Notre Dame landed a second safety commitment in less than a week with consensus four-star athlete Brauntae Johnson (North Side High School; Fort Wayne, Ind.)
’s Saturday morning pledge. Though he also excels at receiver in high school and is considered an “athlete” by recruiting services, the Irish expect Johnson to play at safety in the years to come.
Rated the No. 58 overall prospect in the country and No. 3 recruit in Indiana, per rivals.com, Johnson chose Notre Dame over finalists Michigan State, Tennessee and Purdue.
At 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, hailing from Indiana, it should not be much of a surprise that Johnson also stars in basketball, averaging a double-double. Playing two ways in football and averaging a double-double on the hardwood may be all the analysis that is needed to ascertain Johnson is exceedingly athletic. Channeling that to properly refine his raw skills at safety will be the long-term challenge.
His height and weight warrant further notice because that body frame is obviously yet a slight one. Johnson may square up a receiver catching a screen and still get knocked backward on the tackle, allowing the offense to pick up an extra yard-plus in the midst of stopping the play. Adding lower-body strength will be a priority early in his collegiate career, if it isn’t already this summer before his senior season.
Johnson does have fast hands, noticeably so. If he ever turns his head late on a deep ball but still locates it quickly, he should have a strong chance of getting his hands onto the pass despite that delay.
Johnson is the third safety in the Irish class of 2024, joining consensus three-stars Taebron Bennie-Powell (Lakota West H.S.; Liberty Township, Ohio)
and Kennedy Urlacher (Kennedy; Az.)
. Notre Dame needs an influx of numbers at the position, given the Irish have no sophomore or junior safeties on the roster.
Including them, the Irish now have 21 commitments in this class
, ranked No. 3 in the country
. That ranking likely will still fall this summer since Florida, at No. 4, has only 17 commitments and Ohio State, at No. 6, has just 14.