Notre Dame is scorching hot right now on the recruiting trail. The 2020 class has already landed six players in the top 125 of the country. The class is currently ranked #6 in the nation, which is the highest it has been since the 2013 class that was ranked #5 in the country and included ND studs and NFL players like Jaylon Smith, Isaac Rochell, Malik Zaire, Mike McGlinchey, Torii Hunter Jr., Durham Smythe, Will Fuller, and Corey Robinson. If this class produces the big names like the one in 2013, then Notre Dame is in a VERY good spot for the next couple of years.
Below is a breakdown of all of the top 125 (according to 247) guys we have landed. I also want to mention Notre Dame landed the #165 overall player (and #7 QB) in Drew Pyne who many believe will be Notre Dame’s QB of the future (though I think Tyler Buchner of the 2021 class is the next big-time ND quarterback).
Chris Tyree: Chris Tyree is Notre Dame’s top recruit in this class as the #30 player in the country and #1 APB. Tyree is only 5’9″ 178, but he runs a 4.38 40 yard dash, is incredibly shifty, and will immediately be the fastest and most explosive player on Notre Dame’s roster the day he sets foot in South Bend. Tyree picked Notre Dame over Alabama and Oklahoma among others. 247 compares him to Chris Thompson, but CT reminds me more of a young Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD was 5’7″ and sub-200 lbs while running a 4.39 during his time at UCLA. Despite his small size, MJD ran for back to back 1000+ yard and 10+ TD seasons in his collegiate career, and I see Tyree doing something similar. In the rankings of all-time commits, Notre Dame has ever had (according to 247), Tyree falls at #17 right between Kyle Rudolph and Stephon Tuitt. Tyree is a powerful and explosive back, and really is unlike any player Notre Dame has ever had. I expect him to be dominant at the college level and surpass the production that was seen from Dexter Williams, Josh Adams, or C.J. Prosise,
Jordan Johnson: Jordan Johnson is the #38 overall prospect and #7 ranked WR in the class. The Saint Louis product is 6’2” and 180 lbs and is said to have next-level ball skills. 247 has him as a projected 2nd or 3rd round pick when he eventually goes to the NFL, and they have his NFL comparison as Keenan Allen. Johnson is a freak athlete, and from everything I’ve read, he has the work ethic and character that is needed to have success at Notre Dame. I expect Johnson to have a Notre Dame career that has a level of success somewhere between Will Fuller and Miles Boykin, hopefully, closer to the former who had two consecutive seasons with 1000+ yards and 14+ touchdowns.
Tosh Baker: Tosh Baker is the #56 overall player and #7 OT in the 2020 class. Baker has an insanely massive frame at 6’8”. Right now he is only listed at 275 pounds (30-40 pounds less than the typical starting Notre Dame OT), but that number will surely grow with some time in the Notre Dame weight room. Scouts say he has exceptionally quick feet for someone of his size, and his reach is unprecedented at the position. 247 projects him to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick and compares him to Nate Solder. Baker is an interesting recruit because when Notre Dame first started recruiting him he was a 3-star prospect who scouts said was extremely raw but had a sky-high ceiling. In the months since then, he shot up the 2020 rankings and landed offers from top schools like Alabama and Auburn. Is Baker the next Mike McGlinchey? Maybe not, but Baker should eventually be a multi-year starter, likely protecting the blind-side of Drew Pyne or Tyler Buchner.
Michael Mayer: Mayer is the #1 TE recruit in the country, which is familiar territory for Notre Dame. Notre Dame seems to land top TE’s in every class, and in this one, they actually have the #1 and #2 TEs in the class. Mayer is the #83 player in 2020 and is listed at 6’5” 240 lbs. He had offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, and Penn State among others. I expect current ND starter Cole Kmet to have a huge season that puts him in the class of Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert, and after Kmet’s career is over Michael Mayer could very well play himself into that group as well.
Rylie Mills: Rylie Mills is the #120 player in the class and #7 SDE (though Notre Dame recruited him to play DT). He has great size for a 16-year-old at 6’5” 275 lbs. Mills is from Lake Forest, IL, and though the wealthy suburb isn’t exactly a DT hotbed, Mills has made noise all throughout the state of Illinois. Notre Dame specifically recruited Mills to replace 2019 NFL first-round pick Jerry Tillery, and the coaches seem to think Mills could have a similar impact to Tillery at Notre Dame. Mills had offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Penn State. I don’t expect Mills to be an eventual first-round pick like Tillery was, but I do expect him to have a similar impact at the college level and provide Notre Dame with 3+ years of interior DL production.
Jordan Botelho: Despite being the lowest rated out of these six, Jordan Botelho is my favorite recruit in this class. He is the next in a long line of great Hawaiian players at Notre Dame. The #122 (#4 ILB) prospect in the country is 6’3” and 230 lbs and looks like he could play at the college level right now. Watching his high-school tape is like watching a Deontay Wilder fight- it’s violent. Botelho is the type of guy who can energize an entire defense, which is huge at the MLB position. It’s hard not to think of Manti T’eo when you look at Jordan Botelho, and I don’t think that comparison is too much of a stretch. I’m very excited for him to arrive in South Bend.