DT Rylie Mills, 6-5, 265; Lake Forest (Ill.) High
Rivals ranking: Four stars, No. 9 SDE, No. 161 overall.
247Sports ranking: Four stars, No. 14 SDE, No. 283 overall.
Notable numbers: 45 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, five sacks, seven quarterback hurries and a pass breakup in seven games as a senior.
Birthday: Aug. 20, 2001.
First scholarship offer: Minnesota.
Moment I knew I wanted to be Irish: “I think on my official visit (April of 2019) was when I knew. I really liked the school, and I knew my parents really liked the education there and the school. Over time, I got to know (defensive line) coach Mike Elston more.
"The more I heard about it, the more I liked Notre Dame. Going on the official visit, I got to hang out all the guys. They were really cool guys that made me feel like I could fit in really well. They were people I wanted to be around. Ultimately, it ended up being the best fit for me.”
One word to describe Brian Kelly: Professional. “I like that he’s really personal. He’s an interesting and funny guy. But the biggest thing for me is I went to the Michigan-Notre Dame in 2018. He met with us right before the game. He was calm. He was cool.
"He said, ‘Look, we are going to go out there and do our best.’ For him before one of the biggest games of the season to come meet with a recruit, talk to us and be that relaxed just shows a lot about how he handles pressure.”
Best player I’ve played against: Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet. Mills was a freshman at the time.
Most interesting fact about myself: “I can juggle.”
Most embarrassing song on my playlist: “Before He Cheats” — Carrie Underwood.
Most controversial opinion: “I get annoyed by the smallest things sometimes — like chunky heels. A lot of girls at my school wear these huge shoes that look like dinosaur stompers. They are so big that they kind of bug me.”
Dream job (other than the NFL): Movie producer, sports agent and CEO.
NFL player comparison: Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt.
Freshman year expectations: “I don’t have expectations; I just want to give 100 percent. I think if I just do everything to the best of my ability, give (defensive line coach Mike) Elston and (defensive coordinator Clark) Lea everything they ask and do exactly what I need to do — who knows where I’ll end up? I just want to make sure I want to live with my potential.”
Favorite thing about football: “It’s the aggressiveness and the mental aspect of it. It’s one of those things where it’s the ultimate team sport. If you don’t stop them on third down and they make that first down, you have to work as a team… And then outside of football, I’m a pretty nice guy. But when football comes, I turn on that switch and get ready to go.”
Under Armour, Nike or Adidas: Nike.
What’s your best sport other than football? Lacrosse.
Sports idol: Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt.
Preferred social media: Instagram. “I feel like I could just get lost looking through the explore page. It’s ruining my attention span.”
Favorite musician/band: Young Thug.
Favorite TV show: “The Office.” “I really like Darryl (Philbin). He’s really funny. I also like Creed (Bratton). He’s kind of a goofball. But I think my favorite character is probably Ryan (Howard). I always thought it was funny how he started as a temp, worked his way up to being really high in the company and then you see him fall back. Every time you see (Ryan), it’s always really goofy.”
Favorite movie: “The Dark Knight” and “Good Will Hunting.”
Celebrity crush: Margot Robbie. “I saw her in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ and she’s a pretty good-looking gal."
How many times have you watched Rudy? Once. “One of my teachers, she was at one of the games during the movie. They were filming one of the scenes, and she was in the crowd. She always tells me about that story.”
Most used emoji: 🥴