Monday, December 16, 2013
Scout's Take: Tyler Luatua to Notre Dame
By Tom Luginbill
Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), the No. 76 player in the ESPN 300, committed to Notre Dame on Monday morning, announcing his decision on Twitter. As the nation's No. 1 tight end, Luatua should have a big-time impact on the offense in South Bend.
How will Luatua fit in Brian Kelly's system? Let's break it down:
What he brings: Versatility for any offensive scheme. Luatua is an ideal movement H-back who could line up as an in-line tight end, a flexed-out slot, a true fullback and a mismatch in the passing game. The 6-foot-3, 243-pound prospect also is a pretty salty defensive prospect. He could also be a nice fit as a Wildcat QB in short-yardage run situations. In today's game, the value of a quality tight end that you must be aware of in every situation is at a premium.
How he fits: Very, very well. This is an ideal pick-up for an offense that places a premium on tight end involvement. Notre Dame had to replace John Mackey Award winner Tyler Eifert this fall with limited results, as current Notre Dame tight ends Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack were not quite the same receiving threats. Luatua will bring many traits Kelly desires in his spread offense, especially when it comes to movement within the scheme as a true H-back.
Reminds us of: Florida's Trey Burton was also a jack-of-all trades player who brought to the Florida offense the same type of skills. Luatua is probably ahead of the curve as an in-line and overall blocker, but these guys have similar measurables and talents that lend to many roles within an offensive scheme.
How class is shaping up: This commitment makes 23 for the Fighting Irish and their eighth in the ESPN 300. The class is littered with players from just about every position on the board, with an emphasis in the offensive and defensive lines. Six of their top 11 are in these two groups, including No. 6 OT Alex Bars (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy), No. 12 DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest) and No. 9 OG Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic). They have not neglected the skill spots, either: No. 13 WR Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) and No. 11 CB Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) are among the highest-graded players in this class.