Assuming Notre Dame lands Isaiah Foskey in a few weeks, that would give the Irish three defensive ends with different profiles in 2019 — a class that would rival the 2016 class of Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara.
2020 has the chance to be better, and that starts with a player out of Buckeye country, Darrion Henry (Ohio). Henry seems like a slim shot at best, but his interest in Notre Dame is proven with multiple visits before his senior season. He’d be the best edge rusher the Irish have seen from a recruiting standpoint since Daelin Hayes, and that alone makes him a must get. Can Notre Dame finally beat out Ohio State for a defensive lineman in their own backyard?
Along with Henry comes another pass rusher from the same high school in Cincinnati, Jaheim Thomas (Ohio). Thomas is currently listed on 247sports.com as an outside linebacker, but drop end is where Notre Dame is recruiting the talented 6’5″, 220 lb junior. It’s possible Notre Dame has others higher on its list than Thomas, but landing two stellar athletes from Ohio and from the same high school would be a huge recruiting win.
With Hayes, Kareem and Okwara all set to move on from Notre Dame after 2019, the Irish coaching staff will likely target 3-4 defensive ends in the class. Luckily for Notre Dame, many early targets have heavy interest. Rylie Mills (Illinois) and Braiden McGregor (Michigan) were both offered early on for ND, and the interest has been mutual. The offers have been stacking up for both athletes, and for McGregor, he has even seen some interest at tight end — only proving further his impressive athletic traits. These are two guys the staff very much want.
It should come as no surprise with the need going into 2020 for edge rushers that the Irish staff has offered plenty of athletes along the defensive line in recent months. Other potential recruits include Tyler Baron (Tennessee), Xavier Carlton (California) and Alexander Ehrensberger (Germany) at strong-side defensive end, and Jalen Logan-Redding (Missouri) at drop end. All four have shown heavy interest in Notre Dame, and the staff will have their hands full trying to separate the best fits. For arguments sake, any combo of the top four on this list and one of these bottom four would be a dream scenario for Notre Dame.