Signing day superlatives for Notre Dame's 2019 class
The early signing day offers a chance to forecast the careers for another round of Notre Dame recruits. These are some signing day superlatives for the Irish 2019 class.
Biggest get — S Kyle Hamilton: The recent development of ND’s presence in Georgia, a recruiting hot bed, paid off with Hamilton. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder was a nobody of sorts when the Irish expressed interest. Once a three-star ranked as 247Sports’ No. 359 overall player, Hamilton is now in line to be ND’s lone five-star recruit for 2019. He never wavered in his commitment despite garnering more attention.
Hamilton has first-round upside with his elite cover skills and ball hawk abilities. Also a basketball player, Hamilton has a high-end vertical with crisp instincts and ball-tracking skills. He was a special teams extraordinaire at Atlanta Marist and could find a niche there for the Irish in year one. Hamilton recorded 72 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass breakups and two blocked kicks as a senior.
Bonus pick: CB Isaiah Rutherford.
Earliest impact — P Jay Bramblett: Special teams coordinator Brian Polian has been clear with Bramblett — barring disaster, he will be a four-year starter for the Irish. Bramblett will take over for the soon-departing senior Tyler Newsome. The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Hillcrest product underwent surgery last month on a high ankle sprain. Bramblett will be ready once he comes to campus as an early enrollee, though.
The 6-1, 185-pounder trains with One On One Kicking’s Mike McCabe, who trains a handful of college and NFL punters. Bramblett averaged 45.1 yards across 41 punts with a long of 59 yards as a senior.
Bonus pick: OL Zeke Correll.
Sleeper — RB Kyren Williams: ND Insider tabbed Williams as ND’s most underrated recruit in September. 247Sports bumped him two months later 132 spots, elevating him to four-star status at No. 238 overall. Even still, the Kirkwood (Mo.) St. John Vianney product seems undervalued.
Williams did himself a disservice, listing himself as a slot receiver until last year. The 5-9, 200-pounder has a thicker build and compares with former ND running back Theo Riddick. He might not possess breakaway speed, but Williams’ elusiveness and abilities as a receiver makes him a slippery player.
With Dexter Williams gone following this season, Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong will likely share the workload going forward. But looming behind them will be Williams. As a senior, Williams ran for 2,035 yards and 26 touchdowns on 179 carries. He also caught 55 passes for 725 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Bonus pick: LB Osita Ekwonu.
Strongest unit — Offensive line: ND’s offensive line class might be the best nationally. The Irish hauled in a quartet of four stars in Quinn Carroll, Zeke Correll, Andrew Kristofic and John Olmstead. Kristofic, the most athletic and the only certain tackle of the four, has the highest upside.
Correll has the highest floor and should be a multi-year starter at center or guard. Carroll’s strength is in his versatility, as he could play guard or tackle. Olmstead projects as a guard and moved to the position as a senior. The high floors of these four, along with them all enrolling early, makes this offensive line group the highlight of the class.
Bonus pick: Defensive line.
Biggest reach — LB Jack Kiser: Playing in Indiana’s lowest classification, Kiser faced by far the weakest competition among ND’s commits. Kiser also never played linebacker in high school, as he was Royal Center (Ind.) Pioneer’s quarterback and free safety. At 6-1, 205, Kiser will need to gain at least 25 pounds to develop into a buck linebacker or rover.
Kiser has the right attitude and recognizes the uphill climb that is to come. He will enroll early and has leaned on Irish linebacker Bo Bauer for advice. As a senior, Kiser recorded 159 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, nine pass breakups, six forced fumbles, five fumbles recoveries and two defensive touchdowns en route to garnering Mr. Football honors.
Bonus pick: WR Cam Hart.
Toughest miss — RB Steele Chambers: Chambers was tailor-made for the Irish. He has the grades, attends Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catholic and ND did not wait long to extend interest. The Ohio State commit was also teammates with Irish commit JD Bertrand.
247Sports labels Chambers as a four-star and as the No. 6 athlete and No. 147 overall player. Rivals rates him three stars and ranks him as the No. 33 athlete. If Kyren Williams exceeds expectations, and he should, missing out on Chambers won’t sting as much for the Irish.
Bonus pick: Michigan QB commit Cade McNamara.