Late Addition KEY to Notre Dame Defensive Line Haul

Notre Dame didn’t have many recruits left on the board for today’s traditional National Signing Day after cleaning up in the early signing period in December.  In fact, they only had one – 4-star defensive end Isaiah Foskey.  Notre Dame went one for one today though and the addition of Foskey is a huge boost for an already massive haul on the defensive line in this recruiting cycle.

Isaiah Foskey is a 4-star defensive end out of De La Salle High in Concord, California – the alma mater of former Notre Dame standout Derek Landri.  Amazingly Landri was the last 4-star defensive lineman that Notre Dame landed out of California.  That was all the way back in 2002 when the Irish actually hauled in two 4-star linemen out of California – Chris Frome being the other.

The addition of Foskey today also gives Notre Dame two 4-star defenders in this class alone from the state of California.  The Golden State has been anything but golden for Notre Dame on the recruiting front in recent years but that was not the case this year.  Ironically, both California prospects have the same first name too with cornerback Isaiah Rutherford being the other.

Adding Foskey wasn’t big for Notre Dame just because it reasserted its presence in California a little bit. It also gives Notre Dame one of its best defensive line hauls in years.  Notre Dame now has five defensive linemen in this class who are rated as 4-star prospects on at least one recruiting service.  Interior linemen Jacob Lacey and Hunter Spears are both compositive 4-star recruits. As is strong-side defensive end Howard Cross and even though fellow weak-side defensive end Nana Osafo Mensah lost a star on Rivals, he is still a 4-star prospect on 247Sports.

Getting Foskey to join the fold was huge for Notre Dame because as we’ve seen, you can never have enough pass rushers.  With Foskey and Osafo-Mensah, Notre Dame has added two legit edge rushers in the same class for the first time since they added Julian Okwara and Daelin Hayes in the class of 2016.  It’s no coincidence that Notre Dame’s run to the playoffs in 2018 was fueled in large part by its defensive line and its rejuvenated pass rush.

A 6’5″, 230 lbs; Foskey is a pure edge rusher for the Irish and the first DROP candidate who fits the profile to a tee in a while.  Okwara has grown into the position, but even as he enters his senior season he still lacks ideal size.  Hayes came to Notre Dame as a linebacker before moving.   There isn’t much of a question where Foskey projects though and the athleticism that he possesses that allowed him to also be a standpoint tight end gives him all of the tools to be an elite pass rusher for the Irish.

For years Notre Dame has struggled to land elite defensive line classes.  That was not the case in 2019 as Mike Elston has truly hit his stride in his return to the defensive line the last few years.  Last year the Irish landed the Ademilola twins and Jamion Franklin as well. Linebacker Ovie Oghoufo could end up at the DROP DE position before too long as well.  That is quite the haul along the defensive line over a two year cycle.

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Despite the recent success, Notre Dame had been struggling at the defensive end position over the previous few years leaving a gap between Okwara and Hayes and their eventual replacements.  Ade Ogundeji started to come on towards the end of 2018 and will have a 5th year available to him in 2020, but will very likely be looking to either Foskey or Osafo-Mensah for major minutes, if not a starting role in 2020.  That is unless Oghuofo moves to DROP and is ready for a prominent role by the then.  That uncertainty beyond 2019 is one major reason why adding Foskey was such a big addition for Notre Dame today.

 

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21 comments

  1. SMOKEY ROB 9 months ago

    FOSKEY IS A GREAT ADDITION TO THIS YEAR’S CLASS. WATCHING HIM ON FILM, HE HAS THE SKILLS TO BE AN ELITE PASS RUSHER. HE MUST GET BIGGER, AND, STRONGER, BUT , BALIS WILL HANDLE THAT. ONE THING I NOTICED LAST YEAR WAS THE D LINE HAD TROUBLE SHEDDING BLOCKS. SOME OF THAT WAS DUE TO OBVIOUS HOLDING BY THE O LINE. MORE TECHNIQUE MUST BE TAUGHT SIMILAR TO THE BOSA BROTHERS. THAT GUYS ON THE D LINE COACH. AS CLEMSON PROVED, D LINE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS!🍀🍀🍀

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  2. Michael The Archangel 10 months ago

    The numbers and potential of the LOS on both sides of the ball seem possible with the last two recruiting classes. The proof won’t be known, especially on the OL, for at least two or three years. But Foskey does have the rep to be a difference-maker. On a totally unrelated point, and I’ve made it before,
    I’d love to see those who click dislike to explain what they disliked about the comment. That would better advance the dialogue. Usually I suspect it’s because someone posts something positive about NDs potential under this staff, which irritates those who feel BK ought to go, or someone posts something voicing doubt about the future of NDFB becoming elite, angering those content with Kelly. But most often, I suspect those who follow this site have decided to click dislike not because of what was posted, but about who was posting it.
    It doesn’t hurt my feelings when I get dislikes, but I, for one, would like to know what about what I posted triggered a dislike.There’s a reply option. Use it to further the discussion, not just to hate on the poster.
    I appreciate the dialogue and the takes the fans post- the bickering personal attacks, not so much.

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    1. Greg Kelly 10 months ago

      MTA, Football is like politics. Fans/voters vote their dislikes more than their likes. Case in point. I have a relative who invited me over to watch a Notre Dame game. The Irish were relatively having their way. However the relative switched over to the USC game. He would rather see USC lose than Notre Dame Win. That same relative voted for Trump because He hated Clinton even more. It’s human nature.

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    2. sebastian 9 months ago

      “angering those content with Kelly.” i think u spelled it out right there. even if i disagree with your or anyone elses opinion, it is still their opinion. i don’t have a problem with that. what i have a problem with is brian kelly coaching this team…tell me ONE thing he was won! he is an overrated coach at an increasingly hypocritical catholic university. i am no long a fan until jenkins, swarbrick, and kelly are gone.

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      1. Greg Kelly 9 months ago

        Oh my, were you appropriately named. When I was selling Religious goods I noticed a lot of young Mothers requesting St. Sebastian Holy cards and medals. I got curious to see what He was patron Saint of; unruly children. You have a lot to learn.

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      2. Bruce Gregory Curme 9 months ago

        Well put Greg Kelly. I’d just call him a brat. The University is doing fine in sports and winning some National Championships…so it would be crazy to want to dump JS. Jack just needs to do some soul searching on scheduling football, and on too late starting women’s b-ball games. Kids are trying to watch those. BK will be here three more seasons. He may or may not win an NC…tbd, right? As for Father Jenkins, I don’t know him. I came out of the Theology Department. Swarbrick came out of ECON – Gregor’s department. Overall, I’d say things are about as they should be at Notre Dame.

        BGC ’77 ’82

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      3. ndcrazymike 9 months ago

        Looks like it will be at least 3 years until your a possible fan again SEBASTIAN! Until then dopey davey is looking for recruits to join his army of negativity!

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  3. Michael The Archangel 10 months ago

    I’d love to see those who click dislike to explain what they disliked about the comment. That would better advance the dialogue. Usually I suspect it’s because someone posts something positive about NDs potential under this staff, or someone posts something voicing doubt about the future of NDFB becoming elite. But most often, I suspect those who follow this site have decided to click dislike not because of what was posted, but about who was posting it. There’s a reply option. Use it to further the discussion, not just to hate on the poster.

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  4. duranko 10 months ago

    I feel differently about DE and DT.

    First, I am well north of sanguine about the DE position.
    The 2019 four man rotation of Kareem, Hayes, Okwara and Ogundeji is the strongest the Irish have been at DE since the stocked cupboard
    of Frank Leahy. Jamir Jones and Ademilola the lesser (as he showed in Arlington) are capable, especially as a 5th and 6th option and
    Kofi Wardlow is a wait-and-see.

    Thus it is feasible for Foskey and Osafo-Mensah to redshirt, with 2020 offering a foursome of
    Ogundeji, Ademiloloa, Foskey and Osafo-Mensah. That’s enough to say grace over.

    I am concerned about DT. Hinish is able, but better as a third tackle. Tagavailo-Amosa and Jamion Franklin are coming off injuries.l
    This is anecdotal, not empirical, but it SEEMS that DTS once injured, oft get injured again. Ademilola the Larger should be ready, but would be better off
    substituting than starting. And Hunter Spears has had two severe, lenghty injury options.

    It seems you need at least 5 ready to go at DT to compete at the highest levels.

    What am I missing here?

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    1. Cig 10 months ago

      Lacy.

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      1. duranko 9 months ago

        Well, I have high hopes for Lacey. But history commends caution.

        Two years ago, the recruiting sites were agog over the Immediate potential of Darnell Ewell.
        Back farther, the recruiting sites, particularly Steve Wiltfong at 247, were spewing inside information “from the Gug” about how Tillery would solve all ills. Not so much. Tillery ’18 was an outstanding lineman. Tillery ’15 was just another neophyte, finding his way.

        The Steve Niehaus/Ross Browner types, ready to go as a freshman, are rare birds.

        And I still contend that Niehaus, absent the debilitating injury he suffered as a freshman, would have beend right near the Browner level. As good as he was for both the Irish and the Seahawks, that was a mere shadow of what he would have been but for the injury.

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  5. Bruce Gregory Curme 10 months ago

    The offensive line should be formidable in 2019. Add that to Coach Lea’s defense and we have the core of a very good team. We will be deep at receiver and deep enough at TE. Plus there does not seem to be much good news coming out of Louisville this year…since we open there.

    We won some games last year (especially Michigan!) where our receivers were bigger play guys than theirs were. We will have this advantage again – even more so with the younger guys. Linebacker is the “great unknown” here…the eight hundred pound whatever in the elevator.

    BGC ’77 ’82

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    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 10 months ago

      I would like to add that there does not seem to be a lot of good news coming out of LA either. That would help, given that USC is the biggest home game on a schedule loaded against us on the road. But none of it matters if our 85 aren’t working at least as hard as our best 2019 opponent guys are.

      BGC ’77 ’82

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      1. Greg Kelly 10 months ago

        BGC, I prayed McCoy would choose Horns over Troy. Prayers were answered, this way we would only see him in a bowl game.

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  6. Greg Kelly 10 months ago

    Not only do we appreciate Foskeys athletic skills. He is also used to playing in Championship games.

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  7. Subway Alum 10 months ago

    Kelly, stop trying to preserve their eligibility…please use them all.

    Imagine rotating fresh legs in on every second series of downs?

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  8. Sean 10 months ago

    Do not see any difference makers at skill positions on offense. Not going to compete with the elite programs without them.

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  9. James Adcock 10 months ago

    We landed 6 potential offensive players. Half were lineman. Talk about unbalanced.

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    1. Cig 10 months ago

      Recruiting balance is done over cycles. Last year, for example, ND brought in 5 WRs. This is a good class on paper, with outstanding potential on the OL and the DL.

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  10. pete calco 10 months ago

    I have always felt for Notredame to have a real chance against Alabama Clemson Ohio State Oklahoma and the other elite they had to recruit great on the dline oline and at quarterback.I think they are now doing that on both lines but the jury is still out at quarterback and the overall offense.Kelly came to Notredame with a great reputation for producing great offenses and quarterbacks.I just haven’t seen it yet.

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  11. ccb Brenton 10 months ago

    Defensive line greatness is a necessity if the Irish are to challenge for a playoff spot again.
    This recruit class is a step in that direction.

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