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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: What’s next for the Irish and their 2021 class?

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Is there a magic number?

NCAA Football: Clemson at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish received their 20th commitment for the 2021 football recruiting class with the pledge of Philip Riley, and it comes a month away from the start of the early signing period. So... what else might go down for Notre Dame before that time, as well as the one in February?

To be perfectly honest — I’m not sure. It could be a huge bang, and it could just, well... be.

Usually, this would be the opportune time to discuss the numbers game that always come along with signing days. With the waiver of this year’s eligibility which was granted by the NCAA because of the coronavirus pandemic, things have got trickier — although perhaps not harder.

Notre Dame was supposed to have a 20 man class (give or take a few) but with attrition and the extra year of eligibility, it seems like there isn’t a real cap on this class. Here’s what the Irish are dealing with right now for 2021:

2021 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Quarterback Tyler Buchner, Ron Powlus Drew Pyne Brendon Clark* - Jack Coan
Running Back Logan Diggs, Audric Estime Chris Tyree Kyren Williams* C'Bo Flemister* -
Tight End Cane Berrong, Mitchell Evans Michael Mayer, Kevin Bauman - George Takacs* -
Wide Receiver Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie, Jayden Thomas Xavier Watts - Kevin Austin*, Braden Lenzy*, Joe Wilkins*, Lawrence Keys III* Avery Davis
Center - - Zeke Correll* Jarrett Patterson* -
Guard Pat Coogan, Rocco Spindler - Hunter Spears* John Dirksen* Cain Madden
Tackle Blake Fisher, Joe Alt, Caleb Johnson Tosh Baker, Michael Carmody Andrew Kristofic*, Quinn Carroll* - Josh Lugg**
Defensive Tackle Gabriel Rubio Aidan Keanaaina, Rylie Mills Howard Cross*, Jacob Lacey Jayson Ademilola Kurt Hinish**, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa**
Defensive End Jason Onye, Will Schweitzer Alexander Ehrensberger, Jordan Botelho NaNa Osafo-Mensah*, Isaiah Foskey* Justin Ademilola* -
Linebacker Prince Kollie, Kahanu Kia - Jack Kiser*, Osita Ekwonu*, Marist Liufau*, JD Bertrand* Bo Bauer, Shayne Simon, Paul Moala Drew White, Isaiah Pryor
Safety Justin Walters, Khari Gee - Litchfield Ajavon*, Kyle Hamilton, KJ Wallace* Houston Griffith, D.J. Brown* -
Cornerback Ryan Barnes, Chance Tucker, Philip Riley, JoJo Johnson Clarence Lewis, Caleb Offord, Ramon Henderson Cam Hart* TaRiq Bracy -
Specialists Josh Bryan (K) Alex Peitsch (LS) Jay Bramblett - Jonathan Doerer**
Totals 26/85 (26) 41/85 (15) 60/85 (19) 76/85 (16) 85/85 (9)
* Eligible for 5th Year ** Eligible for 6th Year

But that’s not ALL they may have for 2021. With that eligibility waiver, there are 14 seniors and 5th year seniors from 2020 that could return — however it is highly unlikely that anything more than a handful put in that extra year.

So what does all of this mean for Notre Dame’s 2021 class?! I’m still not entirely sure yet, but here’s a quick look at what’s left on the table.

RUNNING BACK

Donovan Edwards looked like a real longshot just a month ago. Edwards appeared to be leaning towards the in-state Michigan Wolverines with the Georgia Bulldogs there in second place. After a little Big 10 play and Michigan’s implosion, there’s a line there for Notre Dame and he’s listening. Cardwell was just offered about a week ago. Notre Dame is openly trying to get a second running back in this class, and I’m all for it.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

This Auburn commitment actually hails from Fort Wayne, but I’m not sure any of that matters. Johnson and his family are still listening to Jeff Quinn and Notre Dame. I’m not sure if the Irish can or will flip him when it’s all said and done, but it has all of the makings of one.

DEFENSIVE END

Currently Gilliam is committed to the Oklahoma Sooners, but he is listening to Notre Dame (as well as a handful of others apparently). This isn’t a Texas kid at Oklahoma — it’s a Virginia kid.

LINEBACKER

There are currently some crystal balls in for Kia to pick Notre Dame. The Hawaii native is from the same high school that produced Manti Te’o and Barack Obama.

CORNERBACK

It’s kind of hard imagining Notre Dame taking 4 corners in one class. It’s not that they shouldn’t — it’s just that they rarely go this deep. This feels like more of a longshot at this point, but let’s see how the next couple of weeks unfold.


Of the 6 players listed above, I think the Irish land about 4 of them. That puts this class at 24 recruits, but we could also still see one leave to bring it back down to 23.

Currently, Notre Dame has 20 commitments and the 11th ranked class according to the 247 Composite Rankings.

Notre Dame Football’s 2021 Commit List (27)

POSITION PLAYER SIGNED STATE HT WT RIVALS ESPN 247 SPORTS 247 COMPOSITE COMMIT DATE EARLY ENROLLEE
POSITION PLAYER SIGNED STATE HT WT RIVALS ESPN 247 SPORTS 247 COMPOSITE COMMIT DATE EARLY ENROLLEE
QB Tyler Buchner ☘️ California 6'2" 200 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 03/08/19 YES
DT Gabriel Rubio ☘️ Missouri 6'6" 290 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 06/15/19 YES
OT Blake Fisher ☘️ Indiana 6'6" 300 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 06/15/19 YES
TE Cane Berrong ☘️ Georgia 6'5" 220 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 06/21/19 YES
WR Lorenzo Styles ☘️ Ohio 6'1" 170 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 10/13/19 YES
S Justin Walters ☘️ Illinois 6'2" 175 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 02/02/20 YES
OL Pat Coogan ☘️ Illinois 6'5" 290 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 04/15/20 -
DE Jason Onye ☘️ Rhode Island 6'5" 245 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 05/07/20 -
CB Ryan Barnes ☘️ Maryland 6'2" 180 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 06/06/20 YES
OT Joe Alt ☘️ Minnesota 6'7" 257 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 07/06/20 -
CB Chance Tucker ☘️ California 6'1" 170 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 07/22/20 -
RB Logan Diggs ☘️ Louisiana 6’0" 195 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 07/29/20 -
TE Mitchell Evans ☘️ Ohio 6'7" 240 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 07/31/20 YES
LB Prince Kollie ☘️ Tennessee 6'2" 205 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 08/07/20 -
OG Rocco Spindler ☘️ Michigan 6'5" 315 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 08/08/20 YES
DE Will Schweitzer ☘️ California 6'4" 220 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 08/16/20 YES
WR Deion Colzie ☘️ Georgia 6'4" 195 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 09/28/20 -
WR Jayden Thomas ☘️ Georgia 6'1" 205 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 10/02/20 -
CB Philip Riley ☘️ Florida 6'0" 195 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11/16/20 YES
K Josh Bryan ☘️ Colorado 6'1" 185 SAILER 6⭐️ SAILER 6⭐️ SAILER 6⭐️ SAILER 6⭐️ 11/17/20 -
LB Kahanu Kia ☘️ Hawaii 6'2" 220 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11/19/20 -
OT Caleb Johnson ☘️ Florida 6'7" 295 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11/19/20 YES
CB JoJo Johnson ☘️ Indiana 5'11" 180 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11/24/20 -
DE Devin Aupiu ☘️ California 6’6” 225 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 12/09/20 YES
QB Ron Powlus III ☘️ Indiana 6'3" 225 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 12/16/20 YES
S Khari Gee ☘️ Georgia 6'3" 190 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 12/18/20 -
RB Audric Estime ☘️ New Jersey 6'2" 215 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 12/18/20 -