Things have been going pretty well for Notre Dame recruiting along the defensive line the last few months. Notre Dame got some not so great news late Friday night, however, when their top defensive end target – Thomas Booker – picked up an offer from Stanford. The Cardinal have long been considered Notre Dame’s biggest competition and Booker has reportedly really wanted the Stanford offer for a while.
Before everyone says, “here we go again”; there have not been any indications just yet as to how this offer impacts Notre Dame’s chances with Booker. Obviously it’s not ideal considering he had reportedly been waiting for this offer, but at the same time, having this out of the way now could be a blessing for Notre Dame.
Had Stanford stalled in their offer to Booker, he may have committed to Notre Dame in the interim and effectively took a scholarship off the table for the coaching staff to use. If that Stanford offer then eventually came late in the game – ala Paulson Adebo last year – the Irish staff could have been left scrambling at the end if Booker ends up at Stanford.
Last year Notre Dame secured a commitment from Adebo in the spring only to have Stanford offer at the 11th hour and scoop up the 4-star elite cornerback from underneath them. By getting the Stanford offer out of the way now, Notre Dame can go head to head with Stanford and not have to worry about another late offer.
Over the last few months the Notre Dame staff has done an excellent job recruiting Booker and the current Irish commitments have done their part in connecting with him as well. Booker visited unofficially in March and the Irish made a big move then. Now it will be up to the staff to beat Stanford head to head for Booker’s services.
Knocking the Cardinal off this fall on the field certainly wouldn’t hurt either.
Before the Stanford offer there were rumblings that Booker could be one of the next members of Notre Dame’s class of 2018. It remains to be seen how likely a commitment to the Irish is at this time for Booker.
Booker Set to Return to Notre Dame Soon
Booker is scheduled to visit Notre Dame again unofficially on June 24. With the Stanford offer in hand, the Notre Dame staff will try to make a strong push for Booker at that time.
Should Notre Dame be able to add Booker to their class to go along with Justin and Jayson Ademilola and recently committed nose tackle Ja’Mion Franklin, they would have the makings of one of their best defensive line hauls in years on their hands.
The one missing piece outside of Booker would be a pure pass rusher like Jayson Oweh who just turned some heads at the Irish Invasion yesterday. Oweh, a New Jersey native like the Ademilola twins, is a raw but freakishly athletic pass rusher who has a 3-star rating but 5-star potential. A final defensive line class of the Ademilola’s, Booker, Franklin, and Oweh would be a huge coup for this staff.
Notre Dame has plenty of time to work on Booker and luckily will have him on campus soon to remind him why Notre Dame was considered the odds on favor here before the Stanford offer.