There was a ton of talent from the Class of 2010 on hand for Notre Dame’s heartbreaking loss to USC this weekend. Despite the tough loss for the Irish the big game atmosphere and thrilling game seems to have paid off on the recruiting trail for Notre Dame. Here’s a quick roundup of all of the news regarding some of the visitors who were on hand this weekend.
Tai-ler Jones, son of former Notre Dame defensive lineman Andre Jones, committed to the Irish giving Notre Dame 16 verbal commitments on the season. For a full recap of his commitment along with some video of him, check out our post from earlier tonight. To briefly recap though, Jones is a four star wide receiver who had previously been committed to Stanford and plans on enrolling at the mid-term in January. Jones joins Bennett Jackson and Daniel Smith as wide receiver commitments in this class.
Another player who came to Notre Dame this weekend despite being committed elsewhere was Corey Cooper. Cooper, a wide receiver/safety from Chicago, is currently committed to Illinois, but is strongly considering Notre Dame after his visit this weekend according to Bill Kuerlic.
“It went well,” Cooper said. “He told me how he planned to use me. He said I could come in and get on the field on either offense or defense. I could play wide receiver or safety.”
However, Cooper was not ready to follow the lead of Jones, at least at this point. He still plans to make official visits to Illinois (Oct. 30), Arizona (Nov. 21) and Tennessee (not scheduled yet).
“I’m still committed to Illinois,” Cooper said. “But I’m definitely considering Notre Dame. I’ll still take the rest of my visits.”
Anoter safety recruit, Dietrich Riley, also had a great time on his visit and is even planning on coming back to Notre Dame again this year on an unofficial visit. And if Riley coming back for another visit isn’t promising enough, he said that got along really well with cornerback recruit Josh Shaw during the trip and the two discussed going to school together.
“It was cool having Josh (Shaw) there because we’ve talked a lot about going to college together. We both loved the visit and can easily see ourselves at Notre Dame together. We all got along great with the players on the team and it was cool to see Dayne (Crist) and some other Cali players.
“Dayne was supposed to host me, but he had family in town so Robby Toma was my host. He was cool and showed me a good time. I’ve had two great trips and plan to take my other three but right now, Notre Dame is definitely high up on my list. I wasn’t ready to come home and I’m looking forward to going back with my mom later in the year and she already told she’s very interested in seeing the place for herself.”
Running back recruit Jordon James came away very impressed with the Irish as well. He told Greg Biggins that he is considering Notre Dame more than ever after his visit.
“In fact, I would say following the visit, I’m considering Notre Dame a lot more than I ever was before. My eyes were definitely opened up to a lot of things there. At Notre Dame, it’s not just about football, it’s about life after football and the support the students have really prepares them for after they graduate and that’s important to me.”
There were plenty of other highly touted prospects on campus this weekend as well. Kyle Prater (WR), Chris Martin (DE), Louis Nix (DT), Lamarcus Joyner (CB), and Seantrel Henderson are all five star quality recruits who visited either officially or unofficially this weekend. Nix was making an unofficial visit since he had already visiting officially and there was some hope that the Irish could get a commitment out of him this weekend, but as of now he is still considered a soft commitment to Miami.
If Notre Dame can close of some of these elite prospects – Henderson, Martin (who is still considered a Notre Dame commit), Nix, and Prater specifically – the talent gap that still exists between Notre Dame and Southern Cal will shrink some more. Martin and Nix are particularly important recruits since Saturday’s game really showcased how much more talent USC has along its defensive line than Notre Dame.