With the departures of Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick, Notre Dame needed to recruit a talented running back that it knew had the potential to come in and contribute immediately, and possibly even be a standout at the position. Mission accomplished.
By getting five-star running back Greg Bryant to sign, the Fighting Irish fill a big void in their backfield.
Bryant, a one time Oklahoma verbal commitment, signed with Notre Dame today and gives Brian Kelly exactly what he’s looking for.
“When we talk about a specific need in the program, the loss of Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick, Greg Bryant puts himself in position to compete,” said Kelly to assembled media this afternoon in Notre Dame’s football complex.
What Kelly and his staff love about Bryant is the kind of physicality he’ll bring to the Irish backfield, particularly between the tackles.
“He’s a well-conditioned athlete who has great instincts running the football,” Kelly said. “We also love the fact that he can catch the football as well.”
Credit Notre Dame’s special season for luring Bryant away from Norman. Had the Irish not been undefeated prior to facing Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game, Bryant likely would’ve signed with Bob Stoops’ program.
Bryant, a Delray Beach, Fla., native, is a top-20 recruit (all positions) and second-team USA Today high school All-American who rushed for 1,447 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior.
“He’s an outstanding football player,” said Kelly, who also likes the fact that Bryant is the son of a football coach. “He really understands the game.”
Look for Bryant to have play important role in the Notre Dame offense in the fall as a true freshman. He’ll be given every chance to not only earn playing time, but earn significant time in the backfield. After all, the Irish lose their top two rushers, so expect Bryant to more than hold his own against George Atkinson, Cam McDaniel, USC transfer Amir Carlisle, redshirt freshman Will Mahone and rookie Tarean Folston, who still needs to sign today with the Irish.
Doug Griffiths is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association. Doug is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ISLgriffiths and Facebook.