The First Five Fit

Demarest N.J., defensive end Andrew Trumbetti's recent pledge gives Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly a quintet of athletes on which to build his 2014 recruiting class. Irisheyes.com offers its initial "Recruit Fit" column for this cycle with a breakdown of Trumbetti, Jimmy Byrne, Jay Hayes, Justin Brent, and Greer Martini (pictured), and where each of the fives fits in 2014 and beyond.

DL Andrew Trumbetti

Committed Saturday, March 23 after attending Notre Dame's junior day.

By the Numbers: 6'5" 250 pounds, the four-star prospect is ranked #19 overall at DE by FOX Sports NEXT.

2014 Defensive Linemen: Senior Stephon Tuitt (1), senior Tony Springmann (2), senior Chase Hounshell (2), junior Sheldon Day (2), junior Jarron Jones (3), sophomores (incoming 2013 freshmen) Eddie Vanderdoes, Jacob Matuska, and Isaac Rochell. Fellow 2014 pledge Jay Hayes (below). Current senior Louis Nix could also return for a fifth year in 2014 though that is unexpected.

2015 and Beyond: Nix and Tuitt will be gone with Springmann and Day the "certainties" and the likes of Jones, Vanderdoes, and Rochell likely entrenched in the two-deep/ starting roles.

More to Join? Look for at least one more DE to join what is at present a two-DL haul, with the addition of a true NG/NT prospect crucial to the class and the future of the position group.

In Summation: Blessed with quick feet and athleticism, a 280-pound Trumbetti would be an ideal fit as a four-technique defensive end in the team's 3-4 sets. Its expected that at least 80 percent of incoming freshmen defensive linemen will redshirt in their first seasons, Trumbetti could follow the path of 2011 frosh Tony Springmann, who after acclimating to the college game on the scout team in 2011, played an integral role in the 2012 line rotation.

OL Jimmy Byrne

Committed to Notre Dame on December 8 following the program's annual Awards Show.

By the Numbers: 6'4" 285 pounds, the four-star prospect is the #10 ranked offensive tackler per FOX Sports Next.

2014 Offensive Linemen: 5th-year senior Christian Lombard (T/G), senior center Matt Hegarty (2), senior center/guard Nick Martin (2), senior guard Conor Hanratty (2), junior tackle Ronnie Stanley (3), junior center/guard Mark Harrell (3), sophomores (redshirt-freshmen) Mike McGlinchey (T), Colin McGovern (G/T), John Montelus (G/C), Steven Elmer (T), and Hunter Bivin (G/C). Current senior Bruce Heggie (G) could return in 2014 to lend practice depth if the Irish remain below their target number of offensive line scholarships.

2015 and Beyond: Notre Dame's transition season up front is 2014, that after the graduation of current 5th-year seniors Zack Martin and Chris Watt. By 2015, only Lombard should be in need of a replacement along the first unit, with 2012-13 recruits populating the starting group and the 2014 haul beginning to breech the two-deep.

More to Join? Without a doubt. Notre Dame will sign at least three more offensive line prospects; four isn't out of the question for 2014, this on the heels of a 2013 incoming quintet that will help usher in a newer, deeper era up front for the program.

In Summation: Notre Dame brought in one guard and four offensive tackle prospects in 2013. Byrne seems an early fit for the interior as the initial offensive lineman to commit to Kelly's fourth recruiting class.

DL Jay Hayes

Hayes committed in early November 2012 without yet visiting campus. He made his first trip to South Bend over the weekend for the program's Junior Day.

By the Numbers: 6'5" 272 pounds, the four-star prospect is the #17 ranked DT by FOX Sports NEXT but was initially evaluated by analysts as an offensive line prospect.

2014 Defensive Linemen: Senior Stephon Tuitt (1), senior Tony Springmann (2), senior Chase Hounshell (2), junior Sheldon Day (2), sophomores (incoming 2013 freshmen) Eddie Vanderdoes, Jacob Matuska, and Isaac Rochell. Fellow 2014 pledge Andrew Trumbetti (above). Current senior Louis Nix could also return for a fifth year in 2014 though that is unexpected.

2015 and Beyond: As noted above, Nix and Tuitt will be gone with Springmann and Day the "certainties" and Jones, Vanderdoes, Rochell, et al pushing for starting roles. The future successes of Notre Dame's defensive fronts rests on the ahead-of-schedule Day, the blossoming Springmann, and its 2013 and 2014 recruiting hauls.

More to Join? See Trumbetti's text above. Hayes could easily grow into a true NG/NT role by his second season in South Bend. Hayes' apparent ability to play inside helps greatly, but another anchor would be ideal.

In Summation: Capable of playing offensive line as well (he's rated as such by FOX Sports NEXT), Hayes gives Kelly a true Power Profile player at two positions of future need and numbers. Notre Dame will use him on the defensive front unless calamity strikes on the opposite side of scrimmage (as it has among recently recruited OLs).

Hayes and 2013 freshman Vanderdoes are the two most likely incoming pledges to work the bulk of snaps inside in a shifting 3-4/4-3 front.

WR Justin Brent

Committed to Notre Dame on July 9, 2012 -- his first official scholarship offer.

By the Numbers: 6'3" 195-pound four-star prospect is ranked #40 by FOX Sports NEXT.

2014 Wide Receivers: Senior DaVaris Daniels (2), juniors Chris Brown, Davonte Neal, and Justin Ferguson (2 apiece), junior C.J. Prosise (3), sophomores (current incoming freshmen) Torii Hunter, Jr., James Onwualu, Corey Robinson, and Will Fuller. Current senior Luke Massa could return for a 5th-season as well.

2015 and Beyond: The unit could bring back an entire allotment of players from the 2014 group above, but Irish fans should hope Daniels develops into a pro prospect worthy of departure following his graduation.

More to Join? At least one, potentially two more pass-catchers will be part of the 2014 haul.

In Summation: Notre Dame's wide receiver talent is on the younger side, with 10 players (including Brent) eligible through 2015 and beyond. Brent's size gives him a chance to compete by 2015, but he'll be looking up at a boatload of talent when he hits campus as a true freshman in 2014.

ILB Greer Martini

Committed on July 7, 2012 after visiting for a late-June camp. He is a former high school teammate of current Notre Dame wide receiver/safety C.J. Prosise at Woodberry Forest (Va.) School.

By the Numbers: Th 6'3" 233-pound four-star prospect is ranked as the #20 overall outside linebacker by FOX Sports Next. Martini is headed to defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's iinside 'backer unit upon his arrival at Notre Dame.

2014 Inside Linebackers: Potential 5th-year senior Kendall Moore, senior Jarrett Grace (2), senior Anthony Rabasa (2), incoming 2013 freshman Michael Deeb. Incoming freshman Doug Randolph could get a look inside as well, though that would be more due to need than an ideal fit as he appears best suited for the edge.

2015 and Beyond: Wide open beyond the likely ascent of current junior Jarrett Grace. If a young player (Deeb, Martini, other) proves capable, a starting spot is likely available in 2015 in South Bend.

More to Join? Its mandatory. If not two more for 2014, than one ILB prospect will join Martini and two more will become necessary in 2015.

In Summation: The Irish will stock up on four inside linebacker prospects over the next two cycles, with a fifth versatile prospect likely capable of playing the position. Like Deeb before him, Martini will hit campus in an enviable position to compete for a two-deep role from the outset; a starting spot one year later.


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