Notre Dame football: Irish land big-time 2021 cornerback

Notre Dame recruiting(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Notre Dame recruiting(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

While the Notre Dame football team failed to land running back Will Shipley, the burden was softened by the commitment of cornerback prospect Philip Riley.

Notre Dame landed 2021 cornerback Philip Riley out of Florida Tuesday afternoon. Riley, was planning to visit South Bend before everything shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the staff continued making sure they stayed in contact with him virtually, through social media, zoom, etc. and made it known just how huge of a priority he was and is for the Irish secondary, regardless if he was able to make it up to campus during this summer or not.

The Notre Dame staff wanted his commitment badly and most be ecstatic at the news of Philip Riley’s commitment. Cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens did a great job here of getting his guy in these circumstances, especially with heavy momentum from Virginia Tech just a few weeks ago.

Academics were also a big factor here and were definitely a big reason Riley felt comfortable enough to pull the trigger for the Irish when he did. — Riley holds 40 offers at the moment from the likes of Virginia Tech, Washington, Clemson, and many more.

What will Philip Riley bring to South Bend?

At 6’1″ and 190-pounds Riley is an ideal lockdown corner. He has great length and isn’t afraid to get up in your face and display solid press coverage. He has excellent instincts, which is what really draws my attention.  Additionally, Riley finds the ball in the air extremely well and hawks it down. He’s really smooth in transition and has a great reaction when the ball is coming his way.

There is no doubt he can be on an island with anyone on the field and stay hip to hip with them. He has an overall skill set to be a big-time playmaker at the college level. As a bonus, he isn’t afraid to be physical and nasty in the secondary. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he came into South Bend and made an instant impact. Riley fills a huge position of need, as he is a really good player and the Irish most definitely got a big-time corner prospect.

Next. A look at Notre Dame's 2020 safety situation. dark

With Philip Riley now in the fold, the Irish have nine commitments, five on offense and four on defense. Riley joins safety Justin Walters in the secondary group. Expect the Irish to add 3-4 more players to the defensive back group but also expect the staff to treat Riley as an uncommitted top prospect because of how valuable he is at cornerback and how important of a recruit he is for Notre Dame. This is an outstanding get for Mickens, Joseph, and Lea and I expect him to keep flying up the recruiting rankings.