Notre Dame Recruiting: Final Signing Day Predictions

The Notre Dame recruiting class currently sits at 21 signed players, with room for 4-5 more, and Brian Kelly looks for a good close on Wednesday, the culmination of the 2018 recruiting cycle. Barring a shut out on Wednesday, it’s likely coach Kelly will look back on the efforts of the recruiting staff as a success. They are currently 9th nationally in the team rankings, with five consensus top 100 players, with another two ranked in the top 50 by at least one of the major services. He’s brought in elite talent in the secondary, wide receiver, defensive line, and quarterback. By most measures, this is a good haul.

But, there is reason to believe the Irish will add three more, plus a good shot at four or five, including one big fish. Let’s go through the particulars here and I’ll make predictions for each.

C’Bo Flemister, Running Back

Zebulon, Georgia, .8382 composite rating, three star

Currently committed to Georgia Tech, but that is not going to stick. Notre Dame hosted him on a visit last weekend and received glowing praise from Flemister in the aftermath. A big need in the class following the dismissals of CJ Holmes and Deon McIntosh and Notre Dame has made him a priority. A big hint where Flemister is leaning is his hosting of the Irish coaches for an in-home visit, while Tennessee and Georgia Tech–the two closest pursuers–decided not to send their coaches in-home. It appears the writing is on the wall.

Prediction: Notre Dame

Derrick Eason, Defensive End

Norfolk, Virginia, .8464 composite, three star

Currently committed to NC State, but like Flemister, it doesn’t appear that is going to stick. He recently visited the Irish and came away with strong feelings towards the school in South Bend. A recent offer, Eason would be another body along the defensive line, similar in stature to Justin Ademilola the defensive end/defensive tackle commit from New Jersey (and the twin of Jayson). As of this moment, he looks to be Irish in a few days.

Predicition: Notre Dame

Noah Boykin, Cornerback

Washington, D.C., .8916, three star

Notre Dame was so confident in Boykin eventually joining the class, in December they told another player on this list, DJ Brown, they were full and not to bother visiting. However, things have changed with Boykin and Notre Dame. He started to look at Florida more seriously in the new year, and Notre Dame has gotten back into it with DJ Brown. It had gotten to the point where Boykin to Florida seemed like a lock, but there have been reports Notre Dame is still communicating with Boykin and aren’t completely out of it. Boykin could do an about face in the final week, but I don’t see it.

Prediction: Florida

Lawrence Keys III, Wide Receiver

New Orleans, Louisiana, .9026, four star

What once looked like a formality has turned into a horse race. Following his official visit to Notre Dame a couple weeks ago, Keys looked all set to join the 2018 class. The talk around Keys was always his decision to wait till signing day, with the concern being he wouldn’t have a scholarship if he waited too long. It’s always been odd, he’s the only player I’ve heard this being a concern for, with a number of players also announcing on the 7th. Keys has since taken a visit to Texas, who apparently made a big impression, and now the Longhorns are said to be tied with Notre Dame. Most still think Keys ends up with Notre Dame, but when a formality lingers and lingers for this long, it makes me think the trigger for Notre Dame will never be pulled.

Prediction: Texas

DJ Brown, Cornerback

Washington, D.C., .8802, three star

Once committed to Virginia, he de-committed following his visit to Notre Dame a couple weeks ago, and looks prime to join the Irish on Wednesday. He was certainly patient; even after being told they were full in December, Brown hung in there with Notre Dame when they came calling again in January. He quickly scheduled a visit, enjoyed himself and every crystal ball prediction on 247 has him ending up with the Irish. Notre Dame needed numbers and talent at corner after striking out last year, and it looks like they are going to get it.

Prediction: Notre Dame

Jarrett Patterson, Offensive Line

Mission Viejo, California, .8912, three star

A recent offer who was up for a visit in the last couple of weeks, but not sure it’s going to be enough to get Patterson out of the west coast. UCLA is hot on his heels, and while Patterson recently eliminated Michigan from consideration (let’s give a golf clap for that), Notre Dame may not have had enough to time to get Patterson all the way comfortable with a move to South Bend.

Prediction: UCLA

Solomon Tuliaupupu, Linebacker

Santa Ana, California, .9582, four star

This one was easier to take when it was just a pipe dream, but it got really interesting in the last week with multiple reports Notre Dame was making a big move for the Mater Dei star. Hopes got high. But, his recent official visit to USC seems to have locked him up for the home town team. Not for the lack of trying, but this one was always going to be a tough pull.

Prediction: USC

Nicholas Petit-Frere, Offensive Tackle

Tampa, Florida, .9963, five star

To quote Anchorman, “this is a big one.” There aren’t many recruits in recent memory who have kept things as close to the vest as Petit-Frere has this cycle. There are never any updates, no one knows how he feels, the only thing we know is who is involved and that he’s deciding February 7th at 10 am eastern time. The final three seem to be Florida, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, with Alabama recently being eliminated according to some. Tom Loy of 247 sports recently said academics were extremely important to him and his family, “maybe even more so than the football.” If that is the case, you’d think Notre Dame has a big edge here, given the other schools in hot pursuit. But, the Irish have also recently lost Harry Hiestand and it’s unclear how much of an impact that will have on the ultimate decision. I have very little confidence in saying I think Kelly and co. pull this off. If he is who reporters say he is as far as what is really important to him, I think Notre Dame will push the buttons they need to make this happen.

Prediction: Notre Dame

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  1. Nelson to the 49’ers, McGlinchey to my Vikings ( four Domers) here in Minne, how does that sound in the first round.

  2. My biggest concern with ND recruiting is the relative lack of top 50 talent. We’ve had solid recruiting classes the past few years—but we can’t seem to land the type of talent that could take us from the top 10 to the top 4.

    I’m not complaining. Having a ton of 4 stars to develop is a good position to be in. But it feels like we need more Jaylons and Mantis to get us over the hump.

    1. Agreed, Keith.

      Unless you have superior coaching, which ND doesn’t, it’s hard to win with a roster full of three star recruits.

      ND has proven under BK that even with top 10 recruiting classes it’s not enough to compete with the best of the best.

      How many big-time bowl games against truly elite teams (not LSU) has ND won? How many PO appearances has ND had? NCs?

  3. At least ND can still beat out Virginia and GA Tech for recruits.
    Playing hardball with the 4 star from LA seems to make a lot of sense as well.

  4. Luke Jones the Arkansas Guard, is commitment #22 and said he will sign Wednesday.

    Now to the FAKE NEWS:

    It is blasphemous to cheapen greatness by declaring Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time

    He has lost Three Super Bowls, and but for a Pete Carroll Brain Cramp would have lost a fourth. THAT is his legacy.
    Brady is in the discussion for most Super Bowl losses. You know who is not?

    Joe Montana.

    Never lost a Super Bowl.
    Not one single loss.

    Truth should matter for something. So should facts.

    Montana, then Bradshaw.

    Ignore the hype.

    1. Hi Bob: I am not a Brady fan. I think you can make the case that he is the most successful quarterback in history but he is not the best. I reserve that position for Joe Montana.

      Notwithstanding those remarks (and I cannot believe i am actually going to say this – because I can’t stand Tom Brady) I cannot blame Brady for the Super Bowl loss. He did his part. If you can score 33 points against a team you should win 99% of the time.

      What was different this time is that the opposition had an answer for every Brady score whereas, for example, the Falcons could not do it last year. Nick Foles took a page from the Brady playbook and used it against him.

      Brad Sinclair

      1. Brad, I frankly find the quarterbackcentric fulcrum of ESPN’s debates absurd. It involves at least 21 other players,. not counting special teams.

        But in recent years it has been organizations, rather than players, who win championships.

        Well-oiled together, unhysterical organizations win championships.

        In the last 17 years, 13 of the championships were won by New England, Baltimore, New York Giants, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
        These are stable organizations.

        Goofball organizations like Dallas, San Diego, Washington and Oakland don’t even sniff the Super Bowl.

        But you can’t sell products and run stupid ESPN polls based on organizations.

        It’s a team game. Quarterbacks aren’t playing solitaire.

        I don’t care much for Belichick but they are astoundingly cold blooded and they initiated the effective, but not fan friendly
        technique of dumping aging superstars who are nearing the end of their prime. They did it with Lawyer Milloy and Ty Law and have been
        doing it ever since. the Patriots are cold-blooded, but that is effective. Their acquisition of James Harrison
        from the Steelers is further evidence. Had they played the Steelers, Harrison would have had a few things to say before the Patriots victory.

        I concede that it works.

        I do not have to enjoy it.

    2. You know what that means…Montana has lost more playoff games…Brady has been more successful than Joe in getting to the SB. This is the same kinda of talk when people say MJ is better than LeBron cause he’s 6-0 in the Finals…yea but he’s lost more playoff games and didn’t even get there. This is an atrocious comparison. Joe has 4 rings Brady has 5. I’m not a fan of Brady but the fact is 5 is more than 4. Brady going to 8 means he won a whole lot more than Joe did in the Playoffs. So if you want to use that rationale….You have to consider the losses Joe took and didn’t go the SB as being worse. Facts are Brady has 27 playoff wins to Joe’s 16. Brady will probably have 30+ wins in the next couple yrs and no is even close. Again…Not a Pats fan at all but there’s no reason to say it’s hype to call Brady the best.

      1. Karamelllo,

        Don’t listen to these biased dudes on Montana. I’m as big of an ND fan as you get but I know who the greatest ever is and it is Brady by far. Sorry but would you rather have little Edelmans and Amendollas to throw to or Rices and Taylors? The fact that Brady has done this with constant change in his offensive players is pretty unbelievable and other than Gronk and Moss, who else was a flat out stud WR he has thrown to?

        Your points of how many more playoff wins and getting there makes a whole lot of sense too. It’s tough enough to win a SB but to double the amount of times Montana has been there is impressive in itself. I’m actually disappointed in Duranko as he is typically spot on with most of his analysis but this is just a bad, biased one that can’t be proven by facts. I’d take Brady over Montana any time.

      2. In his 6 championship seasons, MJ’s Bulls only had to go to the final game in any playoff round once, vs. Indiana, and never went to seven games in their six finals. Not once. What other team can claim that? So that he lost more playoff games than Lebron is inaccurate.It’s very sketchy to compare players from different eras. Lebron is a great player. But if winning championships are the litmus test, winning 6 in 7 years will be something Lebron will never do.
        “Who’s the best” is a futile argument. Can we reach a consensus that be it Brady or Montana, Lebron or Michael, any can be ascertained as great and leave it alone. My guy is better than your guy is often a senseless dialogue where cherry-picked stats are used to support ones argument. Individuals affect winning, but in team sports, teams, not individuals, are crowned champions.

      3. I gotta go with MTA– on saying it’s the team that wins championships. Jordan , Magic and Bird were outstanding as solo artists — but they were team players–hense the numerous titles.

    3. If Montana had been to 8, we could compare. Unfortunately, Montana was only good enough to play in 4. So we’ll always have to wonder how Montana would have done if he’d only been good enough to get there that many times.

  5. Hope you are correct, even on a few of them. Looks like the Irish have a load of Championship type talent coming in.

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