In the film room…defensive front seven

After snagging a QB (Davis), Notre Dame swooped in and grabbed LBs Werner, Adams and White. Hinish, a 3-technique with a motor that won’t quit, rounded out ND’s talent grab.

(Editor’s note: Irish Illustrated previously provided a film review of quarterback commit Avery Davis. Link.)

A flurry of verbal commitments fell Notre Dame’s way in one of the most instantly-gratifying junior days in the relatively short time the practice has been undertaken.

The Irish pretty much wrapped up their linebacker recruiting for the cycle with the verbal commitments of David Adams (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Pete Werner (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Drew White (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), along with defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, a high teammate of Adams’ in the Steel City.

The Irish now have verbal commitments from nine prospects: one quarterback, one defensive tackle, two tight ends, two offensive linemen and three linebackers.

Three – offensive lineman Josh Lugg, Adams and Hinish – are from Pennsylvania. Two – offensive guard Dillan Gibbons and White – are from Florida. Two more – Davis and tight end Brock Wright – are from Texas. The Irish have one each from the states of Illinois (tight end Cole Kmet) and Indiana (Werner).

Seven of the nine are rated by Scout as four-star prospects; the three-stars are Hinish and White.

A light-on-his-feet, athletic linebacker who has a natural, free-and-easy lateral movement to his game with explosive tackle-finishing skills.

Powers his way through ball carriers. Very good pad level upon contact. A menacing hitter despite not yet being close to achieving the size and strength he can gain over time.

Listed by Scout as an outside (Sam) linebacker, he certainly can play the position. But he has the makings of a dynamic Will linebacker. Likely a bit underrated as the No. 259 prospect by Scout.

Other offers: Army, Boston College, Cal, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin.  

Sturdy, prototypical Mike linebacker with good starting base. Above-average lateral movement and pass-dropper for a Mike. Lighter on his feet than most prototypical Mike LBs.

Does a nice job of bursting to the ball carrier and not overrunning cutbacks. A faster (but not as tall) Jarrett Grace. Could show a more explosive, physical nature at times, which should develop further during his senior year of prep football.

Great anticipation and decisiveness to the football. Shows the instincts to find his way through traffic and creases. An instinctual football player. A bigger, more physically-talented Joe Schmidt with comparable instincts.

Other offers: Baylor, Boston College, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin

A long, explosive three-technique with a menacing presence and a nasty, determined temperament. Quick off the snap and uses his hands as weapons.

High-level lower-body strength/explosiveness. Outstanding lower-body strength and motor. Would be an outstanding offensive lineman, but too natural as a defensive tackle to consider otherwise.

Still has to prove lateral ability, but straight ahead, he’s a dynamo. Should be a quality pass rusher as three-techniques go. This guy is going to be a handful in the trenches.

Other offers: Baylor, Boston College, Iowa State, Louisville, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Toledo, Vanderbilt

Undersized linebacker with safety quickness. Quality change of direction; doesn’t give in to jukes. A light-on-his-feet, bouncy athlete. Does an outstanding job of squaring up ball carriers, wrapping and driving through tackle.

A Drue Tranquill-type physical presence in the box. Excellent choice to serve as the strong safety-type blitzer in Brian VanGorder’s defensive scheme. Once he decides he’s going to pressure the quarterback and drive on a ball carrier, he is decisive and explosive.

A resourceful player in that he finds ways, angles to get to the man with the football. Great motor. Relishes the chase and lives for contact. In a battle of one-on-one, he’s always the low man. Perhaps not a full-time linebacker prospect because of size, but an quality situational prospect.

Other offers: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, N.C. State, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin


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