Notre Dame went into this cycle knowing the importance of landing a top-notch defensive line class. With only a few weeks until the Dec. 19-21 early signing period, the Fighting Irish coaching staff hit their goal.
Irish Illustrated and 247Sports have learned that the staff will see two members of that outstanding defensive line class on Tuesday. Yes, two of the best from the Lone Star State are leaving home to suit up for the Fighting Irish.
Sachse (Texas) high school four-star defensive tackle Hunter Spears, a Notre Dame commit since Feb. 20, says that head coach Brian Kelly and defensive line coach Mike Elston are coming by to check in with him and his family. Needless to say, the 6-4, 280-pounder, who is fully locked in with his decision, is excited to sit down with his future coaches.
Ranked as the No. 294 overall player in the country, No. 21 defensive tackle nationally and No. 35 prospect in Texas from the class of 2019, Spears chose the Fighting Irish over offers from Alabama, Cal, Colorado, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, TCU and many others. If he would have returned to Stanford for camp, it’s well-known that the Cardinal likely would have offered as well. However, Spears found a home in South Bend and following his stellar senior season, he’s looking forward to getting started at Notre Dame.
“It’s almost like another question back at you, ‘why not Notre Dame?’,” said Spears. “As soon as I stepped foot on the campus, I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere, just the tradition, culture and history that it campus, especially with the academics and the great football they have. What place could be better?”
Spears will sign with the Irish in December and enroll early in January.
Kelly and Elston will also see Fort Worth (Texas) Nolan Catholic four-star defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah on Tuesday. The 6-4, 231-pounder from the class of 2019 has been committed to the Fighting Irish since May 19. One of the top players in the country, Osafo-Mensah will end his senior season in San Antonio at the All-American Bowl. Osafo-Mensah was once again dominant this year and showed exactly why he had such a stellar offer list throughout his recruitment. He initially chose Notre Dame over offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Texas, USC and many others.
“I just really loved the diversity up there. That’s my biggest thing,” said Osafto-Mensah. “Being able to know people from everywhere, being able to have the opportunity to go out of the country and all of the things like that, that’s one of my favorite things about it. I know in college, I just really want to enjoy everything. I do like Texas, it’s home. But at the same time, I just want to experience more things in life.”
Like Spears, Osafo-Mensah will sign in December and enroll early in January.