Notre Dame Football: National Signing Day

By Michael Borth
February 02, 2014 4:05 pm
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ND The first Wednesday in February annually defines itself for the college football world as a version of Christmas.

Coaches, players and fans all anticipate the possibilties of an impact player that could lead their college to great things in the coming years.

For the Fighting Irish the 2014 recruiting class has again, under coach Brian Kelly, seen its share of drama as well as impact players selecting Notre Dame as their college of choice for the next few years.

Here's a closer look at what the "GOLDEN ARMY" will look like for the Irish:

(Players that are currently verbal to Notre Dame)

MLB Nyles Morgan Outlook: Could very well start in 2014 or at worst rotate. Within the last five years the Irish have locked in three of the nation's best linebackers with Te'o, Jaylon Smith and now Morgan. If one player in a class could lay claim to the face of the commits-it would be Morgan.

DT Pete Mokwuah Outlook: The late flip from Rutgers is a great addition to an already deep class of defensive line prospects. His work is yet complete for the Irish as a recruit, as he remains in touch with another possible late flip, Courtney Garnett from OU. The 6'2", 310-pound line prospect brings added size to the front of the Irish defense - a high area of need.

DT Jay Hayes Outlook: Hayes will be a player in the mold of a Trevor Laws or even a quicker Nix. If the stars were to hold their values for recruits throughout their college careers - Hayes is one kid that will keep his. He will be one of many stars in the next few years on defense for Notre Dame. 

TE Tyler Luatua Outlook: Perhaps the best prospect in 2014 at his position. Notre Dame has stamped itself as 'Tight End U' and has launched players into stardom early from this position. And again the Irish have a dual prospect that could end up on the defensive side of things before its over.

TE Nic Weisher Outlook: At 6'5" the Irish again have another top tight end prospect. With depth already at the spot- Weisher will have to wait to see the field- but not for long.

OLB Nile Sykes Outlook: With the strength at the linebacker position, it will be tough to see playing time for any player in 2014. Competition and players returning from injuries in 2013 will make it difficult for Sykes, who could find himself on special teams in the mold of a Kendall Moore, which is a good thing all around.

DE Jhonathan Williams Outlook: At 6'6", 245 pounds, How do you attach sleeper to a big kid? Williams excels in track with his strength and is still a work in progress. This will be fun to watch as it was with Prince Shembo - a player that got great each year.

DE Grant Blankenship Outlook: A top 10 prospect at his position is yet another sign of what Brian Kelly understands most about achieving success in the BCS era: hit Texas and the south for the best recruits in the nation. Blankenship brings more size again to the Irish and could be a mirror of one Aaron Lynch, a former end for the Irish that will be playing on Sundays.

DE Jonathan Bonner Outlook: 4.5 speed. That alone merits possibilities for playing time at any school for a defensive end. For Irish faithful you'll appreciate his play soon enough. The puzzling aspect of his recruitment is the undervalued rating he has received. Do not attach "surprise" to Bonner when he sees playing time - which could be sooner than later.

DE Andrew Trumbetti Outlook: Trumbetti again will be a player to see himself within a 2 deep role in 2014. Trumbetti won the lineman challenge at this years Under Armour competition in a field deep with talent.

OLB Drue Tranquill Outlook: Fans may quickly see images of Zibby. A fast player that can hit; Tranquill should be another player that see's action in 2014 - either on special teams or in a rotation in the linebacking unit.

OLB Greer Martini Outlook: A tackler long needed for Notre Dame of late in the linebacking corps.

CB Nick Watkins Outlook: Recruited by the big dogs of the SEC often is a sign of good things. Elite speed is something Watkins will bring to a possible spot at corner - an area of need for the Irish.

WR Justin Brent Outlook: Again the Irish have hit on a great prospect in the receiver spot. Being from 'Speedway' can't hurt your outlook as a fast player-which Brent is. One of the first commits to the 2014 class, Brent is also a top 10 receiver in the nation and will compete for a possible 3rd slot in 2014 of an already deep field of receivers.

WR Corey Holmes Outlook: Repeat everything said about Brent and tag it to Holmes. When his toughness off the line elevates itself for Holmes - folks will see Michael Floyd type results again. Competition again at an already deep position for the Irish will be an obstacle-but Holmes could make the leap and see the field in 2014.

QB DeShone Kizer Outlook: Its clear the direction Kelly is headed with his offense with the pick up of Kizer. Athletic skill set with ability to run outside the pocket. The stable is stocked with Golsen and Zaire but Kizer just might play a role in 2014 should 2013 type results occur in South Bend again. The era of Kizer likely starts in 2015.

OT Alex Bars Outlook: The 6'6", 309-pound Under Armour All-American played well in the annual all-star. game Playing time in 2014 will be a task. Depth for the Irish in 2014 and beyond on the offensive line is not a problem.

OT Quenton Nelson Outlook: 6'5" 295 lbs and very quick for a big kid. Highly sought after recruit can play inside or out. Perhaps the best lineman in the class and top 5 in the nation and sure bet to see the field this season for Notre Dame.

OG Sam Mustipher Outlook: At 6'3", 286 pounds, the entire nation looked to sign Mustipher. Like Nelson, he is flexible and could see a future as center for Notre Dame.

OG Jimmy Byrne Outlook: The 6'4", 285-pound 2012 commit will see a tough go for playing time in 2014. 2015 looks good for the Irish when kids like Byrne have to wait

K Tyler Newsome Outlook: In 2013 Newsome had 76 of 100 kickoffs as touchbacks. Out of 20 punts, 10 landed within the 20.

 

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By Michael Borth
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