Notre Dame desperately wants to add a pass rusher to this year’s class and their last chance to do so could be Jalen Harris. The Arizona native and Wildcat commitment visited South Bend this weekend and the Notre Dame coaching staff gave him plenty to think about. According to Irish Sports Daily, we could know today if Notre Dame did enough to flip him.
Harris was one of the first of the late round offers to go out the door earlier this month and has been a priority recruit for Notre Dame ever since. Notre Dame has been trying to add a legit pass rusher to this class since Robert Beal decommitted back in February. Notre Dame lost another highly touted defensive end in October as well when Donovan Jeter decommitted even though Jeter was more of a strongside defensive end and not necessarily an edge rusher.
Jalen Harris on the other other hand could be that edge rusher. He is still lean and lanky for a prep defensive end, but he has plenty of room to fill out and could very well develop into a hell of a pass rushing threat for Notre Dame. Just watch his senior highlights.
Since being named defensive coordinator for Notre Dame in January, Mike Elko has made Harris a priority and has Notre Dame in position to potentially pull off one of the more surprising flips in recent Notre Dame recruiting memory. Sean Harris, Jalen’s father, not only went to Arizona, but played for the Wildcats before having a successful career in the NFL. Even with those ties to Arizona, the younger Harris is considering the last minute flip to Notre Dame.
Working in Notre Dame’s favor here is the fact that his entire family joined him on his trip to Notre Dame. It normally bodes well for Notre Dame when the entire family makes the trip. On that trip, the Notre Dame coaches reportedly did a great job on selling Harris not only on how he would fit into Elko’s scheme, but how he would fit into campus. His mother even tweeted this during the visit which had Notre Dame fans in a tizzy.
— Cha-Ron (@Cha33Cha) January 29, 2017
If Notre Dame pulls this one off, the staff deserves some credit here – mainly the new assistants who have been working relentlessly on Harris and other prospects over the last few weeks.
If Harris decides to stick with his commitment to Arizona, Notre Dame’s only other option at defensive end is Washingston DC area Kofi Wardlow. Wardlow visited Notre Dame last weekend and Virginia Tech this past weekend, but confidence has not been too high on Notre Dame’s chances here. To date Wardlow has not decommited from Maryland or reaffirmed that commitment following several other visits.
Much like with Jordan Genmark Heath, Harris has become one of those recruits that I have grown to think could be a vital addition for Notre Dame. His tall, lanky frame conjure up memories of a young Justin Tuck out of high school. If Harris decides to pick Notre Dame and has anywhere close to the career of Tuck, Harris would be one of the more important recruits in this year’s class.
We’ll know the answer to the former part of that hypothetical today potentially. Whether or not Harris can develop on the collegiate level like Tuck did we won’t know for a few years.