The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program signed a whole class of new recruits today, so I wanted to look at both sides of the ball and chat a little about the guys who I think are bonafide, surefire stars coming in, and the guys who are flying under the radar a bit but could ultimately end up as very important contributors on the field.
So, let’s take a look at 3 stars and 3 sleepers on the offensive side of things!!!
In terms of offensive players in this class, there isn’t exactly a huge selection of guys (4 OL, 0 TE, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB). The Class of 2019 is instead very heavy on defensive talent, with the big-name prospects on offense essentially exclusively being offensive linemen. Still, there are some 3-star guys at the skill positions that could be big-time sleepers, so let’s dive into the details.
Three Stars (Not to Be Confused With 3-Stars)
Quinn Carroll - OT, 6’6”, 295 lbs.
Quinn Carroll is a behemoth of an offensive tackle from Minnesota, is the highest-rated offensive player in the class, and like many highly-rated offensive linemen before him at ND, should be an absolute stud within a couple years of arriving on campus. For how big he is, Carroll is pretty athletic, and he couples that athleticism with overwhelming strength and a LOVE for piledriving guys into the dirt. Quinn Carroll looks like the next great offensive tackle in the same vein as Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley, and Mike McGlinchey.
Zeke Correll - OG, 6’4”, 285 lbs.
This is an unbelievably unfair and lofty comparison to make, but watching Correll’s highlights reminds me of a poor man’s Quenton Nelson. Asking Correll to be a generational talent on the interior of the offensive line is certainly requesting a lot, but Correll plays with the same kind of nasty streak that Nelson has on the field, finishing blocks with violence and assurance that the defender will not be making the play (or stay on his feet).
Furthermore, Nelson is so effective because of his combination of size, strength, nimbleness, and quickness, as he’s able to pull and get to the second level to lay waste to defenders in space and spring backs for big gains. Correll looks to be in the same mold, a big dude who moves very well and is always looking for someone else to block downfield. Zeke is going to be an anchor in the middle for the Irish for multiple years — you can pretty much take that to the bank.
John Olmstead - OT, 6’6”, 300 lbs.
Similar to Carroll but maybe a little less ready-to-play, Olmstead is another huge, hulking, 4-star lineman who will spend a couple years developing on the bench before probably being a 2- or 3-year starter opposite Carroll. The future is bright on the offensive line with this trio, plus fellow 4-star OL signee Andrew Kristofic (a ton of potential there as well, you guys).
Kyren Williams - RB, 5’10”, 200 lbs.
Kyren Williams recently earned himself a 4th star on 247sports, but even so, he’s certainly not signing with Notre Dame as a super highly-touted running back prospect. With that said, I think he has very good vision and cutting ability (reminiscent of Tarean Folston a little bit), decent speed, and runs with strength and balance, meaning he can pick up some tough yards. He doesn’t have Dexter Williams game-breaking speed, but with the offensive linemen ND will have during his time in South Bend, I think he will end up being a very productive starter/contributor by the time he’s an upperclassman — especially if he can contribute by catching the ball out of the backfield as well.
Brendon Clark - QB, 6’2”, 217 lbs.
This is going to be a convenient/force-fitting comparison here, but Brendon Clark reminds me a lot of Ian Book. He’s a 3-star QB sandwiched between elite QB prospects (Phil Jurkovec in 2018, Drew Pyne in 2020...just like Book was between Wimbush and Jurkovec) who is certainly viewed by people as more of a depth guy than anything else. However, like Book, he’s also a very good athlete and runner who has the arm and accuracy to sling the ball all over the field.
I’m not saying Clark will end up taking over the starting role in the middle of his junior season and lead the Irish to the College Football Playoff, but I’m also not saying I’d be all that surprised to see that after seeing what Book has been able to develop into in Chip Long’s offense. Who knows? Maybe Brendon Clark will be the QB to take ND to the promised land (if Book doesn’t do it this January).
Kendall Abdur-Rahman - WR, 6’1”, 180 lbs.
The wide receiver talent ND brought in with the 2018 class (Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy, Micah Jones, Lawrence Keys III) was significant in both talent level and numbers, so it’s no surprise that the 2019 class is lighter with Abdur-Rahman and Cam Hart as the only guys coming in. Both are 3-star guys, but Abdur-Rahman, in my opinion, is a great sleeper pick in this class. He played QB in high school, hence why people don’t have him hyped up so much as a receiver, but he’s a smooth runner with really good speed and athleticism. If he has the hands to match and gets a bit stronger, he will be a very good receiver with raw tools like that at his disposal. Plus, you gotta love his attitude with that Twitter handle, @kendall4heisman.