It has been quite the roller coaster ride for Lenzy and the Notre Dame staff. First, he was all in, then he was all out (while taking some shots at the Notre Dame staff in the process), and finally back in on signing day. Such is the way things go in football recruiting. What gets lost in all of that back story is the fact that Lenzy is a really good football player who Notre Dame badly wanted in their class. Notre Dame has been looking to replace the home run ability of Will Fuller the last couple of cycles and Lenzy fits that bill. He’s a state champion sprinter in Oregon and he improved his game on the field immensely. He rose rapidly in the national recruiting rankings over the last year, and could find himself in the mix for playing time, at the very least in the return game.
Braden Lenzy Senior Film
When Lenzy originally committed in the spring of 2017, people were excited because he was a really fast guy playing receiver, and Notre Dame had recently lost Will Fuller. That’s not the only reason, but that was the main thing. I certainly saw him in that light, a player who can stretch the field. Then he decommitted prior to the season and I stopped following his recruitment. Oh my, did Notre Dame almost miss out on a really good player.
Watching Lenzy as a senior was a revelation. He turned into a fast guy version of 2009 Golden Tate. I can’t stop watching it. I mean, picture Golden Tate, but a state champion in all of the sprint events.
Too often a receiver in high school is only as good as his quarterbacks, and Lenzy’s do not appear to be the best. So, his coaches put him in the wild cat and let him make plays from there. He ran with power and excellent vision, and his acceleration is sublime. Once he finds an opening, he hits it, and he simply isn’t getting run down.
He has a knack for shedding tacklers on his lower body, much like Tate did, and he even invites that contact, which is interesting for a speed player.
Much like Kevin Austin, the success of Lenzy and his team rode on his shoulders, and he carried that burden comfortably. He was the co-offensive and defensive player of the year in his division, so he was excellent in all facets. In fact, if Notre Dame moved him to corner and he was open to it, I think he would be excellent there. But, his speed and playmaking on offense is likely too much to pass up.
Also similar to Kevin Austin, he’s not very refined as a route runner, which is understandable given he played so many positions. He’s not Golden Tate 2007 level, when he didn’t know how to do anything except run straight, but I wouldn’t consider it a strength. The downside of not catching a ton of balls is the lack of experience as a pass catcher. It’s not that he has poor hands, he just doesn’t have a ton of exposure catching the ball for us to know if it’s a strength.