Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will be making one of his more important in-home recruiting visits of his early tenure at Notre Dame on Wednesday when he visits the La Canada, California home of standout safety prospect Dietrich Riley. Once considered a strong USC lean, Riley has opened up his recruiting some after the departure of Pete Carroll.
Prior to Carroll leaving for the Seattle Seahawks, most felt Riley was USC bound. Since Carroll’s departure, however, Riley has claimed that everyone is even again.
Brian Kelly will be making his pitch to Riley today according to Irish Sports Daily in what will be one of his more important in-home visits for this class considering Notre Dame’s need at safety. The Irish have a huge need at safety in this class and have only secured the verbal commitment of one safety thus far – early enrollee Chris Badger. Adding a safety of Riley’s caliber (a four star recruit on Rivals, Scout, and ESPN) would be a huge boast for Kelly and this year’s class. Riley would also compliment Badger very well with Badger being more of a strong safety and Riley being more of a free safety.
Even with a great in-home visit though, Notre Dame might need a little luck here since Riley will be visiting both LSU and USC in the coming weeks. Riley has already visited Notre Dame officially doing so during the season while Charlie Weis was still the head coach of the Irish.
Notre Dame has struggled a bit recruiting at the safety position with just four total recruits in the past three classes – Jamoris Slaughter and Dan McCarthy two years ago, Zeke Motta last year, and Badger this year. In fact, the lack of recruiting success at safety has left Notre Dame with very little returning experience and depth heading into 2010.
Adding Riley would be a great start to reversing Notre Dame’s fortunes at the position.