Last week 247 Sports ranked Notre Dame’s linebacker class as one of the best in the country. That banner crop of linebackers took a hit on Friday night when Richard Yeargin decommitted from Notre Dame.
Yeargin committed to Notre Dame over the summer, but a visit to Clemson over the fall raised some eyebrows. Since then, all reports were that Yeargin was solid with Notre Dame, but that is no longer the case according to several media reports.
Irish Sports Daily has confirmed that LB Richard Yeargin has decommited from #NotreDame
— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) January 25, 2014
Notre Dame will likely continue to recruit Yeargin between now and Signing Day in hopes of flipping him back, but a decommitment this late in the process almost never flips back. The only case I could think of off the top of my head is Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt decommitted from Notre Dame in January of 2011 only to flip back to Notre Dame a few days later. When that happened though, everyone was surprised for a reason – such occurrences are few and far between.
Notre Dame is still pretty well set at linebacker with Nyles Morgan, Nile Sykes, Greer Martini, Kolin Hill, and Jhonny Williams but losing Yeargin hurts. Yeargin has a high ceiling and was one of the most athletically gifted backers in this year’s class for Notre Dame.
Clemson is believed to be the odds on favorite since Yeargin took an in-season visit there and has a friend and former high school teammate on the Clemson roster. If he does end up at Clemson, Notre Dame fans will see him in 2015 with Notre Dame set to visit Clemson on October 3. 2015 during Yeargin’s sophomore season.
The news of Yeargin’s decommitment tempered the good news Notre Dame received Friday night when defensive tackle Pete Mokwuah flipped his commitment from Rutgers to Notre Dame after an in-person visit from Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.
Notre Dame most likely won’t be able to add another linebacker in Yeargin’s place this late in the game but with a number of recruits left on the board, they still have a chance to fill out this year’s class and max out on scholarships. Daniel Cage, Michael Sawyers, and Isaiah McKenzie are all set to visit next week at some point – Cage during the week and Sawyers and McKenszie over the weekend with Mokwuah – and Notre Dame is still heavily pursuing Terrence Alexander, Charles Nelson, JuJu Smith and Michiah Quick.