- National recruiting analyst and analyst for ESPNU
- More than a decade of college and pro coaching experience.
- Graduated from Indiana and Nebraska-Omaha
More than half of the top college football recruits in the ESPN 300 remain undeclared, but several highly touted prospects are starting to come off the board and impact the class rankings.
The No. 1 overall prospect Arch Manning gave coach Steve Sarkisian and Texas a huge boost with his commitment to the Longhorns shortly after concluding a trio of official visits, also making trips to Georgia and Alabama. Texas has struggled through inconsistency and misevaluations over the past decade at QB but in Manning gain a player who could bring stability and impact play to the position and help return Texas to national title contention.
A grandson of Archie Manning and nephew of Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli, Arch brings a strong background at the position and blends a bit of all the strengths of his relatives, including Peyton’s strong instincts, Eli’s arm strength and poise, and Archie’s mobility. His addition, along with that of three-star TE William Randle, who should provide a familiar target because they’re high school teammates, help thrust Texas into the top 10.
But Texas still has a ways to go to catch the teams in the top five. A consistent presence near the top of the class rankings in recent cycles, Ohio State is again contending for the No. 1 class. The Buckeyes made a big move to keep their wide receiver unit a strength, landing three ESPN 300 WRs in as many days: No. 4 WR Brandon Inniss, No. 12 WR Noah Rogers and No. 19 WR Carnell Tate.
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
ESPN 300 commits: 9 | Previous ranking: 1
Independent rank: 1
Top offensive commit: WR Braylon James (No. 46)
Top defensive commit: DE Keon Keeley (No. 23)
The Fighting Irish have inked two consecutive top-10 classes and are not only off to a strong start to extend that streak, but also contending for the nation’s top class. New coach Marcus Freeman has his fingerprints all over this class with multiple key additions on the defensive side of the ball. Keeley is a lengthy edge defender who can be a disruptive pass-rushing presence. LB Drayk Bowen was a big in-state pickup as the top-rated player in Indiana. The Irish have two ESPN 300 defensive back commits in Peyton Bowen out of Texas and Adon Shuler out of New Jersey. There is also some promising offensive talent on board, led by ESPN 300 WR James, a lengthy vertical threat who posted a laser 4.47 40 this spring on the camp circuit.
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