The Notre Dame Fighting Irish saw a renaissance in the running game in 2017 with over 3500 yards rushing in the books. A HUGE chunk of that production (1430 yards) was from Josh Adams, and another big chunk was from Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush (803 yards).
It's still somewhat uncertain how the Irish will be able to replicate their rushing totals from 2017 without Adams in 2018. It gets weirder when you throw in Brandon Wimbush and an inevitable quarterback competition. Hell, it gets WEIRDER YET when you start thinking about 2019.
The Irish return Dexter Williams and Tony Jones Jr. at running back in 2018 but will look to a couple of players from the 2018 recruiting class to help. Early enrollee Jahmir Smith and National Signing Day commitment C'Bo Flemister will be counted on to help in the upcoming season.
But next season is next season. Let's talk about the next season after next season. In 2019, the Irish will lose Dexter Williams to graduation, and who knows what else. If Notre Dame is going to continue to run the ball with confidence and spotlight the running game, they are going to need more help.
The answer is 4 Star Running Back Cesare Mellusi.
It's no secret that when it comes to recruiting, certain intangibles become as important to fans as game film, and I am definitely one of those people, as the right name can skyrocket a player to the top (of my) board.
You don't have to be Catholic to know the name "Cesare." Well - Cesare Borgia to be exact. Cesare Borgia was the son of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia). He was an amazing individual that was as complex as anyone in history, and was the subject of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince." Although he failed at his ultimate goal of a unified Italy with him as Emperor, he changed the face of Italy and Europe in the early 16th century.
Cesare was a central character in the Showtime series "The Borgias" as well as Canal+/Netflix's "Borgia," with the latter being the far more impressive of the two series, and the one that more accurately portrayed the complexity of Cesare.
Just want BK to give this version of a pep talk. pic.twitter.com/LHn2c6SJcw— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) July 17, 2017
Thanks to both of those shows (but mostly "Borgia") I started diving in and studying Cesare and his notorious history. I also had some fun because Notre Dame linebacker Greer Martini resembles Mark Ryder, the Irish actor that portrayed Cesare.
Greer Martini is this year's "People's Champ." Whether he's sacking a QB, or annnouncing his greatness in front of the Pope. So dope! pic.twitter.com/2pgef2ABXG— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) August 5, 2017
Being the son of a Pope is nefarious enough, but his lust for power, the duality of his human nature, and the way he was able to create a mythology about himself while alive, also makes him one of the most interesting men in history.
He was also known as the most handsome man in Italy.
Perhaps I'm the only one nerdy enough, or strange enough to get a kick out of all of this. I even tried to name my youngest son "Cesare" but lost that battle with my wife.
So here's the fun part... Notre Dame is the perceived leader for Florida running back Cesare Mellusi, and here's the tie in:
- Mellusi is an Italian name (although Borgia was Spanish).
- Mellusi is from Naples, Florida, and Cesare Borgia had plans to become King of Naples.
And that's basically all I got. Here's a 4 Star running back with a dope name that I can make meme after meme that myself, and about 23 other people, will enjoy.
If you need real, actual reasons... watch his film. He takes a lot of handoffs from what basically amounts to the fullback position.
Notre Dame absolutely has to sign him.