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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.
I am missing some context here
He also did his sophomore year twice so it’s like getting a redshirt
not all that surprising
conditioning and effort were an issue in HS and it was believed that he’d have a long way to go if he wanted to see the field at a major program like Penn State. He’s a super nice kid though so I hope he’s able to find some success even if it at Purdue
apparently Carr was the best QB at the Elite 11 Regionals in Tenn based on what 247 saw...better than Nico I and Avery Johnson
Just realized the OSU game is three days before my third boy is due. That’s going to be a rough weekend.
Pelican This is an OSU lock, correct?
Driskell has made it clear that ND has had him as their #1 QB in that class for awhile. We’ll see how that scouting plays out.
West should be the next Paris Johnson/CJ Hicks/Sonny Styles which essentially means Loy will talk about them for two years, crystal ball them to ND, and then be wrong.
*forgot he didn’t crystal ball Hicks
Is it just me or does he look a lot like terell Pryor.
This kid needs to come work out with Wimbush to test this theory.
Dude is from Glenville. Who's the last Glenville recruit that OSU wanted and didn't get?
Kid told people he was going to USC for two weeks leading up to signing day. No one believed him and then he signed with USC and was never heard of again.
Fell off the map so hard that he has the Mafia informant profile picture
6’3” with 6’10” wingspan and size 18 shoe
He could grow into a monster
My high school team played Glenville a couple times in the mid 2000s. The best player in my opinion that we stressed out the most about gameplanning for was Freddie Lenix. He was a missile of a LB who hit like a tanker truck, us in the O Line room almost turned pale watching him. Looks like he never made grades to enroll at OSU and played a year at Cinci before dropping out. Pretty sad, not sure if you remember him.
Definitely remember him. His son is a 2023 recruit lol
After watching his announcement video I can confirm his dad is fucking huge.
Prister w/ a glowing film review on Wafle
You don’t expect a kid that big to be that quick. You don’t expect a kid that quick to be that big.
One of the most unique players you’re going to see in the Class of 2024, Owen Wafle (pronounced WAY-full) – currently listed at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds as he enters his junior year this fall at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. – is a runaway train that isn’t slowing down.
Notre Dame landed this fascinating defensive end/defensive tackle prospect with his Monday, May 16 verbal commitment to the Irish as defensive coordinator Al Golden and defensive line coach Al Washington turned his head toward the Irish.
Projecting a position for Wafle at the present time is challenging…in a good way. With a grandfather who played football and wrestled at William & Mary and a father who played at Duke and stands at least 6-foot-6, Wafle’s eventual size is difficult to gauge as he enters his junior season this fall.
He has the quickness/strength to be a Big/strongside end on the next level, particularly if he adds a few more inches to his height. His high school head coach, Todd Smith, claims he has a 6-foot-10 wingspan and size 17 feet, which seems to indicate that he’s going to shoot past his current 6-foot-3 height.
Then when you see his expanding size and quickness inside, he also looks to be an ideal three-technique on the next level, although if he’s 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7, that could cause issues. Then again, few in the college game would have his combined height/weight/strength/quickness at three-technique.
Nose tackle? You’d like to utilize that quickness in space a bit more, but he would devour centers and guards on the inside and set the line of scrimmage at the point of attack.
Wafle is absolutely ferocious on the football field. He gives every fiber of effort on every snap. He is wired for destruction but doesn’t cheap shot kids who clearly are physically inferior to him. He manhandles his man and moves on, but frankly, he is a danger to kids on the high school level, particularly since he has two years of high school play remaining.
Particularly impressive are his footwork and quickness in short space. He changes direction like an outside linebacker. He reacts to a running back’s movement like an outside linebacker. He uses his strength to keep offensive linemen out of his kitchen.
Wafle hasn’t even had enough time to establish a full roster of suitors with the Irish winning this battle over Boston College, Michigan State, West Virginia, Rutgers, Iowa, Minnesota and Syracuse. Every team contending for a national title would want a prospect like this. His offer sheet is not representative of his legit No. 175 composite ranking, which almost undoubtedly will rise in the coming months.
In terms of sheer excitement generated by his sophomore film, it’s hard to imagine a more fascinating prospect, particularly with the knowledge that his genes likely will lead to an even larger, more physically-imposing young man wearing a Notre Dame uniform in 2024.
it will be very interesting to see how much more he grows this year but some of his workout film shows how athletic he is
all these commits coming in on the DL for 2024, I think Justin Scott is going to want in soon (like the next few weeks)
I don't think Scott is a top 5 overall player in the class like On3 has him, but he's probably a top 5 kid w/ some 5* type potential
and then there's this on Flanagan and Rico
The UC Report Elite Underclassmen Combine made a stop in Northern California over the weekend. 247Sports was in attendance for the loaded event, which featured a ton of top class of 2023, 2024 and 2025 prospects. 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman and Greg Biggins were on hand to provide coverage of the event.
Concord (Calif.) De La Salle four-star tight end and Notre Dame commit Cooper Flanagan took part in the workout. This is a young man we at Irish Illustrated and 247Sports have been high on for a very long time. In fact, we look at him as one of the nation’s premier tight ends in the class of 2023 and someone that can truly do it all at the position. With Notre Dame being considered “Tight End U” by many, it’s no surprise to see Flanagan on the commit list.
So, how did he perform?
According to Biggins and Huffman, he pushed for Alpha Dog honors and was one of the Top 5 overall players at the event.
“The tight end group was loaded and Flanagan was the most consistent of the group,” wrote Biggins and Huffman in their post-camp analysis. “There were at least 5-6 tight ends who project as national recruits so for the Notre Dame commit to land one of the WR/TE MVP awards showed how impressive he was. He’s a true tight end as opposed to a lot of the hybrid jumbo receivers we see. At 6-5, 230 pounds, he’s an every down tight end who projects as both a strong in-line blocker as well as a sure handed pass catchers who can make plays down the field.”
247Sports ranks Flanagan as the No. 110 overall player in the country, No. 8 tight end nationally and No. 10 recruit in the state of California from the class of 2023. The Industry-Generated 247Sports Composite Rankings list him as the No. 207 overall recruit in the nation.
It should also be noted that a top Notre Dame target also earned MVP honors at the receiver position following the event. Folsom (Calif.) high school four-star receiver Rico Flores is a priority target for the Fighting Irish in the class of 2023. The 6-1, 190-pounder showed out during the workout and earned rave reviews. Taking a look at his recruitment, he already received a 247Sports Crystal Ball pick in favor of Notre Dame from 247Sports National Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong. Flores will visit Notre Dame on June 10 and then announce a commitment from a final group of the Irish, Ohio State and Georgia on July 3. We'll see if Notre Dame can land his pledge.
D3 posted this over the weekend on Mayer and Bama
This is going to happen all the time going forward. Why recruit an unknown high school kid when you can just take a fully developed kid via free agency?
our coach is too damn likeable. who'd a thunk it?
well im sure they can find someone with a chronic ingrown toenail to medical if need be
Flores' OSU offer probably isn't commitable, right?
Is he even visiting Georgia? Or does it look like we're good there?
he's not a take at OSU and he has now gotten CBs from Wiltfong (247), Singer (On3), and Matt Freeman (ISD) so unless he hates his OV or he becomes a sudden take for OSU, he's going to be Irish
one other note here, he apparently got an offer from Yale so his academic profile is legit
Dante Moore congratulated Bettie on graduating and then deleted it. Weird dude
Shoulda clarified. I saw it. But then he deleted it…
probably had a million fans of all different schools misinterpreting it would be my guess
I know he loves attention but this would drive me crazy. Can’t enjoy anything without a million grown ups reading into it.
It’s also a level of embarrassing for grownups I can’t even fathom.
can someone post the Sampson Keeley article please?
TAMPA, Fla. — Keon Keeley got to work Monday afternoon, a position group of one in the northeast corner of Berkeley Prep’s football field. Training with an assistant coach, the five-star defensive end worked his right arm punch. He talked through his rip move with the swim finish. He pounded tackling dummies and trained his footwork. His gray Nike cleats barely held up, slipping and sliding on the hot turf. He took every rep because there was no one else at this position to split them up.
It was work without an immediate reward, his senior season four months away. This was the kind of afternoon where Keeley could blend in, which was sort of the point around here. Yes, a prospect committed to Notre Dame and hearing from Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State can’t get lost in a crowd. Not at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds with a pterodactyl’s wingspan.
To watch Keeley practice on a high school football field in early May is to understand why Notre Dame pushed so hard for him before he committed last June and why the Irish have kept it up ever since despite changes at head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Marcus Freeman, who was in Tampa for an alumni event Monday night, understands what a first-round pick looks like after attending the NFL Draft last month with Kyle Hamilton. And Keeley has the makeup to get there.
It’s just that nobody around Berkeley Prep wants Keeley to rush the journey, which is part of the reason why head coach Dominick Ciao made his star off-limits to media this week as the recruiting process had begun to wear on the defensive end. It’s not that Ciao is holding Keeley back. It’s just that he wants to help push him forward on the original path, through his final high school season and then on to Notre Dame.
The first All-American Ciao coached as a high schooler was Gary Godsey, the former Notre Dame tight end who now volunteers on the Berkeley staff. Keeley will be next, following 2022 third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere (Ohio State) and seven-year NFL receiver Nelson Agholor (USC). Notre Dame likely finished runner-up for both.
“It’s funny, those guys were never the ones that were like trying to get interviewed, waving a hand when getting media opportunity. They’re still like that today,” Godsey said. “I remember thinking Nelson and Nick would fit in well at Notre Dame as well.
“I think the school and the culture at Notre Dame will be perfect for (Keeley). I think he’ll fit in. If you try to silo yourself off and be an athlete type of guy, it’s not going to be a good fit for you. I think he needs the school, and I think the school will do wonders for him.”
There’s no question Notre Dame believes Keeley can pay that back, part of the reason it has gotten him to visit four times, including multiple visits with friend and teammate Tre Reader, who will be a preferred walk-on linebacker for the Irish next year. Younger brother Troy Reader, who is in Keeley’s class, is committed to Notre Dame’s baseball program.
Freeman was introduced as Notre Dame’s new head coach on Dec. 6. He spent the next two days trying to hold together the recruiting class that signed last winter. On Dec. 9, he was in the Berkeley Prep locker room doing a FaceTime call with Godsey and sitting down with Keeley. A day later, Berkeley Prep lost in the state championship game. And almost immediately, the college programs that have proven talent wins national titles began to circle.
“With all the attention, it’s become a little overwhelming,” Ciao said. “He wants to scale that back. Wants to focus on spring, school, senior year. That’s what we want him to focus on. The recruiting can be overwhelming.”
These days Ciao serves as a gatekeeper for coaches and media. Some coaches still contact Keeley directly, but his mother Janicke said the downshift in phone calls, texts and attention has helped her son have something close to a normal spring. He doesn’t have to wait until 11 p.m. to start doing his homework.
Not that anything is completely normal about Keon Keeley. He’s unique beyond his height, weight and build, all of which would make him stand out at Notre Dame right now.
Depending on the traffic, it can take Keon Keeley almost an hour to get to Berkley Prep from home with Janicke. As worldly as Janicke may be — she’s from near Oslo, Norway, and Keon has visited Scandinavia multiple times — her knowledge of the college football recruiting industry was not extensive. Before Keon began to be recruited, the family had a habit of attending spring games at Florida, about a two-hour drive.
“I never thought Keon was going to leave the state to play anywhere else,” Janicke said. “It never even came to my mind that he’d go anywhere else than the Gators. As time went by, I realized people do go to different states. The only thing that I told him, don’t go to Oregon. Too far for me! And they really wanted him.”
Former defensive line coach Mike Elston helped start Keeley’s recruitment, and Freeman pushed it forward. Janicke didn’t want to blow the budget on recruiting trips during his sophomore year, so she told Keon to pick one visit that required a flight. He chose Notre Dame. He came back telling family and friends that South Bend might be the move.
Then came the hard part, comparing Notre Dame to schools Keeley had never seen. That uncertainty began to eat at Keeley. Either he’d visit other programs and it would confirm how he felt about Notre Dame or he’d visit other programs and realize he’d made a mistake. This was a tough message to convey to Notre Dame. And Keeley is known as a goofy kid and a pleaser by friends. He might look like a five-star, but he doesn’t act like the stereotypical one. He sings in the school choir. He put on the school’s Buccaneer mascot suit and walked around the elementary building. He loves eating at Tacos Las Californias near Berkeley Prep. Even better, Waffle House.
“Waffle House, if you’re into NIL, that’s your guy right there,” Tre Reader said. “That’s the guy you should be talking to.”
Ultimately, Keeley visited Florida State, Florida, Alabama and Ohio State. He saw the Gators a couple of times. While only Keeley can answer for what impression those trips had on him, those who know him believe they separated Notre Dame from the pack more than pulling the Irish back into a recruiting dogfight.
He passed on the Florida spring game this year. Keeley returned to Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold Game on April 23. It helped. But a spring practice visit a month earlier helped, too. Whatever the timeline, there’s little uncertainty among the people who know him best about where Keeley will sign next December, with the caveat eight months is a long time in college football.
“The other day he said out of the blue, ‘I miss Notre Dame. I wish I was there. I could go past the Dome and go to my dorm.’ Out of the blue,” Janicke said. “He never talks like that usually. I feel like he feels he fits in there. “
Keeley is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect nationally on On3, No. 9 on 247 Sports, No. 14 on Rivals and No. 23 on ESPN. According to 247Sports player ratings, he’s behind only Jimmy Clausen, Jaylon Smith, Manti Te’o and Sam Young as the highest ranked Irish commits of the internet rating era. He’s the highest ranked recruit in a decade to commit to Notre Dame. He’s the highest rated defensive lineman in more than 20 years, or at least since that that stuff started to get tracked.
That timeline doesn’t stretch back to Godsey’s own Notre Dame career, when he played with Anthony Weaver, Justin Tuck and Grant Irons.
“Grant got big and was thick. Keon is a much more athletic version of Grant,” Godsey said.
“Kind of a younger Justin Tuck. Tuck was so good at getting separation with the tackles when coming off the edge. Keon is similar to that. His lower half, you may see where he might be able to put on a ton of weight. When he hits the weight room up there, he’s going to turn into a super explosive person coming off the edge.”
Keeley finished his junior year with 16.5 sacks, 34 tackles for loss and 61 total tackles. Notre Dame fans are already sending Keeley pictures to autograph and mail back.
Troy (left) and Tre Reader (right) would join Keeley at Notre Dame. (Courtesy of Tre Reader)
When Keon Keeley craves normalcy, there’s always a slice of it down the street from Berkeley Prep at the Reader home. Janicke and Keon have celebrated holidays there. The families have traveled to Notre Dame together. Plenty of weekends include Keeley on the family’s couches. Sometimes they’ll head out to dinner with the youngest Reader son, Ty, or maybe catch a movie. Even at nine years old, Ty is part of the Notre Dame gang enough that he has a picture with Marcus Freeman announcing his commitment.
Their father Nick Reader, the former CFO of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sees a little bit of his happy-go-lucky personality in Keeley. He also played for Ciao back in his days at Jesuit. Now he tries to help mentor Keeley when the defensive end needs it. He knows Ciao is doing the same because the coach did that for him, too.
“Keon’s not a hothead, won’t get mad. He’d get tears in his eyes before he’d yell back,” Nick said. “He’s a big kid with a grin on his face wondering what great things are gonna happen today.”
Among the older Reader sons, Troy committed to Notre Dame first. Then Keon, then Tre, who chose a preferred walk-on spot with the Irish over the same opportunity at Michigan or a shot in the Ivy League. It’s hard to know how much the Reader connections to Notre Dame helped Keeley maintain his own. But it couldn’t hurt as Keeley sorted through a potentially confusing recruitment.
“The more he goes into these other locker rooms, the more he sees football cultures, the more he realizes Notre Dame is a place he can go and the guys are going to love him like a brother,” Tre said. “Honestly, you don’t get that anywhere else. I’ve had some friends that have gone off to play college football a year ahead of me and they can’t say the same. I think every time he goes somewhere else and looks somewhere else. I think he really understands that just a little more.”
If Notre Dame can get Keeley back for a fifth time during the official visit weekend of June 11, that point should be driven home again. He wouldn’t be the only five-star prospect expected in town. But, as Ciao likes to point out, all that can wait. Notre Dame isn’t going anywhere. And Keeley doesn’t seem to be going anywhere else.
Inside the Berkeley Prep program, Ciao has a few mantras for players to remember. Heart power. Character. Expect nothing, do something. After talking it over, he might add another:
Distraction is the enemy of greatness.
Yes, there is ample greatness around Keon Keeley. There’s plenty of potential distraction, too, at least if Keeley and his support network let it penetrate.
“You gotta cut that stuff out because you have such a short window for greatness,” Tre said. “Such a short opportunity to maximize what time you have.”
That’s what Keeley tried to do on Monday afternoon. He has tried to do the same every other day since he figured out how to manage all the extra stuff that comes with being five-star Keon Keeley.
Maybe there’s nothing else to say.
(Top photo courtesy of Pete Sampson)
Even if we aren't *really* in the mix, this seems like a positive development
Wait really? That’s a shocker
Lol we have two 4 star RB’s committed, and they are still putting the full court press on that RB from Saint Louis
then this shit
this fucking staff is out here just like fuck it
Bet we drop that first rb commit
nah Freeman won’t do that
that's crazy and shocking
He told Alford last week that he was visiting ND. Glad it’s before the Ohio State visit but he’ll probably end up at Bama either way.
I think he would, we’ll see
He wasn’t the HC and didn’t recruit him at all when he committed to ND. This kind of thing happens at every program with a new HC
Also this could be the coaching staff finally being fed up with Diggs and covering their bases
we’ve got two 23 RB’s already so fuck it
I don’t think this was officially confirmed, but not surprising at all
7:30pm kickoff for ND OSU