Notre Dame’s big recruiting weekend is already paying off for the Irish and the weekend is not even over yet. On Saturday night, Brian Kelly and Notre Dame picked up their first commitment for the class of 2015 in the form of offensive tackle Jerry Tillery – a massive prospect out of Louisiana.
Tillery has grown up a Notre Dame fan, but this past weekend was the first time he stepped foot on campus. Once he did, it did not take him long to realize that there was not a better place for him to pursue his athletic and academic career. He told the South Bend Tirbune:
“I learned that it’s really everything I had dreamed about and more,” Tillery said Saturday night. “Notre Dame is truly something special. I just had to go ahead and make the commitment to Notre Dame.”
Star ratings are not out for the class of 2015 yet, but it is safe to say that Tillery will be well represented when the various recruiting services begin to develop their rankings. Tillery, a Louisiana native, was already drawing interest from LSU, Alabama, Stanford, Ole Miss, and Arkansas despite just completing his sophomore year of high school.
What is even more impressive is that Tillery is already 6’7″, 310+ lbs even though he will just be a high school junior this fall. Imagine what Paul Longo is going to be able to do with that type of foundation to work with with Tillery.
While I am sure the Notre Dame coaching staff is hoping to get some more good news for the class of 2014 out of this weekend, Tillery’s commitment for the class of 2015 lays a great foundation for next year’s class right from the start. Tillery is s massively sized, massively talented offensive tackle recruit and continues the string of strong offensive line recruiting that Notre Dame has seen since hiring Harry Hiestand last year.
Notre Dame has not recruited the state of Louisiana well at all in recent years. In fact, according a tweet from Tyler James of the SBT, the last time Notre Dame has landed anyone out of Louisiana was 1999 when Bob Davie signed cornerback Albert Poree. By the time Tillery signs with the Irish in 2015, Notre Dame will have gone 16 years since grabbing anyone out of the Pelican State – unless of course the Irish are able to sign a Louisiana native like Cameron Sims this year.
Jerry Tillery plans on enrolling early at Notre Dame
Tillery is planning on graduating early and enrolling early when the time comes and based on all of the comments from him so far, it doesn’t sound like that will be a problem. Tillery comes off as very well spoken and educated in all of the interviews he has done so far which makes his plans for early enrollment and his decision to commit to Notre Dame fot that matter not too much of a surprise.
With 18 months until he can enroll early, Tillery has a chance to get in the ear of fellow class of 2015 recruits and do a little recruiting of his own. Based on his Twitter activity since committing yesterday, that doesn’t seem like it will be a problem at all either.
This is an excellent first commitment for next year for Notre Dame. The Irish were able to get an elite offensive linemen out of the South who is also very well spoken and has all of the makings of being a great spokesman for Notre Dame with other recruits. As Scott Jansen wrote for us last week, to close the gap with the SEC, Notre Dame needs to recruit the South better. Tillery’s commitment is another sign of the Notre Dame staff doing just that.