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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Notre Dame
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  06/02/20 - Kevin Austin Jr.rSo/2023, Notre Dame, 6-2, 210 (DS#7 WR) + More +

  As expected, Notre Dame's 2020 football season opener with Navy is getting a site change. The move from Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, to Navy's Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., also comes with a date change. The 94th meeting between the two schools will "likely" be played over the Labor Day holiday either Sept. 5 or Sept. 6, which had been a built-in bye weekend for both teams. ND's home opener with Arkansas is set for Sept. 12. The move, announced Tuesday morning, follows extensive consultation with the Irish government, medical authorities and the administrative staffs at the Naval Academy and Notre Dame over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, per a press release. The game will be televised nationally by either ESPN or ABC and will be the first ever of the 94 games in the series to be played on Navy's campus just outside Washington D.C. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium has a seating capacity of 34,000. - Indianapolis Star/News

(DS#7 WR) rSo/2023 WR Kevin Austin Jr.Notre Dame
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  06/01/20 - Ian BookrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 6-0, 212 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  The college football season opener between Notre Dame and Navy has been moved out of Ireland because of the cornavirus pandemic. The Irish and Midshipmen were scheduled to meet in Dublin on Aug. 29, but instead will seek to play at the Naval Academy during the Labor Day weekend. The decision to move the venue came after discussions between the Irish government, medical authorities and the leadership teams at Navy and Notre Dame. "Our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. "I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large." - AP College Football

(DS#11 QB) rSr/2021 QB Ian BookNotre Dame
News Source: AP College Football
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  05/29/20 - Trevor SpeightsrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 5-10, 209 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Notre Dame wasn't quite finished raiding the NCAA transfer portal. The shopping spree for graduate transfers continued Thursday when former Stanford running back Trevor Speights announced his commitment to the Irish on Twitter. Speights will become the fourth graduate transfer to join the Irish this offseason, following safety Isaiah Pryor (Ohio State), wide receiver Ben Skowronek (Northwestern) and cornerback Nick McCloud (N.C. State). That equals the total scholarship grad transfers the Irish added in the previous six years. Of the four graduate transfers this offseason, Speights may have the most uncertain path to playing time.

The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Speights missed the entirety of Stanford's 4-8 season in 2019 with an apparent injury. With a chance to finally step out of the prolific shadows of Christian McCaffrey (2016) and Bryce Love (2017-18), Speights was unable to take advantage. In his sophomore and junior seasons with the Cardinal, Speights played in 20 games, started one and recorded 95 carries for 363 yards and one touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 54 yards. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#999 RB) rSr/2021 RB Trevor SpeightsNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/14/20 - Ian BookrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 6-0, 212 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  If football is played, Notre Dame plans to limit the number of fans who can attend its home games this year, including the home opener against Arkansas on Sept. 12. Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said Tuesday that officials will "work real hard to create some space between our fans" this fall. Swarbrick cautioned that larger university issues must be addressed before the Fighting Irish's teams can return to play, but said games would not be played in an empty stadium. "We haven't gotten to the question of how big that audience is," Swarbrick said during an interview for an alumni fundraising drive that was shown on the ND Loyal YouTube channel. "We won't be at capacity; we'll be at something less than that. We'll be very careful about maintaining social distance, how the facility works, how you enter it, how you exit it - all things to be determined, but we're working hard on them." Swarbrick said Notre Dame is "committed to having fans in the stands" this season, beginning with students. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#11 QB) rSr/2021 QB Ian BookNotre Dame
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  05/11/20 - Nick McCloudrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 6-0, 190 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Before Nick McCloud's January plunge into the transfer portal was 24 hours old, the Notre Dame football staff had already digested two of his NC State game tapes and started to amass background info. The more people they talked to about the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Wolfpack captain and the more they got to know him personally, the less he felt like a contingency and the more he projected as an asset. McCloud's addition as a grad transfer addresses the position group on the 2020 Irish roster that has been laden with the most uncertainty and fewest absolutes since ND clobbered Iowa State, 33-9, in the Camping World Bowl, Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla.

With 37 career games and 21 starts at NC State, he has more experience than any other cornerback on the Irish roster, including sixth-year returnee Shaun Crawford - by 13 games and 10 starts. Six of the existing eight corners on the roster have freshman eligibility, either as redshirts or as true freshmen. McCloud also has length the two projected starters at the moment, the 5-9 Crawford and 5-11 junior TaRiq Bracy, don't have. And while he doesn't possess the elite speed of say recently graduated track and field moonlighter Pride, McCloud's 20 career pass breakups hint at strong technique. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#999 CB) rSr/2021 CB Nick McCloudNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  05/04/20 - John ShannonSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-1, 225 (DS#999 LS) + More +

  The inaugural winner of the Patrick Mannelly Award for college football's top long snapper wasn't selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He didn't sign a contract as an undrafted free agent. He isn't even returning to college for his final year of NCAA eligibility. Instead, former Notre Dame long snapper John Shannon is preparing to become a police officer. Shannon, who graduated from Notre Dame in January, has been living with his parents in Marco Island, Fla., since the Irish won the Camping World Bowl less than four hours away in Orlando on Dec. 28.

Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused slight delays, Shannon has been working his way through the testing portions of the Chicago Police Department's application process. Enrolling in the police academy may look a little different than an NFL training camp, but Shannon is pursuing his dream. "When I was little, I used to always dress up as a police officer for Halloween," Shannon said. "Then I matured and started learning more and more about the job itself and grew a tremendous amount of respect for not just police officers but first responders in general. It's one of the best jobs you can have." - South Bend Tribune


(DS#999 LS) Sr/2020 LS John ShannonNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/29/20 - Chase ClaypoolSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-4, 238 (DS#10 WR) + More +

  The Pittsburgh Steelers don't have a wide receiver on their roster that looks like Chase Claypool. None of the wide receivers are taller than 6-2 or heavier than 220 pounds. That doesn't mean the 6-4, 238-pound Claypool has to be pigeonholed into one specific role. Kelly believes he can be used in a number of different ways in the passing game. He'll also provide blocking help. "He can come down and block anybody: safeties, rovers, corners," Kelly said. "Obviously he can mismatch on them. He has great versatility." What made Claypool attractive to Notre Dame as a recruit out of Abbotsford, British Columbia in Canada is likely what led the Steelers to selecting him in the second round. "Everybody's looking for traits, and the physical traits for him are his size and length and catching radius," Kelly said. "He can go up and catch the football and create mismatches. (He has) elite traits physically, and then from an excellent standpoint he has an incredible drive and competitiveness in him that separates him amongst many." - South Bend Tribune

(DS#10 WR) Sr/2020 WR Chase ClaypoolNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/26/20 - *Cole KmetJr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-6, 262 (DS#1 TE) + More +

  He wasn't in the room for the hugs and the shower of congratulations in the moment - not even virtually - but Matt Balis was most assuredly with new NFL draftees Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool Friday night. Kmet went 43rd overall to the Chicago Bears, the first tight end off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, and wide receiver Claypool went six picks later in the second round to Pittsburgh. A common thread for the pre-pandemic, pre-draft workout partners Kmet and Claypool was their effusive gratitude in Balis helping them get to this moment.

"The way he and his staff develop you as an athlete is pretty remarkable," Kmet said of Notre Dame's director of football performance since the 2016-17 offseason. "You can see the difference over the years. "I mean, I came in at around 240 (pounds), and I was 260 at the (NFL) combine, so a 20-pound gain. And I was jumping higher than when I came in. I was jumping farther than when I came in. I was running faster than when I came in. "So all those types of things, coach Balis did over my three years were obviously really helpful. He's got a great plan in there, and he'll just continue to pump out guys at the combine that can continue to perform really well." - South Bend Tribune


(DS#1 TE) Jr/2020 TE *Cole KmetNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/26/20 - Troy Pride Jr.Sr/2020, Notre Dame, 5-11, 193 (DS#13 CB) + More +

  Troy Pride Jr. will return to the Carolinas. The former Notre Dame cornerback and product of Greer, S.C., was drafted Saturday in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers with overall pick No. 113. Pride joined the Irish as a four-star recruit out of Greer High in the 2016 class. 247Sports slated Pride as the No. 7 cornerback and No. 95 overall that year. Rivals ranked him as the No. 23 cornerback.

The 6-foot, 193-pound Pride finished his Notre Dame career with 121 tackles, four interceptions, 18 pass breakups and 2.5 tackles for a loss in 45 games with 32 starts. Pride intercepted three passes and broke up 16 passes while allowing only five touchdowns in his final two seasons. Pride is the fifth Notre Dame cornerback to be drafted during head coach Brian Kelly's tenure. Last year, the New York Giants picked Julian Love in the fourth round with pick No. 108. Twelve cornerbacks were taken ahead of Pride in this year's draft. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#13 CB) Sr/2020 CB Troy Pride Jr.Notre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/26/20 - Khalid KareemSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-4, 268 (DS#8 DE) + More +

  Khalid Kareem's wait ended with the first pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals made the former Notre Dame defensive end the 147th pick of the 2020 draft. Kareem is the sixth defensive end to be drafted during head coach Brian Kelly's tenure. He followed teammate Julian Okwara's selection by the Detroit Lions in the third round Friday. Kareem finished his Notre Dame career with 109 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks and 25 quarterback hurries in 43 games with starts in each of the last 26. The 6-foot-4, 268-pound Kareem played through a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which he injured against Duke, in the final five games of last season. Kareem still managed to tally 46 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks and 11 quarterback hurries as a senior. - South Bend Tribune

(DS#8 DE) Sr/2020 DE Khalid KareemNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  04/09/20 - Asmar BilalrSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-1, 227 (DS#53 OLB) + More +

  Bilal's the kind of athlete who can catch an NFL team's eye in the final month and a half of the draft process, force them to go back and look at the film again to see if there's something the all-star showcases and the Combine missed. "Asmar has the physical gifts of an NFL linebacker. He's got the height, weight, speed, explosive power and strength," Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea said. "His best football's ahead of him, for sure." Bilal was something of a late bloomer in college. Always a freak athlete, Bilal initially started out at the rover position, Notre Dame's linebacker-safety hybrid, and didn't get to take over at his natural position until Drue Tranquill was snapped up by the Chargers in the fourth round of last year's draft.

Fully unleashed at the Buck linebacker position last fall, Bilal made 79 tackles and 10 tackles for loss, improving with every snap. "Any time you move positions, like he did last spring, there's a learning curve involved in that, and I think what we saw was after a couple of games, he really settled in and was able to be really productive and instinctive and let his physical traits shine through," Lea said. Bilal, Lea believes, is the perfect linebacker for the modern game, a rangy player who can run alleys, be an effective blitzer and cover like a safety, owing to his past as a rover, often lined up in man-to-man coverage on tight ends and slot receivers. - Indianapolis Star/News


(DS#53 OLB) rSr/2020 OLB Asmar BilalNotre Dame
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  04/07/20 - Jalen ElliottSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-0, 205 (DS#10 SS) + More +

  April 1, aside from its traditional reputation, was supposed to be about second chances and bringing some substance to dreams for Jalen Elliott. So when Notre Dame's Pro Day showcase, scheduled for that day, became a casualty of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the former Notre Dame safety and three former Irish football teammates concocted a do-it-yourself version on Thursday. The positive feedback that's rolled in from NFL scouts and coaches the past few days naturally centered on a dramatically revised 40-yard dash time for Elliott, from the 4.80 recorded at the NFL Combine on March 1 to 4.54 and 4.56 showings at the Notre Dame rugby fields.

He and defensive end Julian Okwara and cornerbacks Donte Vaughn and Troy Pride Jr. also scored big points for their ingenuity in setting up a makeshift, pre-draft NFL audition. Others, such as defensive ends Khalid Kareem and Jamir Jones, also have done taped workouts recently but away from campus, as NFL personnel are banned from traveling to pro days and prospects are unable to take in-person visits to NFL teams. "We can't always control the situation that we're in," Elliott said via telephone on Tuesday, "but I think that I made the best of the situation. And I'm going to continue to work regardless of what the circumstances are." The end game remains the 2020 NFL Draft, still on schedule to be held April 23-25, though in a much more virtual form than usual. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#10 SS) Sr/2020 SS Jalen ElliottNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  03/22/20 - Jamir JonesSr/2020, Notre Dame, 6-3, 248 (DS#43 DE) + More +

  Uncertainty was always going to accompany Jamir Jones as he prepared for a shot in the NFL. When Jones finished his Notre Dame football career with a 33-9 victory over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28, he didn't know if he would be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He didn't know if he would be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. He didn't know if NFL teams would covet a defensive end with four career starts to his name. "They can see that I'm a very physical player who does his job, who's reliable and always in position to make plays," Jones said. "Hopefully I have enough film to show my position versatility. I can rush the passer effectively, stop the run and drop back into coverage."

Jones will play whatever position he's asked, but he said he's pitching himself to NFL teams as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. That would allow him to maximize his versatility as a former linebacker turned defensive end. Whether Jones gets selected in the draft or signed as an undrafted free agent will likely depend on NFL personnel being convinced that Jones hasn't reached his full potential through a journeyman college career. He will try to land in the NFL while his older brother, Jarron, who played defensive tackle at Notre Dame from 2012-16, hopes to secure a spot as an offensive lineman. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#43 DE) Sr/2020 DE Jamir JonesNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  03/20/20 - Kyle HamiltonSo/2023, Notre Dame, 6-3, 210 (DS#5 FS) + More +

  Ed Miller's first prediction about Kyle Hamilton's Notre Dame career came true. Not only would Hamilton not redshirt, Miller believed, but he'd also make a significant impact as a freshman last season. What Miller prophesied may have seemed like a reach at the time. With veteran starting safeties Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott heading the position group, Hamilton's opportunities to show his prowess were limited. Yet despite playing less than half the defensive snaps, Hamilton claimed freshman All-America recognition and led the Irish with four interceptions. Miller knew Hamilton well after training him since he was in the eighth grade. After working with him during winter break and a few times since last week, Miller's ready for another prediction. "He will be a top five draft pick when he comes out," said Miller, the founder of The Rack Performance Athletic Center in Atlanta.

Hamilton's work under Miller intensified once his high school basketball career concluded last March. His progress before arriving in South Bend shows what could be accomplished by the Notre Dame trio in the coming weeks. On March 11, 2019, Hamilton recorded a 33-inch vertical, 117-inch broad jump and a laser-timed 1.76-second 10-yard dash. Three months later, he boosted those numbers to 40 inches, 122 inches and 1.66 seconds, respectively. "If you get incrementally better," Miller said, "you take that as a win. He got leaps above better." At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds this time last year, Hamilton hoped to add weight while maintaining his explosiveness. He joined the Irish at 200 pounds before making additional gains in height and weight. Now at 6-4, 215, Hamilton's looking to top out at 220 pounds. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#5 FS) So/2023 FS Kyle HamiltonNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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  03/19/20 - Ian BookrSr/2021, Notre Dame, 6-0, 212 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  Sage Rosenfels' first dose of Book came at the Camping World Bowl last December. He met the Book family and watched Ian handle his alma mater, Iowa State, 33-9 in Orlando, Fla. The experience helped cement their plans to work together for the first time. Some of Book's work included prep for the next level. Book practiced his footwork when snapping the ball from under center. Film sessions featured a breakdown of coverages and studying how they were attacked by NFL quarterbacks and offenses, particularly the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, and the San Francisco 49ers.

At 6-foot, 206 pounds, Book observed shorter quarterbacks that compare with him in size, like Russell Wilson (5-11, 206) of the Seattle Seahawks and Drew Brees (6-0, 209) of the Saints. "Maybe after watching all that NFL film," Rosenfels said, "he probably got to think, 'OK, I probably need to move around the pocket better and stay in throwing position like Drew Brees does, rather than taking off and running." The main criticism surrounding Book last season became apparent to Rosenfels after they studied his games against Georgia and USC. Book sometimes struggled with anticipating open wide receivers and leaving the pocket prematurely. - South Bend Tribune


(DS#11 QB) rSr/2021 QB Ian BookNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune
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