Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy fields a roster full of top prospects so consistently you can set your watch to it, and the 2023 class is no exception. Notre Dame has offers out to sophomores Carnell Tate, Malik Bryant, Malik Muhammad and Samuel M'Pemba already in what is another deep year for the Ascenders in terms of blue chip recruits.
M'Pemba, who stands at 6-4 and 230 pounds, is an athlete that exudes versatility and potential. M'Pemba comes to IMG from St. Louis (Mo.) Ladue Horton Watkins, where he starred at both wide receiver and outside linebacker before transferring to the Florida football powerhouse.
Right now, M'Pemba is ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the country and the No. 17 prospect overall by 247Sports.com (composite) in the 2023 class. The Notre Dame target has a lot of options at this point in his recruitment with well over 20 offers to his name. Even from a positional standpoint, M'Pemba has a lot of options to consider.
“It depends on the college,” M'Pemba told Irish Breakdown when asked what position he'll play in college. “Some schools want me as a tight end. A lot of the offers I have now, a lot of them are saying I could play both ways, like Notre Dame says both ways, USC believes I can play both ways, Alabama too.”
With that to consider, M'Pemba has been hearing from Notre Dame on a fairly consistent basis, and Fighting Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston has been pitching his vision, one that involves the five-star prospect playing a very prominent role.
“They're telling me they want me to come play the Vyper position for them, kind of like Daelin Hayes,” M'Pemba said. “They say I can do everything he did and more.”
According to M'Pemba, one very important aspect of the recruiting process for him is how he feels on each individual campus since that's where he will spend so much time down the road. M'Pemba has already had a chance to visit South Bend, and he gave the campus high marks.
“I like how private it is,” M'Pemba mentioned. “Everything is comfortable and the academics there are really good.”
With one positive visit to Notre Dame already in the books, the five-star athlete is looking forward to his next trip to campus and added ND onto a visit list with the likes of Alabama and USC for the post-dead period. M'Pemba does not have dates yet for those trips but says they should come soon.
In addition to Notre Dame, USC and Alabama, M'Pemba holds offers from Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M, so he's a hot commodity on the recruiting trail in 2023, which makes sense given his frame, ball skills, athleticism and playmaking ability.
As for his upcoming junior season, M'Pemba said he's working the most on improving his speed while also watching a lot of film.
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