Critical Notre Dame Recruiting 2020 Visit Weekend Underway

Notre Dame has had a great start to their recruiting class for the class of 2020 thus far, but the Irish still have a lot of work to do.  Some of that work has to be done this weekend with a big official visit weekend taking place right now.  Notre Dame hosts four official visitors this weekend for the class of 2020 – all of whom would be big time additions for the Irish should they commit.  Here’s a rundown of who all will be in town this weekend.

AJ Henning (WR)

Notre Dame has already locked up recently minted 5-star wide receiver Jordan Johnson earlier this year, but they are not done at wide receiver for 2020 by any means.  Henning sitts near the top of Notre Dame’s priority list along with the likes of Jalen McMillan and Xavier Watts.  Notre Dame was believed to be the favorite for Henning a few months ago, but Michigan has been trending up recently which means Notre Dame has some catch up work to do this weekend.

Henning, a top 100 overall recruit, is looking to make a decision later this summer and Notre Dame would love to add him to go along with Johnson.  He will visit Michigan in two weeks so the Wolverines will get the last word here.  The Wolverines will likely try to sell Henning on being their headliner similar to Johnson for Notre Dame.  The Irish on the other hand will try to sell him on how they will pair him with Johnson to form one of the most formidable one-two combos at receiver in the country.

Lathan Ransom (S)

If there is one area of concern for Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts at this point in time, it’s in the secondary where the Irish do not currently have a commitment and appear to be trending downward with some of their top targets – Ransom included.  Notre Dame faces some stiff competition for Ransom with Ohio State, Texas, LSU, and Oklahoma firmly in this race as well.  Like Henning, Ransom is hoping to make a decision this summer as well.

Notre Dame needs to knock this visit out of the park in order to have a chance.  Ransom visits Ohio State and Texas the next two weekends and Notre Dame needs to add some talent on the backend of the defense in this cycle even though they have added some unprecedented talent at safety the last two recruiting cycles.

Clarence Lewis (CB)

Cornerback is an even bigger concern than safety for the class of 2020 right now because the Irish have added more elite talent at safety the last few years.  Top cornerback prospect Clark Phillips also appears to be trending towards Ohio State at the moment making this weekend’s visit from Clarence Lewis all the more important for Notre Dame.

Lewis doesn’t have the profile of Phillips nor the offer list.  Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, and Virginia Tech are among the top contenders for Lewis who is being recruited as a wide receiver by some.  Notre Dame, however, sees him as a cornerback and really likes his long term upside at the position.  Unlike Phillips, Lewis might not be an immediate contributor type of recruit, but long term, Lewis has great potential at corner.

The pressure will be on Todd Lyght soon as more cornerbacks drop off of Notre Dame’s recruiting board for 2020.  Making an impression with Lewis this weekend will be key for Lyght and the Irish staff.

Mitchell Melton (DE)

Once Notre Dame lost out on Braeden McGregor, their attention at defensive end turned solely on DROP end Mitchell Melton even though the two play different positions.  McGregor being a strongside end while Melton is a pure DROP end.

It could be argued that Melton fills a bigger need for Notre Dame than McGregor would have even though McGregor is the much higher rated prospect and is likely to be a more productive collegiate player over.  He would do so because Notre Dame has recruited the strongside better than than they have the DROP the last few cycles.  Jordan Bothello projects as a DROP for Notre Dame even though some services have him listed as an OLB just like Melton, but Notre Dame could very much use a 2nd DROP in this class.  Melton would be a great one to add.

Right now this looks like a Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State battle.  Notre Dame looks like they are trending upward here, but there is still a lot of work to be done by Mike Elston and Clark Lea.  Elston’s been on fire the last two years.  Hopefully he can work some magic this weekend.

If Notre Dame misses on Melton, they could just shut down defensive line recruiting and be perfectly content with the impressive group they already have in the fold.

Unofficial 2020 Visitors in Town this Weekend Too

Caleb Offord (CB) – Offord is another raw cornerback with upside that Notre Dame has offered recently.  The Mississippi prospect does not have an overly impressive offer list at the moment, but his recruitment is one that looks about to start heating up.

Jordan Addison (WR/CB) – Another prospect listed by some services as a wide receiver who Notre Dame is recruiting as a defensive back.  The Irish just offered Addison a few weeks ago, but this will not be the first time he has seen Notre Dame unofficially – he visited back in April as well.   Addison’s recruiting is also just starting to heat up a bit with Syracuse getting in the mix this week by officially offering as well.

Notre Dame has ground to make up this weekend, and this weekend’s visits will go a long way in determining where Notre Dame’s class ends up netting out this year.  Hopefully they’re able to do just that.

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