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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Notre Dame
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  06/04/21 - Cain MaddenrSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-3, 313 (DS#8 OG) + More +

  Marshall offensive guard Cain Madden on Friday afternoon verbally committed to play for the Irish in 2021 as he completed his multi-day visit to the Notre Dame campus. It'll be the former walk-on's and three-year starter's sixth collegiate season, courtesy of the NCAA's COVID exemption and the 6-foot-3, 313-pounder's desire to hone his NFL Draft appeal. The Irish (10-2 in 2020) open the season Sept. 5 at Florida State, the team Madden visited early in the week and the program originally considered the heavy favorite to land the South Webster, Ohio, product until the Irish shifted that momentum. Madden, nicknamed "Dump Truck," brings coveted experience to an Irish offensive line that lost four starters, including two All-Americans, off a unit that was one of three finalists in 2020 for the Joe Moore Award for O-line excellence. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#8 OG) rSr/2022 OG Cain MaddenNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/20/21 - Cain MaddenrSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-3, 313 (DS#8 OG) + More +

  Marshall's offensive line took a massive hit on Wednesday afternoon. How big? Oh, about a 315-pound All-American type of hit. Senior Cain Madden, who went from walk-on to All-American during his time with the Thundering Herd, announced on social media that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal. "After much thought and prayer, I have made the decision to enter the transfer portal," Madden's message said. "I am genuinely grateful for the five years at Marshall where I have been able to grow and cultivate my skills both on and off the field. "Thank you to all my coaches, teammates, athletic staff, and especially Herd Nation for supporting me on the football and academic journey. I will forever be a #SonOfMarshall." Madden played in 48 games during his Marshall career, starting in 31 of those contests. - Charleston Gazette

(DS#8 OG) rSr/2022 OG Cain MaddenNotre Dame
News Source: Charleston Gazette
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  05/14/21 - Cam HartrSo/2024, Notre Dame, 6-2, 208 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Fully healthy for the first time since flipping from wide receiver two offseasons ago, Hart this spring gave Brian Kelly reason not to get too antsy about finding cornerback help in the transfer portal to pair with 2020 surprise starter Clarence Lewis (which still could happen). A spring surge from sophomore Ramon Henderson, a fit at nickel for TaRiq Bracy and the prospect of dependable depth from one or more of the four freshmen has upgraded the expectations for a position group that had the most to prove this offseason. The junior Hart (6-3, 207) gives the Irish unusual size at cornerback. This spring his confidence and aggressiveness started to sync up with that big body. If you're looking for a possible surprise breakthrough player, Hart could very well be it. And if that happens, the Notre Dame secondary may flip from possible liability to probable asset. - Indianapolis Star/News

(DS#999 CB) rSo/2024 CB Cam HartNotre Dame
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  05/10/21 - Isaiah FoskeyrSo/2024, Notre Dame, 6-4, 257 (DS#4 DE) + More +

  When pro scouts were watching tape of ND's 2021 NFL Draft prospects, invariably they'd get distracted by safety Kyle Hamilton and defensive end Isaiah Foskey, both juniors in 2021. Foskey was second on the team to fifth-round draft choice Ade Ogundeji in sacks (4.5) and QB hurries (5) in 2020, despite being a part-time player. As a starter in 2021, those numbers could increase significantly for the 6-5, 257-pounder. The spring and summer is about becoming a complete defensive end, not just a pass-rush specialist. So if you hear Foskey drawing praise for his ability to defend against the run in training camp, this is the trajectory that not only will keep the scouts coming back to watch the tape, it will help give new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman the chance to field an elite defense in his first season at ND. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#4 DE) rSo/2024 DE Isaiah FoskeyNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/10/21 - Kevin Austin Jr.rJr/2023, Notre Dame, 6-2, 210 (DS#15 WR) + More +

  It's hard to fathom that a player with six career catches for 108 yards in three years on the Notre Dame campus could be so pivotal as to whether Notre Dame ends up reloading or mildly rebuilding in 2021. Until you watch him practice at 100 percent. The return to 100 percent health should happen before the Irish open camp in August. A turbulent freshman year, followed by a sophomore-year suspension and a twice-broken foot as a junior in 2020 hasn't diminished what the 6-2, 215-pound senior could do for an Irish offense that needed his explosiveness in the two games it lost last season.

They'll need fellow seniors Braden Lenzy and Lawrence Keys III to be healthy and improved as well, and grad senior Avery Davis a formidable complement to Austin and sophomore tight end Michael Mayer. For all the consternation over former five-star prospect Jordan Johnson's decision to find a trap door out of Notre Dame, a healthy Kevin Austin Jr. - who's grown from his turbulence, not succumbed to it - has a much brighter present and more promising future. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#15 WR) rJr/2023 WR Kevin Austin Jr.Notre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/08/21 - CBo FlemisterSr/2022, Notre Dame, 5-11, 201 (DS#87 RB) + More +

  University of Notre Dame running back C'Bo Flemister has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident after an April 25 wreck. The misdemeanor charge against the 20-year-old was filed Thursday. According to court documents, Flemister crashed his 2014 BMW around 3 a.m. April 25 on South Bend Avenue near Corby Boulevard. When police arrived to the scene they found the crashed vehicle with no one inside and the keys missing. The car was registered to Flemister and police were able to locate him at a friend's house, according to court documents. Police say Flemister first told them his car was taken from Eddy Street Commons, but in a later interview admitted to crashing that night and leaving before police arrived. Flemister, from Williamson, Ga., played in nine games last season as a junior and rushed for 299 yards and five touchdowns on 58 carries. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#87 RB) Sr/2022 RB CBo FlemisterNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/02/21 - Kurt HinishrSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-1, 296 (DS#93 DT) + More +

  Kurt Hinish reset the countdown clock for his final moments at Notre Dame when he chose to return for a fifth season with the Irish. If not for the NCAA's COVID-19 exemption, Hinish's college eligibility would have expired following the 31-14 loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff. The Irish nose guard played in all but one of Notre Dame's 51 games the last four seasons with the lone exception coming in the home game against N.C. State in 2017. Hinish could push his total career games up to as many as 64 if Notre Dame makes another run into the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame football historians still have time to figure out if he will become a program record holder.

"As the season goes on and when the season ends, if that's the case, then yeah, I'd be happy if that's the way I left my mark on this program," Hinish said. "But that's not something I'm worried about right now." The 6-2, 296-pound Hinish has a whole slew of "lasts" ahead of him, but the list will get shorter this weekend when he plays in his last Blue-Gold Game on Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium (12:30 p.m. EDT on Peacock). The spring scrimmage will be just another step in Hinish's quest to rectify last season's unsatisfactory ending. "I love this university and I want to give my all to this university just like they've given a lot to me," Hinish said. "After the game last year, it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. I had one more year that was offered and I took the opportunity to stay." - South Bend Tribune


(DS#93 DT) rSr/2022 DT Kurt HinishNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had to wait all night Thursday. He had to wait a little longer Friday night for his NFL dream to come true. Owusu-Koramoah, a unanimous All-American linebacker from Notre Dame was selected with 20th pick of the second round, 52nd overall, by the Cleveland Browns in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night in Cleveland. Many expected him to be the first Irish linebacker to be selected in the first round since Bob Crable was taken with the 23rd overall pick by the New York Jets in 1982. But he slid out of the first round, marking the second consecutive year the Irish did not have a Thursday night draft pick. If Owusu-Koramoah had been drafted Thursday, he would have been Notre Dame's 10th first-round pick in a 10-draft span (2012) under ND head coach Brian Kelly and the 70th first-round pick in program history. Overall five linebackers went in the first round. As many expected, Penn State's was the first linebacker selected, going No. 12 overall to the Dallas Cowboys. Tulsa's Bronko Nagurski Award winner Zaven Collins went No. 16 to Arizona and Kentucky's Jamin Davis No. 19 to Washington. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#2 OLB) rJr/2021 OLB *Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/02/21 - Liam EichenbergrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 6-6, 306 (DS#4 OT) + More +

  Notre Dame's impressive run of putting offensive linemen into the NFL continued Friday night when Liam Eichenberg was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 42nd overall pick of the second round. The Dolphins traded up with New York Giants in order to select Eichenberg, who became the first Irish player selected in this year's NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 302-pound left tackle is the seventh Irish offensive lineman to be drafted since 2014, with none falling below the third round. Four of those went in the first round, including Notre Dame's three previous full-time starting left tackles - Zack Martin (2014), Ronnie Stanley (2016) and Mike McGlinchey (2018).

"I'm a guy you can plug in and play right now," Eichenberg said before Notre Dame's Pro Day in March. "I'm not a guy that needs a lot of development. I've been coached well. I use my technique and my fundamentals very well." Eichenberg, a Cleveland native, was the seventh offensive lineman picked in the draft behind Oregon's Penei Sewell at No. 7 to the Detroit Lions, Northwestern's Rashawn Slater at No. 13 to the L.A. Chargers, USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 14 to the New York Jets, Alabama's Alex Leatherwood at No. 17 to Las Vegas and Virginia Tech's Christian Darrisaw at No. 23 to Minnesota. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#4 OT) rSr/2021 OT Liam EichenbergNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/30/21 - Houston GriffithSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-0, 204 (DS#22 SS) + More +

  Houston Griffith's spring has gone so well that Kelly named him one of two captains for Saturday's scrimmage. Griffith will be the captain for the Gold team. Linebacker Shayne Simon will captain the Blue team. The spring was particularly important for Griffith, who had to be convinced by Kelly and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to stick with the Irish after spending a couple of January weeks in the transfer portal. The 6-foot, 204-pound Griffith showed his commitment to Notre Dame in preparing for his senior season. "Houston's done it in the weight room," Kelly said. "He's done it in spring ball. He solidified his position." That position will likely be in the starting lineup alongside junior Kyle Hamilton, who missed the spring with an ankle injury. Kelly was pleased with the work fellow senior DJ Brown (6-0, 194) did in Hamilton's absence. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#22 SS) Sr/2022 SS Houston GriffithNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/29/21 - Kyren WilliamsrSo/2024, Notre Dame, 5-09, 194 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  An elite running back needs elite field vision. The ever-confident Kyren Williams believes he's already checked that box following his 2020 breakout season as Notre Dame's running back. "I have the best vision in college football," Williams said. "I've always had that vision." Since he was a child, Williams was told by his father that his natural field vision was impressive. Williams' confidence in that has only grown over the years. He wants to leave observers wondering how he saw what he saw. "My main goal as a running back is to leave people guessing and wondering how he was even able to make that cut," Williams said.

If the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Williams wants to make the leap to a truly elite running back in college football, Williams will need to make more of those cuts to produce explosive plays in the running game. With one of the best offensive lines in the country in front of him last year, Williams showed he was capable of breaking a long run. Twice he gained 65 yards on a single run: once against Florida State on Oct. 10 and again four weeks later with a touchdown run to start the victory over then-No. 1 Clemson. With two runs of 60-plus yards last season, Williams finished in a tie for seventh in the FBS in that category. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#2 RB) rSo/2024 RB Kyren WilliamsNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/27/21 - Josh LuggrSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-6, 310 (DS#11 OT) + More +

  Lugg began the spring playing right tackle, where he started the final five games of the 2019 season in place of an injured Robert Hainsey, but Kelly suggested early on that Lugg would eventually move inside to guard, where he started one game last season. But lately Kelly started to settle on tackle as his most likely position. Lugg's experience at both positions matters, but his ultimate success may be determined by a lack of physical discomfort, not which position he feels more comfortable playing. The 6-foot-7 Lugg dealt with back issues last season while playing at 321 pounds. He reshaped his body in the offseason and cut down to 291 pounds before the end of February.

"I had to look at myself in the mirror and be like maybe if I'm a little bit lighter, I'm going to be able to move better and it's not going to be such a strain on my back," Lugg said. "I think that really helped. I haven't had any issues come up at all now since the end of the season last year. "I feel strong. It's all in the core really at this point. If I can have a tight core, I feel that it's really improved my back and being able to play and feel comfortable." This spring, Lugg has been practicing at around 300 pounds. He wants to see if he can keep his back healthy by adding five or 10 pounds by the start of the season. Regardless of which position he plays, Lugg will need to be at his athletic peak. "I feel like I'm moving a lot better," Lugg said. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#11 OT) rSr/2022 OT Josh LuggNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/27/21 - Cam HartrSo/2024, Notre Dame, 6-2, 208 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Notre Dame started spring practice March 27 with far more questions than answers at cornerback. If not addressed, those could become particularly problematic in new coordinator Marcus Freeman's defensive scheme, in which he prefers to rely on cornerbacks playing man coverage a vast majority of the time. Thirteen practices into the spring, head coach Brian Kelly thinks the Irish found some candidates ready to make the leap from inexperienced to reliable. That list starts with junior Cam Hart and sophomore Ramon Henderson. "When you line them up, those two look as good as anybody in the country," Kelly said Saturday following spring practice No. 13. When evaluating physical traits, that praise might not be hyperbolic. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Hart and 6-1, 189-pound Henderson bring size and reputed speed to a defense that will gladly welcome both attributes.

"Both these guys have elite traits - long, athletic, the ability to play the ball," Kelly said. Hart's development process was slowed in his first two seasons with the Irish due to shoulder issues. He played in three games in 2019 before requiring season-ending surgery. One of his shoulders continued to bother him last season too, said Hart, who has dealt with the issue since high school. "Coming into this season, I've rehabbed, I've felt more comfortable not using a brace and not being restricted," Hart said. "It's honestly enhanced my game a lot. I feel a lot more comfortable in press coverage. I feel a lot more comfortable tackling and defeating blocks." - South Bend Tribune


(DS#999 CB) rSo/2024 CB Cam HartNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/25/21 - Jack CoanrSr/2022, Notre Dame, 6-2, 221 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  Rees said Wisconsin grad transfer Jack Coan and sophomore Drew Pyne have both been taking the majority of their reps with Notre Dame's No. 1 offense as they split the work evenly. The 6-3, 220-pound Coan has impressed Rees with his combination of arm strength and accuracy. "The thing that's shown up over and over is his ability to stay calm in the pocket and see things downfield, stay in there, deliver some critical throws, whether it be a third-down situation or an opportunity for a play-action shot," Rees said. "He's done a really nice job there." - Indianapolis Star/News

(DS#10 QB) rSr/2022 QB Jack CoanNotre Dame
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  04/24/21 - Michael MayerSo/2024, Notre Dame, 6-5, 235 (DS#1 TE) + More +

  Tommy Rees knows what an offense looks like when its go-to receiver plays tight end. When Rees was a junior quarterback for Notre Dame in 2012, tight end Tyler Eifert led the Irish in receiving yards (685), receiving touchdowns (4) and tied for the team high in receptions (50). So if tight end Michael Mayer becomes Notre Dame's best receiving option as a sophomore in 2021, the Irish offensive coordinator should know how to make that work. "I don't see why it should be any different in terms of being able to feature someone," Rees said Thursday following Notre Dame's 12th spring football practice. Even as a freshman, Mayer wasn't far off from being quarterback Ian Book's preferred target. He tied wide receiver Javon McKinley for a team-high 42 receptions but for significantly fewer yards (450 to 717) and one fewer touchdown (2 to 3).

An increased role for Mayer that results in him outgaining Notre Dame's wide receivers this season might not be a stretch, but it's far too early to predict how his production will stack up with the rest of Notre Dame's offense. That's because Rees is still working to identify the identity the offense will adapt in his second season as a play caller. What is clear, though, is that the 6-foot-5, 249-pound Mayer needs to be heavily involved. "For us, it's all about trying to isolate matchups for Mike," Rees said. "How do we get him in a situation where they cannot help? Where can we get him one-on-one? It really doesn't matter if it's a corner, then he's going to have a size advantage. If it's a safety or a linebacker, he's going to have an agility advantage. "We're going to do as many things as we can to try to isolate him where they can't help with a second player." - South Bend Tribune


(DS#1 TE) So/2024 TE Michael MayerNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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