Notre Dame recruit Braden Lenzy will be on campus this weekend for Junior Day.
Braden Lenzy is a very intriguing, multi-faceted athlete.
At the receiver position, he shows explosion out of his cuts, precision in his route-running and sure hands. He has clocked in a 4.47 40 yard dash which allows him to beat the defense deep, something Brian Kelly mentioned he is looking to bring in for his offense in the ’18 class.
At cornerback, he uses great technique and possesses the quickness to keep up with any receiver. A huge plus is that he’s put together well with great length which helps him have an upper hand on his opponent from a physical standpoint.
His ball skills and jumping ability helps him make plays on the ball consistently and his quickness and physicality helps him play the body in coverage.
Notre Dame offered a scholarship to the Portland product on Dec. 10. The only issue they have with the #183 overall recruit (per 247 composite) is what side of the ball they would play him.
I spoke with Lenzy and asked him where he believes he would excel on the field and where the Notre Dame staff is at regarding what side of the ball would suit him most.
“Lately I’ve been leaning towards playing wide receiver in college. What I’ve been told (by ND staff) is that my upside is at corner because I’m a long, lengthy corner with the speed of a 5’9 corner but the height of a wide receiver. They say that’s pretty rare.”
“Right now, it’s about trying to find out what’s best for me and my future and what I personally want to do in my heart.”
I asked Lenzy about which Notre Dame coaches he’s heard from so far in his recruitment
“I’ve been in contact with Coach Alexander over the phone a lot, especially over the last few weeks. I’ve also been in contact with Coach Lyght and he’s built a very strong interest in me and he made it clear I could play either way. I also spoke with Brian Kelly and he was cool.”
“They’ve made it seem, from our conversations that I would get to choose which position I would start out at. Sounds like I would have the final say.”
I asked Lenzy about the offer and what it meant to him. Here’s what he had to say:
“From the really limited communication we had at first, I knew that they were really interested in me. I think the offer came at the time it did, with the little communication we had because I was very interested in them as well. It just kinda worked for both of us and that’s why they offered me.”
I asked Lenzy if even though he hasn’t been to Notre Dame and that his offer is fairly new, was he seriously considering the Irish.
“I’m all ready seriously considering them and I haven’t even been there….Everyone knows Notre Dame. Wherever you go, no matter where you’re from, you maybe don’t know much of them but when you hear their name, you know the Fighting Irish.”
“I was born in Ohio but I didn’t really ever live there. I’ve always been a north-west kid. I don’t know much about Notre Dame, that’s why I’m so excited about this Junior Day.”
This prompted my next question. I asked Braden what he is looking forward to during his visit to South Bend.
“For me, how I was raised, do I feel comfortable there and does it have that family feel, and I know that sounds super cliche. Distance doesn’t bother me. I just want to feel comfortable there whether it’s 20 miles away or 500 miles away. It just needs to feel right for what I believe in.”
Offers from Stanford and Notre Dame always suggest an athlete is strong academically. Lenzy explained how education plays a factor in his recruitment.
“Education is a huge part to me. It’s not the whole decision, obviously, but a school that can set me up in my future definitely sits well with me.”
Like other 2018 recruits, Lenzy has also been hearing from running back commit Markese Stepp. Here’s what Lenzy had to say about him:
“Markese has been texting me all week…he makes a good pitch,” he said with a chuckle.
“He’s legit. You don’t see running backs like that too often up here. He lives 20 minutes from my family. All my Mom’s side of the family lives in Greenfield and Brownsburg. I have a lot of family that live very close to campus.”
Lenzy’s parents are from the mid-west and are both Purdue alumni. The family has strong ties to the area, which is always a great sign.
Size has been a common theme when Lenzy has been discussed. He mentioned to me that he’s now up to 170 pounds.
Given Lenzy’s comments about Notre Dame as a school and football program as well as high praise for coaches Brian Kelly, Todd Lyght and DelVaughn Alexander, I feel very positive about the chance that Lenzy ends up in South Bend.
There’s a lot of time left in this one. His versatility and skill set suggest that he will get many more offers. He mentioned to me that he’s been hearing from USC often lately, although an offer is not yet on the table.
Stay tuned to SlapTheSign.com (@SlapTheSign) for more recruiting news leading up to, and after this weekend’s Junior Day.