Former Notre Dame recruit Robert Beal provides reminder of what could have been

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Robert Beal Jr. strolled into the media luncheon on Friday wearing Brock Wright’s practice jersey. Later Wright walked in sporting Beal Jr. on his back.

Unfortunately for Notre Dame, the two won’t be able to swap Irish jerseys in the future.

Beal, a four-star defensive end, and Wright, a four-star tight end, weren’t fooling anyone. But it was a reminder of what could have been for the Irish. Wright will enroll at Notre Dame next month, but Beal ended his three-month commitment to Notre Dame all the way back in February.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Beal plans to sign with Georgia in February.

“Georgia was a better fit for me,” Beal said. “I just wanted to get closer to home.”

Beal played at Norcross (Ga.) High before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior season, which means he’s plenty familiar with Irish offensive line commit Robert Hainsey.

“All these guys are good, but Rob, he’s strong,” Beal said.

Don’t expect Beal to continue being teammates with Hainsey by making a late switch to Notre Dame. Beal has made official visits to Alabama, Florida State, NC State and Georgia and plans to make more visits in January, but the Irish aren’t in the picture.

“I haven’t heard from them in a long time,” he said.

247Sports slates Beal as the No. 9 weakside defensive end in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him No. 12 at the position.

Notre Dame will likely end the 2017 recruiting cycle without an elite defensive end in the recruiting class. The Irish have one commitment at the position in Jonathon MacCollister, a three-star recruit who has played as much tight end as defensive end.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Former Notre Dame defensive end commit Robert Beal has shown flashes of dominance at Under Armour All-America Game. (Photo courtesy of Intersport)