Notre Dame 2023 Commits Big Board

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

The Notre Dame 2023 recruiting class


DE Keon Keeley - 6-6, 230, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep
DE Brenan Vernon - 6-5, 250, Mentor (Ohio) 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:


Height/Weight: 6-6, 230

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

ESPN: 4-star - No. 165 overall - No. 21 DE
247Sports: 4-star - No. 216 overall - No. 40 DL
Composite: 4-star - No. 191 overall - No. 35 DL

Sophomore Highlights

Keeley has really special talent and he's not even close to reaching his full potential. As he continues to grow and gain more experience his game is going to explode and his ranking should follow suit. I graded him out as a Top 100 recruit already, but if he develops like I think he can Keeley can easily jump into the Top 50, if not eventually develop into a five-star caliber prospect.

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 he 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. Keeley knows how to use his length as well, using his long arms and strong hands to keep blockers off his body. 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 an effective edge run defender.

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.

Keeley shows an explosive burst off the edge, although his get off is a bit inconsistent. He shows top-notch closing speed, his pursuit is top notch and as he learns to play with better pad level and bend his pass rushing will improve. 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.


Height/Weight: 6-5, 250

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

Rivals: 4-star - No. 9 overall
ESPN: 4-star - No. 34 overall - No. 4 DE
247Sports: 4-star - No. 39 overall - No. 8 DL
Composite: 5-star - No. 19 overall - No. 6 DL

Sophomore Highlights

Vernon also possesses and outstanding, but he is different from Keeley. 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 Vernon to get stronger, thicker and more powerful without necessarily jumping his height to the max.

Vernon plays against outstanding competition and also shows the ability to play big boy ball even as a sophomore due to his size, impressive natural power and feel for the game. Vernon has heavy hands and play with good pad level, and even as a sophomore he can toss linemen and his block destruction is already top-notch. 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 fly 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 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.

Be sure to check out the Irish Breakdown message board, the Champion's Lounge

Irish Breakdown Content

Notre Dame 2022 Commits Big Board: Offense
Notre Dame 2022 Commits Big Board: Defense

2022 Big Board: Running Back
2022 Big Board: Slot Receivers

Notre Dame 2022 Scholarship Offers
Notre Dame 2023 Scholarship Offers

Notre Dame 2022 Class Big Board


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