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With class of 2019 nearly solidified, Irish narrow focus on Foskey

| Friday, October 26, 2018

As the Irish head to San Diego amidst their campaign for a playoff bid, their recruiting efforts have slowed down a bit, but Notre Dame (7-0) looks to close out a few key parts of its 2019 class of recruits even as it enters the most crucial part of this season.

As of now, the Irish have locked up 19 recruits for the class of 2019. And just over a week ago, on Oct. 13, the Irish secured another pick up, as Isaiah Rutherford, four-star cornerback from Carmicheal, Calif. committed to Notre Dame.

David McKinney, recruiting analyst for Blue and Gold Illustrated, highlighted the Rutherford commitment and expressed Notre Dame’s focus on the defensive end position as they round out the class of 2019.

Anna Mason | The Observer
Irish junior defensive end Khalid Kareem chases down Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett during Notre Dame’s 19-14 win over the Panthers on Oct. 13 at Notre Dame Stadium

“They’re at nineteen commits right now,” McKinney said. “[They] just picked up Isaiah Rutherford … He’s a top 100 cornerback, he was their latest commit. He was a guy that, you know, they were trending for for a while. So, again, nineteen guys in the class, really limited spots left at this point, and I think where they’re focusing the most, closing wise, is on another defensive end, whether that be Isaiah Foskey, who’s visited twice now — once in the summer and once officially for the Stanford game — or someone they find after evaluating some senior film. … But that’s definitely their top priority right now is finding another defensive end, and it’ll be interesting to see, again they’re at nineteen right now, so it’ll be interesting to see where they end up here over the next couple of months.”

Right now, Isaiah Foskey is the focus for the Irish as far as defensive end goes. Foskey, a four star tight end from Concord, Calif. is deciding between a number of schools, but McKinney said that Notre Dame is a significant contender.

“[Isaiah Foskey] is a top 250 player. He’s a four star,” McKinney said. “He visited once for the summer and officially for the Stanford game. He has [Notre Dame] in his top five, I believe with Washington, Ohio State, Michigan, and [UC Berkeley], but I think it’s kind of a Notre Dame Washington battle at this point. He doesn’t know when he wants to make his decision. It will probably be closer to signing date, so he’s going to wait things out for a little bit, but he’s definitely their top remaining target at defensive end right now for sure.”

Although the Irish have a lot to focus on at this key point in the season, recruiting remains a significant concern. But as things wrap up with the class of 2019, the Irish have already begun thinking about the class of 2020 prospects.

“Recruiting is always a focus, but I think honestly they’ve really shifted more to the 2020 class now because they came into this season with the 2019 class being almost done, and now being at 19 [recruits] and probably only taking somewhere between 22 [and] 24 guys, they’re just about finished,” McKinney said. “So I think the focus really right now, besides obviously running the table and getting to the playoff, is running the class of 2020 and continuing to build on the solid start they’ve got going there.”

McKinney said that Notre Dame’s 2019 recruiting class is filled with stand-out players.

“They’ve been right up there with [the nation’s top programs],” McKinney said. “I think this will probably be a top ten, top 15, somewhere in there, class like they normally are. I think, you look at some specific units, I mean they’ve got two of the best safeties in the country in this class, they’ve got probably one of the top two or three offensive line classes, so they’ve done really well in spots. So yeah, I think they’ve competed really well.”

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