Notre Dame Football: 2019 Recruiting Class Superlatives

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish cheerleaders take the field before the game against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish cheerleaders take the field before the game against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

You’ve seen our 2019 class rankings, but now it is time to take a deeper dive and project how this Notre Dame football recruiting class will perform during their time in South Bend. 

Carlee North and I answered a ton of questions regarding this 2019 Notre Dame football recruiting class. Who will provide the most immediate impact? Who is most likely to become a first-round NFL Draft selection? Who will surprise fans the most? Who is the most underrated player in the class? What position group makes us the most excited? Who was the biggest surprise commitment? We answer all these questions below.

Immediate Impact

Carlee: DT Jacob Lacey  — “I think he will be in the 2-deep on the defensive line and will have a ton of opportunities to make a splash impact right away.”

Nathan: P Jay Bramblett  — “The sexy answers would be Jacob Lacey and/or Kyle Hamilton, and they will likely contribute immediately. However, Notre Dame loses 5th year senior and captain Tyler Newsome going into 2019. Special teams is a highly debated subject between Notre Dame fans, and Bramblett comes to South Bend as one of the top punters in the 2019 class. He should start from Day 1.”

Most Likely to be a First Rounder 

Carlee: S Kyle Hamilton — “I would have put him down for immediate impact, but with Gilman and Elliott coming back he wasn’t the first on my mind. With that said, when I think of the NFL down the road and what Kyle could accomplish at Notre Dame, with his size and skill set, I would bet a lot on this kid developing into a first round selection.”

Nathan: S Kyle Hamilton — “This one is pretty clear cut for me. I mentioned in our recruiting rankings piece that I believe he is the best athlete Notre Dame has landed since Jaylon Smith. If I am correct in this assessment, Hamilton will be a surefire first round selection in the near future. He has length, speed to cover wide receivers, size to cover tight ends and the physicality to help in run support.”

Player That Will Surprise The Most 

Carlee: WR Cam Hart — “A lot of people are pegging him as just a rotation piece or depth guy, but if he develops his route tree and in the weight room, Wide Receiver Coach Del Alexander could get a ton out of him. I love his length. He could surprise a ton of people based on his recruiting ranking.”

Nathan: CB K.J. Wallace — “Maybe it is just recruiting fatigue by fans because he has been in the class so long, but Wallace is a guy I really like as a multi-year starter down the road. He doesn’t have great size or length, which could limit him to slot corner, but man can this guy blanket receivers. Todd Lyght has done an incredible job developing corners over the past several years, and Wallace should be no different.”

Most Underrated 

Carlee: WR Kendall Abdur Rahman — “I love this guy’s athleticism. He can do it all, and I think he comes to Notre Dame with a chip on his shoulder. He will make his recruiting ranking look silly in a couple years and should be a huge name for the Irish.”

Nathan: DL Howard Cross — “One thing I’ve consistently heard throughout the recruiting process is that the Notre Dame staff feels Cross could be the best of the defensive haul – which is saying something. His dad was a standout at Alabama and had a 13 year NFL career, so the bloodlines are there. Many people think this young man isn’t done growing, and if he adds a few inches to his frame; watch out!”

Surprise Commitment 

Carlee: CB Isaiah Rutherford — “It was a big surprise when he gave he gave the Irish a look, because he actually eliminated them from his top group at one point. It seemed like staying closer to home was the choice, but he ended up visiting Notre Dame and fell in love. The coaching staff sealed his fate during his last visit to South Bend. Big snag out of California.”

Nathan: DE Isaiah Foskey — “It wasn’t a surprise when he actually announced his intentions on National Signing Day, but early on in this process Notre Dame looked like an afterthought for the four-star defensive end. The Irish coaching staff always has a tough time pulling in talent from Northern California, and Foskey looked like the latest prospect to turn down the chance. However, he made his way to Notre Dame last summer, enjoyed his time, and then took only one official visit during the Fall – which was to South Bend. That sealed the deal for the Irish.”

Best Position Group 

Carlee: Offensive Line — “You could make the argument about this group being the best in the Nation. From top to botom this group is filled with elite players in my eyes. Zeke Correll and Quinn Carroll are big time NFL talents along with Andrew Kristofic down the road. As for John Olmstead, he is just scratching the surface with his potential. I absolutely love this group.”

Next. 2019 Recruiting Class Rankings. dark

Nathan: Defensive Line — “Not something you hear everyday at Notre Dame, right? Coach Mike Elston deserves a ton of credit for what he has done with this position group the last few recruiting cycles, and 2019 is no different. While the offensive line class gets most of the headlines for top position group, I would put my money on this defensive line class. Isaiah Foskey and NaNa Osafo-Mensah are big time pass rushing prospects that were coveted by many of the nation’s best football programs. Jacob Lacey is a gifted nose tackle prospect that moves like a 3-tech. Hunter Spears and Howard Cross offer the Irish unique versatility to play inside and out and have big time upside, specifically along the interior. This group could be special.”