Punter recruiting is never very exciting, but if you need a punter, you might as well get the best punter in the country and that is what Notre Dame on Wednesday afternoon. The Irish landed their 11th commitment for the class of 2019 when Jay Bramblett, considered by some the #1 punter in the country, committed to the Irish following an unofficial visit to South Bend this past weekend.
Kicking expert Chris Sailer ranks Bramblett as the best punter in the country and a “5-star” kicking prospect. Okay, make your snarky “at least Notre Dame got one 5-star recruit now” comment. Done? Okay, now onto Sailer’s assessment of Bramblett.
Jay is a big time high school punting prospect. A great looking athlete with an explosive leg. He has an ideal frame for a D1 college punter. Jay punts for outstanding distance and big hang time. He easily averages 45+ yards, with 4.6+ hang time. He also shows the ability to hit punts 50+ yards, with 5.0+ hang time. He has great hands, his footwork is solid and he is one of the most consistent punters in the nation. He is a great competitor that punts with confidence.
– Chris Sailer, ChrisSailerKicking.com
Bramblett, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, is ranked by 247 Sports as the #2 punter in the country. Prior to committing to Notre Dame, Bramblett only held one offer from Missouri but was drawing interest from the likes of Alabama, Penn State, and LSU according to Irish Illustrated. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t pick up more offers throughout the season as well as kicking specialists tend to get offered later than most other positions.
With Brmblett on board, Notre Dame now has 11 commitments for the class of 2019 and should be done recruiting specialists baring any unforeseen changes to the roster between now and February.
This Almost Certainly Means Jonathan Doerer is a Place Kicker
Notre Dame loses both kicking specialists after this year – Tyler Newsome, a rare punter team captain, and dependable place kicker Justin Yoon. With sophomore Jonathan Doerer on the roster already and Bramblett now in the class of 2019, this almost certainly means that place kicking is in Doerer’s future after he came to Notre Dame as both a kicker and a punter in high school.
Notre Dame has preferred to have an individual specialist at each position during the Brian Kelly era even when they’ve had players capable of handling both duties. As Bramblett has only been a punter, it’s safe to assume that Doerer likely will be focusing on place kicking moving forward just as he had as a freshman in 2017.
Both Newsome and Yoon will leave Notre Dame as four year starters and it is very possible that Bramblett could end up doing the same given the depth chart next season. Doerer played in seven games last fall as a kick-off specialist and could do the same this fall.