Notre Dame picked up a major commitment when Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II quarterback Kenny Minchey pledged to the Irish. Landing Minchey is huge for Notre Dame. Let's break down what his commitment means for the Notre Dame 2023 class, the future of the Irish depth chart and what makes him one of the nation's best quarterbacks.
NOTRE DAME CLASS IMPACT
Minchey is the 24th player to commit to Notre Dame in the 2023 class. He is the first quarterback commit and the 12th offensive player to join the class.
Notre Dame needed to land a big time quarterback in the 2023 class for a number of reasons. For one, this is a loaded quarterback class nationally, and Notre Dame could not afford to strike out at such a deep position. Landing Minchey gives the Irish one of the best quarterbacks in the class, and one of the best fits in the class. It guarantees that Notre Dame will now land a top player at every single position on the roster, and an impact talent at the most important position in all of football.
Quarterback has been a sore spot for Notre Dame in recent seasons, especially in big games. The Irish staff will need to develop Minchey, but there's no question they added a very talented player to the depth chart.
Minchey is the kind of talent that could push for a starting job early in his career, which was another key ingredient to the need at the position in this class.
Landing Minchey (2023) and CJ Carr (2024) in back-to-back classes has turned a position that was a major question mark into a potentially huge strength.
NOTRE DAME FIT - FILM ROOM
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees wants a quarterback that does his best work from the pocket, and that's clearly Minchey. We'll break down his playmaking ability and athleticism, but his greatest skill is his ability to pick teams apart from the pocket.
Over the summer Minchey earned a spot in the Elite 11 Finals, and according to multiple sources the Tennessee star shined with his mental work just as much as he did with his accuracy and arm strength. He possesses the combination of arm talent, mental processing ability and playmaking skills the Irish have lacked at the position for years.
On film, the first thing you noticed about Minchey as a junior and senior is how much bigger he got. He looked to be barely 6-0 as a sophomore, but over the next two years Minchey looked to add at least two inches in height and his lower body filled out impressively. His size went from being average to a positive.
Minchey is an effortless thrower with some of the best lower body mechanics in the class. Far too many young quarterbacks are arm throwers, but Minchey uses his base extremely well. That allows him to limit the exertion he needs with his arm, which helps Minchey get the ball out quickly, with power and more importantly with accuracy. His ball placement is exceptional, and his anticipation as a passer is top notch.
Minchey shows the ability to throw with different arm angles, but his release point is remains consistent no matter where the ball comes out from an arm angle standpoint. Being able to show good ball placement off different platforms is vitally important, and it's part of the reason the Notre Dame screen game and quick perimeter throws hasn't been as good in recent seasons because the Irish quarterbacks aren't able to get this done as effectively.
The Pope standout has a very mature game, showing great anticipation with the ability to throw his wideouts open. This requires confidence and the ability to get the ball out quickly. Minchey also shows the ability to change speeds, but even when he throws with touch the ball gets up and down quickly.
Minchey isn't really a runner in the traditional sense, but he's a quality athlete that can do damage with his legs when he needs to. When he starts moving around he likes to use his legs to buy time to throw, but he can also scramble for quality gains and Rees will be able to run some read zone with him at the next level.
Minchey has an effortless throwing motion, which not only makes his motion repeatable, it also masks his arm strength a bit. As he fills out you'll see the ball jump out of his hand to an even greater degree.
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