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German defensive end Notre Dame’s first defensive commit in class of 2020

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Detailing the recruiting class more than a year in advance of its signing is preferably delayed until after the coming Signing Day. However, when the early signing period reduces Notre Dame’s concerns for next week to onefold and a German defensive end makes a commitment a year in advance, an exception makes sense.

After a visit to Düsseldorf from Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston, class of 2020 end Alexander Ehrensberger announced a commitment to Notre Dame on Thursday.

Standing 6-foot-7, Ehrensberger’s frame has much room to add weight and muscle, but his length and instincts already help compensate for his general rawness. His wingspan alone can keep offensive linemen from actively engaging.

The fourth commit in the class of 2020 — joining consensus four-star tight ends Michael Mayer (Covington Catholic High School; Alexandria, Ky.) and Kevin Bauman (Red Bank Catholic H.S.; N.J.) and consensus four-star quarterback Drew Pyne (New Canaan; Conn.) — Ehrensberger will join a defensive end depth chart about to turn over. Only two defensive ends remain from the two most-recent completed recruiting cycles, rising junior Kofi Wardlow and rising sophomore Justin Ademilola. Neither has shown enough to be well-projected yet, though Ademilola showed flashes in his four appearances as a freshman.

Two defensive ends signed as part of the class of 2019 during December’s early signing period, NaNa Osafo-Mensah and Howard Cross, while consensus four-star Isaiah Foskey (De La Salle; Concord, Calif.) may yet join them Wednesday.

At this point, Foskey is the only recruit on the horizon, with consensus four-star linebacker/safety Asa Turner (Carlsbad; Calif.) opting to remain with Washington after delaying his signing during the early period.