The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have received a huge commitment from 4-star cornerback Cole Luke.
The four-star cornerback from Chandler, Ariz., got his first look at the Irish program over the summer during an unofficial visit. He saw Notre Dame again during the season-opener in Ireland. He took an unofficial visit to South Bend during the Michigan weekend. Finally, Luke saw Notre Dame one more time last weekend during the historic upset of Oklahoma while on an official visit to the Sooners.
Five days later, Luke committed to Notre Dame, Irish Illustrated has confirmed.
This is a big time pickup for Kelly and the Fighting Irish—help in the secondary is one of their biggest recruiting needs, and Cole is a very good recruit.
He checks in at 6'0'', 175 pounds, according to 247Sports, so he's got more than enough size to be able to compete against receivers at the college level. He's not extremely tall, but when playing he's very lanky. That allows him to go up and high-point the ball in coverage. It also gives him a lot of leverage when it comes to jamming receivers at the line or poking his hand in to break up a pass.
What I really like about Cole is his footwork and fundamentals.
Crisp footwork on backpedals and breaks is extremely important for corners, as is the ability to turn your hips and go with the play. In the pictures below, it appears as if Cole is playing a deep zone with a receiver and tight end to his size, and he does a great job of fundamentally covering the play.
As the play develops, notice how he runs with his hips turned to the outside, but he still has his eyes on his responsibilities. In this case, the linebacker appears to have flats coverage, and that's where the No.1 receiver is targeting.
As soon as he Cole notices that that tight end is running a post, though, notice how he opens up his hips and flips to the other side, which allows him to stay on top of the route. He does a great job of staying over route and not breaking until he knows he can make a play on the ball.
The end result is a beautiful pass deflection. He displays athleticism and pure football ability in this last picture. This is the kind of play Notre Dame fans will get to look forward too now that Cole is on board.
He also has a very long stride, which allows him to cover a lot of ground in open space. If he gets his hands on the football, he's a threat to run it back to the house because of his good field vision and athleticism.
Cole can be used on special teams as a kick returner, where his shiftiness, athleticism and vision all come into play.
Overall, this is an incredible pick up for Brian Kelly and his staff. Cole has all the intangibles that you look for in a big-time corner, and I believe he'll be a valuable player in Notre Dame's secondary.