Author: Keith Arnold


Faxes in: Trevor Ruhland

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Cary, IL

Measurables: 6’4″, 270 lbs.

Accolades: All-USA Illinois team, ESPN Top 300, Tom Lemming Top 300, first-team All-State Chicago Tribune, All-State Illinois coaches, State runner-up

Other Impressive Offers: Cal, Duke, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kentucky

Projected Position: Guard


Quick Take: Ruhland’s a lineman’s lineman. He’s not the biggest, strongest or longest, but he certainly plays with the type of disposition that’ll earn him a lot of fans. An injury suffered during basketball season will slow him down for a few months, but at this point there’s little way Ruhland’s doing anything but redshirting in 2015 regardless.


What he means for the Irish: Another interior body on an offensive line that was built recruiting tackles. Ruhland certainly doesn’t have the prototype length or NFL body that people may clamor for, but comparisons to Chris Watt have been made, and that’s not necessarily the worst thing for Ruhland’s future.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: If you want to enjoy an offensive lineman, just watch the first clip on Ruhland’s seek-and-destroy highlight reel:



Faxes in: CJ Sanders


Granada Hills, CA

Measurables: 5’9″, 177

Accolades: First-team Los Angeles Daily News All-Area, Semper Fidelis All-American, first-team All-Mission League, Finalist for SPARQ championship at The Opening, 2nd place in 100m and 200m in Tennessee D-II in 2012, winner in 2013.

Other Impressive Offers: Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, UCLA, USC, Stanford

Projected Position: Wide Receiver


Quick Take: You want a prototype slot receiver? Sanders is your man. A lightning quick receiver with special teams return value, Sanders enters a slot receiver depth chart that finally looks like the one Brian Kelly has wanted since arriving in South Bend.

He’ll jump into one of the most competitive depth charts on the roster, but Sanders is a smooth athlete who has track speed and true football skills.


What he means to the Irish: Outside of adding a 5-star recruit to the Notre Dame film and television department (Sanders play a young Ray Charles in the film Ray and has had numerous supporting roles in various films and television shows), Sanders adds another playmaking threat to the offense.

He’ll push both CJ Prosise and Amir Carlisle, with a natural football IQ that’ll allow him to compete immediately, even if playing time isn’t necessarily there.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a highlight reel from Sanders’ lone season at Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, California. He spent the first three years of his career at Brentwood Academy in Nashville. His special teams value is on display early.


Faxes in: Nicco Fertitta

247 Sports

Las Vegas, NV

Measurables: 5’9″, 175 lbs.

Accolades: All-USA Nevada All-State, first-team All-State, No. 295 on Tom Lemming’s Top 300, U.S. Army All-American, State Champion.

Other Impressive Offers: Arizona, Boston College, UNLV, Utah

Projected Position: Safety


Quick Take: An incredibly productive high school player on one of the nation’s top teams. Fertitta will be challenged physically from a size and speed perspective, but certainly not from a toughness or instincts front.

Following Ronnie Stanley from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Fertitta also played a key role in bringing Aliz’e Jones to Notre Dame. But pegging him as a ride along companion isn’t fair. Even if it’s as a special teams standout, sleeping on Fertitta isn’t wise.


What he means for the Irish: Another body at safety. And an instinctive football player. While most pegged Drue Tranquill as a linebacker in waiting, Fertitta might have the size of a student manager, but that won’t keep him from pushing for early playing time.

A highly trained athlete, Fertitta developed a reputation as a knockout artist on the football field, a unique distinction considering his family’s ties to the UFC. The next four years will test Fertitta, another underdog challenge that I’m sure will motivate him.

Notre Dame’s defense is looking for football players of all shapes and sizes. Fertitta will be an interesting test case.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s Fertitta’s senior highlights. Pound for pound, there might not have been a bigger hitter in high school football.


Faxes in: Bo Wallace

247 Sports
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New Orleans, LA

Measurables: 6’4″, 215 lbs.

Accolades: Semper Fidelis All-American game, All-USA Louisiana team, Times-Picayune District 11-sA team, No. 129 on Tom Lemming’s top 300, State runner-up

Other Impressive Offers: Arizona State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas.

Projected Position: Defensive End.


Quick Take: If you’re looking for a premium pass rusher in this recruiting class, Wallace is it. No, he’s not one of the big fish that the Irish were initially chasing, but there’s reason to believe that Wallace will be an impact pass rusher, even if it takes a year or two to get there.

Look at Wallace as somewhere between Jhonny Williams and Kolin Hill. He’s lacking the bulk that Williams has but has a bit more length than Hill, who was a designated pass rusher at times last year. He’s going to need to gain some weight, but there’s a lot of fast twitch there, and that’s something needed on this defense.


What he means to the Irish: Notre Dame went into John Curtis, a powerhouse New Orleans football program, and got one of their best prospects. That’s a big victory for this staff, and a credit to Kerry Cooks, who handled that region for Notre Dame.

More functionally, Wallace is a nice hybrid player who can exist as a linebacker or rush defensive end. Getting his weight up will be important, but that versatility will continue to help the Irish be a very good third down team.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s Wallace’s official preview from our friends at


Faxes in: Shaun Crawford

247 Sports

Garfield Heights, OH

Measurables: 5’9″, 181

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, All-USA Ohio DB, first-team AP All-State, No. 63 overall player by Rivals, consensus 4-star CB, State Champion.

Impressive Offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, Miami, Penn State

Projected Position: Cornerback


Quick Take: Add two inches to Crawford and he’s a five-star recruit. He’s almost one right now at 5’9″. Some could argue that the Ohio native is one of the crown jewels of the recruiting class. He certainly plays football that way. Now getting it to transfer to the next level will be key.

There’s no teaching length and no way around the fact that Crawford doesn’t have it. But he’s got the speed, athleticism and instincts to cover anyone, and don’t be surprised if he’s in the slot sooner than later next season.

Crawford was a Michigan commit early and Notre Dame fended off Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer for his signature. That’s a big victory and one of the top pieces in this recruiting class.


What he means to Notre Dame: The staff believes they’ve got a lockdown corner and future star in the making. As a high schooler, there wasn’t much Crawford couldn’t do as a football player. Expect to see him get every opportunity to do that at the next level as well.

Crawford could be a specialist/return man. He can also be a lock-down cover corner. He showcased elite speed and ability at both the scouting combines and in practice drills in Orlando for the Under Armour game. This is an exciting prospect who is among the best football players in the country.

If you’re in the business of celebrating recruiting victories, don’t forget to celebrate this one.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s 10 minutes of Crawford putting on a show. The interception to open this reel might be my favorite.