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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

Speedster safety Ben Minich signs with the Irish

West Chester, Ohio product Ben Minich signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, giving the Irish another safety in their 2023 recruiting class.

Minich is a four-star with a 5.8 rating on the Rivals recruiting site. That earns him the lower end of the “All-American candidate” section on the grading scale.

Minich took a pair of official visits this summer to Cincinnati and Duke. However, he ultimately verbally committed to the Irish in August. Beyond Cincinnati and Duke, Minich also took multiple visits to Wake Forest.

Minich is a speedster, with a 10.77 100m time recorded during his track season this past spring. A two-way player in high school, Minich also features good ball skills. His combination of speed, football IQ and being a ball-hawking safety has analysts high on Minich’s potential. National recruiting analyst Allen Trieu compared Minich to current Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde.

For Minich, there is immediate potential for playing time, as well. Current starters Brandon Joseph and DJ Brown have not made a decision public yet, but many expect the veterans to move on. Juniors Ramon Henderson and Xavier Watts project as next year’s starters. No other current contributors are likely to remain on the roster. That leaves current sophomore Justin Walters as the likely third option. After him, walk-ons Marty Auer and Eddie Scheidler present the next options.

Five Irish safeties averaged over 20 snaps a game in 2022, meaning there will be some intriguing opportunities for this incoming class to earn immediate playing time. Minich is one of two safeties in Notre Dame’s 2023 recruiting class. He joins Adon Schuler (5.7). They will join a talented safety room in South Bend, but one that is losing up to three major contributors.

At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Minich is not the largest. However, scouts believe that by bulking up, his already talented tackling ability can improve. Getting him in the weight room with Irish strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis could be key. With increased size and the speed and ball skills that Minich is bringing to the college level, don't rule out Minich being a 2023 contributor.