2018 Notre Dame Football Recruit Profile: DJ Brown

2018 Notre Dame football defensive back signee DJ Brown

The Notre Dame football program got signed commitments from 27 players from 13 different states during the two “signing periods” this winter.

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.

PLAYER

DJ Brown

DETAILS

Notre Dame has paid the price for lacking depth and talent in its defensive secondary, but that shouldn’t be an issue moving forward and the addition of Brown helps in that regard.

The Saint John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) product endured a circuitous recruiting process that involved more and more offers streaming in as the time wound down to actually sign.

The one-time Virginia commit brings athleticism and cover ability to the field, as veteran Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly referred to Brown as a “true corner.”

Brown came from the same school as sophomore defensive end Kofi Wardlow, which is regarded as a strong academic school that prepares its students well for the next level. Kelly emphasized the importance of that when discussing Brown on National Signing Day recently.

SKILLS

Brown has the speed and agility to compete at Notre Dame, but what caught the eyes of the Notre Dame coaches more than anything was Brown’s size.

At 6-foot-1, Brown can be a nice-sized cornerback, but potentially has the versatility to play multiple secondary positions. That flexibility is invaluable with the Irish.

He should get a look early for time on special teams, as well.

RANKINGS

Brown fared well in the recent Under Armour All-America Camp in Florida, which fueled his surge of scholarship offers late.

He was rated as the nation’s 49th best cornerback by 247Sports and participated in the Under Armour All-America Game in San Antonio.

USA Today selected him as a player on its All-USA District of Columbia Football Team.

COMPETING WITH

In 2018, the Notre Dame secondary is loaded with experience and talent.

All four starters return for Notre Dame in corners Julian Love and Troy Pride Jr., as well as safeties Nick Coleman and Jalen Elliott.

Also, all four reserves come back in 2018 in corners Nick Watkins and Shaun Crawford, as well as safeties Isaiah Robertson and Devin Studstill.

In addition, the Irish signed five cornerbacks (though Joe Wilkins Jr. and Tariq Bracy could be moved to offense) in this class.

Kelly said last month that Navy transfer Alohi Gilman will be expected to start at safety next September, while D.J. Morgan will compete at safety and Jordan Genmark-Heath at corner.

The Irish secondary is simply loaded for the next few seasons.

BRIAN KELLY SAYS

“I think if we were to pull some phrases, if you will” Kelly said when asked of Brown on the recent National Signing Day, “amongst a number of these position groups, there’s some flexibility. We’ve already talked about Houston Griffin, right, he can play corner, he can play nickel, and he can play safety. DJ has got the skills to play corner right now, but he’s (6-1 and 190 pounds), so we know that he’s got length. We know he’s got the ability to be a bigger, stronger player, as well.

“We liked his football IQ. We liked the way he played football and so that was, first and foremost, and then his length. Those are things that I think you can’t teach (being 6-1) and we wanted some size at that position. He brings it to us.”

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

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