Kendall Abdur-Rahman starts his collegiate career in an unfair comparison.
When the Notre Dame Fighting Irish didn’t accept the commitment of T.J. Sheffield, Sheffield said Irish wide receivers coach Del Alexander “called me and told me they got all of their guys.”
Less than three months later, the Irish add Abdur-Rahman — a 6-foot-1, 180 pound prospect out of Edwardsville, Ill. — to their 2019 Class at, you guessed it, wide receiver.
Perhaps the differences between Sheffield and Abdur-Rahman aren’t readily apparent at first glance. Abdur-Rahman is ranked No. 548 in the 247 Sports Composite, while Sheffield — at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds — is at No. 616.
But look a bit deeper: Abdur-Rahman played primarily running back and quarterback his senior year. He rushed for 1,135 yards and 19 touchdowns this past season, while throwing for 647 yards and additional 15 touchdowns.
Matt Martin, his high school coach, said the school’s entire offense went through their speedy back.
“We had other players on offense that did great things, but he was our big-play guy,” he told The Edwardsville Intelligencer. “If you need a home run, you always had a chance with him.”
The paper said this Notre Dame commit had 10 rushing touchdowns that were each in excess of 40 yards; five of them were 80 yards or more.
“Kendall is still the best kid I’ve ever coached with the ball in his hands,” his coach said.
Irish Illustrated Tom Loy quoted an anonymous person who had scouted Abdur-Rahman saying:
“If you stick him somewhere else alongside a quarterback that can get him the ball, he’d be a four-star recruiting pushing toward the Top 100 in the rankings. He’s a guy that can play with the best in California, Texas, Georgia or wherever.”
The comparisons between Abdur-Rahman and Sheffield may stop long before the Irish reignite their rivalry with the Purdue Boilermakers, where the spurned Tennessee product found a second home, in September 2021.
Abdur-Rahman appears to have far higher ambitions that simply proving Notre Dame right in their choice of receiver. His Twitter handle, after all, is @kendall4heisman.