The Notre Dame Fighting Irish signed seven defensive players (and one long snapper) today during the early signing period. Here is a snapshot of the newest group.
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
High School: St. Louis
Position: Inside linebacker, although the Irish intend to use him at defensive end
Weight: 229 pounds
Senior season stats: 35 1⁄2 tackles, including 10 sacks; undefeated and a state champion; finalist for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s best linebacker.
247Sports Composite Ranking: 114th overall (#6 ILB and #1 in HI)
Other scholarships offered: 22 total, including Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes
Primary recruiters: Brian Polian and Mike Elston
From the experts: “The film would tell you the projection to defensive end is not as dramatic as we [sic] think it is. When you watch the tape, he’s rushing in a two-point stance and he’s very heavy handed. Like, when he strikes you, he’s punching you. He is a really unique combination of a high intensity, violent football player.” - Polian
Rearrange his name and you get: Not a job holder; other old banjo
Hometown: Lake Bluff, Ill.
High School: Lake Forest
Position: Defensive end
Height: 6-foot-4 1⁄2
Weight: 250 pounds
Senior season stats: Forty-five tackles (14 for loss) and five sacks in seven games
247Sports Composite Ranking: #164 nationally (#8 SDE and #4 in Illinois)
Other scholarships offered: 28 total, including Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Ohio State and LSU Tigers
Primary recruiters: Mike Elston and Tommy Rees
From the experts: “Rylie is a long-limbed, athletic edge rusher who has the flexibility to bend around the edge. He knows how to use his length, strong hands, and great size to his advantage.” - Tom Lemming, Rivals.com recruiting analyst
Rearrange his name and you get: El Silly Rim, Mr. Silly Lei
Hometown: Englewood, Colo.
High School: J.K. Mullen
Position: Defensive tackle
Height: 6-foot-2 3/4
Weight: 302 pounds
Senior season stats: Seventy-seven tackles (13 for loss), four sacks, seven hurries, eight forced fumbles (two recovered) and one blocked field goal
247Sports Composite Ranking: #524 nationally (#47 DT and #6 in CO)
Other scholarships offered: 22 total, including Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State and Penn State Nittany Lions
Primary recruiters: Elston and Clark Lea
From the experts: “At the point of attack, Aidan is one of the best I’ve ever seen in high school. ... He has great hands, great feet, and he’s relentless. I’ve never seen him miss a tackle, and he loves to finish with a slam.” - Stan Richardson, Keanaaina’s high school coach, to the Denver Post
Rearrange his name and you get: Well, you don’t get anything because there’s just too many darn As.
Hometown: Southaven, Miss.
High School: Southaven
Weight: 170 pounds
Senior season stats: Twenty-two tackles, 4 pass breakups, one interception, one fumble recovery (which he returned for a touchdown) and one forced fumble; 4.61 40-yard dash (per 247 Sports)
247Sports Composite Ranking: #511 nationally (#37 CB and #13 in Mississippi)
Other scholarships offered: 14 total, including Oklahoma and the Memphis Tigers
Primary recruiters: Terry Joseph and Lea
From the experts: “Tough and aggressive with very good instincts, he reads offenses well, reacts quickly, and closes fast on passes in front of him. Caleb also shows the burst and speed to cut in front of the receiver to make the tough interception.” - Lemming
Rearrange his name and you get: Led off cobra
Hometown: Harrodsburg, Ky.
High School: Boyle County
Height: 5-foot-11 1⁄2
Senior season stats: 37 tackles (21 solo), a sack and three interceptions; first-team All-State defensive back
247Sports Composite Ranking: #556 nationally (#29 Athlete and #6 in Kentucky)
Other scholarships offered: 10 total, including Michigan, Ohio State and the Wisconsin Badgers
Primary recruiters: Todd Lyght and Joseph
From the experts: “What I like about him is his length and speed. He has verified speed. He’s got the kind of versatility that I really like in a defensive back, especially with his experience on offense.” - Barton Simmons, 247Sports’ director of scouting
Rearrange his name and you get: Bent loner sandal
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
High School: Liberty
Weight: 180 pounds
Senior season stats: Twelve tackles (10 solo) and nine passes defended
247Sports Composite Ranking: #602 nationally (#32 Athlete and #54 in California)
Other scholarships offered: 11 total, including Oklahoma, the Utah Utes and USC Trojans
Primary recruiters: Joseph and Polian
From the experts: “Henderson is an intriguing two-way prospect who has the top-end speed and hands to be an elite playmaking receiver but the ball skills to be a cover cornerback. Creates separation and consistently gets behind the defender but needs to be consistent in his route running. Defensively, has the length and speed to recover and cover all types of receivers, but still raw in his technique.” - Brandon Huffman, 247Sports’ national recruiting analyst
Rearrange his name and you get: Manners honored
Hometown: Edison, N.J.
High School: Mater Dei
Weight: 180 pounds
Senior season stats: Three interceptions
247Sports Composite Ranking: #727 nationally (#58 CB and #17 in New Jersey)
Other scholarships offered: 15 total, including Minnesota Golden Gophers, Vanderbilt Commodores and Virginia Tech Hokies
Primary recruiters: Elston and Joseph
From the experts: “A speedy, athletic defender with excellent ball skills, Lewis played safety for Mater Dei but is expected to play cornerback when he heads to Notre Dame in the fall. The sticky-fingered Lewis was Mater Dei’s leading receiver with 39 catches for 639 yards. He scored five TDs. Lewis intercepted three passes, but most opponents often chose not to challenge him.” - Mike Kinney, NJ Advance Media
Rearrange his name and you get: Will see cancer; well since care
Hometown: Dusseldorf, Germany
High School: Theodor-Fliedner Gymnasium
Position: Defensive end
Weight: 239 pounds
Senior season stats: Seven sacks, three forced fumbles, a safety, two blocked kicks and two fumble recoveries
247Sports Composite Ranking: #1373 nationally (#67 SDE and #2 in Germany)
Other scholarships offered: 2 total — Notre Dame and FIU Panthers
Primary recruiters: Elston and Lea
From the experts: “He is absolutely a rare body type with great length and the kind of physical maturity that he looks like he is already in college now. I think he will bring a maturity to Notre Dame that will serve him well in terms of his development.” - Simmons
Rearrange his name and you get: Hex reneger Arab lenders
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.
High School: St. John’s College
Position: Long snapper
Weight: 205 pounds
247Sports Composite Ranking: #2816 nationally (#2 LS and #18 in D.C.)
Other scholarships offered: Notre Dame was the only college to offer him a scholarship, according to 247 Sports’ database.
Primary recruiters: Polian and Chip Long
From the experts: “Peitsch has been nothing short of dominant at every Kohl’s event he has attended. He is someone who pushes himself to be the best he can be in every aspect of sports and in life. Peitsch is truly a generational talent and will be able to make an immediate impact for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.” - Jamie Kohl of Kohl’s Kicking, as told to 247 Sports
Rearrange his name and you get: A schlep exit; Help is exact
The Irish also welcomed one graduate transfer, defensive back Isaiah Pryor.
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
High School: Archer
Weight: 202 pounds
Junior season stats with the Ohio State Buckeyes: Had three tackles in four games
247Sports Composite Ranking: #63 in the 2017 Class nationally (#8 S and #10 in Florida)
Other scholarships offered: 43 total, including Alabama, LSU and Clemson
From the experts: “I think he’s a strong safety. ... Very strong tackler. Doesn’t mind sending a message over the middle and hitting people.” - Mike Farrell, Rivals’ national recruiting director, to the South Bend Tribune
Rearrange his name and you get: Posh Airy Air
* Early enrollee