This week’s focus was on the six new signees Notre Dame added to the recruiting class of 2018, bringing the total to 27. When the first 21 put pen to the proverbial paper back in December’s early signing period, only Irish head coach Brian Kelly and recruiting coordinator Brian Polian spoke publicly about the newest pieces of the roster.
The full array of Notre Dame assistant coaches offered the expected praises Wednesday. Some excerpts as they pertained to the offensive signees from December:
Quarterbacks coach Tom Rees on consensus four-star quarterback Phil Jurkovec: “When you talk about Phil, the mental makeup of him might be the most impressive thing.
“… When you look at him as an athlete, he will be the most impressive guy you see. You step on the basketball court, he’s the best athlete on the court by a mile, guards the other team’s best player, moves well. You watch him on the football field, same thing. Athletically, there is not a lot he can’t do.
“… For him, the first thing is where are we mentally and where do we need to improve there. Physically, I think a little more consistency on an every throw basis, mechanically and accuracy is something that everyone needs to strive for, but I think we’ll continue to push for him.”
Running backs coach Autry Denson on consensus three-star running back and early enrollee Jahmir Smith: “Just someone who can play a significant role on the football field. Excited to have him on campus. Anytime you can get a young man here early, that obviously adds to his maturity and his process in regards to developing.”
Offensive coordinator Chip Long on Smith: “He’s been doing a great job in the weight room. Just watched him run this morning. He’s going to be a good fit and he’s going to be a good player.”
Receivers coach Del Alexander on consensus four-star receiver Kevin Austin: “Probably one of the guys that in terms of publicity is one of the bigger fish. We talk on a regular basis. Those signees that signed on Dec. 20 have already begun watching video, so they’re getting a regular dose of what we’re doing here. Those guys are eager to get started. Kevin and I have already developed a relationship and we’re communicating on the little things that will help him hit the ground running.”
Alexander on rivals.com four-star receiver and early enrollee Micah Jones: “He’s here now, running around, doing well in the weight room. He’s getting some good attention there because when we’re doing conditioning, when we’re doing weight training, he doesn’t seem to be a freshman. He’s standing up and being just as productive as the guys around him.”
Long on the tight end duo of rivals.com four-star and early enrollee George Takacs and consensus three-star Tommy Tremble: “One thing I always like to do with the tight end group, I like to obviously have size and athleticism. Both of them bring that, both of them are a little different, which I think is good, you don’t always want the same type of player. You want to have variety, certain guys can do certain things. I always like to have that versatility each year and each signing class.”
Long on Takacs: “George has spent a little bit more time with his hand on the ground than Tommy has. Tommy’s been more of a skilled wideout, coming in. The good thing I got to see this year with George, though, is he was split out wide and did a lot of good things in the passing game, so they both have ball skills. Both are very smart, very athletic in their way.”
Long on Tremble: “Tommy is probably a little bit more explosive, where George has a little bit more size, but that can come in time. The one thing that really caught my eye with Tommy is he played defense for them. As I’m evaluating tight ends nowadays, I want to see defensive film, I want to see you be able to put your face on something and strike. That’s a bit thing with the toughness that we want to have, and he did that. He is exceptional, to go with his explosiveness.”