WHO? Many of the nation’s best high school seniors, including four Notre Dame signees and two more targets.
The signed commits: Consensus four-star safety Kyle Hamilton (pictured above).
Consensus four-star offensive lineman Andrew Kristofic.
Consensus four-star defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah.
Punter Jay Bramblett.
The targets: Consensus four-star defensive end Isaiah Foskey and consensus four-star linebacker (or possibly safety) Asa Turner. Neither of them have plans to announce a commitment this weekend, but both have been pursued diligently by the Irish signees all week.
WHAT? In its 20th season, formerly-known as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Just a year ago, current Notre Dame freshman defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola played in it — along with quarterback Phil Jurkovec, tight end George Takacs, linebacker Shayne Simon and safety Derrik Allen. Ademilola finished his freshman season with 19 tackles, providing very-much needed depth at the position.
In other words, consider this an opportunity to not only see the headliners (Jurkovec then; Hamilton now), but also the reserves who may be needed before expected.
WHEN? 1 ET. This is your last chance to catch collegiate football in the afternoon until … the end of August. Yes, collegaite — after all, some of these players will be on their respective college campuses within a week.
WHERE? The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas. The game will be broadcast on NBC, hence this bit of a preview.
If wanting to watch online, either utilize the NBC Sports app or this link.
Fun fact: A bar trivia game was won just a month ago by knowing the San Antonio River runs through, well, San Antonio. Four other team members doubted that was its name, but watching events like this created such conviction as to overrule them and reach victory.
WHY? Some of these players will be needed to contribute for Notre Dame in 2019. Bramblett, at the least, will step right into the lineup to fill Tyler Newsome’s shoes. Hamilton, meanwhile, may see an increased role thanks to the Friday decision from cornerback Julian Love to head to the NFL. Without him, it is a bit more likely current freshman Houston Griffith continues to work at nickel back, leaving a hole in the rotation at safety.
SPEAKING OF LOVE’S DEPARTURE
Losing the consensus first-team All-American sets back the Irish secondary, but plenty of options remain to step in for him. Current junior Troy Pride will start on one side of the field, while classmate Donte Vaughn could get a chance at redemption. If not him, there are …
— Current senior Shaun Crawford, provided full recovery from an August ACL tear.
— Current freshmen TaRiq Bracy, Noah Boykin and D.J. Brown.
— Incoming freshmen Isaiah Rutherford and K.J. Wallace.
— Safety/cornerback hybrids like Griffith.
Love’s exit creates a hole for defensive coordinator Clark Lea to fill, and how he does so will be a consistent question for the next eight months.
BY HOW MUCH?
Alabama is favored by five points. No, there is no betting line on this high school exhibition game, but you were clearly wondering about Monday’s title game.