Notre Dame Football: 2016 Recruiting Awards

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Best Positional Unit

Recipient: Defensive Backfield

If there was one glaring weakness on defense for the Irish in 2015 it was the defensive backfield. Brian Kelly and his staff did a great job addressing this need as they brought in seven new DBs, five of which were four-stars by Rivals. Not only did they bring in quality defensive backs, but they brought in some big defensive backs. Five of the seven are listed at 6’1″ or taller.

It’s hard to pick out the best of the bunch, so I’ll point out a few.

Donte’ Vaughn is a 6’2″ defensive back from Memphis, TN. He had multiple offers from a number of SEC schools, but Vaughn ultimately chose the Irish. Versatility is a theme throughout this 2016 class and it’s no different with Vaughn. He can either line up at a cornerback spot or as a safety.

Committing to the Irish is a dream come true for Julian Love. He grew up a Notre Dame just outside Chicago in LaGrange Park. Love is a 5’11” cornerback and just led his high school, Nazareth Academy, to an Illinois 6A State Championship. In Notre Dame’s signing coverage, the coaches spoke to his natural leadership ability. Look for Love to be a leader in ND’s defensive backfield over the next.

One guy that really stood out after looking at his tape was Troy Pride. The Irish coaches defined Pride with one word and one word only and that was; ballhawk. If you check out Pride’s high school tape this is very clear as he is always around the ball. He has great cover skills as a corner, and the ND staff hasn’t ruled out safety as an option for Pride.

Others Considered: Offensive Line, Wide Receivers

Next: Biggest Miss of the Class