Notre Dame has 14 committed players in the 2022 class, but just one is a wide receiver (Amorion Walker). The Irish staff - led by offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and wide receivers coach Del Alexander - are looking to add at least two more pass catchers to the board.
There is one target on the board that looks and plays a lot different from everyone else on the board, and that would be Bluefield (Va.) Graham wideout Xayvion Turner-Bradshaw.
The Graham High School playmaker checks in at 6-0 and 185 pounds, and he is a dynamic playmaking talent. If you read Irish Breakdown or listen to IB podcasts with publisher Bryan Driskell you'll know that he considers Bradshaw one of the more talented players on the 2022 offensive board, regardless of position.
He excels with the ball in his hands, constantly making defenders miss and using his excellent speed to best his opponents. Going along with his receiving skills, Bradshaw is also a return specialist and possesses elite skills on special teams, even on both ends of the field.
No one knows more how impactful Turner-Bradshaw can be than his head coach, Tony Palmer.
“He’s very dynamic, runs really well,” said Palmer. “He has outstanding hands … I think he’s a definite threat in the return game. He’s one of those guys who can do multiple things, we had him punt for us this year.”
The COVID-19 pandemic hindered the ability for high school athletes all over the country from training, practicing and in several instances, playing during the normal scheduled season. Now that restrictions are becoming more relaxed and normal daily life is returning, Turner-Bradshaw has not skipped a beat and has been putting in the work.
“The biggest difference for him this off season has been the weight room,” Palmer explained. “He’s really put in the time, he’s gotten stronger. He’s also playing basketball, he plays summer league basketball. He’s staying very busy.
“He’s a very likeable kid, he’s extremely liked in the community,” the Graham head coach continued. “He has the respect of his teammates. He’s more of a ‘we before me’ type of kid. He’ll do anything to help.”
Coach Palmer has a very strong relationship with Turner-Bradshaw’s family and was best friends with the wideout’s uncle for years before he unfortunately passed away. He also had a good relationship with Xayvion’s father, who happens to be former NFL running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Driskell mentioned on the podcast before that Bradshaw seems to always be doing homework when IB tries to reach out to him for interviews. That's not surprising to Palmer.
“That’s something that we stress," Palmer stated. "You have to be a student before you become an athlete. He’s worked hard. It’s been hard for all these kids, during this pandemic with everything being online. It’s much easier in person. He’s worked extremely hard to maintain his grades.”
Notre Dame has offered Bradshaw, but at this point the Irish coaches do not appear to be making a push for him. While the Irish coaches are working to get a number of wideouts on campus this summer, the Notre Dame staff is trying to get Bradshaw on campus in the fall. Despite the Irish not making a hard push, his head coach believes the Irish are in strong position for him, should they reverse course and make him the priority he needs to be.
“He’s mentioned about visiting with them (Notre Dame) sometime this fall,” Palmer said of his star wideout's recruitment. “I’ve talked to Coach Alexander a couple times about Xayvion. I think right now that Notre Dame is his favorite out of the schools that have offered him.”
Turner-Bradshaw has offers from 10 schools including Cincinnati, Virginia, and West Virginia. After a recent interview with CBS Sports Network’s Tom Lemming, his top schools are Notre Dame, Purdue and Arizona State.
“I think he brings excitement; he’s extremely explosive when he gets the ball in his hands,” raved Palmer. “He’s someone that Notre Dame needs. They would get a kid who’s going to continuously get better. I don’t think he’s scratched the surface of how good he could be. He’s an Antonio Brown type of player.”
On the wide receiver board for the Fighting Irish in the 2022 class is CJ Williams and Tobias Merriweather, who are tall perimeter players. Bradshaw would certainly fill the need at the slot position, and expects to be a game changer at the next level.
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