Notre Dame finished its recruiting class of 2019 when consensus four-star defensive end Isaiah Foskey announced his commitment Wednesday afternoon, becoming the fifth defensive linemen in a class of 22. The initial 21 all signed in December.
Before diving into Foskey, let’s acknowledge his signing brings the Irish roster to 89 scholarship players, though some flexibility exists with incoming freshman linebacker J.D. Bertrand eligible for an academic scholarship and incoming freshman linebacker Marist Liufau possibly considering a year’s delay before arriving in South Bend. One way or another, Notre Dame has to be down to 85 scholarship players before fall classes commence.
De La Salle High School; Concord, Calif.
Measurements: 6’5”, 230 lbs.
Accolades: Consensus four-star prospect; All-American; No. 15 defensive end in the country, per rivals.com, and No. 42 prospect in California.
Other Notable Offers: All the big names pursued Foskey, highlighted by Alabama, Clemson and USC. As far as his Signing Day decision went, Foskey nominally considered Michigan, Ohio State, Cal and Washington up to the final days.
Projected Position: Defensive end.
Quick Take: Foskey has the agility and ball skills to handle the duties of Notre Dame’s drop/weakside defensive end, but also the physicality and ability to shed blocks wanted from a rush/strongside end. That malleability will not only help Foskey’s chances to get on the field, but will also aid the Irish roster’s adaptability.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: Notre Dame is stocked at defensive end for 2019 thanks to the returns of rising seniors Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara, not to mention classmates Daelin Hayes and Ade Ogundeji. Foskey’s freshman season may parallel Justin Ademilola’s, who appeared in just four games to preserve a year of eligibility, but provided viable snaps and depth when he did play.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: When that quartet moves on, the defensive end position will undergo nearly a complete overhaul, one led by this recruiting class. Only two defensive ends stand between the two classes, rising sophomore Ademilola and rising junior Kofi Wardlow.
As one of three ends in this class — along with consensus four-stars NaNa Osafo-Mensah and Howard Cross — Foskey will become a piece of the rotation no later than 2021, but more likely in 2020.