Blue-chip defensive end Robert Beal looked like the one who got away. One of Notre Dame’s earliest commitments in the 2017 recruiting class—and then, their biggest decommitment—was the lone black mark on a recruiting class that’s coming together quite nicely for Brian Kelly, Mike Elston and a hard-working group of assistants.
But news broke today that Notre Dame is still in the mix for Beal. The edge rusher will visit campus for the Irish Invasion camp this summer, with Irish247’s Tom Loy the first to break the news:
This according to Loy and Irish247’s Juice:
In the past month, per a source, the family has changed its tune on that. They wanted to “remove some of the stress from Robert” and no longer have his decision depend on which school is able to get his sister into college.
With his sister’s decision no longer playing a role in Beal’s recruiting process, our source says that Beal wanted to reach out to the Notre Dame coaching staff immediately to see if things could be mended and if the staff was still interested in him as a student-athlete. It looks like Notre Dame is very interested, as defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has put in a ton of effort recently to make sure things work out and Beal gets back on campus in June.
Getting too worked up about anybody’s recruitment nearly nine months until Signing Day is silly. It’s a big reason why worrying about a recruit like Josh Kaindoh, surprisingly off the board to Maryland last week, isn’t worth the effort until after the Terrapins show just how hard it is to rebuild a program.
But getting back into the game with Beal would be huge. The Georgia-native’s departure from the Irish recruiting class was tough to criticize, especially considering his family’s desire to keep the two siblings united. But as Beal considers a new option to finish high school—Anna Hickey at Irish Illustrated reports that Beal will finish his high school career at IMG Academy—the Irish seem to be back in position to land the pass rusher.
Notre Dame’s got Brian VanGorder on the case, with the Georgia native having a solid relationship already built with the Irish defensive coordinator. And it doesn’t take the head of the Irish defense to see the gaping hole in the depth chart where Beal could fill in, especially as the Irish continue to look for ways to fortify their pass rush.