulting in his nomination for the prep Butkus Award as one of the nation’s best linebackers.
The Notre Dame coaching staff did a great job of reselling Notre Dame to Kollie in a short period of time to secure his signature today. Other programs smelled blood in the water and desperately tried to flip him at the 11th hour. Still, in the end, Notre Dame’s entire recruiting pitch centered on the University and the family atmosphere prevailed.
Kollie’s rankings have finally started to catch up to his skillset over the last few months. He is currently the #153 overall in the 247 Sports composite rankings. He was #379 as of February. In the 247 Sports specific rankings, he is even higher at #91 overall. Look for his rankings to continue to climb after a monster senior season.
Notre Dame will lose Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to the NFL after this year no matter how much fans hold out hope he might return for a 5th year. The Irish have a few internal candidates to replace him in Paul Moala and Marist Liufau (who’s been splitting time at BUCK this year). Kollie could enter the mix early because he’s more advanced than JOK was coming out of high school. Even if he doesn’t immediately leap into the starting lineup, he has a very bright future ahead of him at Notre Dame.
The linebacking corps as a unit have a very bright future – just a further testament to Notre Dame’s outgoing defensive coordinator and deserving candidate for the Broyles Award. Lea leaves a legacy at Notre Dame after four years serving as linebackers coach, including the last three as DC.
With Kollie signed, sealed, and delivered; Notre Dame fans turn their attention to running back Logan Diggs. Notre Dame is trying to fend off an 11th hour offer from his home state program, LSU.