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.