The 6-foot-0.5, 183-pound Devin Studstill does a good job of breaking down and making tackles in space, but he has the tendency to throw a shoulder and not wrap up. You have to love his physicality and nose for the football, but wrapping up on his tackles is something he needs to continue to work on.
Studstill excels on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver as well, so you have to like his ability to get vertical and attack the pigskin at its highest point. He does a good job of catching the ball away from his body, and has the offensive mind to rack up additional yardage after the interception as well.
Overall, Studstill's emotion and passion for the game impacts the ones around him. He plays with great tenacity, and can chip in and provide in both the run and pass. This is another versatile standout out of talent-rich South Florida.
Notre Dame has been recruiting Devin Studstill longer than Autry Denson has.
When the Irish started work on the three-star safety from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the recruiter of record for Notre Dame was Tony Alford, now at Ohio State. Denson picked up where Alford left off, getting the 6-foot-1, 183-pound defensive back to campus for the Irish Invasion and the USC weekend.
At 6 p.m. eastern today that work should pay off as Studstill announces his college commitment, with Notre Dame expected to beat out West Virginia, Miami and Texas.
A source told Irish Illustrated on Tuesday morning that Studstill is expected to go with his long-time favorite in Notre Dame. A former prep teammate of freshman linebacker TeVon Coney, Studstill has received regular feedback around his high school that the Irish should be the pick.
However, he’s also a legacy at West Virginia, where his father played quarterback, following Major Harris in Morgantown.
If the Irish close out this recruitment as expected it would represent Notre Dame’s 20th verbal commitment and fourth safety, following Spencer Perry, D.J. Morgan and Jalen Elliott. Notre Dame’s depth chart at the position is in dire need of reinforcements with Elijah Shumate, John Turner and Nicky Baratti likely gone after the season, Avery Sebastian owning an injury-prone medical history and Drue Tranquill having torn both ACLs.
That leaves starter Max Redfield to go with freshmen Nicco Feritta and Mykelti Williams. Freshman Ashton White could also switch to safety from cornerback. White and Williams are coming off red-shirt seasons.
That scenario means Studstill could play early in South Bend.
Corey Bender, who covers Florida recruiting for Scout.com wouldn’t bet against that.
“The first thing that captures my attention when watching Studstill is his passion for the game,” Bender said. “This defensive back plays with his heart on his sleeve, and is jam-packed with energy until the play is whistled dead.
“Studstill doesn't possess the eye-popping measurables for the safety position, but is a hard-nosed defensive back that certainly warms up to contact. He does a good job of reading and reacting in the secondary, and flashes impressive closing speed and explosion when zeroing in on the ball carrier. This instinctive, well-rounded defensive back wastes no time attacking and getting his pads north and south.”
Notre Dame needs to throw numbers at safety this cycle with room for more in the defensive backfield.
Four-star defensive back Jordan Fuller, four-star corner Damar Hamlin and three-star cornerback Troy Pride Jr. remain in play. Fuller visited last weekend, his first official. The Irish had been recruiting him at safety but opened the door for a future at cornerback. Hamlin has Notre Dame running near the front with Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Penn State. Pride has said Notre Dame holds a slight edge over ACC competition.
While some of that group may be more highly-rated than Studstill, few prospects at any position have been recruited longer. On Tuesday night that year-plus of work should pay off with a commitment.
“Studstill's emotion and passion for the game impacts the ones around him,” Bender said. “He plays with great tenacity, and can chip in and provide in both the run and pass. This is another versatile standout out of talent-rich South Florida.”