Four-star receiver Micah Gilbert commits to Notre Dame, fifth four-star receiver to commit to Chansi Stuckey in two years
For the fifth time in five weeks, Notre Dame landed a commitment from a Southeastern prospect, consensus four-star receiver Micah Gilbert (Charlotte Christian High School; N.C.) joining the Irish class of 2024 on Tuesday afternoon. Gilbert committed to Notre Dame just three days after his high-school teammate, consensus four-star defensive end Bryce Young, did so.
The No. 40 receiver in the recruiting class, per rivals.com, Gilbert also considered finalists Michigan, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia Tech. In just the last two months, he visited Notre Dame for last week’s Blue-Gold Game, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and Penn State. Missouri, Tennessee and Maryland also offered Gilbert a scholarship.
At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Gilbert aligns all over the field in high school. The first two clips of his highlight reel underscore this versatility while not leaning on absurd displays of athleticism to inflate the impression.
In the first clip, Gilbert lines up in the slot and heads on a post downfield. He does not appear to be at top speed, giving the impression the pass is underthrown. Gilbert catches the deep pass in traffic, holding onto it as he is tackled immediately. Next, Gilbert runs a simple back-shoulder route for a touchdown.
In both instances, his route running was clean, and in each, he made the quarterback’s job as easy as possible.
That quarterback was a quality player, Cameron Estep eventually walking on at Appalachian State last year, but he was not able to take full advantage of Gilbert’s abilities. The new Notre Dame commit did not fight the ball — and that’s technical terminology there — catching six touchdowns in seven games last year, a season cut short by a wrist injury, while averaging 12.5 yards per catch.
The step up in competition may prove Gilbert’s abilities or quickly bring him back down to earth, a statement that could be said of most recruits but feels more applicable than usual here. This spring provided a strong endorsement of Irish receivers coach Chansi Stuckey’s evaluations, so that alone should tilt the measured expectations toward trusting Gilbert will prove his abilities. Watching him turn a screen a pass into a cross-field first down furthers that faith. Being able to run just about any route will be vital for Gilbert in what will remain a pro-style offense at Notre Dame.
“Last year they really started to air the ball out,” Gilbert said to rivals.com. “A lot of prospects can see that and that’s what I fell in love with. With [newly-promoted offensive coordinator Gerad Parker] coming in as the OC, they’re really trying to put an emphasis on the throwing game.”
The 14th commitment of the Notre Dame class, Gilbert is the third receiver, joining consensus four-star Cam Williams (Glenbard South H.S.; Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and rivals.com three-star Isiah Canion (Warner Robins High School; Ga.), Canion one of those Southeastern commits of the last few weeks.
After Canion, Young, three-star safety Kennedy Urlacher and Gilbert committed to the Irish in just the last week, Notre Dame’s class of 2024 is currently ranked No. 3 in the country, per rivals.com, behind only Michigan and Ohio State, a whisker ahead of LSU, though Georgia looms at No. 5 with just 11 commitments.
Editor’s Note: This article originally incorrectly stated the current ranking of the Irish recruiting class, underestimating the impact Gilbert’s commitment would have on the rankings.