Breaking down Notre Dame's newest 2015 commitment, linebacker Te'Von Coney of Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High... Projected as a weak-side linebacker for the Irish, Coney chose Notre Dame over Florida and Miami.
Profile: Te'Von Coney
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, High
Height/Weight: 6'1", 222
Offers of note: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee, West Virginia
Aggressive is the first and perhaps best word to describe Coney. In that sense, he's an ideal fit in VanGorder's defensive scheme that features an array of blitzing packages and rewards disruptive behavior behind the line of scrimmage. He prides his game on getting after the quarterback.
Possesses good speed, lateral movement and vision. Strong upper body build, but rather agile on his feet. Room for improvement, as he noted in his live announcement interview with ESPN Recruiting Nation, is in pass coverage, something that will develop nicely with time due to his athletic frame and agility.
Look for additional in-depth player analysis from Scout.com national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg.
In the vaster scope of Notre Dame recruiting, Coney's commitment resonates for Notre Dame on the national scale and makes transparent its unique reputation and appeal as an institution.
A quick glance at Coney's offer list - and two finalists (Florida and Miami) - brings to light Notre Dame's ability to not only attract elite level prospects, but land 'em, in cases where location, familiarity and conference allegiance are not playing into the Irish's favor.
In the case of Coney, who picked up a Notre Dame offer last April, his decision was based upon coaching staff stability, a shot at early contribution on the field and academics. But, it was the overall appeal of chasing something outside of his comfort zone that pushed Notre Dame over the edge, though such mindset required strong recruiting from Notre Dame's staff in order for Coney to become comfortable with adopting it in his own right.
Isn't that the epitome of what Notre Dame recruiting accomplishes?
With 21 commitments on board, Notre Dame has room to add two to four more, depending on how numbers shake out. Despite numbers being at a premium, Notre Dame has viable prospects left on board at running back, safety, defensive line, wide receiver and tight end.
Looking ahead to 2016, middle linebacker will be a point of emphasis as no true middle 'backer is currently being targeted with vigor, likely implicating none will be signed in this class. Former five-star and current freshman Nyles Morgan
was Notre Dame's lone signee at the position in 2014.
“I think I fit in well with the Irish,” Coney said during the announcement, streamed live via ESPN’s Recruiting Nation. “I think I can make some big plays for the Irish as a freshman. I can go in and learn the playbook, and I think I can have a big impact.”
"About two days ago, I sat down and asked God what was the best fit for me. I slept on it and prayed on it again."
"Being able to come in and contribute early my freshman year, being communicate with the coaching staff and players I'll be around every day, being able to talk with other people around the school that can help me outside of football. So, when I say fit, I mean being able to go to anybody when i need help."
"I think it's good for me to get away from home and go to Notre Dame where I can focus more on school and football and reach all the goals I set for myself in life."
"I think Coach VanGorder's scheme fits me well because I like to get after the quarterback and make tackles for loss. Pass coverage (is area for improvement). I want to be able to go out in space and cover quick guys, big guys, whoever."
"It (coaching stability) mattered a lot. My mom wanted to me to go somewhere where she trusts the coaching staff and where they'll probably be there the next three or four years. No one is guaranteed a job in college football, but she felt like they'll be there throughout my career at Notre Dame. It's a great program on the rise, and I wanted to be a part of it."
"It's a great academic school, great legacy, great people there, great alumni. They set their standards high. They want to get back to where they were a couple of years ago when they had Manti Te'o. I watched the defense then, he was a great player. The defense was very aggressive, so I liked that."
Notre Dame linebacker depth in 2015
Potential 5th-year Seniors - Jarrett Grace
(MLB), Ben Councell
(SLB), Joe Schmidt
Senior - John Turner (SLB)
Junior - Jaylon Smith
(WLB), James Onwualu (SLB), Michael Deeb (MLB, RS-So), Doug Randolph (WLB, RS-So)
Sophomore - Nyles Morgan (MLB), Greer Martini
(WLB), Kolin Hill
Incoming Freshmen - Asmar Bilal
(WLB), Josh Barajas
(SLB), Te'Von Coney (WLB)
Four-star Indiana linebacker pledges Irish