Early Recruits Enrolled

Five new members of the Irish enrolled, from five different states, and they may play 5 different positions. Let’s talk a look at the kids that are now officially in the program.

Steve Elmer– 4 star OT- 6’6” 310 lbs 4.33 GPA

First member of what would become the “IrishMob13″, Mr. Elmer has been a member since 2011. Slated to play OT, but like most lineman will likely be moved around until the staff finds his strengths. A big, strong kid who could theoretically push for playing time. ¬†Would be nice to “red shirt” him, but it is also good to have someone available to step in in and emergency, even as a freshman. With room to grow and an extra 1/2 year to get acquainted, hopefully he will be a big piece of the O-Line in the future.

James Onwualu – 4 star ATH- 6’2” 205 lbs 4.2 GPA

James joins a crowded depth chart as he is projected as a WR, but could slide into that hybrid RB position. Early on listed as a 3 star but caught the attention of all but one recruiting service and earned his 4th star. Apparently has been quoted saying he’s never lifted a weight a day in his life, so it will be interesting to see if he puts on some pounds after Longo gets to him. Really like this kid, seems to be a very balanced wide receiver. Looks like should be able to go deep and hurt you, or just burn you on a short pass. Reminds me of a cross between Floyd and Tate at the high school level.

Malik Zaire – 4 Star QB 6’1” 190 lbs 3.0 GPA

Coach Kelly said he’d take a QB every year, this year is no different. Zaire is an interesting prospect and part of the Elite 11. Seems almost to good to be true, a mobile QB that keeps his eyes down field and has all the throws. He’s entering what seems like a logjam at QB, but with Hendrix and Rees both going to be Seniors he’ll likely get his shot sooner or later. I expect him to redshirt considering Gunner Kiel enrolled early last year and will likely get the reps Malik would be after. It will be interesting to see if he gets his chance at the field, changes position, or transfers. I for one would like to see what he can do for us. Oh, and he’s a lefty.

Corey Robinson – 4 Star WR 6’4” 200 lbs 4.4 GPA

Son of the Admiral and not a bad athlete himself. A raw receiver, Robinson didn’t play football his whole life. We’ve got a lot of WRs on the roster right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he redshirted as well. However, he’s got the size, hands, speed, and athleticism to be a big time WR. He could easily bulk up to 225 in a few years. If he’s coached up well and works hard in the weight room we could have a steal at WR here. Him getting in early leads me to believe its only a matter of time. Another athlete that picked up a 4th star after he was committed just goes to show how well these coaches recruit. Also has shown time and again to be an excellent citizen.

Mike Heuerman – 4 Star TE 6’4” 220 lbs 3.3 GPA

Welcome to TE-U Mr. Heuerman. Another in what is becoming a long line of great TE’s we snagged from the south and the jaws of many other elite programs. Seems to be a very balanced TE, being adept at blocking and catching. Call me crazy, but I think the kid genuinely enjoys blocking. 4 stars across the board and top 10 at his position on every recruiting service as well. There is some depth at TE ahead of him, but Eifert is out the door. Koyack, Welsh, and Niklas are all ahead of him as of today. He will have to put on some lbs but I think his ability as a blocker will get him on the field sooner than we think. Could see special teams as a freshman but I wouldn’t be surprised to see another redshirt.


So, five 4 star young athletes and scholars are enrolled in classes. Hopefully, we’ll have enough depth to give them a full year and a half to adjust via a “red shirt”. However, they could contribute early if need be. Given their accolades, potential, and early start; I wouldn’t be surprised if we know these names very well by the time they get to be Seniors. With patience and hard work I’d say it’s likely we’ll be speaking quite highly of them by the time that rolls around.






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  • tlndma

    As far as Malik Zaire, the kid is a special talent. He’s still developing but, impressed greatly at the Elite 11 tourney. My guess is he expects to red shirt while learning the system. I would suspect that Gunnar moves into the #2 position.
    The history of Kelly’s offense is, during the season multiple QBs play. We are getting to the point, hopefully, that there is not a significant drop off in talent between 1, 2, and 3, on the depth chart.

  • rvvalle

    This article on Onwualu is fantastic. Kid has been working out with the same guru since he was 13, ridiculous unmeasurable strength. The last time we had a WR recruit from Cretin-Derham he turned out to be ok. http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/7792430/secret-james-onwualu-strength

    • Noel

      He is the sleeper to this class for sure. Watch him crack the line up this year and get sometime.

  • paddy

    I had the opportunity to watch Onwualu a few times this year. Nice kid decent speed. People say he’s a great kid good family etc great fit for ND academically . Also watched Floyd a number of times in high school. Onwualu is not remotely in the same class as floyd. Floyd was one of the best players I’ve ever seen in high school. Onwualu was merely the best player on the field.

    Ultimately a special teams player, a safety later in his time at ND

    • RiverParkSeer

      Never got the opportunity to see either play at that level in person. I wouldn’t go so far as “not remotely” however I appreciate your point. I meant reminded me a bit, just for his long ball ability. I didn’t mean to say he was in the same class as Floyd, it was poorly worded. Moving to safety wouldn’t surprise me with his strength and the staffs fearless moves of the past.