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What Does The Commitment Of 4 Star Defensive Tackle Darnell Ewell Mean For Notre Dame?

Notre Dame is really cleaning up on the recruiting trail right now with its targets. What does the latest commitment from Darnell Ewell mean to this class and to the program?

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame is hitting on all cylinders right now with its recruiting machine. While an early snapshot back in the winter of what this class may end up looking like may have had it pegged as a smaller class, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have already swelled its 2017 class to 16 commitments with the latest commitment from 4 star defensive tackle, Darnell Ewell. The commitment also moved Notre Dame up to #4 nationally according to the 247 composite team rankings.

As with every commitment, the effect it has on the program is far more than just another addition to the class itself. So, what did this commitment from Ewell mean to Notre Dame?

  1. It solidified an emphasis on defense. Notre Dame already had commitments from three linebackers, a defensive tackle, a defensive end, and two defensive backs before Ewell.
  2. Defensive tackle, along with pass rushers, has been a position that has been troublesome for Notre Dame to recruit consistently over the years. While the recruiting services are mixed over Kurt Hinish, they all rank Ewell as a four star.
  3. TIDEWATER. This may be one of the most important commitments of this class, if it helps Notre Dame get a foot in the door with recruits from the Tidewater area. There surely won't be a floodgate that suddenly busts wide open, but as we have seen in other areas, if Notre Dame can be in the minds of those recruits in their process, it really helps on selling the program to them and gaining commitments.
  4. Numbers are tight(er). Effectively, this puts Notre Dame over the 85 scholarship mark for 2017. Naturally, there will be attrition both known and unknown. While it has been said elsewhere that Notre Dame would like to sign a 25 man class and figure it out later, I imagine the end number will still be closer to 20-22, which means we may have only 4-6 spots open.

Notre Dame beat out some serious competition for Ewell, and is in a good place with many top prospects still left on the board. While the class may not end up as large as others in the country, it has a great chance to end up in the top 5 nationally on signing day.