Our two recruiting analysts, Nathan Erbach and Carlee North, rank the 2019 Notre Dame class.
I recently sat down with my fellow recruiting analyst to discuss the 2019 Notre Dame class. In the next few days, we will also have our 2019 superlatives, which is always a fun article, but for now we rank the recruits set to be in South Bend this summer. As some of you may know, 10 of these signees are already on campus as early enrollees.
Looking at the 2019 class, Carlee and myself formulated our own rankings, and then combined each of our rankings to make one recruiting ranking of all 22 athletes.
So without further ado — enjoy the official 2019 Slap the Sign Notre Dame Football Recruiting Class Ranking.
- Kyle Hamilton: Atlanta (GA) Marist School, Safety.
- Zeke Correll: Cincinnati (OH) Anderson, Center.
- Jacob Lacey: Bowling Green (KY) South Warren, Defensive Tackle.
These three separated themselves from the rest of the class when breaking down our rankings. Hamilton, the lone five-star according to 247sports.com — was the clear cut choice for number one. For my money, he is the best athlete Notre Dame has landed since Jaylon Smith and the best safety since Harrison Smith. Correll is nasty interior offensive line presence and could compete immediately for the open center spot. Lacey should crack the two-deep for the Irish at nose tackle as a freshman. Correll and Lacey are already enrolled at Notre Dame.
The Difference Makers
- Andrew Kristofic: Gibsonia (PA) Pine-Richland, Offensive Tackle.
- Quinn Carroll: Minneapolis (MN) Edina Senior, Offensive Lineman.
- Isaiah Foskey: Concord (CA) De La Salle, Defensive End.
- Kyren Williams: St. Louis (MO) St. John Vianney, Running Back.
- Osita Ekwonu: Charlotte (NC) Providence Day School, Linebacker.
Carlee and myself differed on the ranking of Kyren Williams, Carlee having him at 5 and myself at 11. However, our combined rankings have him at 7. As an early enrollee, he should have a chance to see playing time as a freshman. Kristofic and Carroll technically tied for fourth in our rankings. Both will likely redshirt year 1 as most OL do, but they have big-time potential as starters and high draft picks down the road. Foskey and Ekwonu have offer lists that speak for themselves. Both athletes were coveted by some of college football’s best.
The It Might Take a Few Years Difference Makers
- NaNa Osafo-Mensah: Forth Worth (TX) Nolan Catholic, Defensive End.
- Marist Liufau: Honolulu (HI) Punahou, Linebacker.
- Kendall Abdur-Rahman: Edwardsville (IL) Edwardsville, Wide Receiver.
- Howard Cross: Montvale (NJ) St. Joseph Regional, Defensive Lineman.
- Isaiah Rutherford: Carmichael (CA) Jesuit, Cornerback.
These five guys were too good to not be considered difference makers, but it is possible it might just take them a few years to become that for a variety of reasons. Osafo-Mensah was one of the crown jewels of this class early, and still could be become that. He came in a tad shorter than expected at the Army All-American Bowl, and didn’t stand out during the game compared to others. He finished at 9 in our composite ranking, but this was another guy Carlee and I differed on. I had him at 7 while Carlee ranked him 11.
Liufau and Abdur-Rahman are two of the best athletes in this class, however, both athletes will adjust to new positions at the college level while having some rawness to their game. Look out down the road with these two. Cross was a player difficult to rank. He doesn’t have prototypical length to rush off the edge, and he doesn’t have the traditional 3-tech body either. With that said, there is likely some growth left in his frame, and he could help Notre Dame at a variety of positions along the defensive line. Rutherford is another athlete with some position versatility. Currently listed as a corner, some feel he could move over to safety in time. Wherever he ends up, he is an athlete that should excite fans.
The Depth Pieces
- Brendon Clark: Midlothian (VA) Manchester, Quarterback.
- K.J. Wallace: Atlanta (GA) Lovett School , Cornerback.
- Jack Kiser: Royal Center (IN) Pioneer, Linebacker.
- Hunter Spears: Sachse (TX) Sachse, Defensive Tackle.
- Litchfield Ajavon: Alexandria (VA) Episcopal, Safety.
Simply put, if any of these guys hit in a big way, the class becomes that much better. Similarly ranked to Ian Book, Brendon Clark comes to Notre Dame as three-star QB with some interesting traits. Notre Dame fans shouldn’t count him out. Wallace was one of the first commits in the class, so his name might not excite everyone. He should be a multi-year starter at slot corner when his career is all said and done.
Kiser was a tough guy to rank, and most of that has to do with his competition level and position fit. He played mostly safety for Pioneer, while also excelling on the offensive side of the ball. The Irish might have a “jack” of all trades if you will with Kiser. Spears is probably under-ranked based on his skill set, but coming off two ACL injuries is no easy feat. Without the injuries, he is much higher on this list. Lastly, Ajavon is a thumper at the safety position, but will his impressive instincts outweigh his size/speed combo? Regardless, he is a very smart football player.
The Question Marks
- Cam Hart: Olney (MD) Good Counsel, Wide Receiver.
- J.D. Bertrand: Roswell (GA) Blessed Trinity Catholic, Linebacker.
- John Olmstead: Metuchen (NJ) St. Joseph, Offensive Lineman.
- Jay Bramblett: Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest, Punter.
In fairness to Bramblett, he is considered one of the best high school punters in the 2019 class. Ranking special team players is not something I like to do in recruiting rankings. The remaining three have some question marks to their games, and it’s hard to predict where their careers might go. In high school, Hart showed interesting skills in the defensive secondary, but many schools recruited him at WR. It will likely be a few years until we know what to make of him. His size and speed are desirable attributes.
With Bertrand, he was a late take for Notre Dame after leaving the Georgia class. Much like Ajavon, he is a smart player with solid instincts. Size and speed remain question marks. Olmstead was a highly coveted offensive line prospect early on in his high school career, but his junior film left a lot to be desired. Senior film helped him in the eyes of recruiting experts, but how much is the question. He will likely need to reshape his body the first few years on campus, and then we will have a better idea of his future.
There you have it. The 2019 recruiting class from 1 to 22. Overall, it is a solid class that should bring a great deal of depth to the Irish roster. There is instant impact talent and some raw players that could turn into steals down the line. This is definitely a class that should keep Notre Dame in the playoff hunt.