There were some top of the board targets at wide receiver when Notre Dame started evaluating the position within the class of 2019. Everyone knows that five-star Garrett Wilson, who eventually signed with Ohio State, was a major priority for the staff early on. Four-star Clemson signee Joe Ngata was a big-time recruit on the Notre Dame board. No question that Texas four-star signee Jake Smith was a prospect very much coveted by the Irish staff.
In the end, Notre Dame, led by wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander, landed two three-star recruits at the position according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings and when looking at both, the terms “upside” and “potential” are quickly throw around about each of them.
Edwardsville (Ill.) high school wide receiver Kendall Abdur-Rahman committed to the Fighting Irish back on Sept. 9 and officially put pen to paper and signed on Dec. 19. The 6-1, 180-pounder is listed by most recruiting services as an “athlete” due to his ability to play multiple positions. In fact, he played quarterback in high school and was tremendous when doing so. When he arrives on campus in South Bend, Abdur-Rahman will move to wide receiver and the transition is expected to be a smooth one due to his speed, athleticism, quickness and overall abilities. During his senior season, Abdur-Rahman had 19 rushing touchdowns, 10 of which came from over 40 yards, and five were from 80 yards or longer. That shows exactly what he can on the football field with the ball in his hands. 247Sports believes he has the chance to be really good, which is reflected in its standalone rankings. He’s listed as the No. 316 overall player nationally, No. 17-ranked athlete in the country, No. 5 prospect in Illinois and a four-star recruit. Abdur-Rahman chose the Irish over offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Illinois and many others.
“As a former quarterback, Abdur-Rahman brings the ability to see the big picture, while adding unique explosiveness. He’s an extremely focused and hard-working young man on and off the field.”
Head coach Brian Kelly also shared a comment on the new addition to the wide receiver room.
“Kendall Abdur-Rahman’s speed will get him into the end zone. The Irish just added an outstanding playmaker to the group.”
Olney (Md.) Good Counsel wide receiver Cam Hart is a big, tall, long athlete. The 6-3, 190-pounder committed to the Fighting Irish back on July 4 over offers from Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina and many others. Early in his recruitment, many believed Hart would be a defensive back, potentially a safety, at the next level. However, the Irish targeting him early as a receiver due to his big-play ability and that clearly grabbed Hart’s attention. As a junior, he totaled 33 catches for 540 yards and five scores.
“Playing both sides of the ball in high school takes grit,” said Alexander on Signing Day when referencing Hart. “He’s a playmaker, he’s tough and focused with an incredible desire to achieve greatness on the field and in the classroom.”
Kelly also stated that it’s “great to have Cam Hart’s competitiveness joining our program. Not only will he be a great addition to our locker room, but he has the traits to be a playmaker on the field.”
According to a source, the belief around Notre Dame is that the Irish landed a player who would have been ranked as one of the top wide receivers nationally had he not played quarterback throughout high school, when discussing Abdur-Rahman. We’ll see how that looks after he arrives on campus in June. With Hart, the feeling is that he can be everything Miles Boykin is due to his current abilities. While neither will set the world on fire with 40 times and shuttle speed, both Boykin and Hart play the ball well while its in the air and each are “tremendous deep threats” according a source.
Moving ahead to the class of 2020, Notre Dame will look to take its recruiting efforts to another level. The Irish are already in very good shape with some top talent including four-star receivers like Jordan Johnson, A.J. Henning, Jalen McMillan, John Humphreys, Daniel Jackson and others.