Notre Dame football adds top punting prospect McFerson to its 2022 recruiting class

Eric Hansen
ND Insider
Punter Bryce McFerson from Indian Trail, N.C., verbally committed to Notre Dame on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 after taking an official recruiting visit.

SOUTH BEND — The one thing it actually took a little longer to experience on Bryce McFerson’s recruiting visit to Notre Dame this weekend was seeing the Irish football team actually punt.

It wasn’t until a third-quarter three-and-out during the 55-0 Irish rout of Georgia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday that ND junior Jay Bramblett finally got into the game.

The fact that the three-year starter from Tuscaloosa, Ala., was introduced with the Irish seniors before kickoff on Senior Day may hint at the urgency of adding a punting specialist in this 2022 recruiting class, less than a month before the early signing period (Dec. 15-17).

Analysis:Hansen: Senior moments and restless youth have Notre Dame ascending when it counts

Transfer Portal:Former Notre Dame wide receiver Keys ready to catch on at Tulane

McFerson, the nation’s No. 1 punter per Chris Sailer Kicking, didn’t hesitate after receiving a scholarship offer during his official visit Saturday. On Sunday, he was Irish, becoming the 23rd verbal commitment in class ranked third nationally behind only Georgia and Alabama.

Prior to taking his visit to South Bend, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior from Metrolina Christian Academy in Indian Trail, N.C., decommitted from Wake Forest. He had originally pledged to the ACC’s 2021 surprise team in September.

“Bryce is a phenomenal high school punting and kicking prospect,” kicking/punting guru Chris Sailer wrote on his website. “He is a great looking athlete with a powerful leg. His punting is a major strength.

“He hits a FBS level ball, and his consistency is impressive. His feet and hands are quick and efficient. ... A phenomenal directional punter. Also a fantastic kicker. He does a great job on field goals.”

According to MaxPreps, McFerson averaged 46.0 yards per punt on 24 punts this past season for Metrolina (10-2), adding nearly seven yards to his average over his junior season.

He was 6-of-12 on field goals, with a long of 47 yards, and connected on all 43 of his PAT attempts.

McFerson also kicked off for Metrolina, with 63 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs.

He also might not have a bad 40-yard dash time, not that it’s particularly relevant. He was a four-year member of Metrolina’s track and field team, running the 100- and 200-meter dash and several relays, and participating in the high jump and long jump.

Notre Dame Football Verbal Commitments

Follow ND Insider Eric Hansen on Twitter: @EHhansenNDI