On the gridiron this weekend’s showdown between Notre Dame and Michigan State has major implications for any chances Notre Dame has at making a playoff run in 2o16. Off the field this weekend has also major implications for Notre Dame’s chances to make future playoff runs with a banner recruiting weekend on tap for the program.
Notre Dame will have as many as nine official visitors who are currently not committed to Notre Dame for the class of 2017 on campus this weekend along with a host of elite unofficial visitors for the class of 2018 on hand as well. With the #8/12 Spartans in town, Notre Dame will have an opportunity to make a statement to both the playoff committee and the recruits who will be making the trip to watch the Irish battle the Spartans.
Here’s a run down of every recruit on tap to visit this weekend.
Note: official visit lists have a way of being fluid this time of year so make sure to check back on this post throughout the week for any additions/subtractions.
Notre Dame Recruiting Official Visitors 9/17
Notre Dame will have an elite group of 2017 recruits on campus for official visits this weekend. In addition to all of the prospects below that are currently not committed to Notre Dame, the Irish will have current commitments David Adams, Drew White, and Kurt Hinish from the class of 2017 and class of 2018 headliner Phil Jurkovec.
Shawn Wade – CB
One of the headliners of this weekend’s star-studded official visit list, Shawn Wade would certainly be a huge pick up for Notre Dame. Wade has been committed to Ohio State for almost two years, but he has several official visits lined up and this will be his second trip to Notre Dame since June. Wade is the exact type of commitment that if he were committed to Notre Dame every Irish fan would be sure he would be flipping any minute. Ironically, even in the reverse scenario Notre Dame fans are usually skeptical. Still, getting the elite corner on campus – especially given the current state of the Notre Dame secondary is a good sign for Notre Dame. Todd Lyght needs to make an impression and knock this one out of the park to give Notre Dame a puncher’s chance here. Paulson Addebo from Texas is the only cornerback currently in Notre Dame’s class of 2017.
Salvon Ahmed – CB
This will be the first visit to Notre Dame for Salvon Ahmed who Notre Dame is recruiting as a corner. The 247 Crystal Bal is currently pointing 100% to Washington for the top 100 recruit, but that is without Ahemed ever stepping foot on campus. Notre Dame has an uphill battle here though. Ahmed is scheduled to announce his college decision next week and has his only other official visit – a trip to Washington – lined up for next week just few days after announcing.
Jacob Phillips – ILB
Four star inside linebacker Jacob Phillips visiting Oklahoma – the current Crystal Ball leader – last weekend for Oklahoma’s tune up over Louisiana Monroe. Notre Dame will be his second official visit this weekend. Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Mike Elston is listed as Phillips official recruiter and will need to knock this one out of the park to get Phillips out of the South. Alabama likely posses the biggest challenge to the Irish and Phillips will visit the Crimson Tide next weekend. A big Notre Dame win and a strong performance from Notre Dame’s linebackers who are trending up will be vital to landing Phillips.
Notre Dame already has commitments from inside linebackers Drew White and David Adams in the class of 2017.
Hezekiah Jones – WR
Hezekiah Jones committed to Texas A&M over the summer but will still make the visit to South Bend this weekend for an official visit. The 4-star wide receiver is an UNder Armour All-American and would be a welcomed addition to a wide receiving corps that already includes Jordan Pouncey and Michael Young. Jones visited Notre Dame once before for the Blue-Gold game so this isn’t just a sightseeing trip. Still, it would be a pretty big upset here for Notre Dame is they were able to flip him Jones and pull him out of Texas.
Thomas Graham – CB
Thomas Graham was at one time committed to USC, but now it looks like this could be a Notre Dame and UCLA race for the 4-star cornerback. Working in Notre Dame’s favor here is Graham’s friendship with Notre Dame wide receiver CJ Sanders. Maybe seeing his friend have a big impact for the Irish will start to swing this one in Notre Dame’s favor. Graham visited Nebraska two weeks ago and has another visit on tap in two weeks to Oregon.
Aaron Banks – OT
Notre Dame will be the second official visit for Aaron Banks. The 4-star OL visited Oregon last weekend as well. Notre Dame already has three offensive linemen in the class of 2017 but would like to add a fourth and Banks would be a great compliment to Josh Lugg, Dillan Gibbons, and Robert Hainsey. This will be the second trip to Notre Dame for Banks as well after he unofficially visited campus over the summer. USC is listed as the favorite here, but the Irish have a good chance here – especially with the recruiting prowess of Harry Hiestand. Banks wants to be an early enrollee wherever he goes so this one won’t play out too long.
Donovan Jeter is literally one of the biggest targets on campus this weekend and if the 100% prediction to Pitt is scaring you, it should. The Panthers are considered the favorites here and that didn’t change any after Jeter visited Pitt for their big win over Penn State last weekend. Defensive tackle is always a need for Notre Dame and they are always a struggle to land for the Irish so expect Mike Elston and company to pull out all the stops once he is on campus. Jeter is also scheduled to visit Michigan on October 1 and is expected to announce his decision later in the month. He saw a big win for the school he was visiting last weekend, hopefully the same happens this weekend.
Jeremiah Holloman – WR
A one time Michigan commitment, Jeremiah Holloman is one of the more intriguing recruits on campus this week. Holloman is built much bigger than the other wide receivers in this year’s class – Pouncey and Young – and would bolster the Notre Dame wide receiving corps big time. Holloman was on hand to watch Georgia struggle against mighty Nichols State last weekend so hopefully he’ll be treated to a strong showing from the Notre Dame passing attack this weekend. As always with recruits out of Georgia, it will be tough to pry him out of the South. Hopefully the Irish staff has Isaac Rochell, a fellow Georgia native, show Holloman around this weekend.
Jaiden Cole – S
Jaiden Cole is one of the more recent offers for Notre Dame with the Irish offering the Louisiana native over the summer. The offer threw Notre Dame right into the thick of Cole’s recruitment but Arkansas is still considered the favorite currently. Notre Dame is recruiting the athlete as a safety but he also plays offense as a wildcat quarterback.