With one month until the early signing period commences, Notre Dame landed its 21st commitment in the class of 2019 on Monday. Not only is JD Bertrand (Blessed Trinity Catholic High School; Roswell, Ga.) a consensus four-star linebacker, but he is also the second such commitment in a class already heavy on defenders. Bertrand makes for 12 defensive players among those 21 pledges.
Bertrand’s all-around aptitude attracted the likes of Florida, LSU and Wisconsin, not to mention his homestate Georgia, to whom Bertrand was committed up until the first week of October.
Rivals.com considers Bertrand the No. 12 inside linebacker in the country, the No. 29 prospect in Georgia and the No. 247 overall recruit across the nation. At the position in this cycle, he joins consensus four-star Osita Ekwonu (Providence Day; Charlotte, N.C.), consensus three-star Jack Kiser (Pioneer; Royal center, Ind.) and consensus three-star Marist Liufau (Punahou; Honolulu), who committed just last week.
Rough math indicates this recruiting class is increasingly near its capacity. A dozen current seniors will be out of eligibility following this season, with another couple unlikely to be invited back for a fifth year. Add in a few decisions to head to the NFL with eligibility remaining and the usual offseason roster attrition, and the Irish should have 21-22 spots in this class. That could tick upward with additional losses to the NFL, rather than just two or three, or a spike in offseason churn.
However the roster settles, Bertrand’s commitment makes for a second straight year with a Notre Dame linebacker quartet, making up for the struggles in recruiting the position two cycles ago, a class that nowadays has only Jonathan Jones remaining, with D.J. Morgan also have moved up from safety.