Notre Dame received its 2nd commitment in the 2017 recruiting class today, and third from the glow of Irish Invasion, when elite tight end Brock Wright pledged to the Irish. The Texan is listed at 6'4.5" and 243 pounds; the 247 Composite has him as the #57 overall player, #1 athlete, and #8 player in Texas. Wright chose the Irish over offers from Alabama, Baylor, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and UCLA, among others.
So happy and blessed to announce that I've made my decision and committed to the University of Notre Dame! Go Irish
— Brock Wright (@brockjwright40) June 26, 2015
Especially noteworthy is that Wright's commitment is the first feather in Mike Sanford's Notre Dame recruiting cap, and man, did Coach open the notebook in style. Also worth noting that Wright is a double Texas Tech legacy - his father Len played there and his mother is an alumna as well. That's the second other-school double legacy the Irish have pulled recently, along with Virginia Tech legacy Jalen Elliott. The Force is strong in South Bend...
Wright's commitment significantly softens the blow of Cary Angeline's surprise pledge to USC earlier today, a school that was not considered by anyone to be among his finalists. The presumption on Angeline was that it was a Notre Dame-Penn State battle for his services with Miami as a dark horse, which just shows you how unpredictable recruiting can be.
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - 4 star (5.9 rating), unranked (all 2017 prospects unranked)
247 - 4 star (94 rating), #57 overall, #1 position, #8 in Texas
ESPN - ungraded/unranked (all 2017 prospects unranked)
Scout - 4 star, unranked (all 2017 prospects unranked)
247 Composite - 4 star (0.9775 rating), #57 overall, #1 position, #8 in Texas
From the first play on the highlight reel it's obvious that Wright is a special talent; someone that big shouldn't be moving that fast. He shows the hands of a receiver and the physicality of a fullback after the catch, which means this reel is a whole lotta fun. He's not just a big receiver, though - he loves to block. You'll see a pancake in pass protection at the 0:39 mark, followed immediately by a pancake/delayed release/reception. At the 1:35 mark, you can even watch him look for a combo block at the line on a run, see things are taken care of, then go flatten a linebacker at the next level. I just got chills... As a receiver, he runs good routes, has soft hands, and has plus speed for the position. As a blocker, he's a finisher. And an angry one at that. There's an awful lot to like about the next guy in the Tight End U pipeline.
Wright will be a freshman during Alize Jones's true junior - and possibly last - season in South Bend. Durham Smythe will be a redshirt senior, Nic Weishar will be a true senior with a year left, and Tyler Luatua will be a true senior in his last year of eligibility. Jones, Smythe, and Luatua will likely make it very difficult for Wright to see the field, but it's also hard to imagine a guy this talented being kept off it.
Long Term / Career
I could definitely see Wright assuming the starting role in 2018 for three or, perish the thought, four years. It seems crazy to look out that far, but this kid has all the tools that anyone, and particularly the Notre Dame staff, looks for in a tight end. Even at this early juncture, he looks like a worthy successor to the long line of excellent tight ends who have gone down in Irish lore.
Welcome to the family, Brock!