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Kelly on defensive recruits

Josh Atkinson

Cornerback, 6-0, 180, Granada, Livermore, Calif.

Kelly’s take: You can see him in press coverage here, plays the ball in the air very well. Great speed. 10.6 100 guy. He plays very physical. Great tackler. You can see here in the open field, very short tackler. Plays very, very aggressively, and obviously, one of the things I might point out, George Atkinson, his dad, obviously, was a very prominent player with the Super Bowl teams of the Oakland Raiders. And I think we all know how he played the game. Josh brings that to the table as well. Plays very physical on the defensive side of the ball and has great speed.

Very strong for his size. And, again, a young man that we think will bolster our defensive back field immediately.

Jalen Brown

Defensive back, DB, 6-0, 173, Irving Macarthur, Irving, Texas

Kelly’s take: Really long. We love his length at the corner position. We believe he's the guy that's just going to continue to develop and grow and be stronger. He's a 10.8 100 guy right now. And he really has not engaged in the weight room yet.

We believe that this guy is destined for great things. And if you want to put a tag on anybody in a class, here's a steal in our opinion. Kind of flew under the radar a little bit for us. Kerry Cooks did a great job recruiting him, getting him to Notre Dame. We're really excited about this young man.

Here's a young man that will fit very well in our two-deep coverage looks. And again the things that we're looking for in those two deep coverage looks. He's got to tackle and play physical and certainly a guy that has to have the ability to go get the football. He certainly does that. And the competition he's playing against is very, very good in Texas.

Brad Carrico

Defensive end, 6-6, 255, Coffman, Dublin, Ohio

From Ohio, Dublin, Ohio, Dublin, Coffman High School, pretty good success here at the University of Notre Dame with players from Dublin Coffman. I think you know who they are. Brad was one of our first commits. Set the recruiting in motion for us. He's been committed to Notre Dame for a long time.

He's a power player for us. He's somebody that can play on either side of the ball and has been recruited as such. He's 6-foot-5 and a half, 287 pounds. And again comes from a great high school and great legacy there for Notre Dame.

Moves well.. Good, physical player. Again at the power position for us gives us great flexibility.

Ben Councell

Defensive end, 6-5, 225, Reynolds, Asheville, N.C.

Ben Councell is another one of those players that we felt was under the radar, and then he had an opportunity to play with some all-stars in an All-Star game, and I think at that point he got everybody's attention.

He had our attention from the very beginning. We felt like he fit exactly what we're looking for. Again, I know you hear it from a lot of coaches, but if you look at our board, he was at the top of our board from the very beginning of the recruiting process. He didn't all of a sudden show up on our board after he had a great senior year or he played in the All-Star game and had great film. This is a young man that we felt was going to be a great fit for us.

He's going to be in the big skill category which gives us a great deal of flexibility, can play at the outside linebacker position for us. From our standpoint, this is a young man, when Coach Longo gets a hold of him in terms of his physical development we're excited where he goes. … Somebody that can play on the edge of our defense and increase our athleticism immediately.

Matthias Farley

Defensive back, 6-1, 185, Christian, Charlotte, N.C.

Extremely gifted young man. Incredible family. Wonderful family. But, more importantly, he's all of six foot and he's about 195 pounds. I mean, he's put together. He looks like a college football player. If there's one guy in the skill group that physically, when he walks in here, he looks like a college football player. He has that presence about him.

Great young man. With great speed. And, again, he's a young man that can play extremely versatile. Can play at the corner position, the safety position. He can play wide receiver. We'll kind of sort that out as we move forward

Soft hands. Very, very nice athlete.

Jarrett Grace

Linebacker, 6-4, 235, Colerain, Cincinnati

Jarrett Grace, out of Cincinnati, Ohio, Colerain High School. Great high school program in Cincinnati. Skilled player … play an inside position for us. I think he's a combination of things we were looking for. Really understands Notre Dame. Understands the academics. Wants to be here, to be part of a championship program, and he's a big, physical presence inside in our 3-4 defense.

Runs downhill. And, again, I think you know our defensive structure. Those guys that play inside for us have to take guards on them. So they've got to be big, strong and physical. Be able to leverage offensive linemen out and cancel out gaps. He's certainly somebody that we see that can do that. Playing against very good competition again, he's been like this kind of player, not just in his senior year, but obviously I was at Cincinnati, got a chance to see him for two years. He played like this for three years at a very good program.

Eilar Hardy

Defensive back, 6-0, 170, Pickerington Central, Pickerington, Ohio

Here's a young man that, really, when you talk about the skilled position, he arguably helped his football team this year on offense as much, or more, maybe even more, as an offensive player. He's certainly somebody that can play on either side of the ball.

We see him fitting a specific need for us early on on the defensive side of the ball, but he's played cornerback. He's played a number of different positions. You'll see him at the safety position. We really think he's a dynamic football player. And, again, good six-footer. Good, long player at that position. Those are hard to find. See him at the safety position here.

We love the way he goes and gets the ball. He's going to go make a play. He's not waiting for a play to happen. He's going to go make a play. … A young man that we loved his character and the way he handled himself from the very beginning.

Chase Hounshell

Defensive lineman, 6-5, 242, Lake Catholic, Kirtland, Ohio

He's somebody that gives us, again, great versatility, great motor. Continues to play right to the whistle. And, again, you can't have enough of these kinds of profiled players.

He's a very tough and aggressive kid. He takes great care of himself. He's physically in great shape. Loves to work out. Nutrition is key to him. He just has all those components that we're looking for in our defensive linemen. Very conscious of his body and taking care of himself and plays the game from sideline to sideline and never takes a play off. … Very strong, physical player at the point of attack.

Aaron Lynch

Defensive end, 6-6, 245, Island Coast, Cape Coral, Fla.

Aaron is just plays relentless. I mean, he keeps coming. There will be a lot of things that we'll be able to develop. He's not even hit where he can be as a defensive lineman. He's just playing with raw athletic ability, being tenacious all the time. And he's always getting after it. And we'll be able to develop him in his skill at that position as well.

He likes to play the game. There's no question about that. He's a very energetic young man. He's already in weight training. He's already been with Coach Longo and done a great job already.

He uses his hands very well. Again, when he finishes you off, he finishes it off. Knocks the pass down, obviously recognizing three steps, hand up, knocks it down. Again from our standpoint he has got great versatility for us. But clearly can get after the quarterback.

Anthony Rabasa

Linebacker, DE, 6-2, 220, Columbus, Miami

Another young man that we believe, when you look at his film, his motor, his ability to go every snap really was what we loved about him. And his first-step quickness here. … He's a guy that can obviously stand up for us as well and gives us great flexibility. He's going to get bigger, he's going to get stronger.

Very gifted athlete.

Tony Springmann

Defensive end, 6-6, 257, Bishop Dwenger

Tony is out of Bishop Swenger High School, Fort Wayne, Ind.. Power guy for us. 6-foot-6, 275. And he's all of that. He's one big young man. We have done very good at Bishop Dwenger High School (receiver John Goodman and tight end Tyler Eifert also from Dwenger). To have now our third player in the program from that high school, I think, says a lot about the high school and the type of kid.

He's another young man who will fit in here very well at Notre Dame. But he's a power player for us. Again, gives us great versatility.

Again, he's one big, young man. Great size. And I think that's a pretty common theme across the board that we've increased our size immediately on the defensive line. 6-5, 6-6 range for a number of defensive linemen.

Stephon Tuitt

Defensive end, 6-5, 270, Monroe Area, Monroe, Ga.

Here's a young man that's beginning to scratch the surface of what he can be as a defensive player. We're excited about what his upside is. He's a young man that's only going to get better and better and better as he develops physically.

He's all of 6-5. I don't know if he's done growing. He's 270 pounds right now. Moves extremely well.

Here's a young man that's going to get coached, and he's going to develop once he steps on campus here.

Just learning how to play the game. He's even better when you don't block him. … Great motor. … Love his motor. … Takes a great angle with pursuit.

Ishaq Williams

Linebacker, 6-6, 242, Abraham Lincoln, Brooklyn, N.Y.

A big skill player for us … a young man that has great versatility, played in the Army All-American game. Just a great young man. … He's just so quick. He can obviously do a lot of things for us.

Not only is he 242 pounds, but he can run very, very well. … Pretty athletic player that he's going to be able to redirect and make the play. … And he can run when he catches it.

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