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Irish miss out on Trice, aim to add Rutherford and others to 2019 class

| Friday, October 12, 2018

While the Irish have been increasingly dominant on the field over the last three weeks, Notre Dame’s progress on the recruiting trail has slowed considerably.

Emma Farnan | The Observer
Irish senior tight end Alizé Mack takes off after a catch during Notre Dame’s 45-23 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday at Lane Stadium. Mack has caught 19 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown this season.

October usually isn’t a key time to pick up steam on the recruiting trail, as coaches are primarily focused on and devote almost all their efforts towards the current team and season. Even so, Notre Dame still lost a key recruiting battle this past weekend, Blue and Gold recruiting analyst David McKinney said.

“[Class of] 2019-wise, Bralen Trice committed to Washington,” McKinney said. “He was a top target left at defensive end. It was down to Notre Dame and Washington, and he chose Washington on Saturday, so he’s off the board.

“ … Notre Dame definitely wanted him bad. He was going to be the last piece of their defensive line puzzle for the 2019 class, so they definitely wanted him bad, but there are some other guys they’ll take a look at and target.”

While the loss of Trice stings, the Irish indeed have other options that they’ll pursue a commitment from to round out the class of 2019, and not just from the defensive line position, McKinney said.

“I think in the next couple days or weeks, we’re probably going to see cornerback Isaiah Rutherford out of California make a decision,” he said. “Notre Dame’s trending pretty heavily there, we think he probably ends up at Notre Dame. Doesn’t have a set decision date or anything yet, but it’s looking pretty good for Notre Dame and looking like [he’ll commit] before the end of October.”

Rutherford, the four-star, 6-foot, 175-pound corner out of Jesuit High School would be the 19th commitment for the 2019 class should he choose to join the Irish. McKinney noted, ahead of Notre Dame’s matchup with Pittsburgh on Saturday, that the Irish have a shot at landing another Rivals four-star recruit who’s coming into town this weekend.

“The interesting name [this weekend] is J.D. Bertrand, who is a Rivals 250 four-star linebacker from Georgia,” McKinney said. “He de-committed from the University of Georgia last week, sort of a mutual parting of ways. Georgia told him they would honor the commitment but that they had other guys coming in and might not have enough room in the class, and he could find some playing time elsewhere. He’ll unofficially visit [Notre Dame this weekend]. Doesn’t have an offer from Notre Dame yet, but he’s coming up from Georgia, so I think the mutual interest is there and he’s [a highly-ranked player], so I think a lot of schools will be going after him. That’s probably the most intriguing name of the short list of guys we have so far [coming in this weekend].”

Overall, McKinney affirmed the notion that October isn’t a ground-breaking time for recruiting news, but explained that the Irish coaching staff will be doing its research over the next few months to fill the hole they hoped Trice would occupy.

“Yeah it’s pretty quiet, there isn’t a ton going on right now,” McKinney said. “I think over the next weeks and months you could see Notre Dame’s coaching staff start to evaluate more defensive end film. I think they still want to take another defensive end in this class, so that’s a development to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.”

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About Joe Everett

Joe is a senior PLS major and hails from the thriving metropolis of South Bend, IN. In addition to formerly serving as Sports Editor at The Observer, Joe is a RA in Stanford Hall and a past champion of the Observer's Fantasy Football league.

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