Rumors

Where Does Notre Dame Football Recruiting Go Post-Chris Tyree?

Notre Dame CB Target Chris Phillips

Notre Dame received their biggest commitment in the 2020 recruiting cycle, and perhaps the last five years, from #1 all-purpose back Chris Tyree last Thursday. It was the result of a years long recruiting push for a player they desperately wanted and what the roster desperately needed. It gave Notre Dame 11 commitments total, a top 6 ranking, and their #1 targets at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive tackle. That’s obviously great news for the staff, but there is still work to be done. Here is a look at where Notre Dame sits position by position, and who is next and/or most likely to join the 2020 class.

Quarterback, Running Back, and Tight End Are Done

The Irish have a commitment from top 200 quarterback Drew Pyne, top 30 running back Tyree, top 100 tight end Michael Mayer and top 250 tight end Kevin Bauman. With those four players in fold, the coaches are closing up shop on those positions for the 2020 class. The biggest surprise there is running back, where it has long been assumed they’d take two players. This is probably due to multiple factors: not having another “must take” prospect at that position, needing to maximize the class as a whole due to the small numbers, the running back room looking a lot better post-spring practice. Adding Tyree next season would give the group five scholarship players heading into the 2020 season, and that’s assuming no one else moves over from another position.

As for quarterback, Notre Dame generally only takes one per cycle, and two tight ends is plenty given the overall makeup of the roster.

Wide Receiver

This is a pretty intriguing position for the staff this cycle. They’ve got top 40 receiver Jordan Johnson locked up in the class. They could end up taking just three or four depending on who those four are. The options include two top 100 players, a top 125 player, and a three star who is receiving a lot of buzz and looks to improve his ranking over the summer.

  • Xavier Watts, 6-1, 185, Omaha, Nebraska, .8728 rating, 3 star- by all appearances it seems Watts it the most likely to join the class at this point and he’s got an official visit scheduled for Notre Dame on June 21st. He’s been hitting up the summer camp circuit so far this spring and summer and has turned lots of heads. The word out of South Bend is the staff loves his current game and his potential, and has treated him like a top target, even though he’s ranked significantly lower than some of their other targets. 247’s Tom Loy recently put in a Crystal Ball prediction in for Watts to Notre Dame.
  • Jalen McMillan, 6-2, 181, Fresno, CA, #49 overall player, 4 star- Notre Dame’s top remaining target, in a battle with Washington for McMillan’s pledge. This one is going to take a good amount of time, with McMillan having an official visit scheduled for the October contest against USC. This is the player that could take the class to four, should Notre Dame receive two other commitments prior to his announcing. It is believed Washington is currently in the lead, but there is plenty of time for that change between now and October and Notre Dame will remain in hot pursuit.
  • Michael Redding III, 6-1, 195, Bradenton, Florida, #123 overall, 4 star- Redding and Notre Dame were very heavily linked earlier in the spring and since then Redding has slowed things way down to the point it seemed Notre Dame had fallen out of favor. It seems it was more Redding wanted to take his time on choosing a school–he’s got offers from Florida State, Miami, Alabama, etc–than Notre Dame falling off. The Irish remain among the leaders, although the timeline here isn’t quite clear.
  • AJ Henning, 5-10, 175, Frankfort, IL, #78 overall, four star- Honestly, who knows what’s going on with this one? Sometimes Notre Dame is in the lead, other times Michigan, other times someone else. This is all comes from reporting by the way, not Henning himself. Point is, he hasn’t been clear about where his recruitment stands, and that’s perfectly fine. Henning has offers from whatever top school you can think of so it makes sense he’d fluctuate between schools. If I had to guess, he’d wait to make his choice and the Irish could fill up and he’d end up somewhere else.

Offensive Line

The focus is all on Michael Carmody out of Pennsylvania, who is visiting in early June and could commit to Notre Dame at that point. I’d say out of everyone left on the board, he’d be most likely to commit next. His brother plays basketball at Notre Dame, he really wanted the offer, and the Irish instantly became his favorites when they did offer the #126 overall player. I think if Notre Dame paired him with Tosh Baker they’d wrap up the offensive line for the 2020 class.

Defensive Line and Linebacker

The focus seems to have moved to two players, one at each position: Cody Simon, outside linebacker and the brother of Shayne Simon, and Mitchell Melton, the defensive end out of Maryland. Melton is the response to Notre Dame finishing second to Michigan for Braiden McGregor, although Melton is more of a Julian Okwara type while McGregor was in the Khalid Kareem mold. If Notre Dame misses on Melton or decides to pass, they’ll likely be done on the defensive line with Rylie Mills, Jordan Betalho, and Aiden Keanaaina committed to the class.

Simon is the option at linebacker should Notre Dame have the room for him. They’ve loaded up on the position in the last couple of classes and numbers could dictate Notre Dame passes on the position this year. It’s a tricky spot for the staff, Simon might not want to wait around for them, but they are currently holding steady among his leaders for the time being.

Cornerback

The big fish here is Clark Phillips, the top 50 corner from La Habra, California, who the Irish are battling with Ohio State for. It’s unclear about when Phillips might be making a pledge, but I wouldn’t consider anything imminent. He is the jewel of the corner class, and is built in the mold of Shaun Crawford, with a similar game, although he’s a little bigger. Behind Phillips is a whole lot of unknown. Most likely to join the class would be three star Lovie Jenkins out of Florida, who Notre Dame offered about a month ago and will have on campus June 21st. He falls into the sleeper category as a mid three star prospect, but he’s gained traction in the last month, receiving offers from Tennessee, Miami, and Pitt over the last month.

Beyond those two, it’s a whole bunch of unknowns at the position and a bunch of recent offers without a lot of clarity.

Safety

Lathan Ransom, a top 100 player from Arizona, is the top target on the board in what is currently a wide open race for his commitment. Schools like Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, UCLA, and USC are listed as “warm” on 247 in terms of his interest, in addition to Notre Dame, which is pretty unusual. It’s generally three or four schools, not seven, an indicator there isn’t a true leader and likely won’t be for a while. Notre Dame has done well to be among the top group and is making a big effort to land Ransom, their top defender left on the board and is a big priority for them. Ordinarily, skepticism would be warranted, but given what they’ve done with their top targets on offense, can’t discount Notre Dame here.

Beyond Ransom, recently offered Jerrin Thompson out of Lufkin, Texas set up an official visit to South Bend soon after the offer was made in early May, and he’ll be around for the June 21st weekend. The four star, top 250 player could pop if that visit goes well, but that’s not something to expect.

 

Notre Dame Recruiting: Elite Running Back Chris Tyree Sets Commitment Date For May 23rd

Notre Dame RB Target Chris Tyree

If you’ve followed this space over the last couple of months, you know all about Chris Tyree and Notre Dame’s pursuit of him. The #29 overall player in the country (per 247’s composite ranking) out of Virginia has been the Irish’s #1 overall prospect for some time, and he has evidently made his decision. Tyree announced on Twitter he would be making his college decision next Thursday, May 23rd.

The Current State Of Play

Notre Dame is one of three finalists for Tyree’s services, and it’s an all 2018 college football playoff affair, with Oklahoma and Alabama rounding out the trio. Things had been looking good for Notre Dame and Tyree for a good bit, with him visiting campus two times following their loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl, and an official visit scheduled for June 23rd. Does his commitment announcement ahead of his official visit portend bad news for the Irish? Not necessarily.

Following Tyree’s official visit to Oklahoma earlier in the spring, he gave a couple of interviews indicating the Sooners had taken the lead over Notre Dame and Alabama, and that news made some sense. Oklahoma is an offensive powerhouse, they have a history of running back success, and they feature an offense perfectly suited for his all-purpose back style. As was mentioned in my recruiting overview posted earlier this week, there were rumblings that Tyree was close to committing and cancelling his Notre Dame visit.

However, the Irish staff was able to weather that storm and Tyree reaffirmed his intention to visit campus officially. Then came some little tidbits from various beat reporters that Notre Dame had retaken the lead with Tyree and talk of an imminent commitment started to pick up, though without a firm grasp on what school he’d be committing to.

The Athletic’s Pete Sampson said on the most recent Irish Illustrated podcast that the Notre Dame coaches felt very good with this recruitment, BGI’s Bryan Driskell has been bullish on him to Notre Dame for some time, and the South Bend Tribune’s Carter Karels hinted at a commitment coming soon, implying it’d be good news for Notre Dame. Does this mean it’s a lock? No, this is recruiting, and teams and coaches get burned all the time with this stuff.

That said, running backs coach Lance Taylor was hired specifically to win these types of battles, and the staff has put everything they can into this recruitment. I have to believe, as of this moment, they will find a way to emerge with his pledge next week, but again, things can chance quickly in the recruiting world.

What It Would Mean For The Program

Setting aside the fact that the Irish roster hasn’t signed a player of this caliber at running back since 2013 (RIP Greg Bryant), but they currently do not possess anyone on the roster with his skill set, regardless of ranking. Jafar Armstrong and Tyree have similar games in that both are receiving threats out of the backfield, but Tyree is a burner in the same way Troy Pride is.

Tyree left the indoor track season as the national leader in the 55 meter dash, and is the fastest Irish running back since…well lets just say it’s been a really long time. For as good as Armstrong is, he doesn’t bring that kind of heat in the running game.

It should also be noted that after the 2019 season, Tony Jones will be moving on, with a big season Armstrong could very well be moving on, which would leave Jahmir Smith, C’Bo Flemister, and Kyren Williams as the only scholarship running backs. Tyree would be immediately counted on to contribute. And even in the event Armstrong returns, the team could seamlessly add Tyree into the lineup, as he and Armstrong will do similar things, just with a little more zest in Tyree.

What It Would Mean For The 2020 Class

The current class sits at 7th according to 247 sports, and a Tyree commitment would move them into 5th, just ahead of Georgia. More importantly, in terms of the overall class, it gives them a chance to finish somewhere in the top five. Looking at the Irish recruiting board and what is realistically possible, Notre Dame is among the favorites with eight other top 100 players, in addition to Tyree and the two already in fold (Jordan Johnson and Tosh Baker).

Let’s say Notre Dame ends up with four of those eight and ends up with seven top 100 players, and another four in the top 125, and that’s 11 top 125 prospects. That would represent an incredible recruiting haul for Notre Dame and would very likely put them in the top 5 nationally. Without Tyree, however, not sure they have that upside. Not that rankings are the end all be all of course, but it’d be nice to be among the top teams in that regard, since Clemson and Alabama will always be in that position.

 

Mid-May Notre Dame Football Recruiting Round Up

Spring ball is over, the summer doldrums are on the way, but there is no rest for the weary on the recruiting front. There has been a flurry of activity recruiting wise since the end of spring ball, with Notre Dame gaining and dropping with various prospects, and picking up several high profile commitments. It’s been a while since we’ve given an update on the overall landscape, so this should serve as an overall primer without getting too much into the weeds.

Where Notre Dame Stands Now

Notre Dame is currently ranked 7th overall in the team rankings according to 247 sports, with 10 players currently committed to Notre Dame. Of those 10, seven are ranked in the top 215, with five ranked in the top 125. It also includes the best long snapper in the nation according to those who track such things (you laugh, but no one is laughing when the ball sails over the punters head, so appreciate this) and a total heat check at defensive end from Mike Elston in German football star Alexander Ehrensberger. Elston has been on fire lately, which we will get to in a second, and he flexed his recruiting prowess by nabbing someone from another continent. He’s rated a three star, but he could be a four star, or heck even a five star, who can really say?

Recent Commitments

Since the spring finale, Notre Dame has received the pledges of three high profile recruits, all in the top 125 and all at huge positions for the Irish. Hawaiian defensive end Jordan Botelho was the first to pop on April 18th, with the 120th ranked recruit committing soon after his visit to the Irish campus. The Irish obviously have a thing going on with Hawaii, landed a few high profile guys from the island in recent history, and had he been the only defensive end in the class, it’d be seen as a coup. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

122nd ranked defensive end Rylie Mills out of Lake Forest, Illinois committed to Notre Dame on the 6th of May, spurning Ohio State and Wisconsin. According to those on the recruiting beat, Mills is likely to grow into a three technique, a la someone like Kapron-Lewis Moore, with Botelho being a true defensive end, but either way it’s a huge signing for the class. Two top 125 defensive line talents are nothing to sneeze at, and a rarity for Notre Dame in the past.

57th ranked offensive tackle Tosh Baker made it a trifecta on May 8th, silently committing to the Notre Dame coaches prior to officially announcing a few days later. Likely to be the crown jewel of what is likely to be a small offensive line class, the Arizona product got Notre Dame off to a great a start for that unit, after signing what many consider to be the best overall class during the 2019 cycle. The jury is still out on how good of a line coach Jeff Quinn is, but the guy can certainly recruit his position.

What Top Prospects Could Be Next To Commit?

The one everyone is anxiously waiting on is 29th ranked Chris Tyree, the all-purpose running back out of Virginia. The last month has been a bit of a roller coaster, with Notre Dame holding a clear lead after his spring visits, and then Oklahoma surging ahead after his official visit to Norman in April.  There was even some speculation he was close to committing to the Sooners on that visit and canceling his official to Notre Dame scheduled for June 23rd.

However, Notre Dame has re-emerged as the leader here, and the June visit is still happening. Even better, Tyree announced earlier today that he will be announcing his commitment on May 23.

As of today, it’d be a surprise if he didn’t end up in the class, which would obviously be a huge development for the program, who has had trouble signing players of this caliber to play running back in recent years.

The other “big fish” who could conceivably commit soon is defensive end out of Michigan, 87th ranked Braiden McGregor. He has shot up the rankings in the same way Kyle Hamilton did last cycle, although McGregor has risen much quicker.

He was long considered a huge favorite to end up at Michigan, but a visit to Notre Dame during the spring and his budding friendship with commit Rylie Mills has prognosticators bullish on Notre Dame’s chances. And again, Mike Elston has been on fire lately, so there is reason to be optimistic. However, Michigan isn’t going to go away quietly, so I’d expect this to go on for a little while, even if Notre Dame is in a good position now.

One player who is strongly trending toward Notre Dame is recently offered Michael Carmody, the 124th ranked offensive lineman out of Mars, PA. He is the brother of Irish basketball player Robby Carmody, and he was very excited to receive the Notre Dame offer. Obviously, it’s no small thing to get a top 125 player, especially on the offensive line, and this recruitment could end quickly.

Names To Keep An Eye On

  • Cornerback Clark Phillips out of La Habra California has expressed strong interest in Notre Dame, and has built a solid relationship with cornerback coach Todd Lyght. It’s always tough to get a read on a California prospect, but the #46 overall player has the Irish in his top three, so there is a good chance there.
  • #49 wide receiver Jalen McMillan out of Fresno (I know, I know) has Notre Dame in his top four, with the Irish competing with Oklahoma and Washington for his services. This one isn’t going to end soon by all appearances, so Notre Dame just needs to stay the course here and see how it plays out. That is unless they have other players on board, which is possible.
  • It’s been a “he loves me, he loves me not” type of recruitment for #77 Illinois receiver AJ Henning, at least from a reporting perspective. Some reports have said Notre Dame looks really good, others say he’s fading away, and those reports fluctuate from week to week. Kudos to the kid for keeping the media guessing, and this will go at least until the end of summer.

Notre Dame Down, Not Out for 5-Star RB Chris Tyree

Notre Dame RB Target Chris Tyree

Things were looking pretty rosy for Notre Dame’s running back recruiting about a month ago.  All signs were pointing to the Irish being the unquestioned leader for 5-star back Chris Tyree and 4-star power back Tirek Murphy.  A weekend visit to Oklahoma for Tyree however has the Irish now playing catchup and trailing in a recruitment that looked like it was trending in the right direction just a few weeks ago.

Now, before we get any further, let’s not all freak out.  This one is not over, but following Tyree’s trip to Oklahoma, he is now saying that the Sooners lead according to Tom Loy of 247 Sports.  Loy’s report has a few other very important developments with Tyree’s recruitment:

  • Oklahoma does now lead after the visit
  • Tyree WILL still be taking his official visit to Notre Dame in June
  • He seems to enjoy the younger, hipper vibe of Lincoln Riley to the “more traditional” Brian Kelly
  • Chip Long and Lance Taylor are putting in the work here for Notre Dame

And it does indeed look like Tyree enjoyed himself according to Twitter.

So this is not all bad news for Notre Dame.  It is not uncommon for a recruit to make a visit somewhere and fall in love on the visit and nearly commit only to come back home and have things settle down a bit.  How many times have recruits visited Notre Dame over the years and “loved the visit” and “been close to committing” only to get home and have the wow factor die down in the days and weeks that followed?

It happens all the time.

The fact that Tyree was floored by the visit and left Norman without committing and with his June official visit to Notre Dame still scheduled is huge and shows that this one is far from over.  Kelly, Long, and Taylor have plenty of time to regroup and have the last word here over Oklahoma.

Getting Tyree on campus in June is important for Notre Dame as well because the weather should be perfect, the Golden Dome should be shining in all it’s glory, and campus should look beautiful.  Reminder, official visits in June are still a new thing so this is something that Notre Dame wouldn’t have had working in its favor in years past.  In fact, in years past this is the kind of recruitment where in the past I would have said Notre Dame might be out of it.

Let’s also not forget that new running backs coach Lance Taylor has only been on the job a few months and is playing catchup to other staffs on the recruiting trail.  Early returns, however, suggest that Taylor has been making his presence felt in a relatively short period of time.

Obviously this is not an ideal situation for Notre Dame. In a perfect world Tyree would have returned home from his Oklahoma visit and said that Notre Dame was still his leader.  That didn’t happen, but it also doesn’t mean that Notre Dame won’t be his leader again after his visit in June or that he won’t be eventually signing with Notre Dame.

Once the Notre Dame staff gets Tyree back on campus and is able to pull out the red carpet and hammer home just how much he would be used in the Notre Dame offense, the Irish should be right back in it.  While Jafar Armstrong looked great in the Blue – Gold Game over the weekend, it was clear Notre Dame is missing a gamebreaker in the Dexter Williams mold in the backfield right now.

In Loy’s report Tyree said that what really made the visit to Oklahoma so good was how the Sooners staff showed him how he’d be used in their high flying offense.  Kelly, Long, and Taylor should be able to deliver a similar message and demonstrate how a back like Tyree is really the only missing piece in this offense right now.

Notre Dame has some work to do here, but with Tyree looking to end his recruitment over the summer potentially, they should get the last word in here – at least over Oklahoma.

Notre Dame LB Target Asa Turner Still Undecided, Will Wait

The recruiting battle between Washington and Notre Dame for linebacker/safety Asa Turner will wage on into February.  Turner, originally scheduled to sign his letter of intent on Wednesday during the early signing period, has been wrestling with the decision between the Huskies and Irish and has been unable to settle ona  final destination.  Saturday Turner released a statement saying he will be waiting until the traditional signing period in February.

I’d like to thank everyone, especially the University of Washington and Notre Dame coaching staffs, for their patience and understanding through this difficult time.

I do not want to commit/sign to a program until I am 100% comfortable with that decision, and unfortunately, I am still unsure. Therefore, I will be using the time between now and February 6th to evaluate what is best for my future and family.

Turner provided the lone bit of drama for Notre Dame on Signing Day as the Irish had their 21 commitments all locked up and in line to sign their letters of intent.  The Notre Dame staff though has been recruiting Turner since his summer commitment to Washington and have given him enough reason to reconsider the Irish that he is waiting.

Notre Dame’s decision to continue to recruit Turner has ruffled the feathers of Washington coach Chris Petersen and Husky fans.  On Signing Day, Petersen took a veiled shot at Notre Dame for recruiting Turner and bemoaned of the “vultures” of college football.  Husky fans have been trying to justify Washington’s recruitment of committed players under Petersen as different than the Notre Dame staff’s efforts with Turner ever since.

Turner made a very wise decision to wait until February as it appears he is legitimately torn between the two programs.  Since he is not an early enrollee, there really is not any difference between signing in December and February so it makes perfect sense that he wait.

One thing to watch here now is another program trying to get back into the mix as well.  With six weeks to recruit Turner again, a team that struck out at linebacker or safety could easily try to get back into the race here.  There are no indicators right now Turner is considering anyone else, but with the nature of recruiting these days, it would not be surprising at all if other programs tried to get back into the mix.

Notre Dame will keep the spot open for him as they try to close out this class now with Turner and 4-star DE Isaiah Foskey who had said all along he will be waiting until February.  As of now the Irish are considered the favorite for Foskey.  Should the Irish manage to pull in both in February, Notre Dame will have itself one hell of a defensive recruiting class.

Asa Turner Reportedly Torn Between Notre Dame & Washington

Who said there wouldn’t be any drama for Notre Dame on the early Signing Period on Wednesday?  While the Irish class was thought to be just about wrapped up for months and the Irish went a perfect 21 for 21 with signatures today, they could still be inline for a 22nd.  Asa Turner, the 4-star safety from California who had been committed to Washington, is reportedly torn between Notre Dame and Washington and decided to not make a final decision today after having a previously scheduled signing ceremony.

Turner was scheduled to sign earlier today, but while some of his teammates made their decisions, Turner instead announced that he would be taking more time to make his final decision.

He told Prep Pigskin Report that he will be making his decision in the next couple of days or even late tonight.

With the early Signing Day period, he has until Friday to sign his letter of intent.  If he is still undecided then, he will have to wait until the traditional February signing period.

Notre Dame has been working on Turner for a while even after his committed to Washington.  When Notre Dame traveled to San Diego to take on Navy, Irish coaches made the quick drive to Carlsbad to take in Turner’s game that weekend.

Obviously this turn of events is a very positive sign for Notre Dame who would love to add a defensive playmaker like Turner if they are able to.  While he is listed as a safety, at 6-4, 215 lbs already, he has the looks of a potential stud ROVER.  247 Sports ranks him as the #297 overall prospect in the country in their composite rankings.

Notre Dame signed three linebackers already in this class with Hawaiian native Marist Liufau another candidate for ROVER though it’s believed he will could ultimately grow into a BUCK.  With Turner’s background as a safety, he would bring the cover skills needed for ROVER and has a frame capable of packing on weight too.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out and what Notre Dame ends up doing with it’s roster should he send in a letter of intent to Notre Dame.  Brian Kelly said on Wednesday that they have room to still add to this year’s class when asked at his press conference, but as is, the Irish will have to have some roster attrition to get under 85 by summer.

Notre Dame is also still recruiting 4-star DE/TE Isaiah Foksey and you better believe that the staff will find a way to make room for a pass rusher like him as well if he wants to join in February.

2018 Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Updates & A New Offer

There are eighteen days left in the 2018 recruiting cycle, so a quick look on where Notre Dame stands and where they are going.

They are currently ranked eighth nationally on 247 Sports, with 21 signed players and one committed to sign on February 7th. The Irish are looking to add at least three more players and possibly four if some of their top players decide to sign on to play in South Bend.

Updated Rankings

247 Sports released their final top 247 players, with eight Notre Dame players making that group. Some notes about that:

  • Rover recruit Shayne Simon came in as Notre Dame’s highest rising player, climbing 80 spots to #47 nationally. He joins defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, in the top 50, with Ademilola rising to #45.
  • The only other player to rise in the rankings was Jack Lamb, 14 spots to #105.
  • The biggest faller was safety Derrik Allen, who dropped 26 spots, to be the lowest in the top eight, at #161.

There has been a lot of buzz about Simon at the all-star game practices, with Steve Wiltfong at 247 saying he could see Simon claiming the starting Rover position as a freshman, pushing 5th year senior Drue Tranquill to the Buck linebacker spot. There is a good discussion to be had about the merits of moving Tranquill, but the buzz around Simon is real. Generally left out of the discussion when discussing Notre Dame’s top 4-5 players, Simon could be a major coup for Kelly and the defensive staff.

A Late Offer At Running Back

With the dismissals of CJ Holmes and Deon McIntosh, plus the move of Josh Adams to the NFL, in a week Notre Dame lost three running backs and are left with only three on scholarship on the roster. And that includes early enrollee Jahmir Smith. Not a great situation.

Notre Dame moved quickly and offered C’Bo Flemister, out of Georgia, who is currently committed to Georgia Tech. You’ll initially notice his low ranking, a borderline three star player, but I’d encourage everyone to watch his film. He’s got pretty good speed with an aggressive one cut running style. He also has a knack for making a cut at just the moment the defense is off balance, and the first player that came to mind when watching him do that was Sony Michel out of Georgia. Not to say he is a player of that caliber, Michel was a five star player, but he is similar in style.

It’s fair to be skeptical of late offers, but I don’t see Flemister as a throwaway offer. He’s got some pretty unique skills and is a good fit given the offense he played in. He has an official visit set up in the coming weeks, so there is a legitimate chance for Notre Dame here. A really good late find for Kelly and the staff, if they can pull it off.

Rumblings And Grumblings

  • Notre Dame might be out of it for the four star safety out of Servite, CA, Julius Irvin. This may be a casualty of the Mike Elko departure, as they had a good relationship and he was his main recruiter. The loss of Elko has likely dropped Notre Dame out of the top group of teams, and this late in the game it’s hard to make up a lot of ground, especially without a position coach at the moment.
  • The Irish are apparently still in it for Solomon Tuliaupupu, the middle linebacker from Mater Dei in California, but it would be an upset if he actually ended up in South Bend. He’s heavily favored to end up at USC with his five star teammates JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown, but the promotion of Clark Lea to DC is keeping the Irish in this. It’s not impossible, but not something to be confident in.
  • Noted today by UHND is the visit this weekend of wide receiver Lawrence Keys. Word is he wants to wait till signing day to join a school, but Notre Dame will be pushing for a commitment this weekend, as they might run out of room for him should he wait for signing day. I like Notre Dame to end up with Keys.
  • A pair of corners, Noah Boykin and newly offered Taiyon Palmer, are still in play for the Irish, with Notre Dame trying to secure a visit with Palmer in the last weeks of the cycle. While Notre Dame went in-home with Palmer last week, if he never makes it to campus, it’s hard to take his recruitment seriously. So, the visit is what to watch for. Boykin has visited, and was previously thought to be favoring Notre Dame. But, as time has gone on, momentum has faded with him. Still, things can change quickly in recruiting, and Notre Dame remains a legit possibility. Just guessing, I’d think Boykin was the better possibility, as Notre Dame has a longer history with him.