Year in Review
Last year I chose to highlight a couple of guys for one reason or another with some small takes. I rarely pass up a chance to let the world know I called it, so I want to share to share what I wrote about some of the guys the class of 2018. This will also set the stage for you to give your input on who could be immediate “impact guys” for next year.
Highlighted Players and Takes from Last Years Early Signing Day
Phil Jurkovec: Needs more time in the weight room and time to review film. Could be a 3+ year starter for the Irish.
Kevin Austin: Immediate contributor who will have success on 50/50 jump balls
Paul Moala: Immediate Special Teams Contributor
Alohi Gilman: Impact Player who will have All American Considerations (not a freshman but like a 5 star recruit).
I honestly thought Kevin Austin would have a bit more of an impact, though he did flash on a 38 yard catch at Navy. He has a chance to be a dominant player for the Irish. Paul Moala stood out to me in his film from high school. He wasn’t dynamic, but was an aggressive tackler in space and just a great football player. It took him a bit longer than I thought to crack into special teams, but was a guy who Brian Polian determined was good enough to burn his redshirt to keep him on the field. Gilman was just an overall beast. Though he didn’t quite get to All American status....he wasn’t far off.
Ok. Enough gloating and onto the takes for this years class. I will give Cold, Medium, and Hot Takes for some players.
Jack Kiser will be an immediate special teams contributor
I am always one to root for the local Indiana Players. Jack is coming off a season where he was named Mr. Football in Indiana and was always the best athlete on the field, starring at both quarterback and linebacker/safety. He is listed at 6’3 215 pounds and as most freshman linebackers, will need a year in the weight room to see any real time on defense. However, he will benefit from an early enrollment as well as his athleticism to be an immediate special teams player. He seems like he has the personality to be a guy who just loves special teams a la Bo Bauer this year.
Kyle Hamilton will be the player we all expected Max Redfield to be
Kyle Hamilton has had a meteoric rise in the recruiting rankings since picking up an offer last year from the Irish. He was the lowest rated recruit when he signed, and will now end up the highest player from this class, and could very well pick up his fifth star. He is an athletic freak and has the size, range, speed, and ball skills to be an elite safety for the Irish. It will be interesting to see how he competes during fall camp, but look for him to get some time in the secondary as well as on special teams. He may be a candidate for under 4 games to preserve a redshirt since he is still a bit undersized. Give him a year with Matt Balis and he will be a stud. He has the same traits that made everyone gush about former 5 star player Max Redfield, but he appears to have a much better head on his shoulders. Please see below.
Kyren Williams will have over 600 all purpose yards as a Freshman
I am very excited about Kyren. He is going to be a bowling ball for the Irish and has the same build as Golden Tate (5’10 200ish) and kind of runs like him too. He played both slot and running back in high school and has great ball skills. With Dexter Williams departing, there will definitely be carries/passes out the backfield to be spread around. His ability to be a shifty pass catching back will massive benefit for the Irish in the fall. He is also enrolling early, which will give him time to adjust to the playbook and learn the blocking schemes. He mentioned he models his game after Christian McCaffrey....and I am all in on that comparison.
Who do you think will be difference makers next year and in the future for the Irish? Please share in the comments and we can revisit next year and see who called it! As always, GO IRISH.