Notre Dame Football: 2017 Freshman Breakdown – Darnell Ewell


Many believe Darnell Ewell was the most important recruit signed by Notre Dame.

Darnell Ewell – DT – 6’3, 310 lbs. – Norfolk, VA – Lake Taylor HS

On July 15, Darnell Ewell committed to Notre Dame. Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and Michigan were on his list of 32 schools to offer him a scholarship for his services.

Ewell didn’t like the recruiting process. After he committed to Notre Dame, he completely shut down his recruitment which helped ND Nation relax about him as they watched a 4-8 season unfold.

In an interview after the Signing Day press conference, Brian Kelly was asked which newly signed players could help the Irish in ’16. His first response was Darnell Ewell. He went on to say that he’s up to 310 pounds and physically fit enough that he’s on the swim team at his school.

He had another dominant season in ’16 on both sides of the ball. Ewell is just flat-out too big and strong to be stopped on the field in his high school division. Play after play, he dominates.

Ewell took part in The Opening. He performed very well against top competition. He could have been one of the best guards in the country had he chosen to go that route.

Click here to watch Darnell Ewell’s Hudl highlight film

After watching Darnell’s highlight film, you can tell that he’s going to be very successful at the college level. He has a great burst off the line, is extremely powerful and uses his strong hands to control would-be blockers.

His pad level and bend is exactly where it needs to be to succeed at the college level. He has adequate lateral quickness for his size but it will probably improve with time in Matt Balis’ strength and conditioning program.


As I stated, I believe Ewell will see the field for the Irish in ’17, as does Brian Kelly. With Jarron Jones gone to the NFL, Daniel Cage being a low-snap player (if he plays at all) and not a lot of experience in the two-deep, Ewell will have a great opportunity to see the field often.

If Ewell performs the way I think he can, he has a shot at starting as early as this year and I’d be surprised if he didn’t become a star at Notre Dame. He’s just so advanced physically. He looks like an NFL defensive tackle and he all ready has the 400 pound bench press to boot.

Must Read: 2017 Freshman Breakdown - Josh Lugg

Notre Dame doesn’t land this kind of defensive lineman every year. Let’s hope he truly takes advantage of everything that is offered to him at Notre Dame, including top notch coaching. You have to feel good about this one.

Click here to see Darnell Ewell’s 247 profile

Click here to see Darnell Ewell’s Rivals profile