Notre Dame Recruiting: Previewing The First of Three Big June Visits Weekend

If you are at the very least a casual observer of Notre Dame recruiting, you’ve heard a great deal about the huge month of June that is brewing for the 2022 Notre Dame recruiting class. The dead period was lifted June 1st and with that the staff got busy scheduling official visits in anticipation. My latest count has the Irish at 38 official visitors over the next three weeks and depending on who you listen to and what kind of mood they are in, the expectation is there could be 6-10 commitments on the way.

Given the enormity of the month and all the things that can happen, I’ll be previewing each of the next three weekends, who is coming, and what the temperature is on those recruitments.

Defensive Tackle, Anthony Lucas

  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Four star, composite #83 overall, #14 defensive linemen .9637
  • Offers: Texas A&M, Alabama, Oregon, Miami

Perhaps the biggest fish remaining on the defensive board, amongst some other very big fish. Plays a premiere position on the inside, tremendous offer list and just received a ratings bump. Lucas is coming off of a visit to Texas A&M, and could also visit Miami, Oregon, and Alabama in short order. Lucas is the type of player Notre Dame is usually up against in the biggest matchups, seems like a guy who would start two years at Bama and get drafted 17th or something.

Things have been up and down with Lucas over the past few months, but the current vibe is Notre Dame is in a good place with him. He could take more visits, he could also commit shortly after his visit. It’s one of those situations where if he wants to pull the trigger, he’ll go ahead and do so.

Wide Receiver, Tobias Merriweather

  • Camas, Washington
  • Four star, composite #125 overall, #18 wide receiver, .9491
  • Offers: Stanford, Tennessee, USC, UCLA

The 6-4, 185 pound receiver just finished his spring track season pulling off the rare triple at his championships, winning all three sprint events. Not bad for such a tall player not known for his long speed. Merriweather is considered by many to be the best receiver on the Notre Dame board and based on public reporting the Irish may currently be the favorite. The big mystery is his timeline. It was originally the case that he was going to announce during the winter, following his senior season, but there is some belief that he could commit sometime this summer. The vibe is an earlier commitment would be good news for the Irish, as again the perception is Notre Dame is in a good spot at the moment.

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Linebacker, Niuafe Tuihalamaka

  • Mission Hills, California
  • Four star, #108 nationally, #11 linebacker, .9545
  • Offers: Texas, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford

Tuihalamaka is a former USC commit and the main competition at the moment appears to be coming from Texas, where he visited last weekend. This is one that is officially on commitment watch. The public reporting on him has the tinge of even a silent commitment, and most are confident Notre Dame is his leader. I believe he is due to commit June 18th and if he sticks to that the Irish could be in very good shape.

Running Back, Dallan Hayden

  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Four star, composite #237 overall, #24 running back, .9122
  • Offers: Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois

This one is generally considered a Notre Dame/Ohio State battle, although Hayden’s father played running back at Tennessee and I believe his brother plays at Illinois. Hayden took a self guided tour earlier in the spring and the reporting on that was solid for Notre Dame, but then the trends turned towards the Buckeyes soon thereafter. It’s likely Notre Dame needs the visit to make a big difference for Hayden, but they have a punchers chance with their campus finally a recruiting tool for them.

Cornerback, Benjamin Morrison

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Four star, composite #314 overall, #31 cornerback, .8958
  • Offers: Washington, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan

This is a player whose ranking does not match up with his offer list as Alabama, Auburn, and Penn State all jumped on board very recently. All three will be trying to get Morrison on official visits, but things reportedly look very good between the Arizona product and the Irish. Another commit watch situation soon after the visit, although the recent Alabama offer has the potential to slow things down.

Offensive Lineman, Billy Schrauth

  • Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Four star, composite #159 overall #7 IOL, .9365
  • Offers: Wisconsin, Ohio State, Auburn

The Crystal Ball has long been pointing towards Notre Dame for the Wisconsin native. Even though the Irish have not recruited well out of Wisconsin in recent years, there has been optimism for some time now that the Irish are in the lead here and some feel that he is on commit watch this weekend. He visited home state Wisconsin last weekend and now has Ohio State scheduled next weekend (he was originally going to be at Notre Dame next weekend, but moved his visit up). Schrauth is one of three highly-rated offensive line from Wisconsin that Notre Dame is heavily pursuing.

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Offensive lineman, Jake Taylor

  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Four star, composite #289 overall, #29 OT, .9001
  • Offers: Oklahoma, Alabama

The three major players for Taylor are Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Alabama. Pretty good programs! There are four crystal ball picks in for Taylor, with all of them tabbing Oklahoma, but the conventional wisdom is Taylor getting on the Irish campus could change everything. Taylor visited Alabama last weekend, hits Notre Dame this weekend, and will head to Oklahoma next weekend. That will pretty much tell the tale for the Bishop Gorman product.

Cornerback, Devin Moore

  • Naples, Florida
  • Three star, composite #475 overall, .8789
  • Offers: Miami, Alabama, Florida, Cincinnati

Again, look at the offer list here. The 6-2, 175 pound defensive back is listed as a safety, but Notre Dame wants him at corner. The Cincinnati offer is significant because it came while Marcus Freeman was still DC there, so that relationship is pretty far along. The vibe was really strong before the Florida schools + Alabama started making their push, now things are a little more unclear. It feels like the longer the Florida product stays uncommitted, the further away from Notre Dame he gets. They’ll try to lock him up soon.

Safety, Jake Pope

  • Buford, Georgia
  • Three star, #379 overall, #25 safety, .8889
  • Offers: Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio State

Pope has never actually felt to be trending toward Notre Dame, but then he hasn’t fallen completely away like some other players have. That is still the case and the only crystal ball has him attending North Carolina. Things can change quickly after a visit though, and since Notre Dame is in a few safeties, if things do change for Pope he’ll want to move quickly. That’s not something I would expect though.

Overall

Players I feel good about/are on commit watch: Tuihalamaka, Morrison

Players I’m cautiously optimistic about: Lucas, Merriweather, Schrauth

Players I don’t have a good feel for: Taylor, Hayden, Moore

Player I don’t feel great about: Pope

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