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Amid Draft Uncertainty, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is Confident

And he should be. Also, other stories from around college sports.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Around the country, fans of college and pro football alike are laser-focused on the NFL draft. College fans are checking and rechecking mock drafts to see where the experts have their favorite players going. NFL fans are all well read on this year’s draft-eligible players, and are staunchly standing by their opinions on who their team should draft.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to DeShone Kizer, experts’ opinions are generally mixed, as we’ve documented extensively. However, on Thursday, Kizer took a conversation with a USA Today reporter as an opportunity to sell himself a bit to anyone who was listening. As NBC’s Pro Football Talk reports, Kizer told the reporter he “has Tom Brady’s head in Cam Newton’s body.”

Kizer has never lacked confidence in his time at the University of Notre Dame. There’s no doubt that he’s a smart guy, as evidenced by many of the interviews he’s given as Fighting Irish quarterback. He’s certainly athletic, as well. We’ve seen his highlights. But to state that he has the football IQ of Tom Brady and the athletic prowess of Cam Newton? Wait a minute.

Just kidding. He’s selling himself, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Confidence is good, and the linked article says this much, until we decide it’s too much. Whatever. The article also states that NFL teams may view the statement as arrogant, which is a negative. Because arrogance and being a successful NFL player are mutually exclusive, as we all know and would be dumb to consider otherwise.

At least it’s something to talk about.

2018 Recruiting: The ESPN 300

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN revealed its first edition of the 2018 ESPN 300, or rather, who ESPN thinks are the top 300 prospects in the 2018 recruiting class. Four Notre Dame commits popped up in the initial list.

Four-star Safety Derrick Allen from Marietta, GA is 69th (nice) on the list, and the only current Notre Dame commit in the top 100. Behind Notre Dame, Allen also has offers from Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida State, just to name a few. At 113 is quarterback commit Phil Jurkovic, a four-star prospect from Gibsonia, PA, who also has offers from Alabama and Clemson.

Markese Stepp, an in-state running back from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, has offers from Georgia, Michigan, USC and Wisconsin to go along with his four-star rating. He’s 281th on the list, and committed to Notre Dame in July of last year. Four-star athlete Braden Lenzy is committed to Notre Dame over Cal, Oregon, Stanford and USC, and is 250th on the list.

Like Bonzie Colson, Grayson Allen is Back

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Final-Notre Dame vs Duke Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Whether it’s football or basketball, part of the job of recruiting can be convincing your star player to stay in school for one more year rather than jumping to the pros. Brian Kelly has had some marquee names stick around, for better or for worse: Manti Te’o, Tyler Eifert, Jaylon Smith, just to name a few. On the hardwood, we saw Demetrius Jackson leave after his junior year to pursue his dream of playing the NBA, and that’s ok. Coach Brey did convince V.J. Beachem to stick around for his senior year in the offseason last year, and now he’s done the same with Bonzie Colson.

However, down in Durham, North Carolina, ACC foe Duke received some similar news. Duke star Grayson Allen announced that he would return to the Duke Blue Devils basketball team for next season. This is big for the Blue Devils, considering Luke Kennard’s decision to enter the NBA draft. It affects the Fighting Irish because hey, they play Duke. Will we see a Bonzie Colson v. Grayson Allen rematch in next year’s ACC championship game?

More Basketball Recruiting

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Notre Dame vs West Virginia Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of recruiting as it pertains to college basketball, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello put together a nice piece on just how we got here in regards to the 2017 recruiting cycle.

After all, it has been weird. Consider this:

  • Alabama has a top-five class
  • Missouri has a top-ten class
  • Washington had the top-ranked class for a bit, and the number one recruit. Now they have one ESPN 100 recruit.
  • There are 10 uncommitted ESPN 100 prospects.

Like me, you may have have questions. This piece may help.

That’s all you get for this Friday’s edition. Hang in there, it’s almost the weekend.