With less than 24 hours before National Signing Day, Notre Dame is still in on several top notch recruits and could see its class improve drastically if a few dominoes falls its way after all of the ink is dry on all of the letters of intent.
Here’s a quick look at all of the remaining possibilities for Notre Dame as we entered the final stretch.
- Matt James (OT) – James visited this past weekend and by all accounts the visit went very well for Notre Dame. His high school teammate Luke Massa visited with him and committed to Notre Dame during the trip. Notre Dame has a huge need along the OL in this class and James would fill that need very nicely. Of all of four star recruits still considering Notre Dame, James is the most likely to sign with the Irish on Wednesday.
- Seantrel Henderson (OT) – Henderson has been right at the top of Notre Dame’s recruiting board for a long time now, but as Signing Day approaches, the chances he ends up in South Bend seem to be dwindling by the day. Most feel Ohio State or USC will end up with Henderson and right now it looks like it would be a bigger surprise for Henderson to land at ND than it was for Manti Te’o last year.
- JR Ferguson (DE) – One of the more impressive recruiting jobs by the new staff has been keeping Notre Dame right in the race for Ferguson. The Irish are battling Miami, Florida State, LSU, Cal, and now Texas Tech after Ferguson’s defensive line coach from Hargrave Military Academy was hired by new Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville. Miami could be the team to beat here after Ferguson’s official visit this past weekend.
- Christian Jones (OLB) – Keeping in the race for Christian Jones has also been a pretty impressive feat by the new Notre Dame staff. Tony Alford developed a great relationship with Jones throughout the process though and Notre Dame finds itself still in the race. Most have felt that it would be tough to pull Jones out of Florida, but Notre Dame has at least a fighting chance here. Florida State got the last say here with Jones making an unofficial visit to Tallahassee this past weekend.
- Jeremy Ioane (S) – The high school team of current Irish sophomores to be Manti Te’o and Roby Toma visited Notre Dame this past weekend and it looks like Notre Dame has a good chance to land the hard hitting safety. Boise State and Washington are the other players in this race. Ioane would be an excellent addition to this class given the need at safety. He has also already become a fan favorite on the message boards thanks to his highlight video featuring a ton of devastating hits.
- Dietrich Riley (S) – The Notre Dame staff visited Riley last week and by all accounts it was a good visit, but its looked like a two team race between UCLA and USC for a while for Riley. If Riley were to pick Notre Dame on Wednesday it would be considered a pretty big upset for the Irish.
- Kona Schwenke (OLB/DE) – Schwenke was another visitor for Notre Dame this past weekend and could be another strong possibility for this class. After deciding to visit Notre Dame, the former BYU commitment had his scholarship offer revoked by the BYU staff. This puts Notre Dame is a great position, but Washington is also in the race even though Schwenke never visited there.
- Corey Cooper (S/WR) – At one time Cooper was considered one of the top recruits on the Notre Dame board, but the news on Cooper has cooled over the last few weeks. Cooper, however, still lists Notre Dame as one of his top schools along with Nebraska, Illinois, and Arizona.
Adding a few playermakers like Jones and Ferguson on the defensive side of the ball would really elevate this class and put to rest some of the rumblings about this staff’s recruiting abilities. Landing an elite offensive lineman such as James or Henderson would also give this class a big boost.
If Notre Dame could close with James, Ioane, Schwenke, and then one of either Jones or Ferguson this class will have ended up about as good as anyone could have hoped for. If Notre Dame could catch lightning in a bottle two years in a row and land a recruit like Henderson and there will be Notre Dame fans all over the country grinning from ear to ear Wednesday night.
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