Notre Dame was already very young in its defensive secondary and recently it got younger by adding four incoming recruits.
Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly spoke about his newest defensive backs.
DEVIN BUTLER (DB, 6-foot-1 1/2, 180 pounds, Washington, D.C.)
First of all, what we really love about recruiting at Gonzaga (College High School) is that these young men understand what it's like to be here at Notre Dame. They're in that kind of faith based environment. They understand that they're going to be challenged in the classroom, so these are easy fits for us in the recruiting process. Devin obviously at the cornerback position is a need that we have within our program. With injuries last year and graduation the year before, we were thin obviously this year, and we were able to find a way to get it done back there. Now we can add some depth to the cornerback position. He's an exciting player that's going to come in and compete immediately.
RASHAD KINLAW (DB, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, Galloway, N.J.)
When we talk about Rashad, we just any obviously he played quarterback primarily, he got injured this year, but we love his size, his length, his athleticism. We think it's an untapped resource for us in that we're only going to get him better and better physically, and he has the speed, he has the ability to play the ball. We think he's going to fit well at the cornerback position for us. He was somebody that we identified early in this process and felt like he would be a great addition to this class. We love the fact that he's really embraced coming to Notre Dame. You know, the high school has not had a lot of students come in this area of the country, and to get him to come to Notre Dame says a lot about him, so we're really excited about Rashad, too.
COLE LUKE (DB, 6-foot, 180 pounds, Chandler, AZ)
When we talk about the depth across the board here, we've talked about Butler and Kinlaw, and now Cole Luke, another cornerback. You know, again, a state title. This guy plays on a championship football team. When you go around the high school and you go around the program, you can sense it and feel it. We've got a great relationship with Coach Belles, a former Notre Dame player here, and just a great fit. When Cole came up in the summer, recruited by virtually everybody in the country, I remember when we were talking about this, that he called and kind of had a soft commit. In other words, he called and said, I think I'm going to commit, but what I want to do is I want to be able to say that a couple of times and I want to see how it feels. So I think this was maybe on a Tuesday, and he said I'll call you back on Saturday. So we're waiting all week, how does it sound, Cole, sound good? Do you like saying that you're committed to Notre Dame? And finally he called us back a week later and said, "Coach, I'm all in." My point being, here's a kid who really thought about it.
All these kids gave a great thought about this commitment. That's why when we talk about this class, it is a solid class because they took the time to make this decision. They weren't pressured into making a decision. This was something that took a lot of thought, and we're excited about having Cole.
MAX REDFIELD (DB, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Mission Viejo, CA)
Max is from Mission Viejo: Bob Johnson is his coach, and Bob has done an incredible job over the years of turning out elite players, and we think Max is an elite player. He's a young man that has a specific skill set that could see him play offense, he could play defense, he's going to play in that safety position for us, and we think he's a young man that can come in and compete. He's got all the athletic ability, and he's a very smart young man.
I remember when he decided to come to Notre Dame and made that decision, it was a fairly lengthy process where he wanted to really take time to make the right decision. But those are the kind of kids we're not getting these quick knee jerk reaction kind of decisions, these are kids that really took their time to make the right decision. Max is a great young man, great family, and a really good player.