Notre Dame is off to an absolutely blazing start to the 2023 class after landing a commitment from five-star defensive end Brenan Vernon.
The 6-5, 250-pound end from Mentor (Ohio) High School was considered by many as a lock to pledge to the Ohio State Buckeyes, who simply do not miss on top in-state prospects. Notre Dame has pulled off a major upset to land Brenan, who committed to the Irish the day after fellow end Keon Keeley pledged to Notre Dame.
Vernon ranks as the nation's No. 9 overall prospect by Rivals and he's a five-star recruit and the No. 18 overall player according to 247Sports. Should Vernon hold that ranking he would become the highest ranked defensive line prospect to pick Notre Dame since Aaron Lynch back in the 2011 class.
Turning down Ohio State is certainly not an easy thing for any in-state prospect to do, but defensive line coach Mike Elston and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman did a great job recruiting him. Vernon appears to have made the tough decision to blaze his own path, and that led him to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame struggled to recruit the state of Ohio for years, other than offensive linemen, but landing Lorenzo Styles Jr. and Mitchell Evans in the 2021 class and now Vernon is the 2023 class is certainly a step in the right direction when it comes to recruiting the Buckeye state.
Vernon earned offers from Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa State and Duke as well as the Irish and Buckeyes.
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