2021 Big Board: Notre Dame Commits

Bryan Driskell

Notre Dame will look to land one of the nation’s premier classes, one that will close the gap between Notre Dame and other title contenders.

Below is a breakdown of the current class, including their current national rankings. As new players join the class they will be added to this breakdown. Right now the board is broken down by position.

2021 COMMITS (15)

Tyler Buchner, QB, 6-2, 200, La Jolla (Calif.) Helix
Logan Diggs, RB, 6-0, 200, Metairie (La.) Rummel
Lorenzo Styles Jr., WR, 6-1, 170, Pickerington (Ohio) Central
Cane Berrong, TE, 6-4, 220, Hopewell (Ga.) Hart County
Mitchell Evans, TE, 6-7, 240, Wadsworth (Ohio) High School
Joe Alt, OL, 6-7, 260, Fridley (Minn.) Totino-Grace
Patrick Coogan, OL, 6-5, 275, Chicago (Ill.) Marist
Blake Fisher, OL, 6-6, 330, Avon (Ind.) High School
David Abiara, DE, 6-4, 240, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy
Jason Onye, DE, 6-5, 245, Warwick (R.I.) Bishop Hendricken
Gabriel Rubio, DT, 6-5, 290, St. Peter’s (Mo.) The Lutheran of St. Charles
Ryan Barnes, CB, 6-2, 180, Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard
Philip Riley, CB, 6-0, 190, Valrico (Fla.) Bloomingdale
Chance Tucker, CB, 6-17, 170, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Justin Walters, S, 6-2, 175, Bolingbrook (Ill.) High School

Analysis of each 2021 commit:

QB Tyler Buchner, 6-2, 200, La Jolla (Calif.) Helix

ESPN: 4-star - No. 39
Rivals: 4-star - No. 46
247Sports: 4-star - No. 92

IB Grade: 5.0 (Top 25 player nationally)
Upside Grade: 5.0

Film Analysis: Buchner had a monster junior season, throwing for 4,474 yards, 53 touchdowns and getting picked off six times. He’s an advanced passer that still has plenty of room to improve from both a physical and technical aspect. Buchner does not have a bazooka for an arm, but it grades out well from a pure strength standpoint. What makes his arm talent elite is that his arm strength is enhanced by an incredibly quick release.

Not since Jimmy Clausen have I seen a Notre Dame quarterback prospect show the advanced feel for playin the position that Buchner displayed as a junior. He’s quite advanced when it comes to anticipation and timing. There is snap after snap where Buchner is releasing the ball before his receiver is out of his break, and there are even downfield throws where the receiver is just getting into his release when Buchner lets the ball go. His ability to throw receivers open is on the level you’d expect from a college quarterback, not a high school junior that missed all but one game the previous season.

Buchner is incredibly diverse, which is part of the reason is intangible grade is so high. He can play a clean game from the pocket, he can be a gunslinger that changes his arm angles and throws on the run, and he look like a run-throw quarterback, evidenced by his 1,610 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground.

One area where I’d like to see Buchner improve is that he has a tendency to come off his back foot too early and throws too much off his front foot. This can alter his release point, which leads to some bouts of inaccuracy. He’s not inaccurate from a completion-incompletion standpoint in high school, but his ball placement isn’t as good as it can be, and if he can clean this up his precision as a passer will take off.

Full Buchner Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

RB Logan Diggs, 6-0, 200, Metairie (La.) Rummel

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Film Analysis: Diggs is listed at 6-0 and 195 pounds, but he has a squatty build and the frame to add a lot of good weight. I think he'll be an easy 210+ when its all said and done. He's not a burner by any means, and he's likely a 4.6 type of back from a speed standpoint. What I like about Diggs is he gets downhill in a hurry and maximizes the speed he does possess.

His best asset is tremendous foot quickness, agility and balance. When it comes to footwork and moves he reminds me of faster version of former Notre Dame standout Lee Becton, who rushed for 1,044 yards (6.4 YPC) back in 1993 for the Irish.

Like Becton, Diggs makes up for a lack of speed with impressive make-you-miss ability, and he has a similar dead-leg move in space that makes him hard to get a clean shot on. When he gets a clean run track he can plant and explode vertically, but he overcomes a shaky offensive line with impressive instincts that allow him to find room to work.

Diggs wasn't used much in the pass game besides screens in high school, but he shows the ability to catch the ball down the field, and his camp work shows a back with impressive route running ability and the skill to track the ball down the field. His all-around game is strong, and he's just scratching the surface of how good he can be.

Junior Highlights

WR Lorenzo Styles, 6-1, 170, Pickerington (Ohio) Central

Rivals: 4-star - No. 39
247Sports: 4-star - No. 126
ESPN: 4-star - No. 245

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Film Analysis: Styles is a unique prospect that is a legit four-star recruit as both a wide receiver and cornerback. Notre Dame is recruiting him for offense, but should the need ever arise he could easily slide over to cornerback and thrive. That versatility is part of what makes him such a valuable prospect, and why he grades out so high on my board.

The Pickerington (Ohio) Central standout is an explosive athlete, and the scary thing is I believe there’s another gear in there that he can tap into once he is done growing and gets into a college strength and conditioning program. When his technique is right he shows an explosive burst off the line, but his acceleration on vertical routes and once he gets the ball in his hands is impressive.

Styles has quick feet, top-notch change of direction skills and he has good strength for his size. Those traits give him the potential to eventually develop into an outstanding route runner, and they are skills that should allow him to continue getting better and better with the ball in his hands. Right now, Styles is more about being a guy that can turn a crease into a big play, or a guy that can stretch the field. As his technique improves and he focuses just on offense you’ll see his after-the-catch traits improve.

Styles fits in well to both field receiver positions in the Notre Dame offense. His vertical speed, ball skills and route running potential fit well to the X (outside) spot, and his quickness, ability to win off the line, speed to outrun defenders across the field and after-the-catch potential fit into the slot position just as well.

Full Styles Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

TE Cane Berrong, 6-4, 220, Hartwell (Ga.) Hart County

ESPN: 4-star - No. 51
Rivals: 4-star
247Sports: 3-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Film Analysis: Berrong as a junior reminds me a great deal of former Irish standout Cole Kmet as a high school junior. Kmet was a prep wideout for much of his career before finally starting to fill out as a senior. I’m not sure Berrong will get quite as big as Kmet, but I love his long frame and how much potential he has to fill out. The Hart County tight end is already an outstanding prep player, but the more his frame fills out the more dominant, and hard to defend, he’ll become.

During the summer at the Irish Invasion camp he showed the same thing you see on film, this is a young man that can flat out run for his size. Berrong’s vertical speed is impressive, and he possesses the speed to outrun defenders across the field or to attack the seams in a hurry. Berrong shows good quickness off the line, but he’ll need to improve his footwork as a route runner in order to limit how choppy he is as a route runner.

His length combines quite nicely with his ball skills to make him a highly effective one-on-one player. Even when he’s guarded an accurate quarterback can put the ball high and let Berrong outplay the defender for the football. He has extremely fast hands, attacks the football and tracks the football quite well. I love how late Berrong shoots his hands to the football; it makes it much harder for defenders to read when the ball is about to arrive.

Berrong is a more than willing blocker. He comes off the line aggressively and has very strong hands. His technique in the run game needs a lot of work, especially in regards to bringing his hands quickly and with force at the snap. Once that improves and he adds more strength this will be a strength of his game at the college level.

Full Berrong Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

TE Mitchell Evans, 6-7, 240, Wadsworth (Ohio) High School

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 3.5
Upside Grade: 4.0

Film Analysis: Evans hauled in 19 passes for 306 yards and seven touchdowns. He is a big target and the first thing that stands out about his game is his size. Some have talked about him possibly moving to offensive tackle down the road, but hopefully that is not the staff's plan. With Joe Alt already in the class taking another project offensive tackle to go with Pat Coogan would be a poor strategy.

Evans moves well for his size, and his offseason work has shown improvements from a speed standpoint compared to his junior season. He has solid speed for his size, but I like how nimble he is with his feet. He's is fluid and smooth, which you don't often see from a player his size. Evans gets off the line quickly as a route runner and blocker, and he projects well from a route running standpoint with more technical work.

The Wadsworth standout can use his size to do damage down the seams, he is a quality route runner and he shows a great feel for finding soft spots on the field against the zone and when working across the field. Evans has strong hands and catches the ball effectively away from his body. He has the tools to be a great red zone weapon, which you've already seen from him at the prep level, with seven of his 19 catches going for touchdowns.

Evans has the size and power to become a dominant blocker at the next level. If he can stay at tight end this will be the area where he can get on the field the fastest, and if he can improve his route running technique and continue developing his athleticism he will out-play his current grade.

Junior Highlights

OL Joe Alt, 6-7, 260, Fridley (Minn.) Totino-Grace

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 3.0
Upside Grade: 4.0

Film Analysis: Alt is listed at 255 pounds, but Alt is still thin, which is actually a good thing. When you have a pumped up or filled out player at 255 pounds it is going to be extremely hard to get him to 300 pounds without him losing athleticism and quickness. Alt has the kind of thin but broad frame that should make it much easier for him to not only fill out, but to do so while adding more explosiveness without losing his foot quickness.

His foot quickness is impressive for a future offensive lineman. Alt is quick off the ball, he has loose hips and the fact he’s a tight end means he is used to running routes and working in space. That should give him a good chance to be a much better movement blocker than most tackles. Alt needs to get a lot stronger, but part of the reason I like him as a prospect is his attitude and toughness. He competes hard in the run game, and I absolutely love how much he drives his feet through contact.

In some ways, being undersized and not as strong as other top prospects could actually help him down the road. He has to work harder to get movement, he has to really drive his feet through contact to dominate, and he’s picked that up. Once he gets to around 300 pounds and once he gets a couple years in a college strength program under his belt, if he keeps that leg drive going he could become an impact blocker in the run game.

Alt will need A LOT of work in pass protection, and his hand play needs a lot of work as well. He’s quite raw in pass protection, especially from a footwork standpoint, and his hand placement is erratic, but he’s not an offensive lineman, so I don’t expect him to be great in either of those areas at this point.

Junior Highlights

OL Patrick Coogan, 6-5, 275, Chicago (Ill.) Marist

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 3.5 
Upside Grade: 4.0

Film Analysis: The first thing that stands out about Coogan is his toughness and willingness to get after it in the run game. That is clearly the strength of his game at this point, and it projects to be his best asset at the next level if he continues making improvements as a player.

Coogan is listed between 275 and 290 pounds, and during the summer he looked closer to 275 than the 290 he’s listed at by 247Sports. Either way, Coogan has the kind of frame that should allow him to get to 300 pounds with relative ease. He needs to reshape his body and add more weight room strength, but size won’t be an issue for him once he gets to his peak frame potential.

The Marist standout is a fundamentally sound player in most areas. He plays with a good base and despite having some hip tightness he’s able to play with a flat back and good leverage. Coogan shows impressive short-area quickness and he comes off the line with a strong burst, which combines with his pad level to allow him to get very good movement off the line. Coogan is a good finisher and he plays with an edge.

Coogan is a good trapper, but he’s not an ideal player in space. Although he’s listed as a tackle by the recruiting services, he’s a guard in high school and projects to play on the interior at the next level. Inside he can mask his lack of overall lack of quickness and athleticism that would hurt him in the pass game.

Junior Highlights

OL Blake Fisher, 6-6, 330, Indianapolis (Ind.) Avon

Rivals: 4-star - No. 22
247Sports: 4-star - No. 85
ESPN: 4-star - No. 104

IB Grade: 4.5 (Top 50 nationally)
Upside Grade: 5.0

Film Analysis: Fisher is the kind of player you usually find in the South. He’s an incredibly massive and physical mauler, but he possesses surprising foot quickness for someone that is every bit of 6-6 and 330 pounds. Fisher has the raw tools to be a truly elite offensive lineman at the next level. Like all young linemen he’ll need a lot of work on his body and with his technique, but this young man’s tools are special.

Being big and strong is important, and Fisher has tremendous length and girth. He’s also quite strong, but what makes Fisher such a dominant player is that beyond the physical gifts he plays the game with a nasty and aggressive demeanor. Being big only takes you so far; the great ones have an edge to their game, and Fisher shows that kind of edge as a prep player. He seems to enjoy punishing defenders, and his ability to explode at the snap, stay low and drive defenders off the ball is elite. Just as important, Fisher is a finisher.

At times Fisher looks slow on the edge in pass protection, and there are plenty of snaps where you see good foot quickness. The difference between the good snaps and the sloppy snaps is all about footwork and technique. Fisher has a unique ability to bend for such a massive player, but at times he lifts up too much at the snap, and that’s when he looks slower out of his stance. When he keeps his base and sinks his hips he shows the ability to quickly get to the edge rushers, and his foot quickness/agility allows him to mirror effectively.

I gave Fisher two pass blocking grades, one as a tackle and one as a guard. He projects to be a quality pass blocker at tackle, but as a guard his combination of size, length, power and foot quickness projects to be elite as a guard. That leads me to the one question mark about Fisher, will he end up at tackle or guard? The question isn’t can he play tackle, I believe he absolutely can. The question is do you leave him at guard where he can be a Top 100 caliber player, or do you transition him to guard where he can be truly elite.

Quenton Nelson is the only player Notre Dame has landed in the last decade that has the guard upside that Fisher brings to the game, but he could also stay at tackle and be a multi-year starter.

Junior Highlights

DE David Abiara, 6-4, 240, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy

ESPN: 4-star - No. 282
Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 300 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Film Analysis: The first thing that stands out about Abiara on film is his frame. He is tall, long and has a very thick frame. Abiara is a well put together young athlete that still has room to add at least 15-20 more pounds to his listed weight. Abiara is much thicker at the same age than were players like Julian Okwara and Ade Ogundeji. His frame is closer to that of Khalid Kareem and Daelin Hayes, which part of the reason I view him as a player that could line up at either end position.

Abiara is a naturally strong and powerful player, one that shows the ability to shock blockers as effectively as he can lock them out. His ability to keep blockers off his body (when his technique is correct) is outstanding, which is part of the reason why he’s such an effective run player at this point in his career.

Athletically, Abiara shows a quick burst at the snap, and it’s especially effective when he’s shooting gaps in the run game. Combine that with his hand power and length and you can see why he’s so good against the run. The Legacy standout is a bit inconsistent when it comes to proper block destruction technique, but when he does it right it's highly effective. Abiara has well above average foot quickness and lateral agility, traits that should allow him to develop into a competent coverage player at the Vyper (drop) position.

Abiara can dominate in the run game with his natural tools, but his pass rush production needs a lot of work. The traits are all there, and with good coach he could develop into a high quality pass rusher. When he keeps his pads low he can fire off the ball effectively and get around edge. Consistency from a leverage and pad level standpoint are musts for him, and he must develop a more nuanced pass rushing repertoire.

Junior Highlights

DE Jason Onye, 6-5, 245, Warwick (R.I.) Bishop Hendricken

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 300 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5 (Top 300 nationally)

Film Analysis: Onye has exceptional length, and when he learns how to properly use that trait it will become a signifiant strength of his game. The Rhode Island end has the ideal frame for the strong side position in the Irish defense. He’s listed between 240 and 250 pounds, and if that’s accurate then he’s a thin 240-250 pounds. There is plenty of room to add size and reshape his upper body, and his lower body is long and thick.

Onye is a tough and competitive young defender. His game needs a lot of technical work, but he’s aggressive and has impressive natural tools. Even when he is late with his hands, Onye is able to knock blockers off his body and then lock them out. The Bishop Hendricken standout can toss blockers off his body, and as his hand technique improves his ability to disengage with force will be greatly enhanced. 

The 6-5 end shows a top-notch burst off the edge, especially when he stays low out of his stance. With his long legs he can cover a lot of ground in a hurry, which helps him with his get off and also allows him to close extremely well on the quarterback. His open-field speed is impressive for his size, and he shows the ability to explode to the sideline to chase runners.

Onye comes from a program that is very well coached, you can see that when you break down games, but he’s still incredibly raw as a player, and there's a reason for that. Onye didn't start playing football until his sophomore season, but in year two he was at the point where he registered 76 tackles and 15 sacks.

Full Onye Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

DT Gabriel Rubio, 6-5, 290, St. Peter’s (Mo.) Lutheran Of St. Charles

Rivals: 4-star - No. 99
247Sports: 4-star - No. 110
ESPN: 4-star - No. 164

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Film Analysis: There are two things that stand out about Rubio when you see him both in person and on film. He has great size and he plays with an incredible motor. Notre Dame needs more size up the middle of its defense. Defensive line coach Mike Elston has done a great job recruiting athletic penetrators in recent seasons, and the last two classes he’s worked on adding more size, and Rubio brings that. He’ll need to keep adding weight room strength, but Rubio is built well, has long arms and his hands have good pop.

Rubio has good vertical speed, showing the ability to explode into blockers or into gaps effectively, and when he wins the leverage battle he’s extremely hard to handle due to his combination of natural power, leg drive and motor. Rubio can get off blocks at the prep level, and as his technique gets enhanced it should be a part of his game in college as well.

The 6-5, 290-pound tackle doesn’t have great lateral speed, which I think makes him a better fit for the nose tackle position, because the nose is more of a vertical position, and that’s where his athletic talents are at their best. You don’t usually see nose players that are 6-5, but Rubio plays with impressive leverage for such a big prospect. He bends well, stays low and drives into blockers with force.

Don’t get me wrong, Rubio can certainly play three-technique, but as a three-technique I think he’s more of a powerful run defender. As a nose tackle I believe he can not only thrive in the run game, but there you see his motor and pass rushing skills project even better. He could be a highly disruptive nose tackle in the Irish defense, but the fact he can play both adds to his grade and value as a prospect.

Full Rubio Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

CB Ryan Barnes, 6-2, 180, Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 caliber player)
Upside: 4.5

Offers: Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, Penn State, Michigan, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Louisville, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, NC State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Boston College, Arizona State, Duke, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Maryland, Syracuse

Analysis: The first thing you should notice about Barnes is his elite size. He’s not only tall (6-2), but he has exceptional arm length. Even more important, he knows how to use that trait to excel in coverage. Barnes has fast hands and he’s quite good at the line of scrimmage. As he improves his hand play once he’s transitioned and when playing zone it will complete the package for him.

Barnes needs to get physically stronger in coverage and as a tackler, but he is more than willing to come downhill and mix it up in the run game. The effort is there, the desire is there, and once the weight room strength catches up tackling and defending the run will be a strength of his game.

If you’re someone that is obsessed with speed you probably won’t fall in love with Barnes as a prospect, but he is a high-quality all around athlete with good long speed. His length allows him to erase any lack of speed he might have. He’s a smooth athlete with fluid hips and his transitions are easy, another trait that allows him to play fast.

From a technical standpoint he’s solid, but there are some things he needs to clean up with his footwork in off coverage and with his hands once he transitions, but he has a strong foundation. Barnes plays both off and press man, and he thrives at both. In many ways he reminds me of a faster, more fluid version of Robert Blanton. Long, physical, smart and a playmaker.

Junior Highlights

CB Philip Riley, 6-0, 190, Valrico (Fla.) Bolingbrook

247Sports: 4-star - No. 287
Rivals: 4-star
ESPN: 4-star

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 caliber player)
Upside: 4.5

Offers: Notre Dame, Clemson, Penn State, Oregon, USC, Florida State, Washington, Texas, Miami (Fla.), Iowa, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Louisville, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Boston College, Washington State, Colorado, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, UCF

Analysis: Riley is listed at 6-0 and 190 pounds, and he has a strong build with long arms. Riley is the strongest cornerback on this board, and he plays a very physical game. Riley’s block destruction is already top-notch, and it’s only going to get better.

The Bloomingdale standout has fast and physical hands. He packs quite a punch, and his ability in press coverage is outstanding. Riley understands how to properly combine aggressiveness and patience. He rarely gets caught out of position and if a wide receiver wants make moves at the line Riley will tap his feet, keep his hands coiled and then jam when the receiver gets vertical. It’s impressive seeing how often he completely dominates a wide receiver at the line.

His physicality in the pass game makes him a great fit for the boundary position, but his tackling ability and physicality in the run game, combined with his length, makes him well suited for the field cornerback position.

Riley is an impressive athlete, and when his technique is right his transitions are explosive. Far too often as a junior he would lean back and lose his base, which slowed down his turns. When his technique is right you can see how clean he is, and I’ve seen film of him working out this spring that shows me he’s cleaned up his footwork in this regard, and his transitions are top-notch.

Riley shows quality route recognition. He can thrive in press looks and his potential to play off-man is strong, which gives him a great deal of positional flexibility in the base offense. He could also be an excellent fit in the slot in the nickel package due to his physicality and cover ability. The only reason he doesn’t grade out as the top corner is his speed grade is much lower. If he can improve that part of his skillset his game will truly take off at the next level.

Full Philip Riley Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

CB Chance Tucker, 6-1, 170, Encino (Calif.) Crespi

Rivals: 3-star
247Sports: 3-star
ESPN: NR

IB Grade: 3.5 (Top 400 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.0

Film Analysis: Tucker plays a lot of press and man coverage for Crespi, and he uses his length to shine at the line. His footwork needs improvement and enhancement, but his length and strong hands allow him to consistently get a good jam. Once his footwork improves he should be able to translate his length and experience in press into college success in coverage.

At times Tucker’s transitions are on the slow side because he’ll lunge a bit too much or he gets a bit too flat footed when he jams. Both are correctable technical skills and can be improved. Once he gets cleaner with his transitions he’ll be far more productive when he opens and runs.

Tucker is an intelligent football player that shows top-notch route recognition. He reads the movement of receivers extremely well and he plays the ball incredibly well. Tucker is a quality tackler and is more than willing to throw his 170-pound body into the mix. He will wrap up effectively but also can explode his hips through contact. These traits combine with his length and instincts to project quite well to the field position for the Irish. But his physicality and ability at the line also projects him as a possible boundary player.

Even though he is mostly a press player in high school, his combination of length, football IQ and tackling ability should allow him to thrive playing off coverage as well. My knock on Tucker is speed, and that is what keeps him from being a four-star prospect. His track times are solid, but I don’t see ideal speed on film. He has other traits (size, length, instincts, intelligence, toughness) to still be a quality player even if he never adds the necessary speed to dominate, but the speed keeps him from receiving a higher grade as a prep player.

Junior Highlights

S Justin Walters, 6-2, 175, Bolingbrook (Ill.) High School

Rivals: 3-star 
247Sports: 3-star 
ESPN: 3-star

IB Grade: 3.5 (Top 400 nationally)
Upside Grade: 4.0

Film Analysis: The first thing that stands out on film is Walters ability to make impact plays in the run game. He plays the alleys extremely well, showing a good initial burst, easy change of direction skills and top-notch closing speed. Walters also takes sound angles to the football and is a quality tackler from a technique standpoint.

On top of being a sound player, Walters shows surprising power when he arrives at the football. I say surprising because you don’t expect an athlete that is listed at 175 pounds to play with such power and force. Even when he doesn’t get a full head of steam, Walters arrives at the football with ferocity, showing the ability to drive through contact. That kind of lower body explosiveness stands out, and it’s going to get better as he adds more weight room strength. His potential in the run game is outstanding, and it’s only going to get better as he fills out his frame.

Walters isn’t a dynamic athlete, but he’s smooth, fluid and changes direction with ease. Those traits give him good playing speed and help him overcome the lack of truly top-end speed. Those physical traits combine nicely with his instincts and feel for the game to make him a strong coverage player. Walters makes smart reads in the pass game and much like he does in the run game, he takes good angles when attacking routes.

Walters stated that Notre Dame is recruiting him to play the same safety type of role that Alohi Gilman did the last two seasons, which fits his game perfectly. Walters is at his best when playing the alleys and coming downhill. If he fills out his frame he projects to be an impact run defender, which is important for a safety in the Irish defense.

Full Walters Film Breakdown
Junior Highlights

GRADE KEY

5.0 - Elite player
4.5 - All-American caliber player
4.0 - Multi-year starter
3.5 - Key role player
3.0 - Backup

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Comments (23)
No. 1-8
ZonaIrish
ZonaIrish

Bryan this is my favorite part of what you do. I always enjoyed this when you were with BGI . I am glad you made it even better here.

supernd
supernd

You forgot Greg Crippin....lol

Thrillhouse
Thrillhouse

Bryan, how many O-linemen do you see ND landing in 2021? If you had to guess now, who would those players be to fill out that number?

KMoore-24
KMoore-24

Bryan have you heard anything about Lorenzo Styles and Michigan and him possibly flipping to them? 247 sports has a interview up and Lorenzo says "As of right now I am still Irish" way to much for me. Losing him would be devastating.

frase
frase

Coach an thoughts or insight on why Buckner switched high schools?Was it to play better competition?One of the knocks on him was the lack of competition in the San Diego area.Finally,i live in Central Ohio and keep reading that other schools in particular Michigan are trying to flip him.I hope that Coach Alexander learns from the Colzie decommitment and keeps in touch with Styles.

Slap of Reality
Slap of Reality

Buckners arm talent is really impressive, ND fans are going to be shocked when they see him if they aren't familiar with him. His release and ability to whip it on the run are pretty amazing.

ChitownSam
ChitownSam

A while back, on various sites, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that DE Abiara was going to decommit and likely go to a school in Texas. Any intel on the status of his commitment to ND?

sbf
sbf

bryan, if both abiara and onye stay in the class, how do you see them working out position wise? they both seem to me to be more destined to play sde over vyper. do you see it differently? can abiara really play vyper? he probably ends up 265 after a year or 2 in the program. i know hayes is really big for a vyper but he's a unique athlete and he might be better served at sde as well.


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