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.
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.
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.
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.