Notre Dame Football Recruiting Report -10 Days Til Signing Day

(Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

With Signing Day just about a week and a half away and a lot of news on the recruiting front, I figured I’d put together a quick recap of what all happened in the world of Notre Dame football recruiting this past week and what to look out for this week as we close in on Signing Day.

What happened this week

  • Richard Yeargindecommitted from Notre Dame on Friday and all signs point to him signing with Clemson.  Some reports have surfaced that he has already committed to Clemson, but so far there’s been nothing official.  Still, seems more than likely that Yeargin ends up singing with Clemson next week.  This is a tough loss for Notre Dame because of Yeargin’s potential, but Notre Dame’s haul at linebacker is still impressive this year. 
  • Marcus Griffin – Early in the week it looked like Griffin would be visiting Notre Dame this weekend after an in-home visit from Notre Dame.  A day later though, the visit was off and Griffin was no longer considering Notre Dame.  Rumors are that transcripts played a role here in his sudden about face.
  • Pete MokwuahNotre Dame landed a commitment from Mokwuah on Friday.  Mokwuah was committed to Rutgers since May and turned down interest from other schools including Alabama throughout the season, but couldn’t turn down the Irish.  Brian Kelly and Mike Elston visited in person on Friday and landed a commitment.  Mokwuah will be on campus this coming weekend for his official visit.
  • Kolin Hill – Hill received an offer from Texas over the weekend that could cause problems for Notre Dame.  Hill grew up in Texas as a fan of the Longhorns.  As of now, Hill doesn’t have a visit scheduled for this weekend for Texas, but if he ends up scheduling one, things could end badly here for Notre Dame.  Brian Kelly will be in-home with Hill on Monday night with a chance to lock him up and prevent the visit to Texas.  If Kelly knocks the visit out of the park, Hill could tell Texas thanks but no thanks this late in the game.  This is one to watch closing over the final week and a half though.
  • Tyler Newsome – Punter Tyler Newsome took his official visit to Notre Dame this weekend and by the looks of his Twitter account, he had an awesome visit – albeit a snow-filled one.
  • Grant Hammann – New name here for Notre Dame.  Quarterback from Iowa will be a preferred walkon for Notre Dame.  Hammann had some offers from the academies and Ivy League type schools, but decided to walkon at Notre Dame.   Watch his senior year highlights here.
Isaiah McKenzie - Notre Dame Recruiting Target
Team Nitro wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (9) runs with the ball during the second half at Tropicana Field. Team Highlight defeated the Team Nitro 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What to watch out for this week

  • Michael Sawyers – 4-star defensive tackle will be on campus to visit Notre Dame this coming weekend.  Even with the commitment of Mokuwah, Notre Dame is looking to add another defensive linemen to the class so Notre Dame will make a strong push this weekend.  Interestingly enough, Sawyers was at Ole Miss this past weekend along with Isaiah McKenzie and Terrence Alexander.   The two will see each other again this coming weekend at Notre Dame as well.
  • Daniel Cage – Was originally scheduled for a mid-week visit last week, but had to reschedule for this week.  As of now the plan is still for Cage to be on campus mid-week and then at Missouri over the weekend.  He visited Michigan State this past weekend and the Spartans are believed to be the team to beat here.
  • JuJu Smith – Smith visited USC this past weekend and all signs point to the Trojans winning this race.  Smith has repeatedly mentioned that his is still open and mentions Notre Dame as a finalist, but almost every recruiting expert is picking USC here.  Notre Dame pulling this one off would rank right up there with landing Manti Te’o on Signing Day 2009.
  • Michiah Quick  – Looks like its down to Notre Dame and Oklahoma here and Notre Dame may have a better shot than most thought not too long ago.
  • Isaiah McKenzie – The plan is still for McKenzie to visit Notre Dame this coming weekend after visiting Ole Miss this weekend and Florida the weekend before.  McKenzie will be on campus with 2014 quarterback commitment Deshone Kizer – something that should work in Notre Dame’s favor.  McKenzie will get a chance to meet with his potential quarterback for the next four years and Kizer is one of the better recruiters in the #GoldenArmy14.  Expect Kizer to put on a good pitch for the speedy wide receiver.
  • Terrence Alexander – Visited Ole Miss this weekend with McKenzie and Sawyers.  Notre Dame did a great job on his official visit to Notre Dame last weekend and look to be in good shape here although Ole Miss and Stanford both figure to be in it til the end.  Lots of positive momentum here for Notre Dame though.

How many spots are left?

Notre Dame went into last week with reportedly four open spots for the class of 2014.  With one addition and one subtraction, it looks like that’s still where we’re at right now.  It’ll be interesting to see if Notre Dame is able to use all four of those spots though.  With Texas coming in late for Kolin Hill that clouds one spot and of the remaining targets, none are really considered a lock for Notre Dame even though the Irish are in great position with a number of them.

In a perfect world, Notre Dame would land one of Daniel Cage or Michael Sawyers (1), Alexander (2), and then two of McKenzie, Smith, and Quick (3-4).  Things rarely work out perfectly in the world of recruiting though.  One thing is for certain though – it’s going to be a wild week and a half for Notre Dame recruiting.

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  1. Bob Davie, by special invitation of the Leak family was in Charlotte on letter-of-intent day and would up looking like the cat that swallowed the canary when Curtis Leak’s son CJ, older brother of Chris, grinned like Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat and donned the Wake Forest cap.

    So, El Lobo, Davie, the New Mexico coach will always have that to remember.

    From the recruiting/signing day archive!!

    Coming soon to a chamber of horrors near you: Lorenzo Booker and Nate Schiccatano!!

  2. Michael archangel ([patron saint of Poland} thanks for citing that 10 played this year. My guess is that if we close right, we will match that number of 10 in 2014.

  3. Notre Dame Total Offense Ranks with Brian Kelly Calling the Plays Year Total Offense Rank
    2012 44th
    2011 35th
    2010 56th

    why isnt swarbrick encouraging kelly to hire a great offensive coordinator instead of hustling a notre dame uniform/memorabilia deal? the guy ia a huckster, he needs to listen to lou’s speeches
    he need’s a soul

    1. Lou’s offenses were ranked #1 not only in college but in the NFL as well.
      His offenses scored on average 123 pts per game. There was only one punt during the Holtz era and that was because the scoreboard had reached its limit so no more scoring was allowed.

    2. If you really believe that he is not capable of running the O, you should really be calling for his head. Any head coach who is purely an administrator and could not be successful running any aspect of the game seems like a strange choice.

  4. kelly has produced no consistent offense in four years, we started with the hurry up offense,a joke, we had no consistent continuous game control run game, despite an immense offensive line, so we had to pass too many times until we loss game after game from rees interceptions, at least with golson we had another runner in the backfield, alabama players joked after the game that there was no adjustments from the nd offense or defense to what they did, kelly’s playback is inadequate, he did visit with some pros for his pistol offense but, the result has been failure

    1. Your darn right bj. There are stories of Lou and Ara taking the SAT for kids just so they could qualify. Whatever it takes was their motto.

      Notre Dame our Mother, pray for us!

      Ps where is the offense?

  5. Sounds like a lot of uncertainty in this class. ND has some tough spots to replace. The thing is how many of these potential players can or will be ready to play in their freshman season. ND is not known for playing freshman, so they would have to be really good to get on the field. I think ND needs to many things to go their way to make this a great class. Go IRISH!

    1. Uncertainty is increased when recruiters/ co-ordinators like Martin and Diaco leave. Ask ‘ Bama, Vandy Never know for a couple of years how special any class will be. But BK did play 10 Frosh last year; some became key contributors and, hopefully, this year’s batch takes notice. Filling the immediate needs for quality depth at DL and LB are key regarding this class’s value.
      The recruiting roller coaster these next ten days will hopefully be filled with pleasant surprises and no more defections.

  6. I think the top priority should be DL so they should accept however many of the DL’s that they’ve targeted. I’d like to see McKenzie commit for his PR potential. After that, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter.

  7. Iowa kid looks like a great athlete would never be confused with TRees when it comes to running and looks to have a great are even when rolling out to his left and throwing back to his right. May even be a possibility as a punt returner like Tommy Z was a few yrs ago. Always handy if a few injuries crop up among QB’s to have a 6’2 walk-on waiting in the wings and who does not even cost you a scholarship.

  8. Will all of the comings and goings inherent in the push toward Signing Day, this is an excellent overview of the remaining targets. I wonder if we are likely to lose any more currently committed players.

    1. That’s a key, to prevent any more last minute defections. A solid class as is; looking doubtful we get too many more (if any) of those remaining, especially the higher rated prospects we’re still pursuing. Charley Strong at Texas and Sark at $C will be tough to recruit against, especially in talent-rich Texas and Cal, now and especially in the future.
      Thanks, Frank, for this update.

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