Tommy Kraemer

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TOMMY KRAEMER
Cincinnati, Ohio

Measurables: 6’5″, 310 lbs.

Accolades: Elite level recruit, consensus 4-star and No. 27 nationally on 247 Sports composite, Gatorade State Player of the Year for Ohio, 2015 Army All-American, MaxPreps first-team All-American, All-Ohio D-I first team, 2015 Enquirer Media Ohio All-State first team.

Impressive Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia, Iowa

Projected Position: Offensive tackle

Quick Take: Notre Dame landed a gem on the offensive line in Kraemer—and one that Urban Meyer coveted. From Cincinnati power-house program Elder, Kraemer was all Irish for a long time, never willing to let the Buckeyes into the conversation after he committed to Harry Hiestand and Brian Kelly.

Everything you like in an offensive lineman Kraemer has going for him. He can play either tackle spot and has a natural pedigree thanks to dad who played the game and great coaching. He’s the closest thing to a readymade offensive lineman as they come.

What he means to the Irish: Kraemer’s the immediate contingency plan along the offensive line that you don’t expect they need but certainly could call on in a pinch. With Ronnie Stanley gone and the battle to replace him getting started this spring, Kraemer steps onto campus this summer and could immediately slide into the two-deep depth chart.

Probably the elite offensive line recruit of the Kelly era.

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Early Enrollees: Devin Studstill

Studstill
Sun Sentinel
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DEVIN STUDSTILL
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Measurables: 5’11”, 189 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus 3-star recruit, All-State Florida 7A second team, 2015 Sun Sentinel large-school Defensive Player of the Year, No.4 prospect Palm Beach Post.

Impressive Offers: Miami, Texas, Michigan State, North Carolina

Projected Position: Safety

Quick Take: No defensive back was on Notre Dame’s radar earlier, with Studstill catching the staff’s attention as they recruited linebacker Te’von Coney the year before. While his star rating doesn’t get you out of your seat, a Texas and Miami offer is nothing to shrug at. In Studstill, the Irish have a prospect they view as a top-of-the-board talent a national recruit that’s severely underrated.

What he means to the Irish: At a position group with question marks across the board, Studstill has an opportunity in front of him this spring. The staff sees an instinctive football player who could be smooth enough in coverage to slide into a nickel coverage role as well.

After watching this defense play the past few years, a ball-hawking safety has long been desired. Studstill might be the best bet for that in this class. That Notre Dame pulled another kid out of Palm Beach Gardens is quite an accomplishment.

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Early Enrollees: Kevin Stepherson

Kevin StephersonTWITTER
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KEVIN STEPHERSON
Jacksonville, Florida

Measurables: 5’11”, 171 lbs.

Accolades: 3-star prospect who dominated at Irish Invasion during summer. Florida All-State 7A honorable mention, All-Northeast Florida honorable mention.

Impressive Offers: Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina

Projected Position: Wide Receiver

Quick Take: Blew the doors off staff when he visited in summer leading to an offer. Smooth receiver who has a little bit of Torii Hunter Jr. in him. Faster than you’d think and could be a contender to come in and play thanks to a natural set of hands and good understanding of game.

What he means to the Irish: With Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle gone, Stepherson has 15 spring practices to make his mark in a depth chart that’s certainly experiencing some upheaval.

He’s not the biggest recruit (and has shrunk considerably from some early online evaluations) but Notre Dame’s staff got eyes on Stepherson early and trusted their evaluation. That should ease any concerns about star-ratings.

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Early Enrollees: Spencer Perry

Spencer Perry
Blue & Gold / Rivals
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SPENCER PERRY
Newnan, Georgia

Measurables: 6’1.5″, 204 lbs.

Accolades: Three-star prospect who was a one-time Florida commitment. A top-50 player at his position as viewed by Scout, ESPN, 247 and Rivals. Missed majority of senior season at IMG Academy with shoulder injury.

Impressive Offers: Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State

Projected Position: Safety

Quick Take: Notre Dame lands a big-bodied defender who has the chance to be a jumbo player at a clear position of need. Perry impressed the staff when he came to campus in the summer and Irish won a recruiting battle with Florida and plenty of others. Basketball background and athletic skill-set could add some positional flexibility.

What he means to the Irish: As Irish reload in secondary, bringing in Perry early and adding another SEC-level talent to the mix is a very good thing. At a shade below 6’2″, Perry’s length means he has the ability to grow into a Sam linebacker if his body allows it. Otherwise he’s a good enough athlete to cover ground on the backend and find a fit in Notre Dame’s defensive scheme.

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Early Enrollees: Khalid Kareem

Khalid Kareem
Rivals / Yahoo Sports
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KHALID KAREEM
Pontiac, Michigan

Measurables: 6’4″, 245 lbs.

Accolades: Semper Fidelis All-American, consensus Top 250 recruit, 2015 MLive Detroit Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-State.

Impressive Offers: Alabama, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford

Projected Position: Strongside defensive end

Quick Take: Another one of the Midwest’s top recruits, Kareem is another potential solution at defensive end. Physically impressive with room to grow, if Hayes projects as a future weakside pass rusher, Kareem looks like an anchor on the strong side.

Once committed to Alabama, Kareem decided to play his college football closer to home and chose the Irish over a slew of impressive options. With the Irish looking for a next generation of defensive linemen to replace standouts like Sheldon Day, Jarron Jones, Romeo Okwara and Isaac Rochell, Kareem is an easy candidate to put at the front of the line.

What he means to the Irish: Kareem could be the heir apparent to Isaac Rochell, a big athletic kid who could be an immediate performer for the Irish defensive front. Capable of developing as a pass rusher with good length, an extra semester in the weight room could be a huge advantage for Kareem, a natural athlete who is just starting to understand his physical potential.

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