Aug 31, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly leads his players onto the field before the game against the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 28-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting: Josh Barajas Evaluation

Josh Barajas committed to Notre Dame on May 30, 2014 after initially committing to Penn State. At the moment, Barajas represents the only Linebacker commitment for the Fighting Irish in the 2015 class.

Barajas hails from Merrillville, Indiana. He plays for Andrean High School. He checks in at 6’3″ 212.

Recruiting services rank and rate Barajas similarly. Rivals rates him as a 4-star recruit. They rate him as the 14th best Outside Linebacker and 206th best player nationally. 247Sports rates him as the 4-star recruit as well. However, they are slightly higher nationally, 158th. ESPN does not rank him nationally but does rate him as a 4-star recruit.

Andrean Head Coach Phil Mason said, “I see Josh being another Jaylon Smith.” This is extremely high praise for Josh Barajas. But, on film, Barajas is a completely different player. He simply does not have the same type of athleticism that Smith had when he was a Junior and Senior in high school. That is not a knock on Barajas. There are very few players in each class that possess that type of athleticism if at all.

Barajas does possess excellent fundamentals, tackling and pass rush ability.

It appears like the game comes very slowly to Barajas. He rarely overruns a play or misses his assignment. When put in a position to make the tackle, he makes it nearly 100% of the time. He has no trouble making tackles in space. Barajas does not seem like a player who will knock a player’s helmet off. But, he makes a solid tackle each time. He gets off blocks well when rushing the passer.

Barajas could play Inside or Outside Linebacker. His skills are varied enough to play either position. It might be the best decision to start him at Outside Linebacker because of his pass rushing skills and move him Inside if there is a need or he cannot excel on the edge.

Notre Dame scored a very solid 4-star recruit who could contribute within his first two-years in South Bend.

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