For some high school football teams, the first half of their seasons are already in the rear view mirror. With the second half of those seasons ready to kick off, it’s time to have a quick appreciation for some of the premier performers in Notre Dame’s 2023 recruiting class.
Some of those recruits could be due for a recruiting ranking bump here in the near future. Here are several of the players that each major recruiting platform should get ready to elevate in their next ranking updates.
RB/WR DYLAN EDWARDS - Derby (Kan.) High School
Edwards has been steadily rising up the recruiting rankings since the summer due to a combination of past production and the camp circuit performances prior to the season. He is again off to a tremendous start to his senior season.
In four games thus far, Edwards has rushed for 554 yards and eight touchdowns on just 61 carries. That 9.1 yard per carry average is actually down substantially from his 12.5 yard per carry average from last season. Edwards has also taken a kick returner back for a 92 yard touchdown so far, doubling as a dynamic special teamer for Derby as well.
Coming from Kansas, that has a lot to do with Edwards having been put under the radar for so long. The 5-9, 165-playmaker isn’t being underrated by the Notre Dame staff, who see him as a dynamic offensive weapon on the next level.
Edwards is now rated as a consensus four-star recruit by every major recruiting platform but he currently sits as the unranked variety by both On3 and 247Sports. That should change very quickly.
WR TAESHAUN LYONS - Hayward (Calif.) Tennyson
All of 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals currently have Lyons pegged as a three-star recruit on each of their rankings. It’s tough to comprehend the ranking when you pop on the film. It’s true that the 6-2, 170-pound pass catcher does not play the best competition in the state of California but Lyons doesn’t just beat his competition, he dominates it.
That is evident by his start to the 2022 season thus far, where Lyons has hauled in 22 receptions for 501 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In total, he has 833 total yards and seven scores. That is an average of 22.7 yards per reception and 208 total yards per game.
Smooth and explosive, Lyons has every tool to be a special wide receiver on the next level. As evident by his 8-catch, 303-yard and three touchdowns a couple of weeks ago, Lyons has every tool you could look for on the next level.
His ranking should indicate that soon.
DE ARMEL MUKAM - Woodberry Forest (Va.) High School
We haven’t seen Mukam nearly at his ceiling up until this point. That is mostly due to the simple fact that we just haven’t seen Mukam on a football field much.
It wasn’t long ago that he was living in Canada, with most of his attention being on playing hockey. Now in his second season of football action, Mukam has an incredible amount of tools and upside.
At 6-4 and 250 pounds, the Virginia native has a ridiculous amount of length for the position. He boasts a well proportioned frame and a ton of natural power. Mukam is a difficult player to deal with at the point of attack, showing the ability to overwhelm opposing offensive lineman.
If Mukam had started playing football a few years earlier, there would be no doubt that he wouldn’t be sitting as a consensus three star recruit right now.
His upside is immense. The ranking could match that very shortly.
DE BOUBACAR TRAORE- West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial
Traore is coming off of a dominant second game of the season, recording two sacks in the team’s 46-0 victory over Algonquin Regional. Long and explosive at 6-4 and 255 pounds, Traore is one of the more physically gifted edge rushers in the 2023 recruiting class.
He is well received as a recruit by 247Sports, currently pegged as the No. 93 overall player and No. 12 defensive lineman in the class. Quite simply, Traore’s film so far this season is that of a consensus top 100 recruit. Both ESPN and Rivals currently don’t have him ranked inside the top 200 overall players and that is just not indicative of what he’s been putting on film.
There is a legitimate chance for Traore to eventually develop into one of the premier defenders in the country. He’s that talented.
S BEN MINICH - West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West
Minich has been a vital part of an extremely talented 6-0 Lakota West squad to start the season. While there is a lot of talent littered all over the squad, including his fellow safety and Ohio State commit Malik Hartford, it’s hard to ignore the all around impact that Minich has had on the team thus far.
Of course it starts on the defensive side of the football, where the 5-11, 185-pound safety makes a variety of plays from depth and working down into the box as an extra run defender. Minich is also a playmaker on the offensive side of the football, where he is one of the team’s top wide receivers.
On special teams, Minich also has blocked a punt so far this season.
While the upside may not be as high as a few others in Notre Dame’s class, Minich still deserves his credit for how good he has looked so far in 2022. Ranking him as a three star just isn’t indicative of the caliber of football player that Minich is.
He has earned any rise he gets at this point.
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