Meet The Class: Defense

Even with some misses at defensive end and safety, Notre Dame still managed to recruit top talent at cornerback, linebacker and defensive tackle. Here’s how the Irish assembled their defensive haul.

Defensive Line
Recruiting Rewind:

Dew-Treadway’s commitment was part of a summer rush at defensive tackle when the Irish wanted to put a must position to bed early. Dew-Treadway held a mid-level Big 10 offer list with Wisconsin his top regional option. The Irish have wanted to get into Bolingbrook for years, with Dew-Treadway cracking the door.

Recruiting Rewind:

The Moeller product was among the first Irish offers in this class and he waited until summer to commit. Notre Dame beat Ohio State head-to-head. Taylor’s recruitment has been no fuss since that commitment as he’s returned multiple times to campus with his family. He projects at defensive tackle.

Recruiting Rewind:

Tiassum was another summer commit when Notre Dame offered before camp. The Irish saw something in the big bodied nose guard that other programs didn’t as the in-state athlete had a modest offer list outside of Miami and Louisville. Tiassum didn’t play a high level of competition in high school but was productive.

Recruiting Rewind:

Wallace is a project as a pass rusher considering his size, but he has a quick first step and could grow into a threat off the edge. He held quality offers, including Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and UCLA. While in-state LSU didn’t make a push, Wallace has the kind of long and lean frame the Tigers usual covet.

Linebacker
Recruiting Rewind:

Barajas looked like a Notre Dame lock early in the process until he committed to Penn State in March. Two months later he was Irish. His offer list represented virtually the entire Big 10. A product of Andrean, a Catholic school barely an hour from campus, Barajas is the kind of kid the Irish have to keep home.

Recruiting Rewind:

A head-to-head win against Michigan that was a lot closer than the actual game between the Irish and Wolverines. After several delays, Bilal needed until the season to make his decision, giving the Irish an athletic outside linebacker that builds on the program’s reputation for keeping in-state talent home.

Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame went off-script to get Coney, taking him away from longtime favorite Florida. Coney admitted he would have gone with the Gators if not for that program’s turmoil, but Tony Alford still needed to get the Irish through the door. The early enrollee has been on campus for almost a month.

Defensive Back
Recruiting Rewind:

A two-way prep player who projects at cornerback and has Irish ties with a father who briefly played here. Coleman had a mid-level Big 10 level offer list, but that included defensively sharp Michigan State. Notre Dame loved Coleman coming out of his junior year and wrapped up a commit quickly after offering.

Recruiting Rewind:

Arguably the top defensive prospect in this class, Notre Dame out foxed Michigan by letting the Wolverines implode on their own. Crawford ultimately de-committed from Michigan and switched to Notre Dame in the spring, giving the Irish an ultra productive cornerback with explosive closing speed.

Recruiting Rewind:

Fertitta hits people. That was his game as a four-time state champion at Bishop Gorman and he should factor into special teams immediately before growing into the safety mix. Fertitta leaned toward Notre Dame almost immediately after getting offered and committed in early April.

Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame got White on campus last summer and liked what it saw from the East Coast defensive back who could help at safety if cornerback doesn’t work. He was a brief commitment to Virginia Tech early in the process before opening things back up. Ohio State and Virginia also offered.

Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame offered and landed Williams in a barely 24-hour timespan, doubling back in December on the Warren Central product. That’s the same program that produced Sheldon Day. Williams may not have elite measurables, but he was in a lot of high level football around Indianapolis and brings good speed to safety.

Specialist
Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame worked out Yoon at its specialists camp last summer where he earned his offer before leaving campus. A commitment came quickly after, with Yoon picking the Irish over Stanford and Texas A&M. The Under Armour All-American overcame a back injury to return to form this fall, starring on the postseason all-star circuit.


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