Nyles Morgan may just be the answer to a problem looming for Notre Dame this fall.
The four-star inside linebacker from Crete, Ill., verbally committed to the Irish on Saturday at U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, and very well could begin the 2014 season atop Notre Dame's depth chart. When asked about why he chose Notre Dame, Morgan told NBC:
"They do need a Mike linebacker, so I can fill that role."
The Irish will return three inside linebackers -- Jarrett Grace, Joe Schmidt and Michael Deeb -- and could return a fourth if Kendall Moore is brought back for a fifth year. Before breaking his leg against Arizona State on Oct. 5, Grace played Mike, so either he or Morgan will slide over to Will.
Morgan will bring a polished game to South Bend, and at 6-foot-1, 222 pounds has the frame to compete as a freshman (2013 star freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith came to Notre Dame at 215 pounds). He offers excellent speed along with good instincts and a high level of intelligence, exactly what Notre Dame needs to add to its inside linebacker depth chart this coming fall.
Given the impact Smith made in 2013 as a freshman at the difficult dog outside linebacker position, there's precedent for Morgan to step in for the 2014 Irish. And sort of as post-script, landing Morgan represents an excellent effort by Notre Dame's recruiting staff -- he was originally recruited by Chuck Martin (who left for the head coaching job at Miami) and Bob Diaco (who left for the head coaching job at UConn) would've been his position coach.
Morgan chose Notre Dame over Vanderbilt and Ole Miss (where former Crete-Monee teammate Laquan Treadwell plays), as well as offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC and Wisconsin, among others.