Notre Dame Early Enrollee Analysis

Mike Heuerman

Five members of Notre Dame's 2013 class enrolled today and IrishEyes.com recruiting analysts Brian Dohn and Dave Berk take a look at each player.

Notre Dame welcomed five early enrollees to campus today, which was the first day of class. The five players – Steven Elmer, Mike Heuerman, Malik Zaire, James Onwualu and Corey Robinson – are cornerstones of an Irish recruiting class ranked No. 4 in the nation.

IrishEyes.com recruiting analysts Brian Dohn and Dave Berk provide a breakdown of what each player brings to the program.


OL Steven Elmer, 6-6, 295, Midland (Mich.) High

Berk says: Elmer brings a big frame and the ability to play on the edge or inside. The Michigan native made big strides over the past year playing with more of a mean streak to go with his athletic ability. Enrolling early will help Elmer take his game to another level early in his development and could help him provide depth along the offensive line next fall.
Dohn says: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly likes versatility in his players, and Elmer brings it. He can play tackle or guard, and in either position he is athletic and can used to pull. It will take time for him to play with a lower pad level, but he is the gem of a very good offensive line recruiting class.


TE Mike Heuerman, 6-4, 220, Barron Collier High, Naples, Fla.
Berk says: Tyler Eifert taking his game to the next level gives Heuerman a chance to show the down-the-field receiving skills that made him one of the top tight ends in the country. Look for giant improvements in physical size and strength with the early work he'll receive in Paul Longo's winter workouts. Dohn says: Heuerman brings athleticism and the ability to stretch the field to the tight end position, and that should benefit the offense greatly since the staff already demonstrated its willingness to use the tight end in the passing game. Heuerman will have to work on his blocking skills, but he shows very good leg drive and an ability to lock onto a defender and turn him in a desired direction.


James Onwualu, WR, 6-1, 202, Cretin Derham Hall, St. Paul, Minn.
Berk says: Onwualu will benefit the most from enrolling early as he continues transitioning from a high school running back to college wide receiver. Work in route running will help Onwualu use his quick burst off the line and physical strength to gain better separation at the next level.

Dohn says: Onwualu is the type of athlete who can help the Irish in a multiple of ways. Onwuala can line up in the backfield, the slot or wide receiver and can be a factor in any role. Being involved in the strength program is also a huge bonus and will enable Onwualu to challenge for playing time as a freshman.


WR Corey Robinson, 6-4, 190, San Antonio (Texas) Christian Schools
Berk says: Kelly continues showing his desire to sign the offspring of former top level pro athletes with Robinson. While some will question Robinson's top level speed there is no reason not to believe the San Antonio native has the skill set to post big numbers in Kelly's passing attack with his combination of solid hands, height and leaping ability.

Dohn says: If Robinson put on weight, he could be a dynamic tight end, but his genes suggest that may not be the case. He is a big receiver who can catch the ball at its highest point, but he needs to develop more strength and tight his route running skills.


QB Malik Zaire, 6-1, 190, Archbishop Alter High, Kettering, Ohio
Berk says: Zaire has all the tools Kelly looks for in a quarterback, bringing a strong arm capable of making all the throws along with the ability to keep a play alive with his legs. His high football IQ will help him early in the process and he fully understands the road to becoming the starting quarterback at Notre Dame is a marathon and not a sprint.

Dohn says:Zaire struggled in a big way at the Semper Fi all-star game when it came to throwing the ball, with accuracy and arm strength a major factor, but he was icing for a while after practices and could have suffered from shoulder fatigue. When he was asked to scramble of run the ball, he was absolutely electric with extraordinary acceleration and an ability to change directions quickly.

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