The annual US Army All-American Bowl takes place this Saturday afternoon in the Alamodome giving Notre Dame fans a chance to see a number of future Golden Domers in action for the first time. This year the Irish have four players who already signed their letters of intent with Notre Dame playing and two big time prospects they are hoping to add to the fold in February.
Last year’s US Army All-American Bowl featured Notre Dame signees Derrik Allen, Jayson Ademilola, Phil Jurkovec, George Takacs, and Shayne Simon. Of the five, only Ademilola ended up playing a major role for the Irish this past fall. Of the four playing this year, Notre Dame is all but guaranteed to have at least one player star and will likely have at least one play a reserve role.
Notre Dame Signees
Jay Bramblett (P) – 3-Star
With Tyler Newsome out of eligibility and Bramblett enrolling early, the expectation is the Bramblett will be Notre Dame’s starting punter in 2019. It’s hard to get overly excited about a punter in recruiting, but Notre Dame got an elite punter in Bramblett and Irish fans will get a chance to see him in action on Saturday. Bramblett was also a high school quarterback and has a good arm so maybe we’ll see a fake punt on Saturday.
Kyle Hamilton (S) 4-Star
One of the jewels of Notre Dame’s 2019 recruiting class, Kyle Hamilton is one recruit who has a chance to improve his ranking at the All-American Bowl. It’s actually a surprise that Hamilton doesn’t have a 5th star yet because it has been trending that way for a while. Notre Dame got in on Hamilton really early when he was a 3-star recruit and his stock has been on the rise ever since. With a good showing in San Antonio, Hamilton should be able to get that 5th star.
Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman helped reshape the safety position for Notre Dame in 2018 but Hamilton could end up being the first 5-star defender to sign with the Irish in a few years so it will be interesting to see where he fits in the mix this fall.
Andrew Kristofic (OT) – 4-Star
Notre Dame has four offensive linemen enrolling early later this month and Kristofic is one of them. The former high school teammate of Phil Jurkovec could be a future left tackle for the Irish. Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan all offered Kristofic so it is surprising that it was only recently that he got a 4th star from Rivals. The composite 4-star tackle will likely redshirt in 2019 given Notre Dame’s depth along the line, but getting him on campus early with the rest of the freshman offensive linemen is huge.
It will be fun to watch Notre Dame’s potential future left tackle go up against the elite edge rushers from the West. So far in practice this week Kristofic has reportedly been more than holding his own.
Nana Osafo-Mensah (DE) – 4-Star
The lone edge rusher in the class of 2019 for Notre Dame so far, Nana Osafo-Mensah selected the Irish over his home-state Texas. Oh by the way, did you hear Texas is back now that they beat Georgia? Osafo-Mensah is one of three defensive linemen who will be enrolling early for Notre Dame this month and has a chance to play as a freshman in the fall. Notre Dame did not land a true pass rusher in the last recruiting cycle and could be forced into accelerating Osafo-Mensah’s development.
Notre Dame Targets
Notre Dame did not do well with the targets they had last year that played in the US Army or Under Armour All-American bowls with Tommy Bush, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Solomon Tuliaupupu all considering the Irish last January and none of them eventually signing with the Irish. Notre Dame is hopeful they will do better with their remaining prospects this year and right now their chances do look much better.
Isaiah Foskey (DE) – 4-Star
While Osafo-Mensah is the lone edge pass rusher in the class right now, Notre Dame is hopeful that they will add another in Isaiah Foskey. The California native was at one time a composite top 100 prospect before falling off a bit into the 100’s. With a strong performance this week, he could sneak his way back into the top 100.
Notre Dame is reportedly the odds on favorite to land Foskey at the moment and he should be considered a crucial prospect for this class. Because Notre Dame did not land a true DROP in the 2018 cycle, adding a second one in 2019 would be a big boost to the depth at that position. Assuming Julian Okwara returns in 2019, the Irish will be in great shape for this season, but beyond that, getting another elite edge rusher this year would be huge for beyond next season.
Asa Turner (LB)
The only drama on the December Signing Day for Notre Dame came in the form of former Washington commit Asa Turner. Notre Dame has been recruiting him heavily ever since his commitment to Washington much to the chagrin of Chris Petersen. Turner originally was going to sign in December but was torn between the two programs. The Washington head coach had his feathers ruffled on Signing Day and he took a veiled shot at Notre Dame in his presser.
The crux of Turner’s indecision here is the position both schools are recruiting him at. Notre Dame wants him at linebacker and Washington has recruiting him as a safety. With his 6’4, 210 lbs already, you can see why Notre Dame is so interested in him. He has the kind of frame that should make it easier for him to bulk up to play ROVER and with safety skills, he is an ideal fit for the position.