Brian Kelly’s first verbal recruit at Notre Dame is Austin Collinsworth, a lanky wide receiver/safety prospect that comes with quite a pedigree.
Collinsworth, son of former NFL star and current NBC Sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, will hit the campus as a wide receiver, but also can contribute as a defensive back.
Here’s a scouting profile from ESPN:
Collinsworth is a tall and physically impressive skilled athlete. He
has good size in terms of height but needs to put on some overall
strength and bulk. A long strider that doesn’t have great lateral
agility or shiftiness, but does kick it into gear and demonstrates
excellent playing speed– especially on a straight-line. Takes great
pursuit angles to the football from the safety position; often makes
tackles on the opposite side of the field when coming from the backside
or crossfield. A real competitive football player that gives 100
percent every play and will lay out to make a tackle. Shows the talent to go up high to make a play on the deep
ball and gets a quick break on the ball– good ball skills. Excels as a punt return specialist; fields
the ball with the courage in a crowd and heads upfield immediately. Collingsworth is a very intelligent
football player that makes the most out of his football skills. He will
get better and better at the next level as he physically matures. We
are not sure he is the right fit to be matched-up in many man-to-man
situations especially against speedy, quicker players, but we really
like his football awareness.
Collinsworth was considering offers from Cincinnati, Oregon, Louisville, and Kentucky. He visited campus yesterday and committed to Coach Kelly quickly after.
“It’s a great balance for me,” Collinsworth told Pete Sampson at Irish Illustrated. “I was looking for that balance of academics, football, social life and people. I really found that at Notre Dame.”
With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.
College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.
“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”
Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.
Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.
Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.
Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:
“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”