Notre Dame gets the letter: Brandyn Hillman, athlete who may end up on defense
Churchland High School; Portsmouth, Va.Measurements: 6-foot-1, 200 pounds
Accolades: A rivals.com three-star prospect, Hillman’s recruiting rankings may not be finalized. His recruitment process accelerated so rapidly and so late, he may yet move up the rankings in the final update in a couple months.
Other notable offers: Three months ago, Hillman had no FBS offers. Only FCS-level Norfolk State had sought him. Then Notre Dame reached out and more and more and more teams did, as well. USC, Oklahoma and Tennessee offered in weeks to come, nine in total.
Hillman visited South Bend to watch the Irish lose to Stanford and committed just two weeks ago.
Projected position: Hillman played on both sides of the ball in high school, leaving it uncertain where he will land at the next level. Some of these write-ups being delayed today — partly intentionally, as the a.m. deluge serves little purpose; partly out of December mishaps slowly overall production — lends the benefit of Notre Dame’s coordinators tipping their hands today. Hillman will get his first crack defensively.
Golden on Brandyn Hillman: "What's not to like about him?" - says he can play safety and is big enough to play rover.— Observer Sports (@ObserverSports) December 21, 2022
Quick take: Hillman hits with ferocity and closes with aggression. A physical defensive back, he may need some work in coverage, but that will come quickly, given his natural instincts.
Short-term roster outlook: If Hillman ends up at Rover, he may play sooner than later. For now, though, it will be special teams work at most for Hillman.
Long-term depth chart impact: That sooner than later thought ties to the coming transition for Irish linebackers. When Marist Liufau, Jack Kiser and JD Bertrand matriculate, an entirely new guard will line up. Junior Tuihalamaka, Prince Kollie and Jaylen Sneed are the frontrunners, but Hillman’s athleticism could join them in a rotation before long.
His athleticism is that special, that differentiating.
SIGNING DAY COVERAGE
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Consensus four-star running back Jeremiyah Love, No. 4 RB in the country
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Three linebackers continue Marcus Freeman’s defensive emphasis, led by Drayk Bowen
Four defensive linemen, led by consensus four-star Brenan Vernon
Consensus four-star tight end Cooper Flanagan
Brandyn Hillman, athlete who may end up on defense