Brian Kelly ended his Zoom availability during December’s early signing period with a prediction.
“We anticipate to bring in two more running backs in this class,” the Notre Dame head coach said, despite not having signed a single running back on the opening and primary day of the early signing period. “Within this class, we expect to sign a couple more running backs, and we expect to sign somebody that is going to help us in the back end of the defense, as well.”
Check, check and check.
Consensus four-star Audric Estime’s flip from Michigan State was the first running back. Then came four-star safety Khari Gee, a flip from LSU. They both proved Kelly right back in December. Finally, the Irish publicly signed consensus three-star running back Logan Diggs today, a pledge since late July, despite a late push from LSU. Diggs was the only Notre Dame signee announced on the old-fashioned National Signing Day.
Rummel High School; Metairie, La.
Measurements: 6-foot, 191 lbs.
Accolades: A consensus three-star recruit, Diggs is the No. 19 running back in the class, per rivals.com. In winning the Class 5A title in Louisiana, Diggs was named the all-state Outstanding Offensive Player.
Other Notable Offers: Even with offers from multiple schools in each of the Power Five conferences, Diggs seemed firm in his commitment as the only running back in Notre Dame’s 2021 class, a singular status that changed with Estime’s decision on the final day of December’s 72-hour signing stretch.
That firm commitment wavered when the Tigers began an all-out pursuit, led by LSU legend and running backs coach Kevin Faulk. It is hard to fault Diggs for feeling swayed by the Tigers. His hometown of Metairie has its own zip code, but it is close enough to the French Quarter to have a significant vacation rentals by owner industry hosting bachelor and bachelorette parties. Thus, the allure of Baton Rouge was a hard one for Diggs to bypass, particularly with former Irish safeties coach Terry Joseph now on the Texas coaching staff. Given regional focuses, Joseph had been Diggs’ primary recruiter.
The Notre Dame brotherhood is adding another member to the #NDRBs.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) February 3, 2021
Projected Position: Diggs will work as an all-around back, assuming he develops in the passing game, both blocking and receiving. He has shown decent hands, but that aspect of the game needs universal development in preps running backs.
Quick Take: Highlight reels are hand-selected with a purpose in mind, but the first three clips of Diggs’ (below) include choosing to meet a head-on tackle with full force, a hurdle and a breakaway touchdown. On some level, he has all the natural tools needed to be a starting running back at the next level.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: Diggs will have time to develop in 2021. Kyren Williams, Chris Tyree and C’Bo Flemister will handle almost all the work, while Estime may be a more likely candidate for a four-game cameo.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and running backs coach Lance Taylor have shown a penchant for rotating running backs, so even with Estime in the class and Tyree just a year ahead, there will be work for Diggs down the line, likely as soon as 2022.
And while the last nine months have felt like nine years, 2022 is not far off in football terms.
SIGNING DAY COVERAGE
— On Signing Day, remember Notre Dame’s surge has hinged on three-stars
— A Signing Day surprise: Four-star safety Khari Gee, flipped from LSU
— A Signing Day surprise: Consensus four-star RB Audric Estime, flipped from Michigan State
— Consensus four-star QB Tyler Buchner
— Trio of four-star WRs in Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas
— Five-star offensive tackle Blake Fisher and four-star guard Rocco Spindler
— Consensus four-star LB Prince Kollie, the day’s greatest worry
— Hawaiian LB Kahanu Kia
— Cornerbacks Philip Riley and Ryan Barnes
— Three-star cornerbacks JoJo Johnson and Chance Tucker
— Consensus three-star safety Justin Walters
— Tight ends Cane Berrong and Mitchell Evans
— Consensus four-star defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio
— Pair of California defensive ends, Will Schweitzer and Devin Aupiu
— Three more offensive linemen in Caleb Johnson, Pat Coogan & Joe Alt
— Inexperienced defensive end Jason Onye
— Kicker Joshua Bryan