Brian Kelly set a directive for recruiting in the Class of 2018: Find elite speed, wherever it might be.
That hunt led the Irish staff to Portland, Ore., where four-star athlete Braden Lenzy stars in football and track at Tigard High School. Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght visited Tigard before National Signing Day. Wide receivers coach Del Alexander pitched in too.
Turns out the effort paid quick dividends. Lenzy announced Wednesday night a verbal commitment to Notre Dame, not even two weeks after visiting for Junior Day.
Lenzy chose the Irish over scholarship offers from Cal, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan State, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington State. Washington had also expressed interest.
Adding the 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect pushes Notre Dame to 11 commitments in the Class of 2018. Five have jumped on board in the last week and half.
Recruited by some programs as a defensive back, Alexander and offensive coordinator Chip Long described to Lenzy during his Junior Day visit their vision for him as a wide receiver. Think Will Fuller.
“Just being a playmaker,” Lenzy told Irish Illustrated after the trip. “They made it clear they want me to do kickoff return and use me as a deep threat, across the field. Just being kind of an athlete, similar to what I’ve been doing already in high school just on a bigger scale with a quarterback that can throw it a lot farther.”
Lenzy joins three-star prospect Micah Jones as wide receiver commitments. Jones pledged last week. Eight of Notre Dame’s 11 commitments are rated in the four-star range.
Scout.com, which lists Lenzy as a cornerback, rates him its No. 134 prospect overall.