The biggest hole in Notre Dame’s 2023 recruiting class has been filled. Quarterback Kenny Minchey committed to the Irish on Tuesday after spending the weekend in South Bend watching Notre Dame (8-3) trounce Boston College, 44-0, in the snow.
That snow did not scare off the Tennessee product, a rivals.com three-star prospect but one that likely will receive a rankings boost in coming weeks. Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country.
Minchey (Pope John Paul II Preparatory School; Hendersonville, Tenn.) spent much of the last year committed to Pittsburgh before de-committing less than two weeks ago. Despite initially being chased by homestate Tennessee, West Virginia, Michigan State and Vanderbilt, the front-runner when Minchey put himself back on the market was clearly Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-1 ½, 207-pound All-American is now set to sign with the Irish on Dec. 21, when the early signing period begins, and enroll in January.
“Everything will be shut down,” Minchey said to Inside ND Sports. “Just super excited after getting up there on campus, meeting the coaches. And excited to know that I have a place to call home and that I’m gonna be going to Notre Dame.”
A shoulder injury cut short Minchey’s senior season after only four games; he had thrown for 768 yards and 11 touchdowns with one interception on a 73.4 percent completion rate. He returned for one playoff game — 260 yards and four touchdowns, 57.6 percent completion rate — but the injury sidelined him again in the next round.
Minchey is still expected to play in the All-American Bowl in early January, so the shoulder injury should not be a long-term concern. If it has any lasting impact, it may be that losing that stretch of games leaves Minchey relatively inexperienced reading defenses.
Nonetheless, he has a strong arm that can get the ball downfield without his body being fully set. That strength also gives him a quicker release when needed, strong enough to not need a full windup.
Minchey keeps his eyes up as he moves up in the pocket. He is not the fastest quarterback, but he is mobile.
His deep passes are pinpoint in their accuracy, perhaps a reflection as much of Minchey’s chemistry with his high-school teammates as it is of his accuracy, though he did win the accuracy competition at the Elite 11 quarterback camp in June.
That camp included a few names pertinent to Notre Dame’s long pursuit of a quarterback in this class. The Irish went all-in on chasing five-star Dante Moore, believing they would land the Detroit prospect before he eventually committed to Oregon. Notre Dame sought Moore with such aggression, it actively did not chase Jackson Arnold (Oklahoma, the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the class), Christopher Vizzina (Clemson, the No. 6 pro-style) or Avery Johnson (Kansas State, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class).
Former Pitt commit Kenny Minchey is the fourth player Notre Dame has flipped this cycle. The others:
-RB Dylan Edwards (Kansas St)
-DE Armel Mukam (Stanford)
-DT Boubacar Traore (BC)
On the other side, Irish have had 4 departures from the 2023 class.
— Patrick Engel (@PatrickEngel_) November 22, 2022
Austin Novosad was also there, the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2023 and a longtime Baylor commit. The Irish tried to pry him out of Texas as Moore’s recruitment slipped away, only for Novosad to stay firm with the Bears.
Then came Minchey, finally filling Notre Dame’s last gap in the 2023 cycle, the 24th commitment in the No. 2 class in the country.
Minchey will join an Irish quarterbacks room currently heavy on numbers, with Drew Pyne, Tyler Buchner and Steve Angeli all theoretically returning next season. But logic suggests at least one of them will transfer, though there is also an expectation Notre Dame will pursue a transfer quarterback into the program.
COMMITTED! Go Irish☘️ pic.twitter.com/p0nst9JT5t
— Kenny Minchey (@kenny_minchey) November 22, 2022