Continuation of Slap the Sign’s countdown of the top 10 impact freshmen.
6’0″ 165 lbs
Hamilton High School, Chandler, Arizona
Cole Luke epitomizes how Notre Dame’s 12-0 season positively affected their 2013 recruiting hall. By most accounts, Luke had already committed to Oklahoma, but within a week of Notre Dame’s resounding defeat of the Sooners, Luke committed to Notre Dame.
Luke has excellent speed, and behind Josh Atkinson, may be the fastest defensive back on Notre Dame’s roster in 2013. Game tape shows Luke returning several punts and interceptions for touchdowns during his junior and senior year, simply running by everyone else on the field. As a defensive back, Luke has great instincts and he closes on the ball quickly. He also has excellent hands and a long wing span which allows him to defend bigger receivers and get after the ball. Luke will need to add muscle to compete with the larger players in college.
The depth chart at cornerback appears deep, given the return of Lo Wood and Josh Atkinson, but the position still lacks skill and athleticism. Bennett Jackson is a lock for one cornerback spot leaving Wood, Atkinson, Jalen Brown and Keivarae Russell to fight for the final starting spot. If they struggle during practice and fail to improve early in the season, Luke could have the opportunity to start or at the least relieve the starters for short spells.
Top 10 Impact Freshman
9. Cole Luke
10. Issac Rochell