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National Signing Day 2019: Notre Dame is still over the scholarship limit despite certain moves

The road to 85 usually has some exit markers.

brian polian notre dame football recruiting
Brian Polian
Mike Miller/One Foot Down

It’s National Signing day for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the rest of the college football world. As we, and many others have stated, today is not a day for surprises. Isaiah Foskey will announce that he’s Irish this afternoon, and in doing so, he will be the 23rd commitment in this 2019 recruiting class.

That number “23” might be a little contested depending upon who you are talking with about the class. I count 23 scholarship players, but the class only has 20 scholarships extended as of right now. Even with that number, the Irish are 2 over the 85 limit for the 2019 roster.

How did all of that work out? Well, 3 recruits aren’t counted towards the scholarship totals for various reasons — and it’s all pretty amazing that it’s happening this way for Notre Dame (a school that historically has stayed away from some of this stuff).

  • 4-Star LB J.D. Bertrand will join the team as a preferred walk-on.
  • 3-Star K Harrison Leonard will join the team as a preferred walk-on.
  • 4-Star LB Marist Liufua is looking at a possible gray-shirt for 2019.

I think it’s probably a safe bet that the Irish have at least 2 players leave the program before or after spring football. If there is any more attrition, the 3 players mentioned will be up for the empty scholarship. I’m guessing that the order is probably:

  1. Liufau
  2. Bertrand
  3. Leonard

The Irish were willing to add Asa Turner to this class as well (along with Foskey) so that should further strengthen the case that we will certainly see some moves this spring that Brian Kelly and the staff already know about.

It should be noted that these non-scholarship moves were all done with the recruits fully aware of their situation. This was not any type of “bait and switch” from Kelly or his staff. It was a very well done sales job.

For the second year in a row, the Irish staff was very aggressive in adding players to its recruiting class to help get it to 85 for fall camp. I believe that a full 85 every year for the Irish is an important part of development and preparation, and we will likely see this style of recruiting for the remainder of Brian Kelly’s time in South Bend.

2019 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position/Year Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Position/Year Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Quarterback Brendon Clark Phil Jurkovec* Ian Book*
Running Back Kyren Williams Jahmir Smith*, C'Bo Flemister* Jafar Armstrong* Tony Jones Jr.*
Tight End ⭐️ George Takacs*, Tommy Tremble* Cole Kmet, Brock Wright
Wide Receiver Cam Hart, Kendall Abdur-Rahman Micah Jones*, Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy*, Lawrence Keys III*, Joe Wilkins Jr.* Michael Young, Isaiah Robertson Chase Claypool, Javon McKinley* Chris Finke
Center Zeke Correll Jarrett Patterson* Trevor Ruhland
Guard John Olmstead John Dirksen* Dillan Gibbons*, Aaron Banks* Tommy Kraemer*
Tackle Andrew Kristofic, Quinn Carroll Cole Mabry* Robert Hainsey, Josh Lugg* Liam Eichenberg*
Defensive Tackle Jacob Lacey, Hunter Spears Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin* Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa*
Defensive End Howard Cross, NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Isaiah Foskey Justin Ademilola*, Ovie Oghoufo* Kofi Wardlow* Ade Ogundeji*, Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara, Jamir Jones
Linebacker Jack Kiser, Osi Ekwonu, Marist Luifau, JD Bertrand Matt Bauer, Jack Lamb*, Shayne Simon, Paul Moala Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah* Jonathan Jones* Asmar Bilal
Safety Litchfield Ajavon, Kyle Hamilton D.J. Brown* Jalen Elliott, Alohi Gilman*
Cornerback K.J. Wallace, Isaiah Rutherford Tariq Bracy, Houston Griffith Avery Davis* Troy Pride Jr., Donte Vaughn Shaun Crawford**
Specialists Jay Bramblett John Doerer John Shannon*
22/85 (22) 46/85 (24) 63/85 (17) 80/85 (17) 84/85 (4)
*Eligible For 5th Year **Eligible For 6th Year Rovers count as LB’s