Notre Dame Adds Elite DB Houston Griffith to Recruiting Class

Notre Dame’s recruiting steam continued in full swing on Tuesday when Notre Dame added another elite defensive back to its 2018 recruiting class in the form of 4-star corner Houston Griffith.  The one time Florida State commit selected Notre Dame over the Seminoles and Wisconsin and plans to sign in eight days and enroll early next month.

Notre Dame’s cornerback recruiting looked pretty grim a month ago, but oh my have things changed in a hurry for Notre Dame.  Up until Sunday Notre Dame had just one commitment at corner in the form of developmental prospect Joe Wilkins with corner being a major position of need.  In the last 48 hours, Notre Dame has landed a pair of potential elite corners in Griffith and Tariq Bracy who committed to Notre Dame on Sunday evening.

Like Bracy, Houston Griffith brings a lot of versatility to the Notre Dame roster – just in a different way.  Bracy is an all purpose player who could play receiver or running back and help out in the return game all while also being a potential shutdown corner – the position Notre Dame recruited him for.  Griffith on the other hand brings a lot of defensive versatility.

Houston Griffith can play any of the four defensive back positions in the Notre Dame secondary though he is ranked as a consensus 4-star cornerback by every recruiting service.  247Sports has Griffith as the #63 overall recruit in their composite rankings and 11th ranked corner.

Griffith spent his senior season at IMG Academy but he is originally a native of the Chicago area so he is very familiar with Notre Dame.  That familiarity, however, was not enough to win him over originally.  Notre Dame’s defensive struggles the past few seasons opened the door for other programs and they pounced.  Florida State was able to secure a commitment from Griffith in October before their coaching turnover and Notre Dame’s defensive resurgence got Notre Dame back in the race.

With Griffith now in the class, Notre Dame has five commitments in the secondary with Griffith joining 4-star safety Derrik Allen as two of the crown jewels of the defensive class.  Notre Dame also has Paul Moala at safety and Bracy and Wilkins at corner.  Even with five defensive backs committed though, look for Notre Dame to still be active on the recruiting front in the secondary.  Both Kyler Gordon and Noah Boykin are 4-star corners that Notre Dame is actively recruiting and would love to add.

Notre Dame entered the 2018 recruiting cycle with the secondary being a major area of concern and they have been doing a heck of a job filling their needs.  With Griffith, Notre Dame just added a versatile and elite prospect who can help at a few different positions.  He could play corner or potentially team with Derrik Allen to give Notre Dame its most highly rated safety duo in a long, long time.  He also has the cover skills to play either corner position or in the slot.

In short, don’t be surprised to see Houston Griffith on the field for Notre Dame as early as next fall – especially since Griffith is an early enrollee and will take part in spring practice for Notre Dame.

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  1. It certainly couldn’t hurt to have another former Friar ( ESB, Nicklas) in the lineup oh, and Beurilein and the lineman started with V. I’m sure His Dad ( former Ram) taught Him a thing or two.

  2. Yikes, it appears that the Irish defensive staff has a shot at BOTH Kyler Gordon and Julius Irvin. Conceded, there is many a slip twixt’ cup and lip.

    But IF those two enlist, the Irish secondary will be in GREAT shape for the next four years. When recruiting season is on, we tend to look at players’ heights and weights as the final numbers. But teenagers grow (check your grocery bills) and it is not beyond the pale that once they get into Notre Dame’s strength training and diet program that either or both of Shayne Simon or Derrick Allen could zoom right through rover and grown into linebackers.

    Southside has expressed his predilection for an outstanding defense, a bias I share, so, Southside, stay tuned! And note that Griffith spent some early time with that Caravan from Mount Carmel.

  3. Frank , why is the secondary “of major concern” going into the 2018 season ? I thought the sophs (2016 recruits) did a commendable job under Elko’s first helm as DC. Entering 2018 as juniors under Elko—I would expect even better results from Love , Studstill , Vaughn , Elliot , Perry , Pride. What about Isiah Robertson and Jordon Genmark Heath from the 2017 class — are they still around ? –And is Nick Coleman , Shaun Crawford returning as seniors? It’s great to see new recruits like Houston Griffith , Derrick Allen committed and hopefully get action in 2018. But , Irish have quite a stable of talent in secondary returning.

    1. Southside,
      I agree with you…the guys who played this year did a pretty good job overall. Nonetheless, in Coach Elko’s defense there is plenty of work to go around in the secondary, especially if Tillery returns and helps jam up the running game, which forces teams to pass more than they’d like to. Of course if Tillery goes pro someone might step up and do the job just as well, but imagine if he returns. He could be dominant (like Zorich and Alm were ((God rest his soul)).

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. Well, the soph class are juniors next year.

        The IDEAL way to develop players is to redshirt them as frosh.
        Have them play special teams, a lot of garbage time and some backup and special package minutes as redshirt frosh and then be on the two deep in their third year, as redshirt sophs.

        Can you imagine what this secondary depth chart would be like now if Love, Pride, Vaughn, Elliott and Studstill had al
        l redshirted???????

        I think if they get a sixth (Irvin/Gordon/Boykin) that half of the DB class will redshirt. And that puts them on track for the ideal player development schedule.

    1. Let’s hope he can develop like a Nyles Morgan or a McGlinchey or a Nelson or a Coney!!!!!! Mr Steel Fan focus on all the great stories and not one or two exceptions. I applaud ND for being different and upholding a higher standard!!!! Education first has always been the motto unlike your beloved Penn State brethren??? where football seems to come first. I have hope for you my friend and really think we can turn that frown upside down when it comes to ND!!!!!!!!! GO IRISH!!!

    2. Tough schedule next year so next year is done. 2019? 2020?
      Really good recruiting classes talked about each year and the. The recap two and three years later why they weren’t really as good as originally projected.
      When will Notre Dame do why Notre Dame did before 1994 and over achieve?

      SFR, you and I have seen this before. My condolences on the next couple of seasons.

  4. Read somewhere that his commitment puts ND at 87 scholarships, 2 over the limit with the potential to add 3-5 more?

    I wonder if they know something we don’t. Guys like ESB, Coney, Tillery all making the jump to the NFL.

    1. Excellent point Brad!!! I would normally be ?. However, I have noticed under Kelly that he anticipates transfers and other situations. Thus, he goes over lately on the number. I do not see ESB going to the NFL or Tillery just yet. Coney makes me a little nervous. His decision is a bit of a “Shiver Me Timbers” moment for me ???. It would be a big loss but as Kelly says we need to focus on becoming a get the NEXT GUY IN type of program. As my Pappy said about ND in the past, great college football programs are not built around one player. It is a TEAM Game!!!! Go IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. You sure about St. Brown? An interview his father gave last week:

        In addition, John Brown shared some thoughts on Equanimous and whether or not he’ll return to South Bend to suit up with the Fighting Irish next season or head to the National Football League. Brown says that “EQ” hasn’t made up his mind yet and is considering both options. However, Brown would like to see his son take the next step and head to the league.

        “I do,” said John Brown, when asked if he believes his oldest son should leave for the NFL. “Look, if DeShone Kizer was there, he would have had a better year this year and it would have been an even better reason to leave early. Since he’s not there, and all I know is Wimbush, I just know it’s a lot like when he was in high school. Those coaches said it would get better and it didn’t. I don’t want things to get worse or not get better at Notre Dame. It’s difficult and dangerous and it’s a work in process, but the risk outweighs the reward, in terms of coming back. It’s completely up to him though. Seriously. I’m not Lavar Ball. I’m not going to make my kids do anything. I just think it’s wiser to come out now. He’ll test well, they’ll look at his body of work, he’ll be alright. There are no guarantees he goes first round if he stays or if he comes out. The numbers could stay the same next year and then it would be two years of bad numbers instead of one.

    2. I think there is some wiggle room with 5th year options (though the guys who look like they’re coming back seem like they’ll be contributors). I could also see a few players retiring for medical reasons–Elijah Taylor, and possibly some of the other big guys on defense who’ve been passed on the depth chart and have had trouble staying healthy.

      I don’t think it was an accident that we had two recruits decommit from crowded positions about the same week we picked up two commitments at positions of need. I don’t know that Notre Dame would go to the lengths to “encourage” transfers and medical retirements that a certain SEC team does, but if they have a shot at an elite recruit who can fill a hole I imagine they’ll make space. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more “mutual partings of way.”

  5. This class has been, and is being, selected to fit the Elko mold. This defense will, in the future be better, and guys like Griffith and Allen are what Elko calls “space eaters” designed to collapse openings in the spread era. And Notre Dame remains in play for 2019 star safeties Brian Willaims and Litchfield Ajavon, though there are miles to go……

    The key for 2018’s defense will be the return of Tillery and Coney. Each would anchor their DT and LB areas. Without them, it is arguable that the 2018 defense would backslide a good bit.

    For 2018 the depth charts at DE, CB and safety, with the addition of Alohi Gilman, should be outstanding. The issues are LB and DT.

    Elko, Lea, Lyght and Elston are dialed in, and with Polian’s help that is as strong a recruiting cadre on defense as we have had post-Leahy.

    The defensive future is bright.

      1. Actually, there used to be a huge file of Friday Chemistry quizzes in one of the residence halls…but that famous Chem Prof retired. Still, there was a Chemistry “forum” if you knew where to look!!!

    1. Mr G. You hit the nail on the head!!! We need some Moxie!!!! Some good old fashion ND SPIRIT!!!! And this kid has it!!!!! I love the pick up ???

  6. things r turning around for the IRISH! Just like on the field the IRISH have made giant strides in recruiting!! with still a few targets on the board this looks like the beginning of a new era for the IRISH!!!!

  7. Wowski!!!!! This is great news ???. Celebration my ND Brethren!!!!!!!!!! Frank V called this a possible great development and not to be confused with skeptical fan Steel Fan Rob , who seems very angry (possible Penn State or UGA Convert Fan) and anti YOGA. ???? Not sure on that with his religion connection We are on our way to a great SEASON!!!!! GO IRISH!!!

    1. As long as this idiot is coach, it will not matter who we bring in. Possibly the worst motivator and late game coach in ND history and that includes Ty and Kuharich.

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