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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 13 Jordan Genmark Heath, safety

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Genmark-Heath (

Listed Measurements: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds
2017-18 year, eligibility: Freshman with four years of eligibility remaining including the 2017 season.
Depth chart: Due to Isaiah Robertson’s early enrollment and largely-productive spring practices, Genmark Heath joins the safety ranks as the fifth option at a crowded position group. He should get a chance to join the rotation, but will have to show quick progress in order to see defensive action against Temple in 46 days.
Recruiting: Genmark Heath was a late target-and-flip for Notre Dame, de-committing from Cal, following the turnover among Irish assistant coaches. Both defensive coordinator Mike Elko and linebackers coach Clark Lea had Genmark Heath on their radar while they were at Wake Forest last year. When they joined Brian Kelly’s staff, they reenergized their recruiting efforts of the consensus three-star prospect. Genmark Heath also held offers from the likes of Vanderbilt, Oregon State and Utah.

Genmark Heath’s late addition to the Notre Dame recruiting class was vital. When he sent in his signed letter of intent, he was the only defensive back committing to the class — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah joined later that afternoon, as well. In some respects, Kelly knew how critical landing the safety/athlete was.

“When you talk about the back end of our defense, last year we played a lot of young players and got some really good experience across the board at corner and safety,” Kelly said. “We felt pretty good about it. We wanted to add some guys in particular that would fit the scheme.

“The one guy that jumps off the page for us immediately is Jordan Genmark Heath … This is a product of Mike Elko and his ability to stick with a recruit that he had seen earlier. Both [Elko and Lea] knew about Jordan, and we were able to get him up here in a short period of time on a visit. …

“You can make the case he could play on either side of the ball. We were really looking for that safety that had the skills that would really fit in nicely to the defense that we’re going to employ. I just think he was a real nice fit.”

The biggest shortcoming of this recruiting class is in the secondary. With defensive back Russ Yeast announcing today he would stay true to his Louisville commitment, Genmark Heath is the only defensive back in the class. (There is yet a chance with safety Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but he is not due to announce his decision until this afternoon.) Even Genmark Heath only flipped to Notre Dame toward the end of the cycle, de-committing from Cal in the process.

“Fortunately, his frame packs a wallop upon contact, and all reviews from his high school coaches involve praise of his understanding of the game as a whole. Both of those, obviously, are vital to strong safety play. So he may be the only defensive back in the class, [but] he should fill the role nicely.”

A strong fall camp would quickly vault Genmark Heath into the safety rotation discussion. That is an inevitable possibility given the current unproven nature of the position group.

Whether or not he makes that leap, Genmark Heath could be called upon on special teams. The Irish need contributors there, both on return and coverage units. Genmark Heath may already be physical enough to fill those roles and make special teams coordinator Brian Polian’s life a bit easier.

While the safety position is inexperienced, it does not lack for young possibilities. Junior Nick Coleman has only two years of eligibility remaining, but after him come three players with three seasons to go (sophomores Devin Studstill and Jalen Elliott and Navy transfer sophomore Alohi Gilman) and two freshmen with four remaining in Genmark Heath and Robertson. The freshmen duo could find Gilman on their timeline after this season if the NCAA insists he spend a 2017 on the sidelines following his transfer. As of today, Genmark Heath trails all those names.

With that in mind, and acknowledging his 6-foot-2 frame, it is not a reach to foresee Genmark Heath perhaps joining Owusu-Koramoah at rover down the line. Senior Drue Tranquill leads the way there now, but following the 2018 season, only current-junior Asmar Bilal would theoretically be ahead of this year’s additions. If his body fills out as one would expect with time spent in a collegiate strength program, Genmark Heath could become Elko’s ideal of a downhill run-stopper who can provide coverage skills when necessary.

2017’s Notre Dame 99-to-2
Friday at 4: Goodbye A-to-Z, hello 99-to-2 (May 12)
No. 99: Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle
No. 98: Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end
No. 97: Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle
No. 96: Pete Mokwuah, defensive tackle
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 92)
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 95)
No. 93: Jay Hayes, defensive end
No. 92: Jonathon MacCollister; defensive end (originally theorized as No. 46)
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver (originally theorized as No. 84)
No. 86: Alizé Mack, tight end
No. 85: Tyler Newsome, punter
No. 84: Cole Kmet, tight end (originally theorized as No. 90)
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 82: Nic Weishar, tight end
No. 81: Miles Boykin, receiver
No. 80: Durham Smythe, tight end
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right tackle
No. 77: Brandon Tiassum, defensive tackle
No. 76: Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman (originally theorized as No. 65)
No. 75: Josh Lugg, offensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 73)
No. 75: Daniel Cage, defensive tackle
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, right tackle
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle
No. 71: Alex Bars, offensive lineman
No. 70: Hunter Bivin, offensive lineman
No. 69: Aaron Banks, offensive lineman
No. 68: Mike McGlinchey, left tackle
No. 67: Jimmy Byrne, offensive lineman
No. 58: Elijah Taylor, defensive tackle
No. 57: Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman
No. 56: Quenton Nelson, left guard
No. 55: Jonathan Bonner, defensive lineman
No. 54: John Shannon, long snapper
No. 53: Sam Mustipher, center
No. 53: Khalid Kareem, defensive lineman
No. 48: Greer Martini, inside linebacker
No. 47: Kofi Wardlow, defensive end
No. 45: Jonathan Jones, inside linebacker
No. 44: Jamir Jones, linebacker/defensive lineman
No. 42: Julian Okwara, defensive end
No. 41: Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 94)
No. 40: Drew White, linebacker
No. 39: Jonathan Doerer, kicker (originally theorized as No. 52)
No. 38: Deon McIntosh, running back/receiver
No. 35: David Adams, linebacker
No. 34: Tony Jones, Jr., running back
No. 33: Josh Adams, running back
No. 32: D.J. Morgan, safety
No. 30: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, rover
No. 29: Kevin Stepherson, receiver
No. 28: Nicco Fertitta, safety
No. 27: Julian Love, cornerback
No. 26: Ashton White, safety
No. 25: Jafar Armstrong, receiver (originally theorized as No. 87)
No. 24: Nick Coleman, safety
No. 23: Drue Tranquill, rover
No. 22: Asmar Bilal, rover
No. 21: Jalen Elliott, safety
No. 19: Justin Yoon, kicker
No. 18: Troy Pride, cornerback
No. 17: Isaiah Robertson, safety
No. 16: Cameron Smith, receiver
No. 15: C.J. Holmes, running back
No. 14: Devin Studstill, safety
No. 13: Avery Davis, quarterback

No. 66: Tristen Hoge, offensive lineman, transfers to BYU
No. 50: Parker Boudreaux, offensive lineman
No. 30: Josh Barajas, linebacker, to transfer to Illinois State

No. 13: Tyler Luatua, tight end, career ended by medical hardship