When we look back on how the Notre Dame class of 2014 was put together on National Signing Day next February, we very well could look back to this weekend as the weekend that defined what type of class Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are able to sign.
With the entire freshman class reporting to campus last weekend, Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff have put together a recruiting weekend featuring some of the nation’s elite recruits and have coordinated unofficial visits for a host of already committed Notre Dame prospects to potentially help reel in some big fish this weekend.
According to the South Bend Tribune, 10 uncommitted high profile recruits will be on campus this weekend: Lorenzo Carter (OLB/DE), Kevin Mouhon (LB), Thomas Holley (DT), Matt Elam (DT), Corey Holmes (WR), Trevion Thompson (WR), and Cameron Sims (WR)..
Here are the Cliffs’ notes rundown of each for those unfamiliar.
- Lorenzo Carter (DE/OLB – Norcross, GA) – 5 star recruit generally considered the #1 weakside DE in the country. This will be a long recruiting battle, so Notre Dame needs to impress Carter this weekend and stay in the race. Notre Dame is competing against pretty much everyone for Carter.
- Kevin Mouhon (LB – Norcross, GA) – 4 star linebacker high school team of Carter both of whom hail from the same hometown as former Notre Dame offensive lineman Sean Milligan. Notre Dame is up against some elite southern and midwestern programs here.
- Thomas Holley (DT – Brooklyn, NY) – Elite, 4-star DT from same area of New York as current commitment Jay Hayes although they attend different schools. His offer from Alabama should tell you all you need to know of his skill as a DT. Already pushing 300 lbs, Holley could be a great cog in the middle of the Irish DL. Notre Dame in good shape here and Bob Diaco is his primary recruiter – we all know about his luck in recruiting in Brooklyn.
- Matt Elam (DT – Elizabethtown, KY) – Huge DT that would certainly fill the role of a space eater in the middle of the Notre Dame defensive line if the Irish were able to land him. Also has offers from Alabama and Ohio State. 247 Sports rates him as the #2 DT in the country and #10 player overall.
- Corey Holmes (WR – Fort Lauderdale, FL) – 4-star outside wide receiver recruit that Notre Dame has an excellent chance at landing. Florida native hails from same high school as Sam Young, Dan Wenger, and Jordan Cowart and same hometown as former Notre Dame wide receiver Bobby Brown.
- Trevion Thompson (WR – Durham, NC) – Another 4-star outside wide receiver recruit. Notre Dame is going up against some stiff competition with other offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and Ohio State.
- Cameron Sim (WR – Monroe, LA) – Big receiver recruit at 6’4″, 190 lbs like Thompson he’s got an Alabama offer as well as offers from Georgia, Nebraska, Oregon, and USC.
In addition to the impressive list of uncommitted recruits, Notre Dame will be hosting current commitments Alex Bars (OT), Jimmy Byrne (OG), Quenton Nelson (OT), Elijah Hood (RB), DeShone Kizer (QB), Greer Martini (LB), and Nic Weishar (TE).
Having DeShone Kizer on campus with all of the wide receivers the Irish are hosting is huge for Notre Dame this weekend. Getting a quarterback committed early is usually a big boost to wide receiving recruiting because receivers want to know who will be throwing the ball so having Kizer on hand to throw to Holmes, Sims, and Thompson to develop some chemistry is big for Notre Dame.
Somewhat similarly, it’s great that Notre Dame was able to get three offensive linemen from the 2014 class on campus this week to compete with Carter, Mouhon, Holley, and Elam is also big. Notre Dame has put together back to back elite offensive line classes. That can help with defensive line recruiting because the DL know they will be competing against elite competition day in and day out – not just on Saturdays.
The staff has limited this weekend to just the class of 2014 either. Notre Dame has a number of recruits from the class of 2015 in town as well including local products Drue Tranquil (S/ILB – Fort Wayne, IN) and Donovan Clark (CB – Fort Wayne, IN) along with Donte Thomas-Williams (RB – Durham, NC), Jerry Tillery (OT – Shreveport, LA), Garrett Williams (TE – Orlando, FL), and Anthony Herbert (OT – Lapeer, MI).
All in all, this is a huge recruiting weekend for Notre Dame for the class of 2014. If Kelly and staff are able to secure a commitment out of this weekend in the immediate future and put in enough work to stay in the race for guys like Carter this weekend will have been a success. Given the departure of Eddie Vanderdoes, grabbing a DT like Elam or Holley would also go a long way towards making this year’s class another elite group assembled by Kelly and staff.