Brock Wright

Rivals

Five early-enrollees set for spring semester

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Notre Dame’s recruiting class will get a jump start as five early enrollees will be on campus and beginning classes when school returns in mid-January. Offensive linemen Aaron Banks and Robert Hainsey, running back C.J. Holmes, defensive back Isaiah Robertson and tight end Brock Wright have all signed paperwork and are officially cleared to be the first to join the 2017 recruiting class.

The five early-enrollees match last year’s total and are the high-water mark for Notre Dame, who began early admission for recruits back in 2006. All five will take part in spring practice, each hoping to get a jump start on a 2017 football team that’ll likely go through a hard reset of sorts with a reshuffled coaching staff and new leaders on both sides of the football.

Banks and Hainsey enter an offensive line room that may welcome back five starters, but needs to infuse depth. Holmes will step in and challenge a talented group of runners, but at a position group that was stuck in neutral in 2016. He also has the ability to play receiver. Wright is a highly sought-after talent at tight end, a position that’ll welcome their entire depth chart back, and also Alizé Jones, who missed last season after academic issues.

Robertson is a multi-dimensional player with some positional flexibility, though he’s believed to start his career at safety. With Drue Tranquill entering his final season of eligibility and Devin Studstill having an up and down freshman season, there’s room for someone to come in and compete for a job, especially with new coordinator Mike Elko.

The connection between early enrollment and early success isn’t necessarily there. Some, like Tommy Rees, TJ Jones and Steve Elmer, have seen the benefits. Others have not. Still, as Brian Kelly looks to turn around his program after a massively disappointing 2016 season, getting five freshman on campus before National Signing Day is a boost.

Irish land top 2017 TE Brock Wright

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Texas tight end Brock Wright has committed to Notre Dame, adding another elite recruit to the Irish tight end pipeline. Wright is a 2017 prospect who camped in South Bend last week for Irish Invasion.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder took to Twitter to make his commitment official, becoming the second member of the 2017 class, still 20 months from sending their letters-of-intent.

Wright is the top tight end prospect in the 2017 class, as close to an elite talent as there is for someone whose just completed their sophomore season in high school. He already had offers from Alabama, Michigan and several other big programs, with the Wolverines making him an early priority.

But Wright’s mind was made up from the moment he left campus last week, and he pulled the trigger on Friday afternoon.

“I kind of slept on it all week, thought about it and I don’t really want to wait any more,” Wright told Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson. “It’s where I want to be.”

Wright was one of a handful of elite 2017 prospects on campus last week. And if this tweet is any indication, he’s already zeroed in on a quarterback he hopes will join him in South Bend, Indiana blue-chipper Hunter Johnson.

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