Army Preview: Irish intrigue on East

Three Notre Dame commitments plus some top targets highlight the East team at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Irish Illustrated takes a look at the key names and news.

Three Notre Dame commitments will suit up for the East team at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer, running back Tony Jones Jr. and long snapper John Shannon. They’ll be joined by some top targets as well, headlined by four-star cornerback Jordan Fuller.

Irish Illustrated takes a look at the names and news to know before East team practices get started in San Antonio.


Hometown: St. Clairsville, Ohio
Position: Outside linebacker
Overall Ranking: 102
Position Ranking: 7
News and notes: Ferns, who is scheduled to visit Notre Dame in January, has considered Penn State and West Virginia among his longtime favorites. The Irish hope to make a move with Ferns and have done their part in promoting Notre Dame’s engineering program to satisfy his desire to graduate with a future in petroleum engineering.
Quotable: “Brendan is a great athlete who can change direction well. He is a three down linebacker that can play the run and pass equally. Will need to be more physical at the college level and a year in the college weight program will make a big difference. He could play tight end or H back in college as well. Can play either inside or outside backer depending on how big he gets. Has played since his freshman season and is as smart a linebacker as there is.” - analyst Bill Greene

Hometown: Old Tappan, N.J.
Position: Cornerback
Overall Ranking: 126
Position Ranking: 10
News and notes: Fuller officially visited Notre Dame in December and the Irish already held one in-home visit. Fuller, who is friends with Irish backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush and defensive lineman Andrew Trumbetti, was impressed with what he saw and heard in South Bend but he still has official visits to take and the Irish have stiff competition in Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and TCU, among others.
Quotable: “I describe my game as quick and physical. One thing I do well on the football field is make quick cuts and quick decisions.” - Fuller

Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Position: Athlete/ receiver
Overall Ranking: 43
Position Ranking: 4
News and notes: Robertson committed to Alabama in July of 2014 then opened things up the following April. He visited Notre Dame in September but the Irish weren’t able to push past Robinson’s other suitors. Count Georgia, Alabama and Stanford among the favorites to sign Robertson, who will announce his college decision on National Signing Day.
Quotable: “I would best describe my game as speed, quickness. I get out of my route really well. I have a knack to go get the ball and have great routes I run.” - Robertson


Hometown: Bradenton, Fla.
Position: Running back
Overall Ranking: 154
Position Ranking: 9
News and notes:  Jones rushed for 514 yards on just 78 carries (6.6/carry) in eight games as a senior. He also scored 11 touchdowns, or one every 7.1 touches. Jones committed to the Notre Dame in March.
Quotable: “My game resembles Marshawn Lynch because he catches the ball out of the backfield and runs downhill with it. One thing I do well on the football field is get vertical.” - Jones

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Position: Offensive tackle
Overall Ranking: 37
Position Ranking: 3
News and notes: Kraemer was simply dominant in his senior season at Elder High School. He set school records with 156 pancake blocks in a single season and 23 in one game.
Quotable: “I'm very excited to represent our country and all of the men and women that protect it and I’m looking forward to competing against the best.” - Kraemer

Hometown: Wilmette, Ill.
Position: Long snapper
Overall Ranking: --
Position Ranking: --
News and notes: According to Chris Sailor Kicking/Rubio Long Snapping, Shannon is the top long snapper in the Class of 2016. He committed to the Irish in March over offers from West Virginia and Army.
Quotable: “It’s really special knowing that I’m gonna be playing in such a prestigious game. So many great players have played in it. It’s something my family is really excited about. It’s just a really big honor. Every high school kid wants to play in that game.” - Shannon

Dates to know (all times Central)

Sunday, Jan. 3 - Players arrive in San Antonio

Monday, Jan. 4 - First day of practice, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 5 - Second day of practice, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 6 - No practice

Thursday, Jan. 7 - Third day of practice, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 8 - U.S. Army National Combine, 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 9 - U.S. Army All-American Bowl, 12 p.m. (NBC) Top Stories