2018 Notre Dame Football recruit Profile: Shayne Simon

2018 Notre Dame football linebacker signee Shayne Simon

The Notre Dame football program got signed commitments from 21 players from 13 different states last month during the inaugural “early signing period.”

News-Sentinel.com sports reporter Tom Davis has been writing on the Fighting Irish for nearly two decades and is taking a daily look at each recruit leading up to the traditional National Signing Day (Feb. 7).

PLAYER

Shayne Simon

DETAILS

The position of “rover” linebacker hasn’t been around long at Notre Dame, but the Irish coaches are already building depth at that position with the addition of Simon.

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound athlete is one of three players out of New Jersey power Saint Peter’s Prep to sign with the Irish this class (Jayson and Justin Ademilola also joined the program in December).

Simon registered 108 tackles (23 for a loss) and six sacks in his final two seasons of high school and helped Saint Peter’s to consecutive state championship games in his final two seasons.

Simon displayed the athleticism to pick off nine passes in his final two seasons and also contributed offensively by notching nearly 1,500 yards receiving and scoring nine times.

He was a semifinalist for the coveted Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker.

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SKILLS

Simon has the agility to cover defenders in space, yet also has the strength to play against the run.

But that ‘s not all, he also has the speed to be brought off the edge and pressure quarterbacks, all of which make him an ideal candidate to play “rover,” ala current Irish graduate student Drue Tranquill.

Tranquill was comparable size to Simon in high school, but showed up in South Bend weighing 225 pounds, so Simon will be counted on to build strength and weight over the next six months in preparing for the 2018 season.

RANKINGS

Of the three Saint Peter’s Prep athletes to sign with Notre Dame, Simon was the highest rated of the trio.

ESPN had him rated as the third-best player from the talent-rich state of New Jersey and 15th best linebacker nationally. However, 247Sports thought of him as the seventh-best outside linebacker in the entire country and 132nd best player in the nation overall.

COMPETING WITH

Simon needs time to add weight and he’ll get that in South Bend. The Irish graduated linebackers Greer Martini and Nyles Morgan, but the depth chart doesn’t have many holes in it.

Rover back Drue Tranquill returns, as does the unit’s most productive player in Te’Von Coney.

Notre Dame has plenty of depth also in Jamir Jones, Asmar Bilal, Jonathan Jones and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

BRIAN KELLY SAYS

“His ability to pick things up, (Simon is a) very smart player,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said of Simon on National Signing Day in December. “I think when you talk about that (rover) position, playing close to the ball certainly helps. His size, here is a guy that is over 210 pounds already, physically mature, but also very smart. I would add that piece to it.

“Certainly when you can project a player that is closer to that position already makes for an easy reach for us, but even if he was back on the hash more, I think we would still feel comfortable with what he can do for us. But, you know, Shayne is an exceptional player and a guy that we feel can compete right away.”

For more on college football, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and on Facebook at Thomas Davis.

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