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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: The Irish’s Five Early Enrollees

What does the future hold for Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey, C.J. Holmes, Isaiah Robertson and Brock Wright?

CJ Holmes Twitter @TJamesNDI

It’s National Signing Day!

Before those commitments begin rolling in, let’s take a closer look at the five student-athletes who have already joined the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and enrolled in classes.


Aaron Banks
Student Sports Flickr

Offensive tackle, El Cerrito High School (Calif.)
6-foot-7, 310 pounds
Ranked four stars by 247 Sports composite (#170 overall; #18 offensive tackle; #20 player in Calif.)

Aaron Banks verbally committed to the Irish on Dec. 9, turning away offers from the Oregon Ducks, Michigan Wolverines, Baylor Bears and Tennessee Volunteers, among others.

Banks is one of four expected commitments to Harry Hiestand’s position group, which has seen a little bit of change this winter. Fifth-year seniors Colin McGovern and John Montelus have both announced that they will pursue their final year of eligibility with the Virginia Cavaliers. Fifth-year offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey and senior guard Quenton Nelson (who has two years of eligibility remaining) declined NFL overtures and will return.

Banks, who reportedly will wear #69, will likely redshirt in 2017.


Robert Hainsey
Student Sports Flickr

Guard, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
6-foot-4, 292 pounds
Ranked four stars by 247 Sports composite (#81 overall, #4 offensive guard, #15 player in Fla.)

Robert Hainsey has been committed to the Irish since July, rejecting similar offers from the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions, Georgia Bulldogs and Louisville Cardinals.

Hainsey played left offensive tackle for IMG in his senior season and struggled at right tackle during the Under Armour All-America Game. (He fared better at left guard.) It’s unknown if he’ll play inside or out at Notre Dame, but he’ll likely redshirt in 2017.

Hainsey wore #56 in high school, but that’s currently assigned to Quenton Nelson. So he’ll sport #72.


CJ Holmes
Student Sports Flickr

Running back, Chesire (Conn.) Academy
6-foot, 200 pounds
Ranked four stars by 247 Sports composite (#255 overall, #20 among RBs, #2 among Connecticut players)

Holmes announced his commitment to the Irish this summer in a fairly unique way: He spent a day out on a boat and reeled in a leprechaun. (I don’t think there’s a better way to describe that.) In doing so, he rejected offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Tennessee Volunteers, UCLA Bruins and Michigan Wolverines.

Notre Dame’s once crowded backfield was made more wide open with the announcement that Tarean Folston would forgo his final year of eligibility to pursue an NFL career and that junior Justin Brent was transferring.

Regardless, Holmes will enter the summer behind redshirt freshmen Tony Jones Jr. and Deon McIntosh as well as proven commodities like juniors Josh Adams and Dexter Williams.

Holmes donned #1 in his senior season at Chesire. He’ll wear #15 in his freshman year at Notre Dame, taking over the number from the now-departed wide receiver Corey Holmes.


Isaiah Robertson
Twiiter via @SportsStarTV

Safety, Neuqua Valley, Naperville, Ill.
6-foot-3, 190 pounds
Ranked four stars by 247 Sports composite (#275 overall, #23 safety, #5 player in Illinois)

Robertson was committed so long - since last April - that his two primary recruiters, Mike Denbrock and Mike Sanford, weren’t at Notre Dame when he showed up this month.

Nevertheless, Robertson is a lanky addition to a crowded Notre Dame secondary that featured plenty of true freshmen last year. At free safety - Robertson’s most likely destination - sophomore Devin Studstill and rising junior Nicco Fertitta have already taken most of the reps.

Robertson also played wide receiver in high school, but the Irish will, at least for the first year, put him on defense. He sported #1 in high school, but has selected #17 now that he’s Irish. That number was last worn by linebacker James Onwualu, who was a captain last year.


Brock Wright (on the right)
Twitter @DeionSanders

Tight end, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
6-foot-41/2, 243 pounds
Ranked four stars by 247 Sports composite (#67 overall, #2 among tight ends, #9 among Texas players)

Brock Wright committed to the Irish before the 2015 season started, and held firm - despite tempting offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, USC Trojans and Stanford Cardinal.

Wright and Cole Kmet - who is expected to sign today - will look to re-establish Notre Dame’s reputation as “Tight End U” after a couple of disappointing campaigns. The Irish didn’t take a tight end in the 2016 class, as they rightly figured they’d have at least Wright. He’ll start, at least initially, behind sophomore Alize Jones and seniors Nic Weishar and Tyler Luatua. Until we hear otherwise, we’ll assume the tight end group will be anchored by Durham Smythe in his final year of eligibility.

Stay with One Foot Down all day as we keep you up to date on who’s signed - and who’s spurned - the Irish from the class of 2017.