Cole Luke (Cornerback, 6'0" 165)The FOXSportsNEXT.com West Coast recruiting team offered the following scouting report of the Chandler, Arizona product:
The top pure corner in the state of Arizona, Luke is a tremendous defensive back who constantly makes plays. He has good anticipation and instincts and very good awareness. Does a great job opening his hips and good recovery ability. Is a tough corner with good closing speed and won't hesitate to pop the receiver. A good athlete who just needs to add some more bulk to a frame suited for more weight.
In January, Luke spoke with national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins regarding his early-season commitment to the Irish: "With Notre Dame, it's all about what that school and the degree can do for you after football," Luke told Biggins. "This wasn't a four year decision, it was a long term choice and out of the schools, I don't think anyone can do as much for you as Notre Dame.
"I love the combination of academics and athletics and the fact that they didn't sign any corners last year was another plus. I think I'll have the opportunity to get out there and compete for playing time right away and I'm looking forward to that opportunity as well."
Veterans returning at Cornerback: Seniors Bennett Jackson (1) and Lo Wood (2), junior Josh Atkinson (2), redshirt-sophomore Jalen Brown (3), sophomores Keivarae Russell (3) and Elijah Shumate (3). Shumate could also move to safety.
Berk on Luke: Super athlete who will need to add weight and strength as he matures into a high level defensive back. Blessed with quick feet and the ability to mirror receivers, Luke should develop into a high level cover corner for the Irish.
Dohn on Luke: Once Luke adds weight and strength, he can be an elite cornerback. He has loose hoops and changes direction very well. Luke doesn't mind being physical and jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and is also comfortable in a back pedal. He has reads plays well and tracks the ball well.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingEverything but the weight.
Luke is fast, quick to change direction, fluid in both his gait and backpedal, anticipates the path of the ball, can go get it above most receivers, and is a naturally fluid cover man on the corner, something Notre Dame hasn't brought to campus since Darrin Walls joined the 2006 Irish recruiting class.
But whether he's 165 or 170 as recently reported, its not debatable one thing stands in his way toward varsity scrimmage action: Luke has to gain weight and strength to play in Notre Dame's heavy zone scheme.
Unlike fellow freshmen Rashad Kinlaw and Devin Butler, Luke is a natural fit at cornerback, as few schools would consider playing him anywhere but what is obviously his best position. He has a chance to compete for a nickel cornerback role in 2013 and for the two deep depth chart as well, but supplanting returning starter Bennett Jackson and KeiVarae Russell, as well as a healthy Lo Wood would be a tall task if he hits campus in the 170-pound range.
Regardless of his 2013 playing time, Luke appears destined to occupy a starting spot on the corner for multiple seasons in South Bend. He is arguably the class's third-most important asset behind outside linebacker Jaylon Smith and defensive end Isaac Rochell.
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Cole Luke: