Coach Brian Kelly received his 23rd verbal commitment for the 2014 class today from Daniel Cage (Cincinnati, OH - Winton Woods). He is listed at 6'3"/295 lbs.
Cage sought an offer from the Irish for some time before finally getting one in January, which was followed up by an official visit last week. He chose Notre Dame over Michigan State, also holding offers from Missouri, Florida and Arkansas.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 4 star (#40 DT, #15 OH), 80 Grade
Rivals - 3 star (#27 DT, #27 OH), 5.7 Grade
Scout - 4 star (#15 DT), #165 Overall
247Sports - 3 star (#42 DT, #29 OH), 87 Grade
247Sports Composite Score - 4 star (0.8924), #300 Overall (#24 DT, #14 OH)
His hudl highlights can be viewed here.
Cage should be able to break into the defensive line rotation as a freshman, where a few spots are up for grabs this fall. If he can give the coaching staff ~10-15 snaps per game, it would go a long way to shore up an inexperienced group. At 6'3" and 290 lbs, he still has room to grow and add additional weight.
Cage has excellent upside as a defensive lineman, as he can play in either 3 or 4 man looks at the next level. In odd fronts, he can likely play either the nose guard or defensive end positions as necessary. For even fronts, he would likely slide inside as a more traditional defensive tackle. He has an explosive first step and his highlights show how disruptive he can be. He tended to play a bit high at the prep level, something that will need to get cleaned up in order to see the field. I think he can easily add 15 or 20 lbs without losing the quickness.
Overall, he should be an early contributor during his time in South Bend and has a high ceiling for development.
Welcome to Notre Dame Daniel!