Elite Georgia defensive end Robert Beal became the fifth commitment in the 2017 Notre Dame football class on Sunday when he pledged to the Irish. Beal is listed at 6'4" and 210 pounds; the 247 Composite has him as the #73 overall player, #3 weak-side defensive end, and #9 player in talent-rich Georgia.
Beal visited Notre Dame back in the spring and for Irish Invasion. The Irish staff recently swung by to see him during their bye week, which apparently was enough to seal the deal. Beal is a potential early contributor at a perpetual position of need for the Irish, so, yeah, he's a pretty big get.
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - 4 star (5.8 rating), #129 overall, #6 position (OLB), #16 in Georgia
247 - 4 star (94rating), #70 overall, #3 position, #8 in Georgia
ESPN - 4 star (84 rating), #43 overall, #1 position (DE), #5 in Georgia
Scout - 4 star, #119 overall, #10 position (DE), #13 in Georgia
247 Composite - 4 star (0.9644 rating), #73 overall, #3 position, #9 in Georgia
In addition to Notre Dame, Beal holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Pitt, Tennessee, Texas, and UCLA. As a junior.
Beal shows a good frame that he has already started to fill out, and long arms that are very active. He gets off the ball quickly, and flashes both speed and power rush moves. I like his closing speed, too - he seems to get a little extra burst when he chases the ball carrier and gets close. He also plays the run very well, moving his feet and getting off blocks quickly.
Beal plays upright at times, which I think I say about almost every line recruit we get on either side of the ball. He also has a pretty limited repertoire of moves - he seems to either run straight at or around blockers. Those are both technique points, which aren't at all surprising for a junior athlete. He has tremendous physical potential that the Irish staff will no doubt enjoy molding into a finished product.
Junior Year - vs. Valdosta High:
With Beal so far away from getting on campus, it's hard to project what his instant impact will be. However, if he continues to polish his game and develop physically - and you can see significant improvements in both dimensions between the junior year game film above and the sophomore highlight reel - I could see him contributing in some fashion as a true freshman. He'll have the physical ability.
Long Term / Career
Again, tough to project this early, but Beal has the look of an eventual multi-year starter. We get the feeling that Irish fans will hear his name often over his time on campus.
Welcome to the family, Robert!