Class of 2015: Offense and Special Teams
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, February 5, 2015
6’2″ • 210
Central Bucks High School South
Pennsylvania native Josh Adams eschewed his native Penn State for the Irish. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound running back committed to Notre Dame this past June. Adams put together an impressive senior season, compiling 1,618 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns, as well as 267 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Although classified by many scouts as a “power back,” Adams’ running style is a mixture of not just strength but quickness, speed and agility. Adams’s physicality and size could loom large for the Irish in upcoming seasons, as he will provide a reliable running threat on crucial goal-line and third-down situations.
Tinley Park, Illinois
Known for his agility and ability to play out wide, Boykin recorded 1,035 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior season. Boykin ranks 36th on ESPN’s list of top receivers for 2015, as well as 21st on ESPN’s list of top Midwest recruits. After receiving a slew of offers from schools, including Florida, Mississippi, Michigan and Ohio State, Boykin committed to Notre Dame last July. Boykin has shown his speed in the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.51 seconds. Originally pegged as a tight end, Boykin demonstrates much versatility and could start his Notre Dame career as the X-receiver.
6’1″ • 185
According to 247Sports, Guyton is a three-star recruit ranked 88th in the nation among receivers and the 92nd overall player in Texas. He received scholarship offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Mississippi, among others, before committing to Notre Dame. Guyton had a dominant senior season against quality opposition in Texas. According to MaxPreps, Guyton caught 74 passes for 1,605 yards and rushed for 54 more yards. He scored 17 touchdowns in 14 games to help Allen win the 2014 Texas 6A Division I state championship. Guyton is an explosive receiver with great hands who can catch the ball in double coverage and turn short catches into long touchdown runs by using his speed and elusiveness.
6’4″ • 285
One of the biggest areas to stock talent for continued success is the offensive line, and the Irish are looking to do that with their signing of early enrollee Tristen Hoge. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Pocatello, Idaho, native will be part of the Irish recruiting class of 2015. Hoge, who primarily played center for Highland High School, helped lead his team to an undefeated 12-0 record and an Idaho 5A state football championship. For his performance on the line, Hoge was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Idaho and an Army All-American. In addition to these accolades, Hoge was also one of 25 players from across the country to be named a Parade All-American, earning the national honor from Parade Magazine.
6’5″ • 220
One of the top-ranked players in the Irish recruiting class, Jones is the next in line to continue Notre Dame’s tradition of successful tight ends. A four-star recruit from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, he is the top-ranked tight end in the nation according to both ESPN and 247Sports. With a 40-yard dash time of 4.67 seconds, Jones offers an impressive size and speed combination that should make him a major asset in the passing game. His 13 receiving touchdowns in his senior season also indicate his potential to become a go-to player in the red zone for the Irish. He hauled in 41 passes for 930 yards in 15 games in 2014. He also recorded a 22.7 yards per catch average, including a career-long catch of 80 yards, which suggests that Jones is capable of outrunning coverage downfield despite his size.
6’4″ • 285
A consensus three-star prospect, Ruhland has been committed to Notre Dame since late April and offers offensive line depth to the Irish recruiting class. Ruhland comes into college with experience on both the offensive line and the defensive line, but he should look to line up on offense for the Irish. He played tackle on both sides of the offensive line in high school, but his size would suggest that he fits more at guard for the Irish. Ruhland excels at blocking on the edge and uses his feet well to block at the second level. However, he does enter a position group with already strong depth, which could limit playing time in his first season.
5’10” • 185
Granada Hills, California
Standing at a deceiving 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, C.J. Sanders has proven to be one of the most electrifying players in the country. The four-star recruit, according to Rivals, attended The Opening, Nike’s elite summer football camp, last summer, and finished as one of its top athletes. He ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.32 seconds and finished the 20-yard shuttle in 3.80 seconds. His ability to switch directions quickly and turn down the field with blazing straight-line speed makes him an immediate threat in the slot position.
Sanders finished his senior year at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, with 437 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, 562 receiving yards and eight scores and four touchdowns on punt/kick returns.
EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN
6’5” • 205
Servite High School
From Servite High School in Anaheim, California, 6-foot-5 Equanimeous St. Brown is a four-star wide receiver who adds size to Notre Dame’s receiving corps, which now has two receivers who stand at least 6-foot-4.
Because Servite struggled during St. Brown’s senior year, his numbers weren’t as impressive as his junior year statistics. In his final two seasons, St. Brown compiled 74 receptions along with 1,210 yards and 10 touchdown catches.
Along with having ideal size, St. Brown has great hands and runs crisp routes, which helps him separate from even the biggest defensive backs. With St. Brown and 6-foot-4 sophomore Corey Robinson manning down the wide out positions, sophomore Will Fuller and future Irish receiver CJ Sanders could thrive in the slot.
6’ • 200
West Orange High School
Winter Garden, Florida
At 6-foot and 200 pounds, four-star running back Dexter Williams is not going to run through many defenses. Rather the Orlando, Florida, product uses excellent lateral movement and acceleration to evade defenders and hit holes with speed. While Williams, who decommitted from Miami (Fla.) in early January, does not have elite speed, running a 4.55 40-yard dash, he possesses an elusiveness which helps him slip out of and away from arm tackles and avoid square hits. In considering the Irish backfield, Williams looks similar to Greg Bryant in running style but also shows glimpses of Tarean Folston, working his way through a mess of players and using his acceleration to pull away for extra yardage. He will fit best as a change of pace back that runs circles around tired, beat-up defenders.
6’1″ • 212
St. Peter’s Prep
Hackensack, New Jersey
Brandon Wimbush is a 6-foot-1, 212-pound quarterback out of Jersey City, New Jersey, where he played for St. Peter’s Prep.
The Marauders won a state title last season with Wimbush under center. The four-star recruit is a dual-threat quarterback who threw for 223.1 yards per game in eight games as a senior and racked up 22 touchdowns, while throwing just one interception.
Wimbush can air it out, as he did last year on a season-long 60-yard pass, and he throws with precision and speed on shorter routes. Wimbus threw just four interceptions and tossed for 2,702 total passing yards in his high school career.
During the 2014 season, Wimbush also rushed for 349 yards on 31 carries, gaining an average of 11.3 yards per rush. Wimbush scored six rushing touchdowns.
5’11” • 185
Fresh off kicking a trio of field goals at the Under Armour All-American Game — including a game-record 47-yard kick — Justin Yoon signed with Notre Dame.
Yoon, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, will enter Notre Dame with an opportunity to compete for the starting job at kicker, punter and kickoff specialist, with Kyle Brindza’s graduation opening all three spots for competition. The Milton Academy product was plagued at times by a back injury during his senior year of high school, but still enters the collegiate game as a consensus top-two kicker nationwide.
At the Under Armour All-American Game, Yoon was perfect in the kicking department, adding four extra points to his trio of field goals, a welcome sign for Irish fans after seeing the team’s woes in the kicking game last season.