Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 34 of 63 AUGUST 2017 35 BY DAVID MCKINNEY Notre Dame has its man at quarter- back in the 2019 class. After a successful camp in South Bend June 18, Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch signal-caller Cade McNamara landed an offer from Notre Dame 10 days later and committed to the Irish soon after, but held off on going public with the announcement until July 17. "I'd actually committed to Notre Dame a couple weeks ago. Then I flew back out this past week because I wanted to make sure I committed to Coach [Brian] Kelly face to face," the 6-1, 170-pound McNamara told Blue and Gold Illustrated after his an- nouncement. "It took a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like I've been keeping a secret for the last couple weeks." McNamara, who chose the Irish over offers from Wisconsin, San Di- ego State, Nevada and Hawai'i said he knew almost instantly upon arriv- ing in South Bend that Notre Dame was the place for him. Meetings with head coach Brian Kelly and quarterbacks coach Tom Rees confirmed that feeling. "For me it was just that Notre Dame checked all the boxes," McNa- mara explained. "I absolutely love Notre Dame, and as soon I stepped on campus I knew there was some- thing special with Notre Dame. Coach Kelly and Coach Rees really emphasized the description of a quarterback, and I feel like that fit me perfect." The Nevada talent spent that day in South Bend throwing in front of the coaching staff and bonding with Rees, who he apparently has built a strong bond with in the short time they've been communicating. "I love Coach Rees," McNamara said. "I feel like we have a great re- lationship already. He's a very com- petitive guy, and we can bond over that. "I feel like me and Coach Rees have the best in front of us." After the camp, McNamara said he had a feeling an offer was on the way. "It was great," he said. "I feel like I did very good at Notre Dame. Coach Rees and I seemed to get along really good. He's definitely a great guy and a great coach. "We will be staying in touch in the future, and I look forward to that relationship." Though Notre Dame had of- fered six quarterbacks in the 2019 class, McNamara — who is listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals — emerged as the top target at the posi- tion following the camp. As a sophomore at Damonte Ranch, the new Irish pledge threw for 3,577 yards and 46 touchdowns while leading his team to a 12-2 re- cord and a trip to the Nevada 4-A state semifinals. He was named the Sierra League Offensive Player of the Year. McNamara's commitment marks the second straight year that a quar- terback has been the first to join the class, following Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine- Richland product Phil Jurkovec in the 2018 class. McNamara said with his own re- cruiting process done with he can focus on adding other elite talent to the commitment list. "Being the quarterback, now it's my job to recruit for the next class, which I'm looking forward to," he said. "I have a few guys that have been in my mind." With a pair of high school seasons still to go, McNamara will not arrive in South Bend until 2019. He will certainly have other suitors as his prep career continues, but he firmly believes there's no better place in the country to play quarterback than Notre Dame. "I'm so honored and I'm very ex- cited for it," McNamara said. "I feel like that's the place if you want to play quarterback. Notre Dame is so historic, and it's truly an honor to be a part of that." ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Cade McNamara is a talented and produc- tive passer for such a young player … His arm strength is well above average for his age and size, and it will continue to get stronger as he physically matures … Gets through the throw- ing zone quickly, and that quick release com- bines with his arm strength to allow him to already make every throw he'll need to make in college … Shows impressive downfield ac- curacy … Nimble athlete that does a good job moving in the pocket. Areas For Improvement Will obviously need to add weight onto his 170-pound frame, but he has two years to make it happen … Can buy time in the pocket, but will need to improve as a pure runner … Taps the ball when he's about to throw, something he will need to eliminate moving forward. — Bryan Driskell COMMITMENT PROFILE CADE MCNAMARA "I FEEL LIKE THAT'S THE PLACE IF YOU WANT TO PLAY QUARTERBACK. NOTRE DAME IS SO HISTORIC, AND IT'S TRULY AN HONOR TO BE A PART OF THAT." MCNAMARA Nevada Quarterback Kick-Starts Notre Dame's 2019 Class McNamara threw for 3,577 yards and 46 touchdowns while leading Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch to a 12-2 record and a trip to the 4-A state semifinals during his sophomore campaign. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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