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Notre Dame Signee Profile: DL Rylie Mills

Notre Dame has officially added a powerful and versatile defensive lineman in Rylie Mills from Lake Forest (Ill) High.

The 6-5, 270-pounder narrowed his long list of options down to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin, and the Chicagoland standout picked the Irish in May and never looked back.

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Mills was named the 2019 Pioneer Press All-Area Football Defensive Player of the Year.
Mills was named the 2019 Pioneer Press All-Area Football Defensive Player of the Year. (Josh Helmholdt /

RELATED: National Signing Day Central | Rockne's Roundtable Forum


Rivals: No. 3 recruit in Illinois, and No. 9 strongside defensive end and No. 161 overall player nationally

ESPN: No. 2 player in Illinois, and No. 14 defensive end and No. 139 overall prospect in the country


2019 Stats: Recorded 32 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and seven quarterback hurries

2018 Stats: Notched 37 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and four sacks


• 2019 Pioneer Press All-Area Football Defensive Player of the Year

• 2019 Maxwell Football Club National High School Defensive Player of the Year watch list

• 2019 Lake Forest Defensive MVP

• 2019 News-Gazette All-State first-team defense

• 21st Annual EDGYTIM/ Illinois All-State Team (2019)

• No. 1 on The Chicago Sun Times’ 2019 preseason list of the top 10 defensive players in the Chicago area

• 2018 Lake County News-Sun Football All-Area first-team defense


Offer Sheet: Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

The four-star recruit visited Notre Dame a couple of times before he added the Irish to his offer list on Feb. 7, 2018, and it was clear that the Irish would be in it for the long run for him.

Throughout the rest of the year, he continued to rack up offers and also continued to visit Notre Dame.

Mills wanted to use just three official visits and make the trips all in the spring before his senior season. Getting the recruiting process out of the way before the 2019 season was important to him.

Often times it’s best to be the last school to receive an official visit, but Notre Dame was actually Mills’ first on April 5. He officially visit Wisconsin the following week and spent the weekend at Ohio State April 26.

On May 6, the 6-5, 270-pounder committed to the Irish and never even came close to wavering in that decision.


“Rylie is obviously physically very, very gifted. He’s what you hope a defensive lineman would look like. He has an incredibly good motor and is a great competitor. His effort is as good as we have and probably as good as we’ve ever had. His physical ability is exceptional. I really don’t have enough good things to say about him.” — Lake Forest head coach Chuck Spagnoli

“I’ve known Coach [Mike] Elston for a couple years and it’s been really good getting to know him because he’s a great guy. He treats his players really well, and that was something I was looking for. He’s coached me before [at a Notre Dame camp], and the way he coaches clicks with me. We have a good relationship.” — Mills


“One of the top three prospects in the state of Illinois, Rylie must be double-teamed at all times. He plays DE on high school but could wind up playing either DE or DT in college. Rylie is a long-limbed, athletic edge rusher who has the flexibility to bend around the edge. He knows how to use his length, strong hands, and great size to his advantage. He set the edge effectively against the run as well, dominates everyone he goes up against, and has not realized his full potential, which is scary.” — Tom Lemming of Prep Football Report and CBS Sports Network


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