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What does Chris Tyree’s commitment mean for Notre Dame football?

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It’s a 5-Star commitment regardless of ranking.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish just stepped up their recruiting game in a massive way on Thursday with the commitment of the nation’s top APB, Chris Tyree. The Virginia native was an early target and the top target on Notre Dame’s board. Everything feels great — so what does this all mean?

THUMBS UP LANCE TAYLOR

The biggest knock on former Irish running backs coach, Autry Denson, was that he just couldn’t recruit. There was a personal philosophy there that while admirable — it just doesn’t work while trying to compete as a national power. Denson was an incredible coach and the running backs under his teaching have not lost a fumble since the Boston College game in 2015. Still... more talent was definitely needed on the Irish roster.

Enter Lance Taylor as the new running backs coach. Taylor has already lived up to his billing as a good recruiter with this commitment from Tyree. His role (along with Chip Long) was to get Tyree to commit, and even after Chris was leaning extraordinarily hard towards the Oklahoma Sooners — he found a way to reel him back into the fold.

HOW BIG IS THIS?

Chris Tyree

First of all, Notre Dame needed to add a speedy playmaker to its offense and Tyree is all of that and then some. Notre Dame saw a big decline in explosive plays in 2018 from 2017, and had to start building up its arsenal to stay competitive against really good teams.

Tyree is the highest rated running back to commit since James Aldridge in 2006, and he is the highest rated player since Tommy Kraemer in 2016. He is the highest rated offensive skill player to commit since Gunner Kiel in 2012, and as far as non-quarterback skill players — he is the highest rated since WR Michael Floyd in 2008.

With Tyree’s commitment, the Irish move up to the #6 spot in the 247 Team Rankings, and could keep climbing with more really good recruits left on the board. There is, however, a bit of a ceiling as this may be a fairly small class with possibly a max of 20 players.

Yes... this is a really big deal and you should be celebrating.

HOW DOES HE FIT IN 2020?

The Notre Dame running back group right now is mostly unproven players, so it’s hard to predict a pecking order for 2020 before the 2019 season has even begun. Both Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong are able to return to Notre Dame in 2020, so there won’t be the pressing need From Tyree to contribute greatly as a freshman.

Having said that... I imagine a world where the entire starting offensive line from 2019 is able to return in 2020 and does just that. With a back like Tyree, his explosion and pure speed should and most likely will be used to run through a giant hole for paydirt. Think Josh Adams in 2017 or C.J. Prosise in 2015.

His skill as a pass-catcher can not be overlooked. There are many different ways the Irish can use Tyree right away, and I think they will try to do just that.

ROSTER MANAGEMENT

Tyree’s commitment gives the Irish a full 85 for 2020 as of right now. Of course there will be roster attrition, but I won’t speculate on all of that before June of 2019. It does mean that the Irish could be carrying 6 running backs on the roster in 2020, and that number does seem kind of high. It’s very likely that Tyree is the only running back the Irish will sign this class — so be thankful it’s a player of his caliber.

2020 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Quarterback Drew Pyne Brendon Clark* - - Ian Book
Running Back Chris Tyree Kyren Williams* Jahmir Smith*, C'Bo Flemister* Jafar Armstrong*, Avery Davis* -
Tight End Michael Mayer, Kevin Bauman - George Takacs*, Tommy Tremble* Brock Wright -
Wide Receiver Jordan Johnson, Jay Brunelle, Xavier Watts Kendall Abdur-Rahman* Micah Jones*, Kevin Austin*, Braden Lenzy*, Lawrence Keys III*, Joe Wilkins* Javon McKinley, Bennett Skowronek
Center - Zeke Correll* Jarrett Patterson* - -
Guard - Hunter Spears* John Dirksen* Dillan Gibbons*, Aaron Banks* Tommy Kraemer, Colin Grunhard
Tackle Tosh Baker, Michael Carmody Andrew Kristofic*, Quinn Carroll* - Robert Hainsey, Josh Lugg* Liam Eichenberg
Defensive Tackle Aidan Keanaaina, Rylie Mills Howard Cross*, Jacob Lacey Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin* Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa -
Defensive End Alexander Ehrensberger, Jordan Botelho NaNa Osafo-Mensah*, Isaiah Foskey* Justin Ademilola*, Ovie Oghoufo* Kofi Wardlow* Ade Ogundeji, Daelin Hayes
Linebacker - Jack Kiser*, Osita Ekwonu*, Marist Liufau*, JD Bertrand* Bo Bauer, Jack Lamb*, Shayne Simon, Paul Moala Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah* -
Safety - Litchfield Ajavon*, Kyle Hamilton D.J. Brown*, Houston Griffith Isaiah Pryor* -
Cornerback Clarance Lewis, Caleb Offord, Ramon Henderson K.J. Wallace*, Isaiah Rutherford*, Cam Hart*, TaRiq Bracy - Shaun Crawford**, Nick McCloud
Specialists Alex Peitsch (LS) Jay Bramblett - Jonathan Doerer -
Totals 17/85 (17) 38/85 (21) 60/85 (22) 75/85 (15) 85/85 (10)
*Eligible For 5th Year **Eligible For 6th Year