Notebook: Four-star WR Kamryn Babb would like to return to Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Kamryn Babb didn’t commit to anything, but a return visit to Notre Dame remains a possibility.

The four-star recruit made a stop in South Bend in February, which proved to be enough to land the Irish on Babb’s list of top schools in May. That list included nine football programs. In the coming months, the real contenders will start to separate from those sitting on the fringe.

Notre Dame could realistically belong in either category. Babb says the right things when asked about the Irish.

“I like their academics. That’s probably the biggest thing with them,” Babb said. “You know what they do with their football players outside of football. The careers they give them and the opportunities they give them after life in football.

“Most likely I’ll go up there. I went up there on a short trip one time. I’d like to get back up there and see the campus.”

But when asked about Notre Dame’s coaching staff, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound recruit didn’t mention any coach by name.

“Pretty much all of them,” Babb said of the Notre Dame coach he’s connected with the most. “I talk to all of them. There’s not really a certain one. They like to stay in contact with me, which is good. So we’ve built those relationships, which is good.”

Sounds good, but the vagueness of the answer could be troubling. Many interested recruits mention specific names when asked that question.

That could all be corrected, of course, with another visit to Notre Dame. The Irish would certainly help themselves with a successful start to the season.

“That’s a big thing, because in college football you want to play on the biggest stage for national championships,” Babb said. “Just seeing them start winning, that’s the same with every other program I’m looking at. I just want to see them this season, see how they’re doing before I make this big decision.”

Plenty of suitors will wait on Babb. He’s been pegged as a borderline five-star prospect. 247Sports slates him as the No. 4 wide receiver and No. 16 overall in the 2018 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 17 wide receiver.

In just eight games as a junior at Christian Brothers College High in St. Louis, Babb caught 45 passes for 784 yards and nine touchdowns. He also scored three times on rushes and twice on returns.

Sitting alongside Notre Dame in Babb’s top nine is LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Ohio State, USC, Missouri, Michigan and Nebraska. Babb said he has the best relationships with the coaching staffs at Ohio State and LSU.

Urban Meyer is a big part of that for the Buckeyes. Babb said he talks to Meyer more than any other head coach.

“It is amazing,” Babb said. “Back when he was at Florida, I watched him. Now he’s at Ohio State. All the things he’s done, especially with Ezekiel Elliott, having seen all that and now actually talking to him and texting him, it’s awesome. I’m just building that relationship.”

Elliott, like Babb, hails from Missouri. It’s a state not known for consistently producing top football recruits. But Babb, who said he knows Elliott’s sister, paid close attention to what Ohio State did for Elliott.

“It’s what they’re doing with their athletes,” Babb said. “Urban Meyer and the system he’s built up there is great. With me, the decision is way bigger than football. It’s not a four-year decision. It’s a 40-year decision for me. I’m looking at all my options, what they have for me academically and stuff like that. Just taking my time with it.”

The “4 for 40” recruiting pitch is a Notre Dame staple. The Irish will have to hope Babb connects it to them and not someone else.

Need for speed

With the loss of a commitment from Braden Lenzy, Notre Dame’s need for a speedy wide receiver has been increased.

No one fits the speed criteria better than Anthony Schwartz. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound receiver is a late-rising football prospect, but his speed is well-known in track circles.

Schwartz, a senior-to-be at Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage, ran a blazing 100-meter dash in 10.15 seconds at the Pepsi Florida Relays in March. At the time, it was the sixth-best time ever recorded in the country by a high schooler.

Later this month, Schwartz will compete in the Pan American Junior Championships with USA Track and Field in Peru. With that kind of track record, Schwartz will be making a two-sport decision when it comes to his college choice.

“Personally, as soon as football is over and track season starts, I want to be into track the whole way,” Schwartz said. “I'm not trying to lose all that.”

Some schools have been open to that option in recruiting Schwartz. Others would like to see him participate in some spring football. Notre Dame has yet to address the topic with Schwartz, he said.

Under Brian Kelly, most two-sport athletes have had to split their time in the spring. The latest being wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. with baseball and cornerback Troy Pride Jr. with track.

Yet the interest in the Irish for Schwartz exists thanks in part to running backs coach Autry Denson.

"He's very spiritual," Schwartz said. "He always keeps me positive. He always talks about God first. God everything. I always feel good when I'm talking to him."

Schwartz’s teammate, defensive end Andrew Chatfield, gave his Notre Dame visit in April positive reviews. Chatfield committing to Ohio State hasn’t changed Schwartz’s desire to see the Irish.

“I'm definitely trying to make a visit,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz’s football résumé isn’t as strong as the one he’s put together on the track. As a junior, Schwartz was only credited with seven carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 131 yards and one touchdown.

Still, he looked comfortable at the The Opening Finals at Nike World Headquarters. Rivals ranks Schwartz as a four-star recruit and the No. 15 wide receiver in the 2018 class. 247Sports slates him as three-star recruit and the No. 51 wide receiver.

"I feel like I'm proving myself,” Schwartz said. “I'm not a joke. I can run routes. I'm not just a fast guy."

Porter’s Top 7

Geordon Porter named Notre Dame as a serious contender when he included the Irish as one of his top seven schools Tuesday.

He, too, brings speed to the football field.

The 6-2, 175-pound Porter put Notre Dame alongside California, Arizona State, UCLA, Utah, Colorado and Alabama. The Irish offered Porter in June on the same day they lost Braden Lenzy’s commitment.

Porter, like Lenzy and Schwartz, has proven his speed on the track. As a junior at Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Etiwanda, Porter recorded a 10.68 in the 100.

On the football field, the three-star recruit caught 33 passes for 512 yards and five touchdowns, rushed for one touchdown and returned a kickoff for another.

247Sports slates Porter as the No. 56 wide receiver in the 2018 class. Rivals ranks him No. 63 at the position.

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

Four-star wide receiver Kamryn Babb, a 2018 recruit, would like to make a return visit to Notre Dame. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)