Skip to main content

Notre Dame 2023 Commits Big Board

Breaking down the players committed to Notre Dame in the 2023 recruiting class

Below is my ranking of the Notre Dame 2023 commits based on the Irish Breakdown grading scale and my film analysis of each prospect.

NOTRE DAME COMMITS (15)

RB Jayden Limar - 5-11, 190, Lake Stevens (Wash.) High School
WR Braylon James - 6-3, 185, Round Rock (Texas) Stony Point
TE Cooper Flanagan - 6-5, 240, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
OL Sam Pendleton - 6-4, 305, Pfafftown (N.C.) Ronald Reagan
OL Sullivan Absher - 6-7, 285, Belmont (N.C.) South Point
OL Joe Otting - 6-4, 270, Topeka (Kan.) Hayden
OL Elijah Paige - 6-6, 300, Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle
DE Keon Keeley - 6-6, 230, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep
DE Brenan Vernon - 6-5, 250, Mentor (Ohio) High School
DL Boubacar Traore - 6-4, 255, West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial
DL Devan Houstan - 6-5, 275, Hagerstown (Md.) Saint James School
LB Drayk Bowen - 6-2, 215, Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean
LB Preston Zinter - 6-3, 215, Lawrence (Mass.) Central Catholic
S Peyton Bowen - 6-1, 185, Denton (Texas) Guyer
S Adon Shuler - 6-1, 190, Irvington (N.J.) High School

As more players commit they will be added to this breakdown, so be sure to bookmark it and check back after commitments happen.

Analysis of each 2023 commit, by position:

JAYDEN LIMAR, RUNNING BACK

Height/Weight: 5-11, 190

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Rivals: 4-star - No. 241 overall - No. 12 running back
247Sports: 4-star - No. 247 overall - No. 11 running back
ESPN: 4-star - No. 256 overall - No. 17 running back
On3: 3-star - No. 29 overall
Composite: 4-star - No. 292 overall - No. 19 running back

Junior Highlights

At 5-11 and 190 pounds, Limar is a well-built running back with a strong lower body and a cut upper body. He has room to add a bit more weight, but he's already developed well for the position. Limar runs in a shotgun heavy offense and all the reads he'll need to make in college he makes to some degree at the prep level. He's a one-cut runner behind the line, and Limar shows good patience when he needs to and he can put his foot in the ground and explode vertically when he needs to.

Once he gets in space, Limar shows the suddenness, balance and agility to make defenders miss. This is an area where improved lower body strength will make him even more effective, as it will allow him to do even more damage after contact.

Limar shows an impressive initial burst on film, but his long speed looks similar to that of Kyren Williams. Clearly Williams had enough speed to make big plays, but Limar has posted some impressive times this offseason, so there's a chance we'll see him even faster in the fall. If Limar shows better long speed as a senior his grade will take a big jump.

What makes Limar an attractive player is his potential in the pass game. He's not only effective out of the backfield in traditional running back concepts, he has the ability to line up in the slow and do damage. Limar has good route running potential, he tracks the deep ball well, he shows good body control and he catches the ball like a receiver.

BRAYLON JAMES, WIDE RECEIVER

Height/Weight: 6-3, 185

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 5.0

ESPN: 4-star - No. 46 overall - No. 10 wide receiver
Rivals: 4-star - No. 78 overall - No. 12 wide receiver
247Sports: 4-star - No. 99 overall - No. 14 wide receiver
On3: 4-star - No. 246 overall - No. 37 wide receiver
Composite: 4-star - No. 83 overall - No. 12 wide receiver

Junior Highlights

Breaking down his game, the first thing that stands out is his length. He's listed at 6-3, but his arm length is impressive and he provides quarterbacks with a big target thanks to his wide catch radius. On top of having top-notch length, James also shows excellent focus and body control in the pass game, which helps project him into an elite contested catch player at the next level. James is still learning the finer points of the position, and at times that impacts his timing, but the tools are special as a pass catcher.

James has emerging speed, and as he's gotten older his speed has really taken off. This winter he ran an electronically timed 4.47 and also jumped 38.4 inches on the vertical and had a broad jump of 130.9 inches. Those are elite jumping numbers and show big-time explosiveness. That 4.47 is impressive enough, but with those jumping numbers you can expect James to get faster and faster as he physically matures.

That speed flashes on film for James, and that's a big reason he earned a 5.0-star upside grade from me. He's tall, he's long, he is really fast and he's a strong all-around athlete that also shows impressive foot quickness and loose hips.

The point is that he has all the tools to be a home run threat in college, and he has all the physical tools needed to develop into a strong route runner. James just need more coaching and he needs nuance in his game. He's a wide receivers coach's dream because he has so much potential, he just needs that talent to be harnessed. That's why Notre Dame made James such a huge priority in this class and why landing him is so impactful.

COOPER FLANAGAN, TIGHT END

Height/Weight: 6-5, 240

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 200 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 4.5

247Sports: 4-star - No. 110 overall - No. 8 tight end
Rivals: 4-star - No. 224 overall - No. 11 tight end
ESPN: 4-star - No. 11 tight end
On3: 4-star - No. 18 tight end
Composite: 4-star - No. 233 overall - No. 14 tight end

Junior Highlights

Flanagan is a bit of a throwback, or traditional tight end in that he's big, a strong run blocker and a guy who does more damage on the short to intermediate zones.

At 6-5 and 230 pounds he already has outstanding size for a tight end. He plays with good pad level in the run game, works his feet through contact and he shows good power for a young player. His initial punch is strong, but he needs to learn to strike more effectively off the ball. With more growth and technical improvement he has a chance to develop into a strong run blocker.

Flanagan isn't a vertical threat like many "modern" tight ends, but he comes off the line well and quickly get into the seams. The De La Salle standout is a quality route runner that shows a good feel for finding soft spots in the zone and he's sharp getting in and out of his cuts. He'll continue developing as a route runner and it will make him an even more effective pass game weapon.

His ball skills and hands are impressive, and Flanagan's size and length gives him a great catch radius. In the Notre Dame offense he'll first fit into the attached tight end spot, where he can thrive in the run game and in the middle of the field. He's a good enough route runner to do damage in the slot, but to become more impactful in that part of the game he'll need to gain a bit more burst, something that could certainly happen when you consider that Flanagan is still young and growing into his body.

SAM PENDLETON, OFFENSIVE LINE

Height/Weight: 6-4, 305

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Rivals: 4-star - No. 238 overall - No. 21 offensive tackle
247Sports: 3-star - No. 28 interior offensive line
On3: 3-star - No. 34 interior offensive line
ESPN: 3-star - No. 40 interior offensive line
Composite: 3-star - No. 393 overall - No. 25 interior offensive line

Junior Highlights

The first thing that stands out about Pendleton on film is his power. This is a young man with extremely powerful hands. In fact, he has as good of a punch as about any lineman in the country.

Pendleton shows good lower body strength and he explodes off the ball. Pendleton does a great job driving his feet and hips through contact. That adds to his power and makes him a punishing blocker at the prep level. Pendleton also projects well to the next level, especially as he cleans up a few technical issues that he has.

Pendleton shows good foot quickness for a bigger, power player but he's more of a short-area player, which is why he projects to move inside. The Reagan standout is a fundamentally sound football player that does a good job keeping his pads low and his hips square to the line.

Just where Pendleton ends up position wise remains to be seen. Right now Pendleton is projected as a guard, but his combination of strong hands, fast hands and quick feet also project very well to center.

SULLIVAN ABSHER, OFFENSIVE LINE

Height/Weight: 6-7, 285

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 200 caliber player)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Offers: Notre Dame, Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, Penn State, Stanford, Michigan State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech

On3: 4-star - No. 99 overall - No. 10 offensive tackle
247Sports: 4-star - No. 203 overall - No. 18 offensive tackle
Rivals: 4-star - No. 24 offensive tackle
ESPN: 4-star - No. 28 offensive tackle
Composite: 4-star - No. 216 overall - No. 21 offensive tackle 

Junior Highlights

Absher is a very physical, punishing blocker who thrives in the trenches as a run blocker. Absher is one of the more punishing blockers in this class, and he seems to put great pride on burying defenders. At 6-6 to 6-7 with long arms and broad shoulders, Absher has plenty of length for the edge. Absher projects as a right tackle type of player that reminds me a lot of former Irish standout Tommy Kraemer before all his injuries set in. Remember, Kraemer started at right tackle for a Notre Dame offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award.

Despite being so tall, Absher shows a unique ability to play with strong pad level. He plays in a triple option offense, and that has resulted in him learning to really keep his pads low and driving off the line with more of a flat back, which helps Absher come off the line with force as a run blocker. Combine that with Absher's natural strength and lower body power the end result is him being a dominant run blocker. Absher explodes off the ball and drives his feet through contact as well as any blocker in the country. He needs to keep filling out and adding lower body strength, and when that comes his ability to dominate the run game will translate well to the college game.

Athletically, Absher shows a strong burst off the line, but more importantly he shows the balance, agility and flexibility to move laterally and change direction. His ability to work to the second level is impressive and plays with an impressive understanding of angles, which partly comes from playing in an option offense.

We see very, very little of Absher as a pass blocker due to him playing in a triple option offense, so we don't get to see the whole tackle repertoire. There is some projection there as a tackle, but his combination of athletic talent, length and punch lead me to believe he can thrive on the edge. If not, what makes Absher such an important pickup is he grades out just as high as a future guard, especially considering his rare ability to play so low for such a taller player. Having a guy who projects as a starting caliber lineman for at least three spots is rare and very important.

JOE OTTING, OFFENSIVE LINE

Height/Weight: 6-4, 270

IB Grade: 3.5 (Top 350 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 4.5 

247Sports: 3-star - No. 41 interior offensive lineman
On3: 3-star - No. 43 interior offensive lineman
Rivals: 3-star
Consensus: 3-star - No. 689 overall - No. 64 interior offensive lineman

Junior Highlights

What made Notre Dame push so hard for Otting is his unique combination of athleticism and pop. Otting is one of the quickest interior players in the country. He fires off the ball, keeps his pads low and he's incredibly effective in space. He'll need to clean up his technique on pulls and traps, but his quickness in both areas is impressive.

Otting shows very good punch for a player that weighs just 260 pounds. He has heavy hands and his movement power is most impressive. Otting does a good job getting extension with his hands. Otting shows the ability to drive and bury defenders, but it's against smaller players. It doesn't project yet, but if he adds more weight room strength and size you'll see his ability to play physical football take off.

Although he plays guard in high school, Otting projects extremely well to center thanks to those traits. He stays low coming off, he shows fast hands and that punch will allow him to snap and strike effectively. The center in the Notre Dame offense has to be good getting to the second level, and Otting certainly fits that mold. Other than size, which matters, he has all the tools needed to thrive at center.

Otting has a lower current grade (3.5-star) because of the questions about his size, but his upside (4.5) is quite high. He doesn't have the length that Joe Alt possessed, but he has very similar floor-to-ceiling projections.

ELIJAH PAIGE, OFFENSIVE LINE

Height/Weight: 6-6, 300

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 200 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0

247Sports: 4-star - No. 223 overall - No. 23 offensive tackle
Rivals: 4-star - No. 36 offensive tackle
On3: 3-star - No. 30 offensive tackle
ESPN: 3-star - No. 35 offensive tackle
Consensus: 4-star - No. 331 overall - No. 24 offensive tackle

The first thing that stood out on film when watching Paige was his frame. He was a lean 280 pounds on film as a junior, but you could see excellent length, a broad frame and the potential to get to over 300 pounds in time. In the last six months Paige has apparently hit a growth spurt, because he is looking much bigger now than he did even in November, and it's very good weight.

Paige is now listed at 300 pounds, and he still has plenty of room to add good weight. When evaluating his film as a junior it seemed obvious he could get to 300 pounds, now it's looking like he has the frame to easily get to 310+ pounds and still be able to maintain his athleticism.

That is where Paige really shines, he's very athletic for a big man. You can see it in the pass game and run game. Paige shows top notch foot agility and lateral quickness, and those traits allow him to work the edge effective in the run game. He shows good balance and gets to the second level quickly. Paige also shows the ability to quick get around and into the hole on pulls, and he can quickly get to the opposite edge on traps.

His athleticism and length shines brightest in the pass game. Paige gets out of his stance with ease, he plays with great angles and his ability to plant and redirect efficiently makes him a hard player to beat in the pass game. His length allows him to get hands on edge rushers, which makes him even harder to beat around the edge, and it combines with his quickness to get to edge rushers even if he gets beat initially.

Paige didn't show elite strength on junior film and his punch is solid, but not elite. As he fills out and adds more weight room strength you'll see this take a job. He already has sound technique, but when the weight room strength catches up to that and his athleticism he'll become an even more effective run blocker, which is key in the Notre Dame offense.

KEON KEELEY, DEFENSIVE END

Height/Weight: 6-6, 230

IB Grade: 5.0 (Top 10 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 5.0

On3: 5-star - No. 3 overall - No. 1 edge
247Sports: 4-star - No. 9 overall - No. 2 edge
Rivals: 5-star - No. 14 overall - No. 1 weakside end
ESPN: 4-star - No. 23 overall - No. 1 edge
Composite: 5-star - No. 6 overall - No. 1 edge

Junior Highlights

I loved Keeley's talent and potential as a sophomore, but as a junior he already started to tap into his five-star potential, which is why he jumped up to a 5-star prospect on my board. The first thing that stands out about Keeley is his elite length and frame. He's listed at 6-6 and 230 pounds, but he's still on the thin side and has a young body. Keeley has the frame that should allow him to get to at least 245-250 pounds by the time he enrolls at Notre Dame. Keeley has exceptional length, possessing arms that are as long as I've seen from a high school prospect, especially one as young as he is at this point.

As a junior he showed improved power, and there is still plenty of room for improvement and development there. When he comes off with good pad level and shoots his hands he can rock blockers back and even the longest of tackles can struggle to keep hands on. These traits combine with his athleticism to make Keeley an effective edge run defender.

Keeley shows an explosive burst off the edge, and it took a jump as a junior. He can blow past offensive tackles with his first step, but despite being so long he can get low and bend around the edge. Keeley gets on quarterbacks in a hurry and he arrived with a great deal more force as a junior, which Arch Manning learned in a head-to-head matchup. Keeley is a nimble and smooth athlete that possesses impressive foot quickness and balance. He has all the traits needed to eventually learn and master a wide array of pass rush moves.

The Berkeley Prep star has an impressive football IQ for a player his age. He makes quick reads, gets his hands up quickly when he sees quick game and when he loses a pass rush he does a great job of getting his eyes on the quarterback and trying to use his length to get his hands on the ball.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

BRENAN VERNON, DEFENSIVE END

Height/Weight: 6-5, 250

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Rivals: 4-star - No. 17 overall - No. 3 strongside end
ESPN: 4-star - No. 104 overall - No. 13 defensive line
On3: 4-star - No. 180 overall - No. 24 defensive lineman
247Sports: 4-star - No. 208 overall - No. 33 defensive lineman
Composite: 4-star - No. 93 overall - No. 10 defensive lineman

Junior Highlights

At 6-5 and 250 pounds, Vernon already has a thick, powerful frame that should be able to hold at least another 15-20 pounds, but there is also plenty of room for him to get stronger, thicker and more powerful without necessarily jumping his height to the max.

Vernon plays against outstanding competition and shows the ability to play big boy ball. He has impressive natural power and strong feel for the game. Vernon has heavy hands and plays with good pad level. Even as a young player he can toss linemen and his block destruction is advanced for his age. As his technique improves he projects to develop into an elite run defender.

The Mentor star is an unorthodox athlete, moving with an interesting gait and a bit of a herky-jerky style. He does show an impressive initial burst, closing speed and his motor is strong. Do not let his awkward movement style be mistaken for a lack of athleticism. As a prep player and at summer camps Vernon showed the ability to jump off the ball and get to the edge against top tackles.

He'll need to continue improving his pass rush arsenal and he'll need to improve his pad level, but Vernon has the combination of length, power and athleticism to develop into a top-notch power rusher.

For Notre Dame his game reminds me quite a bit of former Irish standout Khalid Kareem. Like Kareem, Vernon isn't an explosive athlete and doesn't flash elite athleticism, but his power, athleticism and football instincts as a package deal are outstanding. Like Kareem, Vernon projects to be a high impact run defender as a big end in the Irish defense, but Vernon shows a bit more pass rush potential than Kareem did at the same age.

BOUBACAR TRAORE, DEFENSIVE LINE

Height/Weight: 6-4, 255

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 caliber player)
Upside Grade: 5.0

On3: 4-star - No. 83 overall - No. 11 defensive line
247Sports: 4-star - No. 89 overall - No. 10 defensive line
ESPN: 4-star - No. 211 overall - No. 29 defensive line
Rivals: 4-star - No. 223 overall - No. 16 defensive linee
Composite: 4-star - No. 119 overall - No. 18f defensive line

Junior Highlights

Right now Traore is a defensive end, and he could certainly stay on the edge in the Notre Dame defense. His game right now fits the Big End position, but Traore is listed at 6-4 and 255 pounds, and he has a thick, impressive frame. With his thick lower half and broad shoulders I fully expect him to keep adding good weight and strength, which would lend to him potentially growing into an interior player where he could be quite disruptive.

Notre Dame loves length up front and Traore has very long arms and broad shoulders. He doesn't use his hands as well as you want yet and he uses his athleticism and power to dominate at the moment. As he continues to learn how to use that length at the point of attack his ability to dominate the run projects quite well to the next level. He has a thick lower half that is also powerful. He shows a strong punch and the potential to be a top notch block destructor once his technique improves.

Traore's power is good enough to move inside in time.

Athletically, Traore shows an impressive burst off the edge and he has good lateral movement for such a big athlete. He comes off the line well, shows impressive agility when working into gaps and he closes on the ball well. His closing speed stands out and you can really see his athleticism shine when he plays tight end. As his overall technique improves he has the potential to be a dominant player.

Right now Traore is a player that doesn't quite have the floor of other linemen in the class, but he has legit five-star upside. His potential is why he ranks as a Top 100 player right now, and as his game improves you'll see him become one of the best linemen in the class. This is the kind of young player that a coach like Al Washington - who stress fundamentals - absolutely loves. The tools are there, and with more coaching he could be a really, really good football player.

DEVAN HOUSTAN, DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Height/Weight: 6-5, 275

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

ESPN: 4-star - No. 182 overall - No. 12 defensive line
247Sports: 4-star - No. 183 overall - No. 30 defensive line
On3: 4-star - No. 272 overall - No. 35 defensive line
Rivals: 4-star - No. 14 defensive line
Composite: 4-star - No. 213 overall - No. 32 defensive line

Junior Highlights

Houstan is tall and has above-average length for an edge player, which is where he mostly plays in high school, but his length projects even better inside. At times he'll lift up at the snap, but more often than not he keeps his pads low and flies off the ball. Houstan has powerful and quick hands, and his block destruction potential is outstanding. He has a good feel for how to use his hands already, and Houstan shows a good array of pass rush moves both inside and outside.

You can see Houstan's hand quickness and power on defense, but it really flashes when he's playing offensive line. On that side of the ball he uses his hands to strike and his punch is excellent. Houstan is a physical defender that plays with a mean streak. With some body reshaping and time in a college weight room he projects to be a big, thick, powerful interior player that can shut down the run.

Athletically, Houstan shows an impressive burst off the line, especially when he keeps his pads down. He's a nimble athlete for his size, which allows him to make double moves with relative ease. This allows him to quickly shoot gaps and execute counter moves. When this is combined with his quick hands and natural power it makes Houstan a highly disruptive player up the middle, evidenced by his 15.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in just eight games last season.

Right now he's an even better pass rusher than a run defender, but with continued enhancement from a technical and consistency standpoint I see Houstan developing into an impact run defender at the next level, one of making plays in the backfield. 

DRAYK BOWEN, LINEBACKER

Height/Weight: 6-2, 215

IB Grade: 4.5 (Top 50 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 5.0

Rivals: 4-star - No. 34 overall - No. 2 outside linebacker
247Sports: 4-star - No. 75 overall - No. 4 linebacker
ESPN: 4-star - No. 86 overall - No. 7 outside linebacker
On3: 4-star - No. 220 overall - No. 18 linebacker
Composite: 4-star - No. 73 overall - No. 7 linebacker

Junior Highlights

Marcus Freeman wants length, athleticism and power at linebacker and that's exactly what Bowen brings to the game. His size is above average, but his athleticism and power are elite. Bowen is an explosive athlete that gets downhill in a hurry and he has the range to play to the sideline. When he commits to attack the ball he covers a lot of ground in a hurry, and when he arrives at the football he arrives with power.

Adding more physicality is a must for the Notre Dame defense, which I wrote about in my most recent Midweek Musings, and Bowen adds plenty of that. He's not a Mike linebacker right now, but I could certainly see him becoming that kind of player down the road. He's got the size potential, he has the first-step explosiveness, he closes on the ball extremely well and his natural hand strength and power will allow him to be extremely good at block destruction once his technique improves.

His agility and balance are impressive physical traits, and when his footwork gets better his ability to scrape, flow and explode to the ball should allow him to make a lot of plays in the run game. Bowen has to improve his timing as a blitzer, but he explodes downhill, easily dismisses high school blockers and closes on the football extremely well. In coverage he has the athleticism to thrive but his footwork and ability to look up routes will need to be improved.

Bowen is a bit on the raw side, thriving on God-given ability and effort. He's still a young player that hasn't yet finished his junior season. He'll continue to improve from a fundamental standpoint, and as that happens and he gets more and more experience his game will truly take off. He is a legit five-star upside player that possesses the kind of athleticism and natural power you simply cannot teach. Once he improves in the areas that can be taught he'll have a chance to be a special linebacker for the Irish.

PRESTON ZINTER, LINEBACKER

Height/Weight: 6-3, 215

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Rivals: 4-star - No. 220 overall - No. 13 outside linebacker
ESPN: 4-star - No. 12 tight end
247Sports: 3-star - No. 46 linebacker
On3: 3-star
Composite: 3-star - No. 432 overall - No. 38 linebacker

Junior Highlights

Based on junior film there are some questions about Zinter's size and length, but a growth spurt seems to have happened with him. He showed up to Notre Dame taller and longer than he looked on film, which clearly changed the projection for him.

What Zinter did show on film was impressive athleticism. He plays wide receiver, tight end and outside linebacker/edge for Central Catholic. On offense there are a number of plays where Zinter is allowed to turn loose and really run, and you can see his impressive long speed.

He shows good short-area quickness, top-notch balance and the lateral movement skills needed to play off-ball linebacker. His body control as a tight end should translate quite well to being an inside linebacker. We actually don't see much of him playing off ball linebacker, so there is a lot of projection with his game, but the talent and tools are clearly there.

Playing on the edge puts Zinter in a lot of situations where he has to use his hands, and his block destruction is impressive. He shows the length and hand strength needed to keep blockers off his body and then shed them when he wants to get to the football. He'll need work when it comes to the finer points of playing inside linebacker due to the fact he doesn't currently play that position. Notre Dame clearly sees that he possesses all the physical traits needed to make that transition, which is why the push was made to add Zinter to the class.

PEYTON BOWEN, SAFETY

Height/Weight: 6-1, 185

IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber recruit)
Upside Grade: 5.0

On3: 4-star - No. 37 overall - No. 4 safety
ESPN: 4-star - No. 49 overall - No. 4 safety
247Sports: 4-star - No. 74 overall - No. 4 safety
Rivals: 4-star - No. 82 overall - No. 6 safety
Composite: 4-star - No. 50 overall - No. 4 safety

Junior Highlights

The exciting thing about Bowen is he's just scratching the surface of what kind of player he can be. He's a two-way player in high school and he's also a special teams standpoint. When he gets to college and focuses on one side of the ball his game should explode.

Bowen is listed at 6-1 and he is rangy, which suits him as both a deep middle defender and also aids him when he attacks the alleys. Bowen explodes downhill and he covers a lot of ground in a hurry. His ability to play centerfield and the alleys is a must for a safety at Notre Dame, who often uses its back end defenders in an interchangeable manner.

Bowen shows impressive long speed, a must for a safety. You can especially see this explosiveness when he's on offense as a vertical threat. Eventually you'll see it even more on defense, but when his footwork is right you can see Bowen change direction with easy and explode to the route or the ball.

The Guyer standout shows an outstanding feel for the game. He shows good route recognition, takes good angles to the football and he plays the ball extremely well. Bowen is also a willing and able tackler. Right now his footwork and drop technique are works in progress. When his technique is right his transitions - both vertically and downhill - are tremendous. When his technique isn't right he looks tight when he turns. Once his technique becomes more consistently good his game is going to explode.

ADON SHULER, SAFETY

Height/Weight: 6-0, 190

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

ESPN: 4-star - No. 169 overall - No. 9 safety
247Sports: 4-star - No. 189 overall - No. 14 safety
Rivals: 4-star - No. 206 overall - No. 12 safety
On3: 4-star - No. 288 - No. 24 safety
Composite: 4-star - No. 187 overall - No. 14 safety

Junior Highlights

With Shuler, the first thing that stood out to me on film is how mature his game is from a technical and playmaking standpoint. He's an assignment correct, instinctive and high IQ safety that already shows an advanced feel for the game. Shuler comes down hill aggressively and plays with very good angles in both the run game and pass game. His feel for beating receivers to the spot is quite nuanced for such a young player, and he takes very good run game angles from depth, which makes him an impact defender against the run.

Shuler has the kind of frame you want at safety. He's at least 6-0, he has some length to him and he's got an athletic build. He already has good listed size but he'll continue to fill out and add even more strength. Athletically, Shuler is very light on his feet and packs a punch when he arrives at the ball. His agility and balance grade out very high, and he shows the ability to change direction with ease.

I questioned his speed and explosiveness as a sophomore, but as a junior he showed a much-needed jump in both areas. His long speed improved, his ability to open and run got better and his ability to plant and drive downhill was impressive. This made him a far more effective player as a junior and caused his grade to jump up quite a bit.

As a junior, Shuler has used his jump in burst and strength to be a highly effective run defender, but his improved speed has made him far more impactful in the pass game. Combined with his intelligence, that improvement makes Shuler a defender capable of playing more man coverage, but it's his improved range on that back end that stood out the most.

GRADE KEY

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

Be sure to check out the Irish Breakdown message board, the Champions Lounge

Irish Breakdown Content

Notre Dame 2022 Roster
Notre Dame 2022 Schedule

Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board - Offense
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board - Defense

Notre Dame 2023 Scholarship Offers
Notre Dame 2024 Scholarship Offers

Ranking The 2022 Signees - Offense
Ranking The 2022 Signees - Defense

———————

Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content and our premium message board! Click on the link below for more.

BECOME A MEMBER

Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!

Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown YouTube channel
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachD178
Follow me on Gettr:
@IrishBreakdown
Follow me on Gab:
@IrishBreakdown
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook

Sign up for the FREE Irish Breakdown daily newsletter