Huge Recruiting Weekend on Tap for Notre Dame in Addition to Rival Trojans

Notre Dame Football Recruiting

The Irish will welcome the USC Trojans to South Bend on Saturday in what should be another fun battle in one of the most storied rivalries in American sports. The Trojans won’t be the only people the Irish are hosting as elite high school talent from across the country will be in attendance as well.

Notre Dame and USC have had some fun battles on the field over the years, but overlooked is the battle these two teams have on the recruiting trail. These two storied programs seem to battle over talent more often than one would think a Catholic school in rural Indiana and a glamorous California school should.

Just look at some of the few that have taken place recently….

Many Irish fans thought that Amon-Ra St. Brown was a lock to follow his brother Equanimeous to South Bend, but the Trojans were able to keep him at home with his Highschool quarterback JT Daniels.

Trojan running back Markese Stepp, a Four-star out of NDs back yard out of Indianapolis Cathedral was once verbally committed to the Irish, but later switched to USC.

The Irish have struck back a few times by going to California for talent. Most recently landing Tyler Buchner out of San Diego, who was also being pursued by USC.

Saturday’s matchup matters for bragging rights, but matters just as much in the recruiting battles with USC. Kids want to play for the team they think wins, and ND has to capitalize while the Southern Cal program is weak.

Clay Helton is as good as gone, and we know a fairly prominent Coach is currently unemployed and hanging out in Los Angeles. A team with the advantages USC has won’t stay down long.

With that being said, let’s look at what recruits will be in South Bend this weekend

Isaiah Pryor

Pryor is perhaps the most unique visitor this weekend because he’s not a high school recruit, but an Ohio State Buckeye looking for greener pastures. Pryor was highly considering Notre Dame during his highschool recruitment due to a strong connection with Todd Lyght.

It’s been rather fun having good defensive backs the last few seasons in particular at safety. The Irish certainly have depth at the position, but if a former four-star wants to hop in the mix the Irish would have no problem

Deion Colzie

Four-star Wide Receiver will be making his fourth trip to South Bend this weekend, and the Irish coaching staff is hoping it won’t be the last. The 6’4 receiver out of Athens, GA is the 95th ranked prospect on Rivals for the 2021 class and has offers to Alabama, Florida, and his hometown Georgia Bulldogs. Colzie was in attendance when the Irish visited Athens earlier this year.

The Irish are said to be strong contenders for the highly touted wideout, and that would undoubtedly be a big add. It’s been noted time and time again that the Irish need to land more elite offensive athletes. Brian Kelly and his staff are on their way with the commitments of Chris Tyree and Jordan Johnson. Colson would continue the positive trend of the Irish competing with top programs for elite athletes.

Arlen Harris Jr.

RB Arlen Harris Jr. will be at the game this week as the Irish begin to put together their 2022 class. Harris hails from Lutheran St.Charles in St. Peters, Mo, and has offers from most of the Big 10 schools, and is believed to have more coming.

Current Irish commit Gabriel Rubio also plays for Lutheran St. Charles, so it’s interesting to see the Irish trying to build a pipeline from a powerful program. I once wrote the importance of building relationships at big programs that pump out big recruits. These kids coaches have a lot of say, and so the fact that ND is now recruiting multiple kids from a big program shows me they are doing just that.

Andrel Anthony Jr.

Out of East Lansing, Michigan, Andrel Anthony Jr. is a 6’2 wideout with an abundance offers. Anthony has had the attention of a lot of Big 10 schools and is starting to get it from the more prominent names in the Midwest. Both Notre Dame and Michigan have recently offered Anthony, and the ND offer, in particular, was one he was hoping for. It’s believed that the Irish are the favorite for Anthony as Anthony was also at the New Mexico game earlier this year.

The Irish tend to do well with receivers, especially ones who aren’t necessarily big recruits. Will Fuller comes to mind every time I see a recruit like Andrel and current Irish receiver Braden Lenzy. Guys who have a very high ceiling just not as developed yet.

It’s great that the Irish have these crucial visitors, but now more important that they win the game. Kids want to play in big games, but they also want to win them. If you don’t believe me ask Michigan how hard it is to recruit against Ohio State when they get their doors blown off every year.

Notre Dame’s Defensive Back Board Starting To Take Form Ahead Of Huge Visit Weekend

If you’re a close follower of year round recruiting, how many times have you asked yourself “what’s going on with Notre Dame at defensive back?” For me, it’s absolutely in the double digits. While every other position has been relatively clear in terms of targets and commitments, defensive back has been the opposite of that.

It’s been pretty clear since the end of 2019 and the beginning of the 2020 cycle that Notre Dame wanted to take five defensive backs in the upcoming class. It’s also been clear that Kelly and co. weren’t sure where those commitments would come from.

They went heavy after current Georgia commit Jalen Kimber, who is a fast rising four star corner the Irish appeared to be in good shape with, then his recruitment blew up and the next thing you knew he was a part of Georgia’s class. At one time it appeared things were looking strong for California top 50 corner Clark Phillips, earning a spot in his top three, but things rapidly cooled off after he visited Ohio State and it looks like he’ll be committing there next week. Lovie Jenkins out of Florida looked promising to commit, but he was suddenly dropped and has since committed to Tennessee.

Notre Dame moved quickly on defensive back Clarence Lewis, offering him May 4th and receiving his commitment June 10th, shortly after he visited South Bend for the first time. That gave Notre Dame their first defensive back commitment in the class, with four more slots to go. As we head into the July dead period, it looks like some clarity is finally coming to the backfield.

June 21st Visits

The last big recruiting weekend of the summer is coming up, with a pair of three star defensive backs visiting who could very likely commit to the Irish before heading home.

Caleb Offord, 6-1, 173, South Haven, MS, .8678 composite rating

Offord’s recruitment is following the same trajectory of Lewis. Notre Dame offered the 6-1 corner on the 23rd of May, he unofficially visited on June 8th, and he’ll be back on the 21st for an unofficial visit. At the moment, the Irish are a clear leader for him and it’d be a surprise if he didn’t ultimately end up in the class. He has set a commitment date for July 4th, two weeks after his visit and he has no other visits scheduled between now and then. Do the math.

A great allure for the staff in targeting Offord is his size at 6-1, and his film in reminiscent of current corner Troy Pride; Pride and Offord are/were put in a lot of press man situations in high school. Offord is seemingly a natural fit at the boundary because of that size, and could theoretically also be used at safety.

Landen Bartleson, 6-1, 182, Danville, KY, .8566

Bartleson has been on Notre Dame’s radar a lot longer than Lewis and Offord, but could be joining the class all the same. He’s listed as a safety on 247’s site, although that doesn’t mean a whole lot, and it’s likely Notre Dame is looking for him to play corner. Again, his size is very appealing at 6-1, and the word is the Irish coaches love his athleticism. It’s hard to get a gauge for how much of a fit he is on defense since his entire junior highlight tape consists of him playing running back.

The fact that the staff has been on him for so long and he’s visiting for the third time this offseason on Saturday, this time officially, makes me think this is likely to go down while he’s on campus.

Will Nixon, 5-11, 185, Waco, TX, .8738

Nixon is one of those guys where you watch his film and you don’t understand how he isn’t solidly considered a four star athlete. He plays with aggression, burst, agility, and is a playmaker. His mid three star rating just doesn’t compute, though that’s really neither here nor there. The thing with Nixon is every school who has offered, with the exception of Notre Dame, wants him to play receiver. He is apparently open to defensive back though, and with him visiting this weekend, we might see him be very, very open to it in the form of a verbal commitment, although that’d be more surprising than the first two listed here. If he were to commit, he automatically becomes one of my favorites in the class and I’ll go ahead and put him down as a potential sleeper signing.

Christian Gonzalez, 6-1, 193, The Colony, TX, .8958

Speaking of favorites in the class, Gonzalez would also carry that distinction were he to end up in South Bend, this is another player who I absolutely love. He plays corner now, has experience in the slot, and at his size has the ability to move to safety if needed. He’s a super smooth player with long strides and is the type of athlete who would benefit from a college speed program. Could easily see him take a tenth or two off of his forty time. At 6-1 he is well put together, has a nose for the ball and is very good with the ball in his hands on picks and on offense.

Don’t see a commitment coming from him this weekend, but being around a bunch of guys who will end up at Notre Dame will be a good thing. Very important swing player for Terry Joseph and Todd Lyght.


Excellent chance Notre Dame ends up with two from this weekend within the next two weeks with hope of landing all four of these players ultimately. Notre Dame has prioritized versatility here, with all four players with the ability to play any of the corner spots and even move to safety, something that presents tremendous value within the class. Also as an aside, receiver recruit Xavier Watts is also visiting this weekend and there is a chance he commits as well. He is someone who the staff thinks could be a defensive back if need be. So, food for thought there. Whatever, the case, this weekend could go a long way in determining how the 2020 class ultimately finishes.

Critical Notre Dame Recruiting 2020 Visit Weekend Underway

Notre Dame has had a great start to their recruiting class for the class of 2020 thus far, but the Irish still have a lot of work to do.  Some of that work has to be done this weekend with a big official visit weekend taking place right now.  Notre Dame hosts four official visitors this weekend for the class of 2020 – all of whom would be big time additions for the Irish should they commit.  Here’s a rundown of who all will be in town this weekend.

AJ Henning (WR)

Notre Dame has already locked up recently minted 5-star wide receiver Jordan Johnson earlier this year, but they are not done at wide receiver for 2020 by any means.  Henning sitts near the top of Notre Dame’s priority list along with the likes of Jalen McMillan and Xavier Watts.  Notre Dame was believed to be the favorite for Henning a few months ago, but Michigan has been trending up recently which means Notre Dame has some catch up work to do this weekend.

Henning, a top 100 overall recruit, is looking to make a decision later this summer and Notre Dame would love to add him to go along with Johnson.  He will visit Michigan in two weeks so the Wolverines will get the last word here.  The Wolverines will likely try to sell Henning on being their headliner similar to Johnson for Notre Dame.  The Irish on the other hand will try to sell him on how they will pair him with Johnson to form one of the most formidable one-two combos at receiver in the country.

Lathan Ransom (S)

If there is one area of concern for Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts at this point in time, it’s in the secondary where the Irish do not currently have a commitment and appear to be trending downward with some of their top targets – Ransom included.  Notre Dame faces some stiff competition for Ransom with Ohio State, Texas, LSU, and Oklahoma firmly in this race as well.  Like Henning, Ransom is hoping to make a decision this summer as well.

Notre Dame needs to knock this visit out of the park in order to have a chance.  Ransom visits Ohio State and Texas the next two weekends and Notre Dame needs to add some talent on the backend of the defense in this cycle even though they have added some unprecedented talent at safety the last two recruiting cycles.

Clarence Lewis (CB)

Cornerback is an even bigger concern than safety for the class of 2020 right now because the Irish have added more elite talent at safety the last few years.  Top cornerback prospect Clark Phillips also appears to be trending towards Ohio State at the moment making this weekend’s visit from Clarence Lewis all the more important for Notre Dame.

Lewis doesn’t have the profile of Phillips nor the offer list.  Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, and Virginia Tech are among the top contenders for Lewis who is being recruited as a wide receiver by some.  Notre Dame, however, sees him as a cornerback and really likes his long term upside at the position.  Unlike Phillips, Lewis might not be an immediate contributor type of recruit, but long term, Lewis has great potential at corner.

The pressure will be on Todd Lyght soon as more cornerbacks drop off of Notre Dame’s recruiting board for 2020.  Making an impression with Lewis this weekend will be key for Lyght and the Irish staff.

Mitchell Melton (DE)

Once Notre Dame lost out on Braeden McGregor, their attention at defensive end turned solely on DROP end Mitchell Melton even though the two play different positions.  McGregor being a strongside end while Melton is a pure DROP end.

It could be argued that Melton fills a bigger need for Notre Dame than McGregor would have even though McGregor is the much higher rated prospect and is likely to be a more productive collegiate player over.  He would do so because Notre Dame has recruited the strongside better than than they have the DROP the last few cycles.  Jordan Bothello projects as a DROP for Notre Dame even though some services have him listed as an OLB just like Melton, but Notre Dame could very much use a 2nd DROP in this class.  Melton would be a great one to add.

Right now this looks like a Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State battle.  Notre Dame looks like they are trending upward here, but there is still a lot of work to be done by Mike Elston and Clark Lea.  Elston’s been on fire the last two years.  Hopefully he can work some magic this weekend.

If Notre Dame misses on Melton, they could just shut down defensive line recruiting and be perfectly content with the impressive group they already have in the fold.

Unofficial 2020 Visitors in Town this Weekend Too

Caleb Offord (CB) – Offord is another raw cornerback with upside that Notre Dame has offered recently.  The Mississippi prospect does not have an overly impressive offer list at the moment, but his recruitment is one that looks about to start heating up.

Jordan Addison (WR/CB) – Another prospect listed by some services as a wide receiver who Notre Dame is recruiting as a defensive back.  The Irish just offered Addison a few weeks ago, but this will not be the first time he has seen Notre Dame unofficially – he visited back in April as well.   Addison’s recruiting is also just starting to heat up a bit with Syracuse getting in the mix this week by officially offering as well.

Notre Dame has ground to make up this weekend, and this weekend’s visits will go a long way in determining where Notre Dame’s class ends up netting out this year.  Hopefully they’re able to do just that.

Notre Dame Receives Their First Official Visits Of The 2020 Cycle

With the turn of the calendar to April, that means recruiting is now open for business as far as official visits go. They’ve been hot on the trail and receiving a number of top recruits so far in late March and early April. Elite athletes like Chris Tyree, Jordan Johnson, Clark Phillips, Tosh Baker, Jalen McMillan, Tirek Murphy, and Michael Redding have all been to South Bend and have high interest in playing for the Fighting Irish. Of course, Notre Dame already has five commitments in fold and looks to expand that group prior to the start of spring practice.

Notre Dame will have three committed players on hand to see the weekend practices, defensive tackle Aiden Keanaaina, plus tight ends Michael Mayer and Kevin Bauman.

Here is a look at the group who will be on campus this weekend.

Official Visitors

Jordan Johnson, WR, St. Louis, Missouri 

The #34 overall player according to 247’s composite ranking, Johnson is making his official visit to Notre Dame with the Irish a clear leader for his services. He has been strongly linked to South Bend for months; he’s visited campus a number of times prior to this visit, including earlier this spring, and has a commitment date set for late July. He’s expected to hold that date, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he decided to pull the trigger this weekend. Something to keep and eye on.

I wrote about Johnson the player earlier this offseason. 

Rylie Mills, DE, Lake Forest, IL

The #123 rated player in the 2020 class, Mills makes his official visit with Notre Dame, similar to Johnson, a clear leader in his recruitment. Mills is also being pursued by Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson with Ohio State being the main competition for his commitment. Mills has not made it a secret the Irish are out front and like Johnson his commitment looks like a when not if type situation. Obviously, would be a huge get for Notre Dame, defensive end and defensive line help are paramount in every class.

Jimmy Christ, OL, Sterling, VA

The four star, #339 rated player in the nation rounds out the trio of visitors who Notre Dame leads for and could conceivably commit this weekend. Christ has a visit lined up to Oklahoma next weekend, so the chances of him pulling the trigger for Notre Dame this weekend are weakened because of that fact, but it is believed the Irish are currently his top school.

Braidon McGregor, DE, Port Huron, MI

Even though he is rated below Rylie Mills at #201 overall, McGregor is seen as a bigger fish for Notre Dame to get along the defensive line this cycle. McGregor is seen as a Michigan lean, if not as outright favorites for his services. He has been trending to Michigan for at least a month. He’s going to visit Notre Dame, Michigan, then Ohio State in short order, and then begin to decide where he’d like to commit to.

Ryan Watts, CB, Little Elm, Texas

The #341st overall player in the class, the four star from Texas is somewhat of a surprise visitor to Notre Dame this weekend. He also is looking at Oklahoma and Arkansas, among others, with visits to those two schools coming up. Watts is listed at 6-2 1/2, 187 so a nice sized corner who would fit in nicely given Notre Dame’s current lack of size. Too early in the process to name a leader for him, but getting an official visit is a good sign.

Unofficial Visits

Landen Bartleson, CB, Danville, KY

The three star cornerback prospect who plays running back in high school is visiting unofficially for the second time this spring. Bartleson also holds offers from Michigan and Ohio State, will likely come back for an official visit later on this spring or summer.

Jalen Kimber, CB, Arlington, Texas

The fast rising corner will be the second Texas corner to visit Notre Dame this weekend. The #240 player in the class has risen steadily in the rankings all winter and spring, and has plans to visit Alabama and Ohio State in the next month. Kimber is a very important recruit in this cycle; along with Clark Phillips, he represents one of the two top targets at the position for Clark Lea’s defense and Notre Dame isn’t considered a leader for either one, although Kimber is tough to read as the landscape on him has changed drastically.

The good news for Notre Dame here is they have been on Kimber for some time, while some of the other top schools have hopped on his bandwagon late. Unclear whether or not that will make a difference, however.


Elite RB Recruit Tirek Murphy Loving his Notre Dame Visit

Every Notre Dame fan knows that running back sits at the top of the priority list for the Irish in the class of 2020.  It’s one of the reasons that the hire of new RB coach Lance Taylor will be so critical for the future of the Notre Dame offense.  It sounds that at least for now, Notre Dame’s made a huge impression on elite RB target Tirek Murphy who is unofficially visiting this weekend.

Murphy is on campus as part of a huge Notre Dame recruiting weekend.  While on campus, he has been quite active on Twitter letting everyone know just how much he is enjoying his time on campus.  Here’s the most telling Tweet so far.

It’s not a commitment of course and hours later Murphy posted that his Top 10 schools list was coming soon to give you an indicator of where he’s at in his selection process, but Notre Dame couldn’t have asked for much more.

At 220 lbs and 6’0″ tall, Murphy would be a perfect addition as the big back Notre Dame wants in this class and would compliment a back like Chris Tyree – who is also on campus – absolutely perfectly.  If Notre Dame were to land both, they could not have asked for a better combination in this class.

Michigan is considered one of the other favorites for Murphy at the moment, but he also holds offers from LSU, Miami, Michigan State, and Texas A&M currently with a number of other elite programs interested as well.

Murphy, a New York native, seems to also have a liking for the Notre Dame Pinstripe Shamrock Series jerseys from last year as well.

Considering most Notre Dame fans weren’t the biggest fans of this uniform combo, it’s nice to see Notre Dame getting some use out of it.  Not for nothing though, but the gold helmet with the Yankees inspired uniform does kind of pop.  Maybe if they hadn’t also decided to wear the baseball style helmet in November, fans might not have been as opposed to them.

The real news here isn’t someone finally liked those jerseys from last fall.  The real news is that in the early stages of the class of 2020, it looks like Notre Dame has made a huge impression on an elite running back that they’d love to add to the class.

As for Tyree, he was back on campus for a second time unofficially and will be yet again in the summer for an official visit. Coach Taylor has done a fantastic job in a short period of time catching up to the other running backs coaches who’ve been recruiting Tyree much longer.

We’ve written quite a bit about Tyree already here, but in case you haven’t read; he’s the kind of electric back that Notre Dame sorely needs and his junior year film shows that pretty clearly.

Let’s just add both him and Murphy to this class and call it a day, shall we?  If only it were that easy.  Still a long way to go, but if Notre Dame does end up with both Murphy and Tyree, Taylor will have done on hell of a job in his first year on the job.

Notre Dame’s Huge 2020 Football Recruiting Weekend Starts Today

Starting today Notre Dame football has a huge recruiting weekend with four 2020 prospects visiting and multiple 2020 top recruits making the trek to Notre Dame’s campus.  For some it will be their first time visiting while others have visited multiple times.

Let’s take a look at the 2020 prospects visiting this weekend…

Chris Tyree RB, #1 APB, Virginia

Arguably the #1 prospect on Notre Dame’s recruiting board overall for the 2020 class.  This will be the nation’s #1 all-purpose back 2nd visit to Notre Dame after an unofficial visit in December for Junior Day.  New RB coach Lance Taylor will have his first in-person talk with Tyree on campus starting today and will be looking to make headway for the fastest RB prospect on ND’s board for at least the last 10 years from what I can recall.

Landing a running back of Tyree’s stature is a MUST for Coach Taylor and was the main reason why he was brought in to Notre Dame to secure top recruits commitments at the RB position.  Taylor and the Fighting Irish will be in a dog fight for Tyree with top programs like Alabama and Oklahoma and many others also heavily recruiting the Virginia product.

Tyree will also be making an official visit in June.  The fact that Tyree is paying on his own dime to visit Notre Dame for a 2nd time this weekend is huge.  I don’t expect a verbal commitment but ND could in my opinion hit a home run with Tyree with current players showing him what life is like on campus and getting him a feel for the team and the coaching staff to at least put them in the lead for his services.

Side note: Tyree’s junior year film was just a bit ridiculous.

Tirek Murphy RB, New York

Another 4-star prospect at the running back position who will be visiting Notre Dame this weekend on an unofficial.  This is Murphy’s first visit to Notre Dame and he will be bringing his mom which tends to work heavily in Notre Dame’s favor when they can get mom on board.

While Tyree is the #1 prospect on Notre Dame’s RB board there is no doubt ND and the coaching staff would take a commitment from Murphy and make room for two backs in this class.  This will be Murphy’s first in-person meeting with Coach Taylor too.  He’s not even been a month on the job but the fact that Taylor already has two of the nation’s best backs visiting on their own dime speaks volumes.  Murphy will also be visiting Alabama and Oregon in the future but just reading the tea leaves I think ND is in the driver’s seat for his services.

Cody Simon LB, New Jersey

You may recognize the last name as his brother Shayne is a freshman linebacker currently at Notre Dame.  ND has signed 8 linebackers in the last two classes so getting Cody’s services isn’t a must get for the Fighting Irish staff.  But make no mistake, Notre Dame would love to add another 4-star linebacker like Simon and will probably be in a battle with Penn State for his commitment.

Don’t bank on Simon being a sure fire commitment for the Irish just because his brother plays at Notre Dame.  The Irish have a lot of work to do for Cody and this weekend’s unofficial visit should hopefully get them another visit in the future.  The Ademilola twins also played with Cody in high school so he’s got a lot of familiarity with some of the players.  Defensive coordinator Clark Lea is also a big fan of Cody and why wouldn’t he be after looking at these highlights…

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Zak Zinter OL, Massachusetts

This will be big Zak’s 2nd visit to Notre Dame after visiting for the Ball State game in the fall.  Zinter looks to be more of a guard prospect than tackle even though he has a tackle body.  Notre Dame is in a battle with in-state Boston College for Zinter’s services.  Numbers are low on takes in this class at the offensive line so don’t be surprised if Zinter decides to jump aboard with a commitment this weekend.  Zinter is a top 200 prospect overall in the nation and would be a tremendous get for the Fighting Irish and line coach Jeff Quinn.

The 2021 class visits this weekend include two Georgia WR prospects in Jaquez Smith and Deion Colzie.  Both have offers from Notre Dame.  This will be Smith’s 1st visit to ND and Colzie’s 2nd visit.  Smith is an Atlanta prospect that has offers from the likes of Georgia, LSU, and Michigan.  Colzie is an Athens prospect but only has one offer and it’s not from UGA, it’s Tennessee.  The more Georgia peach products on the roster the better in my opinion for Notre Dame.

In-state Avon, IN offensive tackle Blake Fisher is Notre Dame’s #1 recruit on the offensive line for the 2021 class and will be on another unofficial visit to ND this weekend after visiting multiple times.  Fisher has offers from all the big-time programs across the nation even though he’s only a sophomore.  He will be a tough pull because schools like Alabama and Ohio State are going after Fisher.  Fisher could be a 5-star prospect when all is said and done and definitely has a 5-star offer list.

Another offensive linemen visiting this weekend is Landon Tengwall.  The 6’6 300 lb prospect already has offers from all the big schools (Alabama, UGA, Michigan, etc.) like Fisher.  Tengwall is out of Maryland and goes to Good Counsel HS which has produced another Notre Dame offensive lineman in Sam Mustipher.  He also played with incoming freshman Cam Hart at Good Counsel.  I like Notre Dame’s chances here.

4-Star DE NaNa Osafo Mensah Sets Notre Dame Official

Notre Dame’s defensive line class for 2019 is off to an excellent start.  The Irish will be hoping to add to that haul next month when they will officially host another 4-star defensive lineman – Dallas native NaNa Osafo Mensah.

The brother Osafo-Mensah is referencing is Notre Dame commitment and fellow defensive lineman Hunter Spears.  Spears committed to Notre Dame last week joining Jacob Lacey to give Notre Dame a pair of 4-star defensive line commits for 2019.  The Irish will be hoping that Osafo-Mensah becomes #3 on his visit.

NaNa Osafo-Mensah is a 4-star defensive end prospect from Dallas, Texas.  247Sports ranks him as the #7 weakside defensive end in the country and the #110 overall prospect regardless of position.  Weakside DE was the one position that Notre Dame swung and missed on in the class of 2018 making this a rather important early official visit for the class of 2019.

Osafo-Mensah also has offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and USC among a host of other big time programs.  In short, he is a big-time talent who can play pretty much anywhere he wants to.

This won’t be the first time NaNa Osafo-Mensah will be on Notre Dame’s campus.  He was on hand for Notre Dame’s successful Junior Day at the end of January.

Notre Dame did an excellent job getting a lot of talented defensive linemen on campus that weekend.  At the time, only Lacey was the only defensive lineman committed, but since then Spears joined him, and now Osafo-Mensah is making a return visit.  This time for an official visit now that recruits can take official visits in the spring.

Remember, this is the first year that recruits can take official visits between April and June.  Previously official visits couldn’t take place until September of the recruit’s senior season.

There’s a lot of positive momentum here for Notre Dame obviously with the defensive linemen who visited in January all hitting it off and now Osafo-Mensah visiting Notre Dame officially along with the Irish’s most recent commitment Hunter Spears.  Should Notre Dame made a major move here, it would obviously be huge for Notre Dame.

According to 247Sports, NaNa Osafo-Mensah will announce his college decision on May 19.

Notre Dame Hosting Three 2018 Recruits This Weekend

Notre Dame is still working hard to fill up the class of 2018 even with the 21 already signed recruits from the early signing period.  The Irish will be hosting three prospects they hope will add to that total this weekend.  Here’s a quick look at who the Irish currently have on campus.

Jarrett Patterson (4-star OT)

Notre Dame just offered the one time Arizona State commit and California native last month so getting him on campus so quickly is already a small win in this fight for the Irish.  Patterson is down to Notre Dame, UCLA, and Michigan.  If Notre Dame wasn’t looking for a new offensive line coach at the moment following Harry Hiestand’s NFL departure, there would be much more reason for optimism here.  Obviously it’s good to have him on campus this weekend, but without a position coach currently on staff as the Irish look to replace Hiestand, Notre Dame is up against some tough odds here.

Notre Dame is also still heavily recruiting Nicholas Petit-Frere at offensive tackle to add to Jon Dirksen, Cole Mabry, and Luke Jones.

Lawrence Keys (3-star WR)

Notre Dame would love to add another wide receiver to trio of Braden Lenzy, Micah Jones, and Kevin Austin and Keys has been at the top of this list for a while.  The Louisiana native is a dynamic athlete who could be a perfect compliment to the class to play out of the slot. Keys isn’t a pure speed demon, but he is a good route runner and a great athlete similar to a TJ Jones type receiver.   If Notre Dame were to add Keys to go with the Jones, Lenzy, and Austin; the Irish would have their best set of receivers in a single class in a long, long time.

Moro Ojomo (3-star DT)

Ojomo got his recruiting off to a late start which bodes well for Notre Dame after the Irish got in on the Texas native late in the game.  Notre Dame offered Ojomo last month with the Irish joining Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, Texas, and TCU in their pursuit.  That kind of offer list isn’t very indicative of a 3-star prospect.  Ojomo is a late riser though who saw his profile skyrocket as a senior this fall.  Notre Dame is up against some very strong competition here and Notre Dame has struggled pulling recruits out of Texas in recent years.

Notre Dame already signed Ja’mion Franklin and Jayson Ademilola on the interior of the defensive line in this class, but adding another would be nice given the departure of Brandon Tiassum and Elijah Taylor from the program earlier this week due to dismissal (Tiassum) and transfers (Taylor).

Notre Dame has the most work to do with Patterson and Ojomo at this point while Keys is the most likely addition.  None of three, however, are close to a lock for Notre Dame right now so the Irish staff has some work to do this weekend.  And remember, Notre Dame entered January 2017 with a lot of ground to make up with prospects like Kofi Wardlow and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and both ended up at Notre Dame in the end.