Rivals250 DE Rylie Mills Breaks Down Notre Dame Commitment
On Monday, Lake Forest (Ill.) defensive end Rylie Mills announced his decision to commit to Notre Dame, choosing the Fighting Irish over other finalists Ohio State and Wisconsin.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound four-star prospect broke down why he picked Notre Dame with Blue & Gold Illustrated.
"It was last week when I talked to my family and people close to me and voiced how I felt about my recruitment," Mills said. "It was a tough choice; I had three good options. In thinking about what's important to me as a person and what would actually be the best fit as a school, I thought Notre Dame was the best school for me as a student and they bring the best of both worlds with high class academics and they also play super competitive football."
The Notre Dame coaching staff was important in Mills' decision making process, as he built a really strong relationship with defensive line coach Mike Elston and liked the plan laid out by Clark Lea.
"They meant a lot," Mills explained. "I want to have a really good relationship with my coaches. I've known Coach 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.
"Having a defensive coordinator who really backs you up is important. I was super excited to hear that the defensive line coach and defensive coordinator both had a plan for me to be successful at their school."
Mills can play strong side defensive end for the Fighting Irish, but he also has the size and skill to move inside to play defensive tackle. You may even see him playing both positions.
"The biggest thing for me is doing whatever the coaches need me to do," the nation's No. 155 recruit said. "I think I have enough quickness where I can be lethal as a 5-technique and rush the passer, but I do think I'm versatile and I'm big enough to move inside and get a mismatch against a guard. That's one thing I bring to the table, and it's important that you wouldn't have to take me off the field."
Now with his commitment out of the way, Mills goes from recruit to recruiter. One of Notre Dame's top targets left on the defensive board is Braiden McGregor, who Mills has grown close with. McGregor is high on Michigan and Notre Dame and will officially visit Florida next weekend.
"I like Braiden a lot," Mills said. "Coach Elston introduced us to each other, which was cool. Braiden is a great player and a great dude. He's one of my good buddies. If he came to Notre Dame, that would be awesome. We both kind of understand going through the recruiting process and how it is. Whatever choice he makes, I'll be happy for him. If we played together, we'd definitely be a great duo."
Mills is looking forward to enrolling at Notre Dame and getting to know his new teammates.
"I feel like I click with a lot of people and make friends really quickly," the four-star recruit said. "That was one of the biggest things when I was choosing Notre Dame -- how I felt with the players. When I went on the visit, I felt comfortable with all of the guys. It will be fun meeting new people from different areas and different cultures. I'm really excited to be a part of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and get to be with all of those guys."
To read more on what Mills' commitment means for Notre Dame, view the following stories below.