Notre Dame Recruit Profile: Gavin Sawchuk, Running Back

Analysis of Notre Dame running back recruit Gavin Sawchuk

Notre Dame is one of many programs in hot pursuit of Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian running back Gavin Sawchuk.


Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colo.
High School: Valor Christian

Height: 5-11
Weight: 180

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

Offers: Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, USC, Penn State, Florida State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington, Nebraska, TCU, Iowa, Stanford, Utah, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Colorado, Michigan State, Arizona State, California, Duke

Recruited By: Lance Taylor, Tommy Rees

2020 Stats: 131 carries, 1,239 yards, 9.5 YPC, 17 TD (8 games)
2019 Stats: 197 carries, 1,786 yards, 9.1 YPC, 23 TD (12 games)
2018 Stats: 79 carries, 695 yards, 8.8 YPC, 9 TD (14 games)


Rivals: 4-star - No. 44 overall - No. 2 running back
247Sports: 4-star - No. 44 overall - No. 4 running back
ESPN: 4-star - No. 65 overall - No. 4 running back
Composite: 4-star - No. 44 overall - No. 4 running back


Sawchuk is from the Chris Tyree school of running back. He's a one-cut and go type of runner with home run speed. Although his track times aren't quite as good as Tyree's, Sawchuk has the kind of acceleration and second gear to turn a crease into a home run, no matter where the ball is snapped. His explosiveness and big-play speed is a big reason he's considered one of the nation's best backs.

I was a bit surprised to see how tough Sawchuk was as a runner. I expected a back with his size and home run speed to have a lot of wiggle and be a guy who looked to make defenders miss. Sawchuk needs to get a lot stronger, especially with his lower body, but he's more than willing to mix it up, he'll put his shoulder down when he needs to and he can run through arm tackles.

Sawchuk is a well-schooled back and an efficient runner. He is a disciplined runner that stays on his run track, and I was impressed with his patience as a ball carrier. He shows a great feel for letting blocks develop, using angles to set up defenders for vertical cuts and his vision allows him to find and explode through holes. If anything, I'd like to see Sawchuk be a bit more decisive on a snap-to-snap basis.

Sawchuk is more fluid than sudden, and you won't see him doing a lot of shaking in space. Instead, he uses his speed to push defenders to commit, and if they overpursue he has the ability to quickly plant and cut behind them. If they don't have the angle he can turn on the after-burners and outrun them to the sideline for big plays.  

Sawchuk needs to clean up his route running out of the backfield, but he catches the ball relatively clean and should be a big-play threat in the pass game once he cleans that part of his game up a bit. Sawchuk needs a lot of work as a pass blocker, but honestly, with his home run speed, a smart offensive coordinator is going to want to get him in space instead of asking him to take on linebackers and defensive linemen in the pass game.


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

Related Content:

Notre Dame 2022 Scholarship Offers

Notre Dame 2022 Class Big Board

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