Notre Dame received its 12th commitment in the class of 2018 on Tuesday morning. Consensus three-star defensive tackle Ja’Mion Franklin (North Caroline High School; Ridgely, Md.) announced his decision at a press conference the last day of the school year. He chose the Irish over the likes of Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Virginia.
At 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds already, Franklin should not need much time before being ready to contribute at the college level. Considering Notre Dame’s ongoing struggles to find proven depth on the defensive interior, a ready big body is no small commodity.
Rivals.com ranks Franklin the No. 36 defensive tackle in his class.
In theory, Franklin will join a defensive tackle depth chart exceedingly short on experience. Junior Jerry Tillery very well may head to the NFL after this season, and even if he doesn’t, 2018 will be his final collegiate season barring injury. Brandon Tiassum will be a senior in 2018 with an additional year of eligibility available, but given he has yet to appear in a game through two seasons, an invitation for a fifth year would yet need to be earned.
That leaves incoming freshmen Darnell Ewell and Kurt Hinish as Franklin’s primary competition for the backup role in 2018, or he could be backing up one of them if Tillery does depart early.
With consensus four-star defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola (St. Peter’s Prep; Jersey City, N.J.) also already among those 12 commitments and the class likely to be capped at about 20 given the current roster breakdown, it is unlikely the Irish coaching staff pursues the commitment of more than one additional defensive tackle this recruiting cycle.
Franklin visited Notre Dame’s campus in late March, receiving a scholarship offer then.Follow @D_Farmer