All five Notre Dame 2021 commits included in updated Top247 rankings

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame football is nearing the halfway point of its quieter 82-day recruiting stretch. 

June 21-23 marked ND’s final official visit weekend until September. Because of the August dead period, the Irish cannot host a 2020 recruit for an official visit until their Sept. 14 home opener against New Mexico. The dead period, which prohibits all visits, fell between June 24 and July 24 as well.

By choice, the Irish passed on hosting 2020 recruits during the one-week quiet period to end July. Notre Dame instead looked onward to the following classes and even hosted 2022 cornerback target Jaeden Gould over the weekend. 

With 17 commits already in its 2020 recruiting class, Notre Dame will likely add just a two or three more pledges. As a result, the Irish have been working ahead, and boast one of the nation's top 2021 recruiting classes to date. 247Sports pegs the class No. 3 nationally, behind Miami and Texas, respectively.

The Irish set their foundation by garnering commits from five four-star recruits — offensive linemen Blake Fisher and Greg Crippen, defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio, tight end Cane Berrong and quarterback Tyler Buchner. All of them were among the Top 247 overall players in the recruiting site's updated rankings, which were released on Tuesday.

Rubio made the biggest leap. The four-star recruit ranked as 247Sports’ No. 16 defensive tackle and No. 195 overall player when announcing his commitment to the Irish last month. The 6-5, 290-pounder out of St. Peters (Mo.) Lutheran elevated to No. 8 at the position and No. 105 overall.

247Sports evaluated Crippen as a strongside defensive end when rolling out its inaugural 2021 recruiting class rankings in April. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy product ranked No. 17 at the position and No. 233 overall. Now listed as an offensive guard, Crippen comes in as the ninth-best guard and No. 238 overall.

Berrong felt the biggest drop among ND’s commits. He pledged to the Irish as the No. 1 tight end and No. 60 overall player. The 6-4, 225-pounder out of Hartwell (Ga.) Hart County descended to No. 3 at his position and No. 95 overall in the new rankings.

Fisher elevated two spots overall to No. 88 and remained as the No. 15 offensive tackle. Buchner fell two spots at his position to No. 9 and four spots overall to No. 103. 

No senior has scheduled an official visit for Notre Dame's Sept. 14 home opener yet. Cornerback targets Collin Gamble and Ramon Henderson are expected to take the first official visits to South Bend this fall for ND's Sept. 28 home game against Virginia.

The following uncommitted Notre Dame targets that have trekked to South Bend also appeared in the Top247: OL Tommy Brockermeyer (No. 4), WR Emeka Egbuka (No. 8), OL Landon Tengwall (No. 28), OL Nolan Rucci (No. 29), OL Rocco Spindler (No. 31), OL Garrett Dellinger (No. 36), WR Deion Colzie (No. 55), RB Donovan Edwards (No. 60), WR Beaux Collins (No. 66), LB Yanni Karlaftis (No. 69), CB Jakailin Johnson (No. 83), DT Tywone Malone (No. 96), WR Lorenzo Styles Jr. (No. 120) and WR Cristian Dixon (No. 159).

No longer part of that uncommitted group is Denton (Texas) Ryan product Billy Bowman Jr. The four-star athlete committed to Texas over Notre Dame on Wednesday. Bowman shined as a defensive back in last month’s Irish Invasion camp. Notre Dame extended an offer to the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder in January.

Bowman’s commitment leapfrogged the Longhorns over the Irish in 247Sports’ team rankings. The Hurricanes (13), the Longhorns (six) and the Irish (five) mark the only Power Five programs to earn commits from at least five 2021 recruits.

Irish defensive tackle commit Gabriel Rubio (left), a 2021 recruit, impressed in Saturday's Lineman's Challenge recruiting camp.