Two weeks ago, Notre Dame had no cornerback commitments in this recruiting cycle. Thanks to consensus three-star Landen Bartleson (Boyle County High School; Danville, Ky.) joining the Irish on Monday evening, they now have two among their 14 prospects in the class. Bartleson joins consensus three-star Clarence Lewis (Mater Dei H.S.; Middletown, N.J.).
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Bringing in at least a pair of cornerbacks in each class is a bit of a necessity as the game skews more and more toward passing, so even if Bartleson looks raw, his potential makes the commitment a step in the right direction for Notre Dame, who beat out Michigan, Ohio State and his homestate Kentucky for the pledge.
To some extent, Bartleson’s undeveloped potential is undeniable. While he has excelled at running back in high school, there will be plenty to work on in terms of cornerback fundamentals and technique. But his long runs showcase his footwork, agility and speed, all vital traits in a cornerback. Make no mistake about it, he is focused on one position for the future.
“I’m a lockdown corner,” Bartleson told Blue & Gold Illustrated.
He will have some time to better learn the position with current sophomores TaRiq Bracy and Houston Griffith both involved in the defense this coming fall and freshmen K.J. Wallace and Isaiah Rutherford about to join the mix.