Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Measurables: 6-1, 222
Accolades: Under Armour All-American, consensus 4-star recruit, first-team All-Area by Palm Beach Post, second-team 8A Florida All-State team.
Impressive Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami, Ohio State
Projected Position: Middle Linebacker
Quick Take: If there’s a recruiting battle that usually ends in heartache, Coney’s was the one. Yet Notre Dame won the this one down the stretch against in-state powers Florida and Miami, helped along the way by the firing of Will Muschamp and some great recruiting by the Irish staff.
Coney’s “commitment” to Notre Dame didn’t stop his recruitment and he remained a priority all the way until he landed on campus. Now he’s in a dorm beginning life as a freshman, with a late January snowstorm welcoming him to South Bend.
Slightly undersized, Coney certainly doesn’t play that way — a tackling machine during his junior and senior seasons. He showed the same type of tenacity when he participated in the Under Armour game.
What he means to the Irish: Coney is a key piece of the puzzle as the Irish prepare for life after Joe Schmidt. With Nyles Morgan coming off a freshman All-American season, the future looks bright with the Chicago product. But getting Coney in for spring practice and getting him into the system now will allow the young linebacker to accelerate his Football IQ, something that proved difficult for even Morgan.
With the jury still out on Michael Deeb’s ability to contribute and Jarrett Grace’s overall health, Coney isn’t that far from the field. And with speed and sideline to sideline ability, Coney could be a candidate for the Will linebacker job as well.
Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a short highlight reel from Coney’s senior season: