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One More Chance for Notre Dame to Impress Justin Hilliard

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Notre Dame will be hosting 40+ recruits in the class of 2015 and 2016 combined this weekend for the Irish Invasion, but there won’t be as much of a sense of urgency as there will be with the one recruit who knows the campus the best by now – 5-star linebacker Justin Hilliard.  Hilliard is aiming to make his decision by the end of the month and will be on campus Friday giving the Irish staff one last chance to state their case.

Justin Hilliard has not been a stranger on the Notre Dame campus.  He’s visited Notre Dame a number of times this year including just two weeks ago when his mother made her first trip to South Bend with her much heralded son.  With the Irish Invasion this weekend and number of committed recruits visiting Notre Dame, Hilliard wanted to get one more visit under his belt.

That’s the good news for Notre Dame.  The bad news is that Hilliard will also be visiting Ohio State this weekend on Saturday to give the Buckeyes one last look as well meaning Urban Meyer will get the last word in with Hilliard.

Notre Dame has some things working in it’s favor such as recent commitments from Elijah Taylor and Nick Coleman – both Ohio natives with some ties to Hilliard, but the visit to Ohio State certainly looms large.

Should Brian Kelly and the Irish coaching staff be able to pull off landing Hilliard, the Irish will have quite possibly the best one-two linebacker punch in the same class in some time between Hilliard and Josh Barajas.  If you think about 4-star Asmar Bilal recently stating that Notre Dame is his leader as well, Notre Dame could have the makings of a very special linebacker class on its hands.

Before that has any chance of becoming a reality though, the Irish staff has their work cut out for them.   The Crystal Ball predictions for Hilliard over on 247 Sports and trending way in Ohio State’s favor with the Irish trailing even Michigan and Iowa.  Most would argue though that this is a Notre Dame and Ohio State race.

According to the South Bend Tribune, there will be seven commitments from the class of 2015 on hand this week to aid in the efforts to lure in the likes of Hilliard and other elite uncommitted recruits on campus.  Below are the seven of 13 currently committed recruits from the #ShamrockSoldiers15 who will be participating in the Irish Invasion.

  • Shaun Crawford – CB
  • Nicco Fertitta – S
  • Tristen Hoge – OL
  • Trevor Ruhland – OL
  • Elijah Taylor – DT
  • Brandon Tiassum – DT
  • Jerry Tillery – OL

Kelly and company have an uphill battle on their hands this weekend, but having Hilliard on campus with so many committed prospects this weekend should at least give Notre Dame a fighting chance here.  With Hilliard set to announce in June and just 10 days remaining until the calendar reads July, we won’t have to wait long to find out of their efforts will be enough to add another elite linebacker to the roster.


  1. Btw, who’s excited about the upcoming series with UGA?

  2. Only if you’re buying, Burgundy! And it better be the good stuff, don’t be a cheapskate!

  3. No standing arm in arm singing the fight song either??

  4. Don’t think many people read the comments anymore, just a waste of time. This site is going downhill. People come here to read about ND football, not a bunch of nonsense.

    • St. Pat,

      I actually like the fighting, it gives the feel of a holiday dinner. We do talk a lot about ND football, we just see it way differently at times. If you put all of us in a bar to watch a game it could be ugly, but if we eon we would be arm and arm singing the alma mater. We can pick on each other but let a troll from another fan site come on this site, they will get a verbal beat down

  5. Hey, Burgundy, given any jobs to unqualified minorities lately? I hear Mike Tomlin might be in need of a job soon. Perhaps you can hire him in you beauty salon. Sounds about the right speed for both of you!

  6. I realize your on edge waiting for the new planet of the apes movie to come out so I will not get offended by those remarks.

    I am in need of a new fetish or two so if you could look up some of those in your library that would be great.

    Until next time be sure to mix in a salad with those cupcakes. Looking a little thick in the mid section.

    Peace and love.

  7. JDH,

    duranko’s self-appointed post of vicar of Christ on this site has turned me off for a while. Notice how other regulars like yourself, JC, C-Dog, and others have virtually disappeared. In addition to duranko’s grand-standing platitudes, you have Burgundy’s own brand of slapstick (just don’t ever bring up a serious topic to offend his delicate sensibilities, because he’ll take his ball and leave like a petulant child), you have bj’s ramblings about God knows what at times and endless links to youtube sites, etc.

    I miss the old-days around here when there were heated exchanges about ND football or circling the wagons against trolls line “Anus Eagle.” These days it’s just bizarre, to use your word.

    Notice that all I did was ask a simple question about Tillery. jack responded respectfully enough. But duranko takes a throaway comment by me as an opportunity to get into his bully pulpit to play evangelical preacher and cherry-pick the Bible for his self-aggrandizing purposes.

    I wish I had the time, talent, and treasure to start my own site, not to be another self-appointed guru like duranko, but to allow people like you JDH the forum to comment on serious ND matters.

    Now, watch the utterly predictable duranko say that you and I are trying to dictate terms to others, something of course he’s never, ever done on here!

    • No need to bring me into your little cat fight Roberto.

    • Yeah, there does seem some drifting off point what I believe this site should be about. I’d rather see more content about ND football (or other ND related athletic content) than some of the other non-related content that seems to be getting a lot of posts. Usually this tends to be less during football season so I understand some readers throwing in content not directly related to ND football. I just tend to come on less during the off-season for this very fact. I don’t appoint myself to be site master, I just do what I can, reduce how much I come to the site during off-season.

      I am excited about the upcoming season.

      Go Irish.

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