Notre Dame Still Alive for Christian Jones

Notre Dame is still heavily recruiting 5-star linebacker Christian Jones, but is facing stiff competition from some of the nation's elite programs. (Photo - IconSMI)

As recruiting reaches the home stretch this year, one of the bigger names left on the Notre Dame recruiting board is five star linebacker Christian Jones. The Florida native who at one point was considered a long shot for the Irish could be more likely than most people felt based on recent reports.

Florida State Blog Tomahawk Nation published a report on Wednesday stating that Jones has been working hard to get his academics in line in order to pass Notre Dame admission standards.

5* OLB prospect Christian Jones has been working in a credit retrieval program to try to pull up some of his grades. He is doing it to try and meet the Notre Dame admission standards and is leaning that way. [Jones has called this a “college credit program]

While the report states that the author doesn’t think Jones will end up with Irish, it certainly bodes well for Notre Dame that Jones is working on his academics to pass Notre Dame admissions. If Jones wasn’t seriously considering Notre Dame this most likely wouldn’t be the case.

Another report from the Alabama blog Capstone Report featured a Q&A with Jones that had some promising quotes for Notre Dame’s chances as well.

“The assistant Coach Afford is the coach that I’m closest out of all the coaches. He is very organized and has studied me . He knows my basketball schedule and my favorite food. He really wants me at Notre Dame, but I have to raise my grades because the standards are higher.”

Alford is one of the best recruiters on the Notre Dame staff and it appears that keeping Alford on staff is already paying off dividends on the recruiting trail for Brian Kelly.

The Caperstone Report feature on Jones also had another quote from Jones about what will factor into his decision that should give Notre Dame fans some hope.

“I’d like to play for a defensive system I’d fit in. We ran a 5-2 defense at Lake Howell and I played Outside Backer. Also academics will be huge in my decision. Football doesn’t last forever so I’m going to get my degree. Distance will not play a factor.”

Notre Dame has both excellent academics, and the 3-4 defensive system that Bob Diaco plans to install at Notre Dame perfectly suits Jones abilities perfectly. Jones projects as an outside linebacker/pass rusher in the new Irish defense.

While all of these quotes show that Notre Dame still has a great chance with Jones, the Irish will still face very stiff competition against the likes of Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee, USC, and Oklahoma.

Brian Kelly is Building a Notre Dame Football Monster with 2020-21 Recruiting Classes


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  1. Green Banshi 10 years ago

    Hey Oxygen, Boise State is winning with the 2 and 3 stars. Didn’t they beat Oklahoma a couple of years ago. And what about TCU. And Nebraska is coming to life too with their lowly recruits and they almost beat Texas. And what about Utah taking the Tide to the woodshed a couple of years ago. Chuck brought in a lot of that 4 and 5 star talent, but didn’t know how to coach them and they lost to the teams Kelly beat. I like to see an even distribution of 3-5 stars and I think Brian Kelly will bring them in when he has a chance to recruit them over a full year. We haven’t even seen a game yet, under Kelly and already so many of our so-called fans are so cynical, trashing Kelly. Some of yous guys need to give the guy a chance. You guys act like you never been to the dance before. It’s been a while, but it will happen. How about a little patience. Nana, who you calling a Tool???

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    1. Oxygen 10 years ago

      “Boise State is winning with the 2 and 3 stars. Didn’t they beat Oklahoma a couple of years ago.”

      Didn’t Boise State lose to Ty Willingham’s U-Dub(5-7
      ) team the next year after that “great win” over Choklahoma?

      “And Nebraska is coming to life too with their lowly recruits and they almost beat Texas.”

      Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades….

      “And what about Utah taking the Tide to the woodshed a couple of years ago.”

      Where did Utah finish this year? 24th in the rankings! Where did the Tide finish? Did you ever stop to think Bama gave up last year after the SEC championship game? Did it ever occur to you that maybe Bama didn’t want to play Utah, so they didn’t bother getting up to play?

      “We haven’t even seen a game yet, under Kelly and already so many of our so-called fans are so cynical, trashing Kelly.”

      There’s a little difference between a blindless fan(you) and objective fan(some of us). I shake my head in shame when I see fans like you, who think ND will be a top 5 team every year no matter what.. I’ve watch this program settle on coaches for 11 years now. So excuse me for being a little skeptical on the some of the kids Kelly is offering.

      So what, he paraded through a weak confenece and beat teams ND lost to in closing minutes. It doesn’t change the fact he’s 0-1 in BCS bowls and his lost came to a mediocre Val Tech team but I guess you forgot that because his “stunning” 12-0 record clouds your memory..

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      1. palk21 10 years ago

        You can’t argue with facts. You make a point…despite the fact that BK is 171-57-2, he hasn’t played too many tough opponents, but has Notre Dame played tough opponents recently?? The only 3 that come to mind are USC, Ohio St. and LSU. USC has embarrassed us and Ohio St. and LSU embarrassed us in BCS games. On top of that, ND is losing to Syracuse, UConn, Navy, Pitt, etc. and Cincinnati is beating these teams.

        I see your point of view, but the fact is BK has won and I’m willing to say that he’ll win the games he’s supposed to (Syracuse, UConn, Navy, Stanford, Pitt) and maybe his way actually produces results against the USC’s of the college football world. I certainly don’t expect a championship in year 1, nor do I expect a BCS game in year 1, but I do think a 9-3 record is very possible. It would be nice to be better than that and look good doing it, but we have to give BK a chance to show us what he’s got on Saturdays.

        The talent we have on the team is far better than Cincy and the teams on our schedule are no better than the teams on Cincy’s schedule. Common sense says that BK will be able to coach these kids a produce results. We still have to wait and see, but I’m thinking 9-3 will be a nice start.

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      2. IrishChan 10 years ago

        I would be happy with 9-3 season next year. Hell even an 8-4 season would be good.

        At any rate, we need to give this guy some time to bring in his kinds of athletes, to fill the team.

        Still, I believe that Kelly will have the oppurtunity to attract much better athletes than he’s used to at his other schools, as he starts to show the country that he can win at ND.

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      3. palk21 10 years ago

        I’m not sure who you wanted as our new coach, but we can’t do any worse than what Charlie did for 5 seasons (being uncompetitive against USC, getting slammed in BCS games, losing to Navy TWICE). If you were expecting Stoops, Meyer, etc. to come trotting over, get over yourself, it was never going to happen. No coach has ever made a lateral move to coach another team. And in ND’s case, based on the past several years, it would’ve have been a step back for those coaches. Kelly is the right guy given his resume, and I can’t wait to see what he does with this team.

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      4. Jack 10 years ago


        He is actually 0-2 in BCS games he lost to Va Tech the year before. He had a program at Cincy that wasn’t even the top program in his state and still won. He got throttled by a team that was better than his, there is nothing wrong with that. I also remember during Holtz’s run a cornerback who wasn’t recruited to play and walked on to be a starter and a very good one at that. High school recruiting ratings are shit. Get the player in and develop him. I do agree you need to some blue chippers, but you can win without having recruiting classes like Florida, Texas and Alabama are having.

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  2. zico 10 years ago

    Tim Tebow is projected as a pro safety or linebacker.

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  3. fxm 10 years ago

    This recruiting class has nothing to do with next year. This team has a lot of talent, including a “5 star” quarterback, a 5 star wide receiver (floyd), a 5 star tight end, the top rated defensive player in all the land (Teo), etc. Some disagree, but if they win, they will be in the driver seat. This program has been lost in the wilderness for 20 years.

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  4. Brent Parish 10 years ago

    Heh have you guys seen this? Pretty brilliant about BC:

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  5. jack 10 years ago

    I think people are missing a major point here. He just got the job in December. Our last coaching change the recruiting class was horrible, but remember the best player out of the class was a 3 star saftey who is playing in the pros for the Broncos. An earlier post talked about Tennesse and USC not loosing recruits. Tennessee has lost some recruits and USC hired another douche bag like Pete Carrol and there is not change in the culture. We will be filling this class out with some quality atheletes. If we are able to close on a couple of 4 and 5 star recruits this class will jump up into the top 15. Some recruiting links has this class in the top 20. When CW took over I think the class ended up at 38. Kelly also wants to recruit players for his scheme on both off and def. I bet this class will end up a top 20 class.

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  6. C-Dog 10 years ago

    Hey Recruiting Wonks!
    Has anyone looked at the class size? What are we at 17 or 18?
    22 to 25 fills out your class right? So here’s a question: If all
    the 4s and 5s are taken, where does a coaching staff go? To expand:
    among schools that are viewed and rated, the 2s and 3s might be known.
    But what about amazing athletes at smaller highschools in the small
    divisions? Are they even rated? I’m thinking not. Someone tell us.
    Because if not, would an astute staff, instead of beating their heads
    against a wall, just go where no one looked? What about the fast, quick
    or gifted kid that still lives in small town America, or wants a small
    setting? ND’s not a bad place for that type. And they probably haven’t
    been called by anyone.


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    1. Irish Thunder 10 years ago

      I agree and have stated that before. Makes you wonder if all the time spent recruiting the Sentreal Hendersen type of recruits would be better spent on great “under the radar” types. I notice it in every city, all the attention on the bigger High Schools. ND needs to create strong bonds in the Catholic Schools (big and small) and dominate this market. These kids would jump at ND if offered 90% of the time. I just read something yesterday that showed 5 star recruits only pan out 40% of the time.

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      1. palk21 10 years ago

        You have to even mix when recruiting. You have to go after the recruits you REALLY want, but you also have to go for recruits that may not be as highly rated, but still good players.

        Putting all your eggs in the 2-3 star basket is the same as putting all your eggs in the 4-5 star basket. One way you, you may guarantee yourself a bunch of recruits, but you’re not sure what will be made of them, and the other way you may not get any recruits because all the big boys are after them. To be good, which BK has been able to do, you have develop 2-3 star players, but also make the 4-5 star worth the effort. I am not concerned about BK’s coaching abilitiesm but I don’t think focusing only on potentially underrated recruits is the way to go.

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      2. Oxygen 10 years ago

        D. Jones never started at Cincy as a LB! He was second or third on the depth chart..

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      3. IrishChan 10 years ago

        60% of the time, it works everytime! lol

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      4. Oxygen 10 years ago

        I like Lou Holtz’s analogy of star rankings and taking 2 and 3 star players. “Sure, you’ll find a diamond in the rough every now and then, but you won’t make a living on it”! I think it’s quite evident that top recruits equal top teams.

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    2. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      BK has targeted a large number of QB’s.
      At the high school level, QB is the most important position. High School coaches normally fill that position with one of their best atheletes.
      With BK offering all these QB’s I think you will see him reposition some of these guys as DB’s, or linebackers. In BK’s first recruitment year this may prove to be very smart. These QB’s are smart, versital, and atheletic. Probably the next best thing to an acctual 4 star BD,Linebacker, or saftey.
      Some of these QB’s that he has offered are in the 6’3 – 220lbs range.
      Not that far off from being linebacker, CB, or saftey size. The country is loaded with fine high school QB’s. Only a very few will win a job as the starter on a college team. That leaves a bunch of fine athletes who will need to learn to play a different position if they want to play college football.

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      1. Shazamrock 10 years ago

        Wasn’t Golden Tate recruited out of high school as a 3 star running back?

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      2. palk21 10 years ago

        Excellent points. YES, Golden was a RB in HS. I know it’s been mentioned plenty of times before, but Demetrius Jones started at LB for Cincinatti under BK and we all know where he started his college career and at what position. I think Shazam has an excellent point that HS QB’s tend to be one of the top athletes on the team. BK knows what he’s doing as he did with D. Jones.

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      3. Oxygen 10 years ago

        Golden Tate was a 4 star runningback in a heavy runningback recruiting class that year..

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      4. C-Dog 10 years ago

        Perfect point. Some here can’t read into what’s really being said. someone says, “mix in 2 and 3 star guys”,and the response is, “don’t recruit just 2 and 3 star guys”.
        I have two concepts to divulge here:

        1. Mix 4 and 5s with 2s and 3s. You don’t need all 20 to 25 recruits to be 4 and 5 star guys. In fact that’s impossible and even Florida and USC never did that. The greatest classes I’ve seen have at most 3 to 5 5 stars and and most 10 at 4 and above. So look at what we have. there might be enough 4 and 5 star guys already.

        2. Who says the rankings in highschool are even accurate. As Shazam says, Tate was a 3 star RB. Oxygen says 4 star. Either way, no one knew he’d be that good. Can you guys tell me the rating system is accurate? And what about schools that don’t get rated? Is there some strong fast kid from Elmira, New York? ( Remember Ernie Davis anyone ), or Dover, PA? Give me a stopwatch, a leg press and a bench press, let me quiz a kid and I might be able to find someone who can play but who wasn’t at a school that gets rated.

        All I’m saying is when the well runs dry on the obvious, instead of beating your head against the wall in a losing battle for some kid needing attention, look for the gem in the small school divisions.

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