Notre Dame can now boast three of the top defensive ends in the class of 2023 as Irish commitments. Consensus four-star end Boubacar Traore (Catholic Memorial High School; West Roxbury, Mass.) became the third piece of that future pass-rush haul with a Wednesday evening commitment.
The No. 223 player in the country, per rivals.com, Traore is ranked as the No. 16 defensive end, normally a ranking that would warrant excessive praise and accolades, but in this class, it is almost a disappointment. Traore is joining five-star end Keon Keeley (Berkeley Prep; Tampa, Fla.), the No. 1 defensive end in the class, as well as four-star Brenan Vernon (Mentor H.S.; Ohio), the No. 3 defensive end.
But do not overlook Traore. His sophomore year highlights quickly elicit a “Wow” reaction. He embraces blocks even as he makes a tackle. He drives an offensive lineman into the backfield before sliding off him and onto the quarterback. His quick first few steps on a pass rush put any offensive tackle at a disadvantage.
Massachusetts high school football may be paltry competition, but Traore’s clear assets should translate well against stiffer competition.
Furthermore, a foot injury cut short Traore’s junior year highlights, just as the pandemic limited his sophomore season to just four games. The 6-foot-4, 254-pounder has played but a handful of games in the last two years. He is yet a raw talent.
Traore committed to the Irish after a visit this week, but the pledge had been long expected. He ended a six-month commitment to Boston College right when Notre Dame offered in mid-March, and his long commitment to his homestate flagship had suppressed any further widespread recruiting; the only other notable offer Traore had in hand was from Michigan.
Including Keely and Vernon, the Irish now have 11 commitments in the class of 2023, and all are at least four-star prospects.