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Signing Day Victory: DL Wardlow concludes Irish class

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Do not forget to tune into und.com/signing day and WatchND throughout the day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show on the “Fighting Irish Board” presented by Vivid Seats.

Consensus three-star defensive lineman Kofi Wardlow (St. John’s College H.S.; Washington, D.C.) switched his commitment from Maryland to Notre Dame today, completing the Irish class of 2017 and the annual drama of National Signing Day. Wardlow’s commitment brings coach Brian Kelly’s haul to 21 recruits, including three commitments on Signing Day alone.

“We really liked his athleticism and his size,” Kelly said during his Signing Day press conference upon announcing Wardlow’s commitment. “… He really fit the profile, and then reminded us of a young [former Notre Dame and current New York Giants defensive lineman] Romeo Okwara. Not quite as long, is actually thicker than he is, but he’s really young, raw and extremely athletic.”

Wardlow joins Jonathon MacCollister as the only two genuine edge threats in this class, hence why his last-minute switch is so vital to Notre Dame.

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KOFI WARDLOW
St. John’s College H.S.; Washington, D.C.

Measurements: 6’3”, 230 lbs.

Accolades: Three-star recruit; No. 47 at his position, per rivals.com

Other Notable Offers: Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri

Projected Position: Defensive end

Quick Take: Bolstering the edge rush is never a bad thing, especially in a class with only one other defensive end. Wardlow completes this Notre Dame recruiting cycle on a high note, and even that psychological factor alone should not be underrated.

Wardlow has played football for only two seasons, focusing on basketball in the past. Naturally, that leaves him with as much raw potential as realized. Furthermore, that basketball background established a level of agility and understanding of footwork not often seen from players of Wardlow’s size.

Signing Day Victory: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah picks Notre Dame

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Do not forget to tune into und.com/signing day and WatchND throughout the day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show on the “Fighting Irish Board” presented by Vivid Seats.

Consensus three-star defensive back Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Bethel; Hampton, Va.) just chose Notre Dame in a crucial Signing Day development. Owusu-Koramoah picked the Irish over Michigan State and single-handedly doubles the number of defensive backs joining Notre Dame in this recruiting cycle.

Owusu-Koramoah quite literally called Irish coach Brian Kelly in the middle of his Signing Day press conference. Kelly stepped away from the podium to answer it, but not quite out of ear shot of the media or the cameras. Upon returning to the podium, Kelly shared a quick anecdote from Owusu-Koramoah’s official visit: Linebacker and captain Nyles Morgan hosted him. Instead of living it up in the social scene, the two spent the entire weekend in the film room.

Owusu-Koramoah brings the Irish class of 2017 to 20 commits, with one more possibility yet this afternoon in consensus three-star defensive lineman Kofi Wardlow (St. John’s College H.S.; Washington, D.C.), currently a Maryland-commit.

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JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH
Bethel; Hampton, Va.

Measurements: 6’2”, 188 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus three-star recruit; No. 18 player in Virginia, per rivals.com, and 40th at position

Other Notable Offers: Michigan State, Virginia

Projected Position: Safety/linebacker

Quick Take: Owusu-Koramoah not only picked Notre Dame over Michigan State, but also de-committed from Virginia to focus on the two Midwestern schools. He fills what had been a huge hole in this recruiting class. Prior to his commitment, only Jordan Genmark Heath represented the defensive backfield in the class of 2017. Really, another would have been preferable—perhaps a cornerback to complement the two safeties—but bringing in two this cycle is acceptable, rather than an intimidating shortcoming.

Owusu-Koramoah may project as a “rover”, a crucial piece in new defensive coordinator Mike Elko’s defensive scheme.

Signing Day Victory: DL Tagovailoa-Amosa chooses ND over USC, others

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Do not forget to tune into und.com/signing day and WatchND throughout the day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show on the “Fighting Irish Board” presented by Vivid Seats.

Rivals.com three-star and 247sports.com four-star defensive lineman Myron Tagovailo-Amosa (Kapolei, Hawaii) has added to the Irish defensive line depth by choosing Notre Dame today in a mid-Signing Day development. Tagovailoa-Amosa’s recruitment only picked up in the closing weeks—he had three visits in the final week alone—and he joins a class of three defensive linemen already.

Tagovailoa-Amosa (how long until it is appropriate to simply refer to him as MTA?) is the 19th recruit to join Notre Dame’s class of 2017, including five early enrollees.

Irish coach Brian Kelly and his staff await two more consensus three-star decisions this afternoon: Defensive lineman Kofi Wardlow (St. John’s College H.S.; Washington, D.C.), currently a Maryland-commit, and defensive back Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Bethel; Hampton, Va.), deciding between Notre Dame and Michigan State.

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MYRON TAGOVAILOA-AMOSA
Kapolei; Hawaii

Measurements: 6’4”, 270 lbs.

Accolades: 247sports.com four-star recruit; No. 4 player in Hawaii, per rivals.com, and 39th at the position

Other Notable Offers: USC, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Navy, Vanderbilt

Projected Position: Defensive tackle

Quick Take: Tagovailoa-Amosa continues a line of Hawaiian recruits landing in South Bend, following Manti Te’o and Kona Schwenke, both of whom excelled at Notre Dame. Do not be misled by his late recruitment and commitment: Some of that was due to various playoffs and all-star games specific to Hawaii. He was, after all, long expected to head to USC.

An excellent athlete, Tagovailoa-Amosa will be asked to fill the middle of the defensive line, but he could likely hold his own on the edge if needed in certain situations.

Letter is in: S Jordan Genmark Heath

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Do not forget to tune into und.com/signing day and WatchND throughout the day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show on the “Fighting Irish Board” presented by Vivid Seats.

JORDAN GENMARK HEATH
Cathedral Catholic; San Diego

Measurements: 6’2”, 205 lbs.

Accolades: Rivals.com three-star recruit; No. 73 player in California per rivals.com; 67th at position

Other Notable Offers: Cal, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Washington State

Projected Position: Safety

Quick Take: The biggest shortcoming of this recruiting class is in the secondary. With defensive back Russ Yeast announcing today he would stay true to his Louisville commitment, Genmark Heath is the only defensive back in the class. (There is yet a chance with safety Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but he is not due to announce his decision until this afternoon.) Even Genmark Heath only flipped to Notre Dame toward the end of the cycle, de-committing from Cal in the process.

Fortunately, his frame packs a wallop upon contact, and all reviews from his high school coaches involve praise of his understanding of the game as a whole. Both of those, obviously, are vital to strong safety play. So he may be the only defensive back in the class, he should fill the role nicely.

Nonetheless, another defensive back would have been preferred. For that matter, perhaps there is still one out there in Owusu-Koramoah.

Letters are in: LBs David Adams and Drew White

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Do not forget to tune into und.com/signing day and WatchND throughout the day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show on the “Fighting Irish Board” presented by Vivid Seats.

DAVID ADAMS
Central Catholic; Pittsburgh

Measurements: 6’2”, 225 lbs.

Accolades: Rivals.com three-star recruit; No. 8 player in Pennsylvania per rivals.com; 18th at position; Under Armour All-American

Other Notable Offers: Baylor, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State

Projected Position: Inside linebacker

Quick Take: Adams brings excellent size to Notre Dame, a big reason he was as sought after as he was in this recruiting cycle. Yet, he never really wavered from his Irish commitment, along with teammate defensive lineman Kurt Hinish. With good vision, Adams should be able to shoot the gaps readily-present with the intended three-down front of new defensive coordinator Mike Elko.


DREW WHITE
Saint Thomas Aquinas; Boca Rotan, Fla.

Measurements: 6’1”, 225 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus three-star recruit

Other Notable Offers: LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Projected Position: Inside linebacker

Quick Take: Every review of White seems to begin with the cliché football term, “tackler.” At some point, if enough people call you a horse, you should buy a saddle. White finds his way to the ball, makes the tackles and stays involved constantly.