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Irish continue recruiting run with DT Elijah Taylor


Notre Dame accepted their third commitment in three days with Ohio defensive tackle Elijah Taylor. The Archbishop Moeller star chose the Irish over Ohio State, giving Brian Kelly one important recruiting victory in a cycle filled with many Irish-Buckeye battles.

Taylor is a 6-foot-3, 285-pounder who had offers from Florida State, Miami, Michigan State, Tennessee and others. He’s the closet thing to a two-gap nose guard that the Irish have recruited since Brian VanGorder took over the defense.

After wondering how important defensive tackles would be in the Irish defense after watching Brian Kelly and company be very selective with Louis Nix on the roster, Notre Dame has added a slew of interior players. In the past week, they added Brandon Tiassum and Micah Dew-Treadway. In the final month of last recruiting cycle, they added Daniel Cage and Pete Mokwuah. Any concerns that Notre Dame wouldn’t be hunting big bodies up front can officially be dismissed.

While there’s room for more versatility at the position now than in Bob Diaco’s scheme, it appears that Taylor is a run-stuffer that Bobby D would’ve loved as well.

Our friends at Irish Illustrated caught up with Archbishop Moeller head coach John Rodenberg, who told Steve Hare that Taylor is one of the strongest players he’s ever recruited.

“He’s very disciplined and he comes from a real good family,” Rodenberg said. “He’s college strong. We stop him on his deadlifts at 650 and he benches 405. He squats over 600. He’s college ready.”

Notre Dame recruited Taylor as a defensive tackle but he has some experience playing outside as well.

“We’re a college 4-3 (defensive alignment),” Rodenberg said. “He’s a 1-technique. He plays his position and does a great job. We mix him up between the 1 and the 3. (Notre Dame) is looking for a true defensive tackle. He’s a tackle. They had some guys that departed for the NFL and they had a need at defensive tackle and they went after him.”

While he’s got the heft to be able to play on the nose, Taylor himself said that the staff sees him as they do new defensive tackle Sheldon Day. Talking to Irish Sports Daily, Taylor mentioned that the staff sees him as a perfect three-technique.

Taylor’s commitment brings the Irish 2015 recruiting class to a dozen.



Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

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.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

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.”