June is here, school is out, and that can only mean one thing: Irish Invasion is back! The premiere summer camp held inside Notre Dame Stadium for the football program, it’s coaches, and prospective athletes takes place this weekend. This is has been a very successful event in terms of commitments and current alumni include Shaun Crawford, Avery Davis, CJ Holmes, Michael Young, Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet, among many others on the Notre Dame team.
2018 commits Phil Jurkovec, Micah Jones, Markese Stepp all attended Invasion last year and safety commit Derrik Allen will be in attendance in at least an observational role this year.
Notre Dame already boasts 12 commitments into the 2018 class and some say that has caused the star power to be a bit low for this years crop. A lot of the stars are already in the fold and don’t necessarily need to work out.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some future commits on the field for Notre Dame this weekend so lets take a look at who they might be.
Shayne Simon Is The Headliner
Probably the biggest name that will be on campus and working out is the four star outside linebacker from New Jersey, Shayne Simon. Simon is a teammate of the Ademilola twins and is the #1 target of the Irish coaches for the vaunted Rover position.
Simon has been closely linked to Notre Dame for the last couple of months, with the main competition for his services being Michigan. He’s likely a long shot to commit, mostly because he hasn’t been hinting at it, but it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world.
Getting Simon in the fold would be a major coup for the Irish staff; he plays with a similar style and skill set as former Irish safety Elijah Shumate, although Simon is a heavier player coming out of high school. Simon plays as a stand up defensive end, in the middle at linebacker, and deeper in coverage for his defense, and shows his athletic ability outside as a receiver on offense.
He will definitely be the main focus for the staff and commits this weekend.
With Notre Dame striking out at corner in the 2017 class and with no commitments currently at the position, the Irish staff would love to get someone on board coming out of this weekend, and there are a number of players who could fit that bill.
The most likely to enter the fold is three star cornerback DJ Johnson out of North Central High School in Indianapolis. He is a relatively recent offer and his Indiana connections bode well in this recruitment. It seems like we should be looking for him to commit on this trip; Notre Dame is his best offer, or at least most notable, and he is said to have been waiting to get it. Securing a pledge from him seems very much in the cards.
Another corner on campus to keep an eye on is Donte Burton, a three star out of Lawrenceville, Georgia. He calls himself the “Clamp Captain” which, phenomenal. His most notable offers other than Notre Dame are North Carolina and Virginia Tech. He’s a little on the small side, listed at six feet, 164. The 164 seems right, the six feet not so much.
Some other corner names that could pop up throughout the weekend are Tennessee three star Jaylin Williams, three star Avery Young from Pennsylvania, and Reese Taylor out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
None of these guys have the reputation or pedigree as someone like IMG’s Houston Griffith, but Notre Dame needs bodies at corner, securing at least one of these guys this weekend would seem to be a priority.
Closing In On A Tight End?
George Takacs, the four start tight end out of Florida, was a late addition to the Irish Invasion visit list, he is planning to attend after the Rivals Five Star Challenge in Indianapolis and then drive up to Notre Dame following that event. Notre Dame is obviously very deep at the tight end position and can afford to be choosy this year, which tells you how they feel about Takacs, a guy who they targeted early and would like to get him on the fold as soon as they can so they can decide the best ways to fill out the class.
Takacs is another guy who could give his verbal commitment this weekend, he might be feeling the pressure to get on board with spots starting to fill up. Notre Dame’s main competition is Wisconsin and if Takacs feels he’s got enough information regarding Wisconsin to make an informed decision, Takacs could pull the trigger.
Does Notre Dame Make Headway With Oweh?
Notre Dame doesn’t get many athletes in the mold of Jayson Oweh–a 6’5, 235 pound rush end–and they seem to be making the three star out of New Jersey a priority in this class. So much so in fact that if they were to land Oweh and Thomas Booker on the defensive line, they would be content with their defensive line haul for 2018, with five players on board.
Oweh carries with him the ever present “raw” label, but he brings tremendous physical ability and a knack for disrupting quarterbacks and getting into the backfield. It is early in his recruitment, so a commitment isn’t likely, but this is a space to keep track of.