Notre Dame target Aeneas DiCosmo has position, commitment decisions to make

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Before Aeneas DiCosmo decides which college he wants to attend, the three-star recruit has another decision to make: which position he wants to play?

The 6-foot-3, 223-pound DiCosmo could be a linebacker or defensive end at the next level. Stanford, Michigan, UCLA and others are recruiting him as a linebacker. Rivals ranks him as the No. 21 outside linebacker in the 2019 class.

Notre Dame and Clemson have been recruiting DiCosmo as a defensive end. 247Sports slates him as the No. 56 weakside defensive end.

So which will it be?

“Honestly, I’m going to have to make a decision on what I want to do,” DiCosmo said. “I’ve been practicing linebacker the past few months, so I’m comfortable with both. In (high school) practice right now, my coaches are putting me at both because we’re switching between a 4-3 and 3-4 depending on the other team, so I’m doing both every day. I have to get a better feel for it. It’s tough.”

DiCosmo, a rising senior at Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic, could have shown his hand at The Opening Finals this week. He played linebacker at Nike’s annual gathering of some of the best recruits in the country. On Tuesday, he intercepted a pass.

And with Clemson out of the picture, DiCosmo has been focusing more on programs that are recruiting him as a linebacker rather than a defensive end.

The Irish have pitched DiCosmo on playing the drop defensive end position, which has linebacker traits. That defensive end can drop into coverage at times. Junior Daelin Hayes, the projected started at the position, played mostly linebacker in high school.

It’s up to Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston to convince DiCosmo that the position suits him best. The two spent a lot of time together during DiCosmo’s official visit in June.

“The biggest thing I realized is they treat their players like family,” DiCosmo said. “That’s pretty big. Especially coach Elston, he’s very inviting even with the current players. You could tell that he shows a lot of love to them. I could tell with the position, he told me everything. I’d be very comfortable playing that. It’s not much different from what I played last year.”

DiCosmo made trips to three of his top schools in May and June: Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan. With a serious focus on academics, DiCosmo evaluated the differences between Stanford and Notre Dame.

“They’re both very prestigious,” DiCosmo said. “Notre Dame, I feel like it’s a more rigid structure how you learn. You’re on a track. If you want to do business, they put on a track and you end up on Wall Street.

“Whereas Stanford’s a little different. You don’t really major until your junior year, so you have more time. They’re more about free thinking.”

Michigan received DiCosmo’s most recent visit before the dead period started in late June.

“They’re building a pretty fantastic class there, and their (defensive) coordinator, Don Brown, he’s one of my favorite coaches,” DiCosmo said. “I would love playing under him. He’s a great dude.

“I can see why (he’s had success) with his scheme. He does a lot of different stuff with pass rushing and getting to the quarterback. That kind of causes problems for the whole offense.”

Next up for DiCosmo is a visit to UCLA after the dead period ends in late July. The Bruins offered in June, more than a month after DiCosmo declared a top five of Notre Dame, Michigan, Stanford, Clemson and Northwestern.

“After that, I’m going to narrow things,” DiCosmo said. “(A commitment is) coming after that.”

Decision day

A pair of Notre Dame targets are expected to celebrate Independence Day with commitment announcements Wednesday.

Wide receiver Cam Hart told the Tribune he plans to share his decision around noon EDT. The three-star recruit visited the Irish in June. His offer list includes the likes of Virginia Tech, Michigan State, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

Hart caught 33 passes for 540 yards and five touchdowns in his junior season at Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, the alma mater of Irish captain Sam Mustipher.

Rivals ranks Hart as the No. 61 athlete, a designation for recruits who can play multiple positions, in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 101 wide receiver.

Quarterback Brendon Clark will also reportedly announce a commitment Wednesday. When he dropped his commitment to Wake Forest in June, the football Twitter account for Midlothian (Va.) Manchester identified July 4 as Clark’s commitment date. Clark did not respond to the Tribune for confirmation.

The three-star recruit made an official visited to Notre Dame in June. He also made trips to North Carolina and Clemson last month.

As a junior, Clark completed 165 of his 272 passes (61 percent) for 2,106 yards and 28 touchdowns with four interceptions. He also rushed 130 times for 728 yards and 12 touchdowns.

247Sports slates Clark as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the 2019 class. Rivals ranks him No. 23 at the position.

Title for Hamilton

Notre Dame safety commit Kyle Hamilton ended his week at The Opening Finals with a seven-on-seven tournament championship.

Team Overdrive defeated Team Boomin 26-8 in the final game Tuesday. Overdrive, led by Oklahoma quarterback commit Spencer Rattler, won the rest of its games after losing in the first-round of the double-elimination tournament.

Hamilton rarely left the field as a starting safety for Overdrive. He recorded a pair of interceptions and several pass breakups throughout seven-on-seven play.