*Notre Dame* - Well-eNDowed

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
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    It's amazing the rate we strike out with highly ranked kids on signing day

    Come on Demetris :pray:
  2. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    I am usually pretty negative but man, this staff seems to really be coming together. This is the first year since Kelly's first that I remember looking at Kelly and thinking he was all in. what the hell do i know though
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  3. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
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    I don't think there is any denying that general trajectory is upwards. I have my concerns about bvg, and watching others sign like they did concerns me, but, I like where we're at. Kelly is in, no doubting that, and I think a lot of the younger staff is hitting their stride. I don't expect a NC next year, but I like where it's going.
    a1ND and laxjoe like this.
  4. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    I feel the same about Kelly. And it sounds like we are getting facilities upgrades and more recruiting office hires, probably was a condition of Kelly's deal. I love the staff we have outside of bvg.
    a1ND, IHHH, Irish226 and 3 others like this.
  5. Dillingham

    Dillingham Well-Known Member
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    Killy could really cement his legacy if the body of BVG turns up in the dumpster of Torch late this evening or early tomorrow morning IMO
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  6. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    Just looked at the class for the first time. I thought Claypool was some big honkey putting up 50 a game. Damn - this class looks pretty damn impressive. A lot of guys who just look the part.
  7. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
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    Claypool is gonna be really good, one of my favorite players in the class

    I'm probably in the minority, but I'd like to see him the staff start him out as a pass-rushing LB/DE
    Thoros of Beer and Beeds07 like this.
  8. CTownND

    CTownND Well-Known Member

    Is Jonathan Jones like Toryan Smith or bad comp?

    Seems like his rating varies a lot between services.
  9. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
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    Our head coach talked about how important having a presence on Vine and being able to DM recruits on Twitter is at his NSD press conference today

    I <3 2016
  10. Robdog_5

    Robdog_5 Well-Known Member

    Solid class. Fill some holes and found some potential impact players but these are type of classes that win 10 games. But not the type that lead you to a national championship. Although adding Robertson would help
  11. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
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    Randomly watched the DJ Morgan "Phone Call" video on WatchND and my god BVG is so painfully awkward

    Get this guy the fuck out of the program, he can't do anything well at the college level
    IHHH likes this.
  12. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    As much as i think a class ranked about 12th nationally wont let ND make the next step i do need to say there are a few lower ranked guys in this class i like an insane amount. Guys like Elliot, Studstill and love are gonna be awesome for this team both in the short and long run. Really only Stepherson and McIntosh are iffy to me
  13. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    i saw someone compare him to maurice crum
  14. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    With whiffing on Lb besides Jones can we just move spencer Perry to Lb already
  15. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    did he really ask the same question 3 times and say congrats 3 times and call it a day? cuz thats what it sounded like to me
  16. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    i think its a given at this point, frankly i don't think he will be needed at safety
  17. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
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    I always think you have to look at recruiting as two classes on top of each other- when you add 2015 to 2016 its a hell of a foundation. ND will be very good for forseable future we don't have those Weis or Ty depth bombs on the roster anymore.

    We have arguably the best QB depth in the country with arguably the best Oline depth in the country protecting them. Am I worried about the back 7 on Defense? Absolutely but we sure have recruited alot of guys that look the part for those positions the last two years
  18. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    Even without truely highly rated guys im really quite giddy about this DB class. Think Pride is gonna be a multi year starter, could well take cole lukes role after next year, I think Studstill could very well play this upcoming season to spell redfield a bit, at worst next year. Elliot is a stud who will see the field in a year or 2 for sure. Love the potential of love as a nickel, hell be dealing with a similar player ahead of him in crawford though. Perry could be a good LB, certainly a good sam, maybe a will. Really the only guy im iffyish about is DJ Morgan, but he could be a decent strong safety.

    also for kicks, my crazy insane early 2017 mock class.

    QB: Avery Davis
    RB: AJ Dillon
    WR: Osiris St Brown, Tarik Black
    TE: Brock Wright, Cole Kmet
    OL: Dillan Gibbons, Joshua Lugg, Trey Smith, Jedrick Wills, Ken Jarvis
    DE: Robert Beal, Corey Malone Hatcher
    DT: Haskell Garrett, Jerron Cage
    LB: Antjuan Simmons, Pete Wernr, Kyle Bolden
    CB: Ambry Thomas
    S: Tyrell Alijan, Damani Neal
  19. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    how many spots are we looking at Wicket?
  20. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
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    Super skeptical on him. He is not overly liked at his own HS.
  21. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    Im mainly worried about the coaching on defense and the lack of elite guys on defense. I dont think there are many great college defenses without a few great players and as of right now i see just a few players in the last few classes on defense that i could see becoming a great player (barajas, studstill, hayes, tillery, crawford and pride are really the only potentials, all of em have a long way to go for it)
    NilesIrish likes this.
  22. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    gilmore is an asset. i think the jury is out on lyght because i think he's hamstrung by bvg's scheme to the extent that it makes the secondary look like slow dullards.
  23. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    well we were looking at max 20 this year so things change.

    assuming that we actualy get robertson (otherwise add 1 to the work im doing below) we lose:
    Corey Robinson, Steve Elmer, Isaac Rochell, James Onwualu, Devin Butler, Cole Luke, Max Redfield
    by my count we'd return as fifth years: Jarron Jones, Scott Daly, Avery Sebastian/Mark Harrell
    (were at 91 and with Monty van Gorder, Guyton, Anderson, Hounshell, Turner, Baratti and Sebastian/Harrell, both stay if robertson goes elsewhere)

    The fifth years next year are: Zaire, Folston, Smythe, McGlinchey, Bivin, McGovern, Montellus, Randolph and Matuska
    possible guys going pro early: McGlinchey is really the only one i can imagine
    Cant imagine going into next season with the same 3 QBs, one of em will go elsewhere
    There will be another WR getting out, my top candidate is holmes
    One of the logjam at DT will go

    So 7 guys graduating, 3 5th years, abou 4 expendable 5th years of next year and about 3 transfers that seem super likely makes 17, so a class of about 20 to cope with injuries and the likes?
    a1ND likes this.
  24. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    jones has another year of eligibility after next year? and isn't this sebastian's last year? I think he was a grad transfer. or am i just reading this wrong?
  25. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
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    All three of the LB's we took last year have a chance to be really good- Coney will likely start this fall. Bilal and Barajas look the part

    Tillery, Kareem, and Hayes will be very good on the Dline and I think Elijah Taylor will round out that group to make a pretty damn good front 4. Anything we get out of the projects is a plus and one of those guys will be pretty damn good like Okwara or a Dew-Treadway in the end.

    I cant predict the db's but we took 11 of them so thats a plus just by the numbers
  26. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
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    I hate that I agree with this. It was obvious our DB's played their best late in the SC game when they just manned up and ran with guys.

    Avery is definitely done after this year. 6th year medical.
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  27. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    i like what the staff has done in terms of positions that are hardest for us to recruit (DBs and DLs). They've gone with a strength in numbers approach and wait to see who emerges or develops and then those who get left behind transfer. It's the right strategy. However, this also means that there is little room for error when it comes to recruiting and evaluating positions that we are traditionally good at recruiting (QB, TE, OL, WR)

    edit: although it is nice with WRs because they are usually the most apt for position changes
  28. AHebrewToo

    AHebrewToo Albino Hebrew Extraordinaire
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    Wicket - do you have your too-early 2016 recruiting class predictions? I think it was pretty good if memory servers (although it usually does not).
  29. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    I wrote it wrong/ you read it wrong. That list of fifth years is the group of fifths i could see returning this year (so leaving after this season), they are a factor in who is replaced.
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  30. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    pretty sure it got lost in the crash, couldnt find it at least. Think i had kraemer, eichenberg, okwara, love and jones correct and pretty much whiffed on the rest
  31. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
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    I still think we should've never stopped recruiting Damar Hamlin- kid is gonna haunt us one day in those always shitty ND Pitt games
    NilesIrish likes this.
  32. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    interested to see how much headway we can make with najee harris. he's obviously got interest and i believe his recruiters will be Sanford, Denbrock, and Denson (position group), our three best.
  33. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    also this quote from the presser is interesting:

    "Our recruiting office will continue to grow, move forward. We'll have some more exciting announcements as we continue to find the best and the brightest. We're stealing talent wherever we find it. We just stole some more talent on campus we can't announce here yet, but you're going to be quite familiar with her. You see her on campus quite a bit. But she'll be joining our office here pretty soon once we get the signatures on her high-paid contract, we'll announce her, as well."

    who the hell is that?
  34. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
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  35. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Kyle Bolden?? No Thanks! haha.

    Not a bad list. I think they can do better at LB than Bolden.
    Ross or maybe D Adams.
    #185 NDXOS, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2016
  36. Voodoo

    Voodoo Fan of: Notre Dame
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    Lisa Ann
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  37. NDXOS

    NDXOS Guest

    Irish Illustrated ‏@PeteSampson_ 22h22 hours ago
    Brian Kelly teases another addition to the recruiting staff. My money is on @NDSportsBlogger
    Thoros of Beer likes this.
  38. lomcevak

    lomcevak The suck zone
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  39. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
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    I like her.
  40. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
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    No coney?
  41. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    no coney. but really, i see him becoming a nice player but i never see him becoming like a first rounder, AA type of player, those other players might be able to do that
    IHHH likes this.
  42. a1ND

    a1ND Bold & Spicy

    in honor of Wick, coach D's ranking of the recruits:

    short version:


    1.Liam Eichenberg, OL, 6-5, 284, Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius
    2.Javon McKinley, WR, 6-2, 206, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
    3.Tommy Kraemer, OL, 6-5, 310, Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder
    4.Daelin Hayes, LB, 6-4, 249, Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline
    5.Chase Claypool, WR, 6-5, 214, Abbotsford (B.C.) High School
    6.Devin Studstill, S, 6-1, 183, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High School
    7.Julian Okwara, DE, 6-4, 220, Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell
    8.Jalen Elliott, S, 6-1, 181, Chesterfield (Va.) L.C. Bird
    9.Jonathan Jones, LB, 6-0, 209, Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge
    10.Donte' Vaughn, CB, 6-2, 195, Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven
    11.Troy Pride Jr., CB, 6-0, 165, Greer (S.C.) High School
    12.Kevin Stepherson, WR, 6-1, 180, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
    13.Tony Jones Jr., RB, 5-11, 210, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
    14.Khalid Kareem, DE, 6-4, 260, Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison
    15.Julian Love, CB, 5-11, 175, LaGrange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy
    16.Parker Boudreaux, OL, 6-4, 291, Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore
    17.D.J. Morgan, S, 6-2, 195, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
    18.Ian Book, QB, 6-0, 195, El Dorado Hills (Calif.) Oak Ridge
    19.Jamir Jones, LB/DE, 6-3, 230, Rochester (N.Y.) Aquinas Institute
    20.Spencer Perry, S, 6-3, 202, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
    21.Deon McIntosh, RB/Slot, 5-10, 175, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons
    22.Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, 6-5, 220, Walled Lake (Mich.) Central
    NR.John Shannon, LS, 6-2, 235, Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy

    long version:



    Height/Weight:6-5, 284
    Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
    High School: St. Ignatius
    BGI Grade: 4.5 Overall - 5.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 194 nationally - No. 11 OT

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Alabama, Boston College, Florida State, Illinois, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee, West Virginia

    Analysis:Eichenberg is one of the best offensive tackles in the entire country. He was an elite player as a sophomore. As a junior he showed himself to still be a very good prospect despite playing all season through a knee injury that limited his athleticism. The St. Ignatius product is exactly what Notre Dame is looking for in its edge players. He ha a thick frame that will allow him to add significant weight and strength. At 6-5 with long arms and broad shoulders, Eichenberg has ideal length for the edge and plays with a strong base. Eichenberg is a physical run blocker that comes off low, does an excellent job driving his hips through contact and then buries opponents with his leg drive. He is a quality athlete, possessing good foot quickness, loops hips and the ability to bend at the knees. When healthy he has shown excellent lateral quickness, which will be something to look for as a senior. Eichenberg has elite pass blocking potential that will show out as he gets healthy and adds more weight room strength. He gets out of his stance quickly, keeps a good base and shows the athleticism and instincts to mirror. Eichenberg has the ability to play with power and finesse, which is rare. He has fast and strong hands, showing the ability to use them as weapons in order to dominate his opponent.

    Notre Dame Projection:Eichenberg was at the top of the board for line coach Harry Hiestand dating back to his sophomore season. He's a Zack Martin type player that combines excellent pass blocking potential with toughness in the run game. Eichenberg has the tools to be a left tackle in the Notre Dame offense, but his power and attitude in the run game could allow him to play at right tackle or guard should starting opportunities at those positions come open before left tackle.


    Height/Weight:6-2, 204
    Hometown: Corona, California
    High School: Centennial
    BGI Grade: 4.5 Overall - 5.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 59 nationally - No. 11 WR

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Miami, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin

    Analysis:McKinley might not blow people away with pure speed and he needs work to refine his game, but there is little doubt about his talent and ability. He racked up 97 catches for 2059 yards and 22 TD's as a junior while playing against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. McKinley is a solid all-around athlete that knows how to maximize his tools. He shows good quickness and has great potential as a route runner, although it is an area where more work is needed. McKinley is a strong receiver with good length and an athletic build. The Centennial star knows how to use his size and strength to dominate the opposition. His ball skills are outstanding. McKinley has fast and strong hands, which allows him to snatch the ball out of the air with ease. His concentration and focus is exceptional, so is his timing as a leaper. These traits make him a matchup nightmare. Even when he is covered he is open as long as the quarterback can get the ball into an area where McKinley can out-play and out-muscle his defender. McKinley uses his strength, vision and instincts to make plays after the catch. On the field, McKinley is a combination of former Notre Dame standouts Michael Floyd and DaVaris Daniels.

    Notre Dame Projection:McKinley has the versatility to play all three wide receiver positions for Notre Dame. He has the ball skills and after-the-catch ability to play the X position. He could be a middle of the field possession receiver and a strong alley blocker as a Z receiver. His best position is probably the W position on the backside. Not since Tyler Eifert was at Notre Dame has the Irish offense had a legit one-on-one difference maker on the backside of the offense. Notre Dame needs a player there that can stretch the field - which McKinley can - and a player physical enough and with good enough ball skills to win the jump balls and to out-muscle defenders for the ball. McKinley can do all of that. He has a number of talented receivers in front of him, but keeping McKinley off the field next season will be hard to do. If he is healthy and does not play it means the Notre Dame receiving corps is phenomenal.


    Height/Weight:6-5, 310
    Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
    High School: Elder
    BGI Grade: 4.5 Overall - 5.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 41 nationally - No. 4 OT

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest

    Analysis:Kraemer is a versatile offensive lineman that has the skills to play on the edge at tackle or inside at guard. What makes him such an exciting player is that as good he is right now, his room for development is enormous. Kraemer is just starting to tap into his immense tools and he has plenty of room for development and growth. At this point in his career he has a very young build. He has a lot of body reshaping to do, and as he physically matures and puts in the work in the strength and conditioning program his game should take off. At 6-5 and 310 pounds, he already has elite size and Kraemer could easily be over 320 pounds when it is all said and done. Kraemer already knows how to throw his weight around, especially in the run game. He has a good natural punch and long arms. He is beginning to flash a bit of a mean streak, which would enhance his game should it become a consistently bigger part of his demeanor. As he learns to play with greater consistency and better pad level his ability to dominate in the run game should become elite. Kraemer is a solid athlete that has enough agility and length to play on the edge as a tackle, where he could develop into an effective power player on the right side. His skill set is such that his agility should improve as his body matures.

    Notre Dame Projection:Kraemer was right there with Eichenberg in regards to players that Hiestand loved early on, and Kraemer was the first player in the class to jump on board. He improved his athleticism as a senior and now has a chance to stick at right tackle. Like current starter Quenton Nelson, Kraemer's game is all about power and attitude, which means a move to guard could certainly happen, and if it does Kraemer would be remind many of Nelson.


    Height/Weight:6-4, 249
    Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
    High School: Skyline
    BGI Upgrade: 4.5 Overall - 5.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 5-star - No. 31 nationally - No. 7 OLB

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Illinois, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Wisconsin

    Analysis:Right now the ranking for Hayes is all about raw talent, athleticism and potential. Injuries and transferring from Michigan to California and back to Michigan have kept him from playing a full season of high school football. Despite his lack of experience, the talent is obvious and the reality is players with his combination of size, strength and athleticism do not come along very often. Hayes has excellent size and natural power, although his frame could stand to be reshaped a bit moving forward. Once that happens, Hayes will become more explosive from a power and athleticism standpoint. Athletically, Hayes possesses an explosive first step that allows him to fly downhill. He stays light on his feet, has smooth hips and is able to redirect with ease. His in-the-box power and speed projects well for the inside positions, his range and athleticism makes him a perfect fit outside and his power-speed combination could easily project at defensive end. The major concern about Hayes has nothing to do with his talent or attitude. He must prove he can stay healthy and play a full season. If he can, Notre Dame will get an extremely gifted athlete.

    Notre Dame Projection:Hayes projects at four different positions in the Notre Dame defense. He is powerful enough to play Mike linebacker, athletic enough to thrive at the Will linebacker position, rangy and good enough in space to play Sam linebacker and he has the frame and power to eventually grow into a defensive end. Expect Hayes to be given every opportunity to find a spot at linebacker, but early in his career he could find an edge rushing role, similar to the one held by Kolin Hill in 2014. Hayes has difference maker talent, something Notre Dame needs more of on its defense. He just has to stay healthy.


    Height/Weight:6-5, 214
    Hometown: Abbotsford, British Columbia
    High School: Abbotsford
    BGI Grade: 4.5 Overall - 5.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 109 nationally - No. 22 WR

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Rutgers, Utah, Washington

    Analysis:Not that long ago no one really knew who Chase Claypool was. Now he is one of the fastest rising wide receivers in the country. Few players possess the all-around package that Claypool brings to the game. The first thing that jumps off the screen is his incredible size and frame. Claypool measured in this summer at 6-5 and 214 pounds. He has long arms, which gives him an incredible catch radius. Claypool has a muscular, athletic build and very good strength for someone so young. He already knows how to use his length and size to out-position defenders when the ball is in the air. It makes him difficult to defend, as he is a threat to make a play even if he is covered. Claypool is a tough football player that is more than willing to mix it up and make tough catches in traffic. The Canadian has good speed and he uses his long strides to cover a lot of ground. He was timed as fast as 4.61 in the forty this summer but he plays faster than that. Claypool has good foot quickness and agility for such a big player. He also has very good vision and instincts, and he combines those traits with his physical tools to make plays after the catch. The scary part about Claypool's game is that he is just learning how to play the position. As he develops the technical part of his game he will have a chance to dominate.

    Notre Dame Projection:Claypool is a guy who could end up playing a number of different positions, and his dominant senior season did nothing to answer the question of where he plays. He was electric as a receiver and improved as a defensive player. Right now his best position remains receiver, where Claypool has elite potential. He could push for playing time early at the W position, where his length and ball skills make him an excellent one-on-one player, a must for the W. He could also thrive at X, but his best position is on the backside.


    Height/Weight:6-1, 183
    Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    High School: Palm Beach Gardens
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 45 ATH

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    Analysis:Studstill is without question one of the most underrated players in the country. His combination of athleticism, instincts and toughness is as good as any safety in the land. Studstill can do it all, and is just as comfortable coming downhill as he is dropping into coverage. Studstill is a physical player with the game to play strong safety and the nickel in Notre Dame's defense. Studstill loves to fly downhill and attack, with the ability to explode through contact and quickly drive through the legs of ball carriers. Studstill plays much faster than he times, showing outstanding range and the ability to quickly accelerate off the hash. Studstill has impressive agility and loose hips, traits that allow him to transition well in coverage. His football IQ is high and he shows the ability to read the quarterback and anticipate routes. Studstill shined in man coverage at the Irish Invasion camp. His combination of size, athleticism, instincts and toughness make him a truly gifted all-around player that could work himself onto the field at all five defensive back positions in the Notre Dame defense.

    Notre Dame Projection:Notre Dame needed an influx of depth, athleticism and impact talent in the secondary and Studstill gives the Irish just that. Studstill needs to fill out, but he is a physical player that likes the physical part of the game. He's an excellent run defender that makes him ideal for the strong safety position. He is rangy and makes good reads on the football, which makes him ideal for the free safety position. Studstill's versatility makes him perfect for the defense, and his high football IQ could allow him to make an impact very early on at either of the deep safety positions or the nickel spot.


    Height/Weight:6-4, 220
    Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
    High School: Ardrey Kell
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 18 WDE

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Boston College, California, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

    Analysis:Coming into this recruiting cycle one of the biggest needs for Notre Dame was a player with the ability to rush the quarterback, whether it be a defensive lineman or a linebacker. When Julian Okwara committed to Notre Dame this summer it landed a player with that ability. The younger Okwara has the length and athleticism to eventually develop into a dynamic edge rusher for the Irish. He is a perfect fit for the weakside end position in the Irish defense. Okwara has a tremendous first step and outstanding agility. He explodes off the line, often getting past high school tackles before they are out of their stance. His loose hips and quickness allow him to make fast and easy second moves. Once his technique improves his pass rushing repertoire should be immense, which will make him even harder to defend. As a senior, Okwara has shown improved strength and toughness, which still needs work. His motor has also improved, which has made him a far more disruptive and dynamic player as a senior. He could serve as a pass rush specialist early in his career, but as he physically develops he could become the every down weakside disruptor this defense desperately needs.

    Notre Dame Projection:Julian Okwara projects to play the same position that was manned by older brother Romeo this season. The younger Okwara is not quite as powerful, but he's quicker, more athletic and a more natural pass rusher. Okwara fits the mold Notre Dame wants on the weakside from a pass rushing standpoint, a role he could play early in his career. In order to be a full-time starter at the position he will have to get stronger and be effective against the run.


    Height/Weight:6-1, 181
    Hometown: Chesterfield, Virginia
    High School: Lloyd C. Bird
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 15 S

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Auburn, Georgia, Maryland, Miami, N.C. State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

    Analysis:Landing Elliott was a tremendously important pickup for Notre Dame. Thus far Elliott has made a name for himself as a quarterback, which keeps him from being evaluated specifically at the position he will play in college, which keeps his ranking down a bit. As a senior, Elliott played more on the defensive side and he was highly productive. Elliott possesses strong overall athleticism and has decent size, but none of his traits alone make him a special player. What makes Elliott such a special prospect are his intangibles combined with his athletic tools. He has top-notch instincts, is a high-IQ football player and has a knack for making plays and winning football games. Athletically, Elliott shows good speed and range thanks to his loose hips and impressive foot quickness, which will translate nicely to the secondary. Elliott has the athletic skills to play cornerback as well as the instincts, range and toughness to play free safety. Landing an athlete with his versatility is extremely beneficial to Notre Dame.

    Notre Dame Projection:Elliott could certainly get a shot early on at cornerback, but if the Irish are able to land one more cornerback in the class the staff could immediately put Elliott at safety. He projects best as a free safety, where he can best utilize his range, instincts and ball skills. Elliott has the size and athleticism to cover as a safety and is a more than willing tackler, although more strength is needed. It would not be a surprise to see him on special teams and competing for playing time as early as his freshman season.


    Height/Weight: 6-0, 209
    Hometown: Orlando, Florida
    High School: Oak Ridge
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 19 ILB

    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Stanford, West Virginia

    Analysis: Jones might be the most underrated linebacker in the country. His combination of skill, power and instincts are outstanding, but his lack of ideal size knocks down his ranking. Make no mistake, Jones is an outstanding linebacker prospect whose game is a perfect fit for either the Mike or Will linebacker positions in the Irish defense. Jones has excellent tackle-to-tackle speed and quickness. He stays light on his feet and can instantly accelerate to the ball carrier. Jones is an explosive short-area athlete that drives through ball carriers at the point of contact, allowing him to play with power beyond what his size should allow. Jones is a highly instinctive player that reads blocks well, sniffs out the screen game and uses his speed and quickness to beat blockers to the football. His quickness and instincts also allow him to stick tight to running backs and tight ends in coverage, but his lack of length can be taken advantage of at times. If he were two inches taller and about 15 pounds heavier my guess is he'd be a Top 100 football player, maybe higher.

    Notre Dame Projection: Jones is an explosive short-area athlete that drives through ball carriers at the point of contact, allowing him to play with power beyond what his size should allow. Jones has excellent slot-to-slot speed and quickness. He stays light on his feet and can instantly accelerate to the ball carrier. Jones is highly instinctive and reads blocks well, sniffs out screens and uses his speed and quickness to beat blockers to the football. His quickness and instincts make him a highly effective pass defender. Jones reads routes well and gets excellent jumps on the ball.


    Height/Weight: 6-2, 195
    Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
    High School: Whitehaven
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 20 S

    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, Auburn, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    Analysis: There are traits Vaughn brings to the game that make one think cornerback is where he could stick and other traits that make one think safety is where he should move. Vaughn has exceptional size and length for the cornerback position. His long arms and physicality help him overcome for some athletic deficiencies. That brings up the major concern with Vaughn, his lack of ideal speed and quickness. Vaughn is able to cover ground well thanks to his long strides, but it takes him a couple of steps to get up to speed and he lacks the kind of recovery speed that is ideal for the cornerback position. Some colleges see that he uses his length and instincts well, which helps him overcome his lack of ideal speed. He needs to clean up his footwork and technique at the line, but once those improvements are made he will be a force in press coverage. Vaughn has enough quickness to open and run, especially when he gets his hands on the receiver. The Whitehaven athlete gets good reads on the quarterback and shows good ball skills. He reads routes well and does a good job of mirroring, another trait that helps him overcome his lack of raw speed. He is a solid tackler at this point, good enough to allow him to make the move to safety should that be necessary.

    Notre Dame Projection: Vaughn has the versatility that Notre Dame's staff covets. He is being recruited as a cornerback and that is the position he should get every opportunity to play. What he lacks in raw speed he makes up for with length and instincts. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has been looking for longer corners and Vaughn is certainly that. If he is buried on the CB depth chart or can't cover well enough there he could easily slide to free safety, another position where he could start and play at a high level.

    11. TROY PRIDE JR., CB

    Height/Weight: 6-0, 165
    Hometown: Greer, South Carolina
    High School: Greer
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 23 CB

    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, N.C. State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech

    Analysis: Troy Pride's track times are impressive - with a personal best of 10.54 in the 100-meter dash - but what makes him such an intriguing football recruit is that he plays extremely fast on the field. Pride shows off his speed as a returner and offensive player, and also the ability to play with exceptional speed as a defender. He possesses very good foot quickness and agility, which he combines with relatively loose hips to excel at the sudden movements needed to be a top-notch cover player, at least when his technique is correct. At times his feet get too narrow, which slows down his transitions, but that is a correctable technique problem. Pride has good length for a cornerback but he needs to work at filling out his frame and being more physical as a player. His technique is very inconsistent, which keeps him from making as many plays on the ball as he could and should. He spends too much time finding a receiver and not enough time playing the ball. When his technique is sound his speed and agility make him a dynamic cover player. As he gets older and learns to harness his athleticism and play with more consistent technique, his athleticism could allow him to be as good as any defender on this board.

    Notre Dame Projection: Pride needs a lot of work as a prospect. He has to get a lot stronger and become a better tackler. The Greer standout also needs to work on his footwork and technique. As he improves in those areas, Pride's game is going to take off. His upside grade is higher than that of No. 1 CB Damar Hamlin, which is why the Irish staff coveted him as much as it did. Notre Dame needs an influx of speed at the position, and Pride gives that. He is an instinctive player that has the speed to help out right away. How quickly he gets on the field depends on how quickly he can increase his strength and gain some consistency with his technique.


    Height/Weight:6-1, 180
    Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
    High School: First Coast
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 66 WR

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Colorado, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia

    Analysis:One of the hottest names of the summer was Stepherson, who was named the best wide receiver at the Rivals Speed & Skill Challenge in Orlando, Fla. despite the presence of the national No. 29 player in Eli Stove, No. 84 T.J. Chase and No. 169 Emmanuel Greene (2017). Stepherson was good on film as a junior, showing off his speed and ball skills. Stepherson displayed good after-the-catch ability as well. During the summer he has taken his game to another level. His speed has really shown up and some of the nation's top defensive backs have had serious problems handling him. Stepherson has always displayed quick feet, but this summer he has shown off dynamic agility and quickness. It has made him extremely difficult to handle at the line of scrimmage and his speed makes him almost impossible to run with. He was outstanding at the Irish Invasion event in June, where his speed and agility was combined with excellent pass catching skills. He catches the ball well away from his body and shows fast and sure hands. Stepherson is a great fit for the X-receiver position, where his skills line up very well with current Notre Dame wideout Will Fuller. If he can dominate in pads this fall the way he dominated this summer without them he will climb up this list as well as the national rankings.

    Notre Dame Projection:Stepherson reminds me of current Irish standout Will Fuller in many ways. He is built similar to Fuller, his game is all about speed and he is a bit of a late bloomer from a development. Expecting Stepherson to have the same level of production would be unfair, but Stepherson will likely play the same X position that Fuller manned the last two seasons. Stepherson brings an element of speed that Notre Dame currently does not have at the position, other than Fuller, which could help him find a role in his first couple of seasons.

    Notre Dame Projection: Pride needs a lot of work as a prospect. He has to get a lot stronger and become a better tackler. The Greer standout also needs to work on his footwork and technique. As he improves in those areas, Pride's game is going to take off. His upside grade is higher than that of No. 1 CB Damar Hamlin, which is why the Irish staff coveted him as much as it did. Notre Dame needs an influx of speed at the position, and Pride gives that. He is an instinctive player that has the speed to help out right away. How quickly he gets on the field depends on how quickly he can increase his strength and gain some consistency with his technique.

    13. TONY JONES JR., RB

    Height/Weight:5-11, 210
    Hometown: Bradenton, Florida
    High School: IMG Academy
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 21 RB

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Miami (FL), Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

    Analysis:Many of the things Notre Dame was looking for in this class it found when Jones committed to the Irish. It wanted a between-the-tackles power back. Check. It wanted a back athletic enough to attack the perimeter and still make plays. Check. It wanted a player who could be an every down back, which means a player capable of effectively handling pass blocking and pass catching duties. Check. Jones is a powerful, downhill runner with a strong frame. The IMG back gets downfield in a hurry, using his strong lower body and leg drive to churn out extra yards. He is able to properly combine patience with decisiveness, shows good patience behind the line, which allows the line blocks to develop, and the anticipation in the open field to make big plays. For a big back, Jones shows surprisingly good agility and foot quickness. He is not a home run back, but he is fast enough to rip off big gains. Despite his lack of raw speed, Jones excels at getting to top speed quickly and using his speed and patience to stretch the perimeter. Once the run lane opens up he is able to quickly plant and burst vertically for big gains. Jones seems to thrive on being a complete back. He is one of the best prep blocking backs I have seen in a number of years, and he has good hands and feel as a pass catcher.

    Notre Dame Projection:Jones brings a unique - and welcome - skill set to the Notre Dame offense. He does not project as a big play back at the collegiate level, but he brings power to the depth chart the Irish backfield currently lacks. Notre Dame had to rely on quarterback DeShone Kizer to grind out the tough yards, something Jones could do. He is a slasher and can get downhill quickly, so he is not a one-dimensional thumper, which gives him a chance to be featured down the road.

    Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison end Khalid Kareem earned MVP honors in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game.

    Height/Weight:6-4, 260
    Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan
    High School: Harrison
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 237 nationally - No. 17 SDE

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Alabama, Arkansas, Boston College, California, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Wisconsin - Also received an offer from Harvard and Yale

    Analysis:Kareem is an ideal fit for the Notre Dame defense. His body type and game is quite similar to current Irish starting strongside end Isaac Rochell. Kareem has a strong frame, possessing a thick build, long arms and the potential to be a 280-pound edge player. At this point is game is about power, and Kareem uses his power to get movement and penetration against the run game. Kareem shows a quick first step and the ability to close quickly on the football. His quickness is on full display when allowed to quickly shoot gaps, where he can penetration or drive back blockers. One area where Kareem projects as an upgrade over Rochell is in the pass game. He shows good natural pass rushing skills. Kareem takes good angles around the edge, knows how to "dip and rip" through tackles and he uses his fast hands and lower body strength to bull rush. Kareem has a tendency to come off the ball high, and when he does his first two steps do not cover much ground. This is something that can be improved with good coaching, and as his pad level improves his ability to dominate will only increase.

    Notre Dame Projection:Kareem is a perfect fit for the strongside defensive end position in the Notre Dame defense. He is quite similar to current starter Isaac Rochell, although Kareem is a bit more of a natural pass rusher and edge player. He's a strong guy that can handle the run on the edge and can power rush on passing downs. He'll ultimately have the size and strength to play inside in certain situations as well, either on passing downs or against spread/passing offenses.


    Height/Weight:5-11, 175
    Hometown: LaGrange Park, Illinois
    High School: Nazareth Academy
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 21 CB

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Northwestern, Rutgers

    Analysis:Love has a lot of intangibles that Notre Dame fans will likely grow to love. He was a do-it-all player as a junior while leading Nazareth Academy to an undefeated season and a state championship. Love thrived as a big-play running back, racking up 1327 yards of offense and 20 touchdowns. Defensively, Love finished his junior season with 72 tackles and five interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. He added another 650 return yards and took both a punt and a kickoff back for a score. Love could play on either side of the ball at Notre Dame, which adds to his value as a recruit. Defensively he projects very well to the cornerback position. Love has physical traits that are similar to current starting cornerback Cole Luke. Love has loose hips and quick feet. He has good speed and the ability to get to full speed quickly. His instincts in the secondary are strong, which is most apparent as a safety, where he showed strong range and playmaking ability. Love is more than willing to mix it up in the run game, and that strength will eventually serve him well in man coverage. The tools are there, but Love needs a good deal of work with his technique, which holds him back a bit right now. He had an excellent summer, and if he can carry that over into his senior season his ranking will go way.

    Notre Dame Projection:Love is a bit of a do-it-all player that could play a number of positions. He could fit at slot, safety, nickel and could even play offense if it was needed. Love has the body type to play cornerback, where he could use his toughness and quickness to thrive in coverage. He will need a lot of technique work, and if he can't stick at cornerback he is physical enough to play safety. As a safety his instincts would allow him to overcome his lack of ideal length. Expect him to be a multi-year starter on special teams.


    Height/Weight: 6-4, 291
    Hometown: Orlando, Florida
    High School: Bishop Moore
    BGI Grade: 4.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 21 OT

    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

    Analysis: Boudreaux is one of the most physical and aggressive linemen in the entire country. He fires off the line with great force and plays the game with good pad level and explodes his hips through contact in the run game, allowing him to get strong movement at the point of attack. Boudreaux is an impressive athlete, which is arguably the most overlooked and overrated part of his game. He showed off that agility this summer, running a 4.41 pro-shuttle at The Opening. He also jumped 30.3 inches, another sign of his lower body explosiveness. Boudreaux's quickness allows him to quickly get into his pass sets. He is able to work well laterally and his quickness makes him effective at picking up double moves and quick line stunts. In the pass game he has the tools to be dominant but his technique still needs a lot of work. Boudreaux has a tendency to lunge as the defender approaches, which must be corrected. He also has a tendency to shoot his hands too wide. When his hands are tight he crushes opponents, so improving consistency in this regards is important. If that improves, Boudreaux becomes even more versatile, as it would allow him to play tackle as well as guard, where he projects best right now.

    Notre Dame Projection: His length is not ideal for the tackle position, but Boudreaux has the athleticism to play the position if the need arises. Boudreaux projects best as an interior player - either guard or center - where he can use his power/athleticism combination to dominate in the run game. Boudreaux would also thrive as a pass blocker on the inside, where his quickness and strength would allow him to handle power rushes and athletic blitzes and stunts.

    17. D.J. MORGAN, S

    Height/Weight:6-2, 195
    Hometown: Bellflower, California
    High School: St. John Bosco
    BGI Grade: 3.5 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 4-star - No. 23 S

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Northwestern, Utah, Vanderbilt

    Analysis:Morgan plays at one of the top programs in the nation and was a force as a junior. The St. John Bosco defender has a good frame, so much so that growing into an in-the-box defender or a nickel defender is not out of the question. Morgan does his best work closer to the line of scrimmage. He shows good range and flashes smooth athletic skills. His ability to make plays on the football is enhanced by his instincts and intelligence. Morgan reads routes well and does a good job driving on the football. His range and instincts also help him as a zone defender, but he will need to improve in man coverage. Morgan is a strong tackler with solid technique. Additional strength will help improve his speed and agility. Morgan stays light on his feet but his lack of top-level athleticism is what keeps him from grading out higher.

    Notre Dame Projection:Morgan could play free safety thanks to his range and coverage ability, but his best spot is the strong safety and nickel positions. He will need a year in the weight room, but once more strength comes he will have the power to come down as a field alley defender and should be able to hold up on the perimeter against the run. With his size/athleticism combination, Morgan could handle the nickel and give Notre Dame a player capable of being a three-down defender and not just a passing sub player.

    18. IAN BOOK, QB

    Height/Weight:6-0, 195
    Hometown: El Dorado Hills, California
    High School: Oak Ridge
    BGI Grade: 3.5 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 14 Pro-Style QB

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Washington State

    Analysis:Book is a high IQ player with good fundamentals and a great understanding of how to play the position. He keeps a good base in the pocket and stays light on his feet, which allows him to move around the pocket quickly while remaining in position to quickly reset his feet and fire off a throw. Book has an extremely quick release, which allows him to get the ball out to his receivers in a hurry. His footwork is sound, which helps him throw the ball with a great deal of accuracy for a player his age. Book also understands ball placement. He gets good zip on the ball on short to intermediate routes and he throws extremely well on the run. He has good touch and accuracy on the deep ball, although he does not have the downfield power of the current Irish quarterbacks - at least not right now. Book is a good athlete with experience running the read zone. He makes a lot of plays with his feet and speed at the high school level. His athleticism does not translate to the collegiate level in that he won't make as many plays with his legs that he does right now. Book does have enough athleticism to move around in the pocket, to run the read zone and to move the chains with his running skills. Book will get plenty of time to develop and could very well have a shot to become a starter down the road.

    Notre Dame Projection:Book will need time to develop, but down the road he could play an important role for the Irish. In a perfect situation for him and Notre Dame, Book would back up Brandon Wimbush and after Wimbush leaves for the NFL, Book battles a younger and possibly more talented player for the starting position. Book is similar to former Irish QB Tommy Rees, but with a better arm and more athleticism, so he could certainly win at Notre Dame if he becomes the starter.


    Height/Weight: 6-3, 230
    Hometown: Rochester, New York
    High School: Aquinas Institute
    BGI Grade: 3.5 Overall - 3.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 43 OLB

    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, Boston College, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse

    Analysis: Jones has done it all at Aquinas Institute. During his prep career he has played quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, outside linebacker and inside linebacker. Over the last year he has added at least 25 pounds, which has made a far more effective defensive player as a senior by improving his power and strength. Jones has broad shoulders and a great frame, which should allow him to continue to add the size and strength needed to eventually grow into a defensive end. The Aquinas standout shows a good first step off the edge, and as a senior he has shown off the necessary power to get off blocks and make plays on the football. As a senior he has improved his aggressiveness and motor, although learning to be a bit more assertive will be needed. Jones possesses strong instincts and comfort in space, although he has some hip stiffness that will likely keep him playing closer to the line of scrimmage.

    Notre Dame Projection: Where he fits could be determined by how the rest of the class fills up. If Notre Dame is able to add another strong LB class to last year's great haul, the staff could decide to immediately start bulking him up and slide him down to defensive end. Jones would fit well as a weakside end but does have some skills that could allow him to play linebacker at the next level. His athleticism is solid already, but he has traits that make one think a year in a college strength and conditioning program will tap into some explosiveness not yet shown. If that happens, Jones could end up as a Will or Mike linebacker.


    Height/Weight:6-3, 202
    Hometown: Bradenton, Florida
    High School: IMG Academy
    BGI Grade: 3.5 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 44 S

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Arizona, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt

    Analysis:Perry has excellent size with a thick frame that could allow him to grow into a 4-3 linebacker. Perry gets downhill with authority and looks more comfortable the closer he gets to the line of scrimmage. He will have to work on keeping a better base and playing lower when he is about to engage, but Perry hits with authority. He certainly seems to enjoy the physical part of the game. Perry shows good speed and range, with the ability to flip his hips relatively well on the back end when working off the hash. When he comes up in man coverage he is not as comfortable and his footwork causes him to be stiff when he transitions. When Perry is in the box he is able to plant his back foot and quickly drive on the football in the run game. Perry is not the kind of defender who will likely be a turnover machine, but he does show good route awareness and instincts. He closes well on receivers, takes good angles and when he arrives he looks to deliver a hit instead of going for the football.

    Notre Dame Projection:Perry best fits the strong safety and nickel positions based off his current size and skill set. He is not someone you want to have in man coverage all game. His overall game and skill set is very similar to current Irish starting safety Elijah Shumate, so VanGorder will have experience with a run-first defender like Perry. The Alabama native is physical and much like D.J. Morgan, if he ends up there it will give the Irish a player that can play the run, rush the quarterback and cover without having to substitute. His senior season shoulder injury is a bit of a concern.


    Height/Weight:5-10, 175
    Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    High School: Cardinal Gibbons
    BGI Grade: 3.0 Overall - 3.5 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star - No. 18 APB

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    Analysis:McIntosh has a lot of the tools you look for in a spread running back. He has impressive playing speed, which allows him to get to the edge and to outrun defenders on the second level. He has good vision, makes decisive cuts behind the line and shows good patience on perimeter runs. He balances that with the instincts to know when to take the edge. McIntosh shows quick feet and strong agility, and he uses those traits well. He will show patience when he needs to and then quickly plant through openings. McIntosh makes fast cuts behind the line and shows the suddenness to change direction with ease on the second level. He shows good footwork in the backfield, which allows him to be efficient as a runner. The Cardinal Gibbons athlete runs with good pad level but at times he leans forward a bit too much, which throws off his balance. McIntosh is highly effective as a pass catcher. He lacks the girth to be an every down running back, possessing a thin frame. For those reasons, Notre Dame looks at McIntosh more as a slot receiver and situational back more than a full-time running back. He hauled in 61 passes for 559 yards over the last two seasons. He has good hands and shows natural pass catching skills.

    Notre Dame Projection:For the Irish, McIntosh projects best as a situational player. He is a guy that can bring some big play ability to the offense, , but lacks the girth to be an every down back. His speed allows him to do damage every time he touches the ball, so volume is not needed for him to make an impact. McIntosh catches the ball well and has some wiggle, so a role in the slot and as a return man could also be in his future.


    Height/Weight:6-5, 220
    Hometown: Walled Lake, Michigan
    High School: Central
    BGI Grade: 3.0 Overall - 4.0 Upside
    Rivals Grade: 3-star

    Power 5 Offer List:Notre Dame, California, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers

    Analysis:The Notre Dame coaches fell in love with Ogundeji after they saw him first hand at camp. Ogundeji is an attractive prospect thanks to his combination of great size potential, athleticism and natural strength. Ogundeji is just scratching the surface of how good he could be. He is currently only 220 pounds, but Ogundeji has tremendously long arms, broad shoulders and a frame that could allow him to carry an easy 260-plus pounds. Ogundeji excels in the run game right now thanks to his natural strength and ability to use his long arms to keep blockers off his body. Once his weight room strength and girth catches up to his raw skills his game could take off. He has a quick burst off the edge that allows him to blow past defenders when his technique is correct. Ogundeji shows fluid hips and the closing speed you want from an edge rusher. Right now he is all potential and is far from a polished player. He must work on playing with better pad level, playing with a consistent motor, playing with a better base and learning to use his hands more as a weapon.

    Notre Dame Projection:Ogundeji's development was slowed down by a knee injury that cost him over half of his senior season. He needed that development, but Ogundeji is still very young and will get a redshirt season to get back on track. He is on the thin side right now, but his outstanding frame should allow him to get to at least 265 pounds and his power should allow him to fit nicely at the strongside end position.


    Height/Weight:6-2, 235
    Hometown: Wilmette, Illinois
    High School: Loyola Academy
    Power 5 Offer List: Notre Dame, West Virginia

    Notre Dame Projection:Shannon is widely considered as the nation's top long snapper. He quickly earned a scholarship offer from Notre Dame and should the Irish staff decide not to bring back senior Scott Daly, Shannon will immediately step into the role of starting long and short snapper for the Irish. It might not seem like a big pickup, but Daly's name was never mentioned this season, which is good for a snapper. Shannon has even better skills than Daly coming out of high school.
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  43. a1ND

    a1ND Bold & Spicy

    behind the scenes TV

    Irish247insidersTom LoyandSteve Wiltfongbring you all the behind the scenes juice on the Notre Dame commits and targets from the class of 2016.

    Daelin Hayes— This goes back to the Irish Invasion. He told both Loy and Wiltfong that Notre Dame was his leader. He went as far as telling Loy that his recruitment was done, he was going to be Irish, but didn’t know when he would announce.

    A few weeks later, he visited USC and committed. All of the sudden he was moving to California and that was that. It was odd. One of the weirdest commitments. He fell in love in with the staff, had a great time out there and was ready to be a Trojan. However, shortly after that, he moved back to the Midwest and although he maintained publicly that he was going to sign with USC, that wasn’t what he was telling Loy behind the scenes. Hayes made it clear that he was likely going to end up at Notre Dame.

    During the spring, Hayes took visits with his team to Michigan State and Michigan. There wasn’t much to those, as he was there with many other players. However, he took a solo “secret visit” to Notre Dame this past summer with his high school coach, which looked to be a true game-changer. At that point, the Irish became the far and away leader behind the scenes. All the while, Hayes kept telling us that he would end up at Notre Dame, contrary to what was behind said publicly and on the record.

    Hayes visited with his mother for the Texas game and that’s the point where confidence was at an all-time high inside the Gug that Hayes would end up Irish. Head coach Brian Kelly had a conversation with he two of them that was pretty much the turning point for his recruitment. He crushed that visit. Hayes returned for the USC game and silently informed the staff of his intentions to sign with Notre Dame. During our conversation after that visit, he told Loy off the record, “You know where I’m going, I know where I’m coming, but I’m going to spend the next month or two making people think otherwise and actually enjoying this recruitment.”

    Well, with multiple visits to Ohio State and Michigan State, he did exactly that. There was even a point in his recruitment where he started genuinely considering those two options. It was getting really tight down the stretch. However, that was quickly halted after a conversation with former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. The two talked about what Hayes was looking for in a school, what his goals were, his injury issues in the past, and even took football out of the equation. That cleared things up completely and Hayes was Irish. He committed publicly in December.

    Javon McKinley— We first knew Notre Dame was a real player for McKinley at the Los Angeles Nike Camp in the spring when he told Wiltfong that he was looking to go out-of-state and Notre Dame was his favorite out-of-state school. Wiltfong and Loy made Crystal Ball predictions at that point. Notre Dame loved this kid. They thought he was the best wide receiver in the nation after seeing his junior tape.

    However, in May, multiple USC commits and targets were telling Ryan Bartow that McKinley was going to end up at USC. They were sure of it, based on conversations they had with McKinley in the past. That said, USC had always been “full” at the wide receiver position and didn’t make McKinley a priority throughout much of his recruitment.

    McKinley visited Notre Dame with the B2GSports 7-on-7 team, along with his parents, and that was his first taste of the Irish. They definitely made a move for his services at that point. However, it was the summer visit for the Irish Invasion that was huge for both McKinley and Notre Dame. That was when McKinley first truly started seeing himself ending up in South Bend and the first point where the Notre Dame staff felt confident they were going to land him.

    McKinley returned to Notre Dame for an official visit against USC in October. He spoke with a few Notre Dame coaches about a silent commit, but didn’t want to be disrespectful and take other visits after making that pledge or even host coaches during in-home visits. He decided to hold off and take a few trips. He took an official visit to Oregon and hosted multiple coaches from multiple schools for in-home visits down the stretch. All the while, Notre Dame was confident he was coming to South Bend, but couldn’t get him to completely shut things down. He even started to heavily look at Washington down the stretch, the school that finished second.

    Just prior to leaving for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he informed all three coaching staffs of his decision. When it came to talking to Notre Dame, Wiltfong learned that he face-timed with offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and initially told him that he was going to Washington. Sanford looked disappointed, but congratulated him on his decision and said he would do great things there. If you ask Sanford, he’ll say he wasn’t fooled, but McKinley says otherwise. That said, McKinley started laughing and quickly told Sanford the truth, that he was going to Notre Dame and would commit publicly at the Army All-American Bowl.

    Ian Book— After Notre Dame learned they were out with top quarterback targetDwayne Haskins, there were two quarterbacks that emerged as the top guys for Notre Dame — Ian Book andNick Starkel.

    Behind the scenes, Starkel visited campus in June and threw for Sanford. He was on campus when some of the other Notre Dame coaches were in Detroit for the Sound Mind Sound Body camp. From all accounts, Starkel was terrific. Loy was told that Starkel couldn’t have thrown the ball better that day and was very close to adding an offer. If offered, Starkel actually told Loy off the record that he would have committed on the spot. However, he didn’t get offered and ended up signing with Texas A&M on Wednesday.

    The reason he didn’t get offered was because of Book. Sanford wanted to get Book on campus to throw in front of the rest of the staff. He and his family visited in late July, early August for a few days. Book was outstanding during his throwing session in South Bend and immediately received an offer on the spot. Book jumped all over that offer and made a silent verbal to the Irish. He went home and called Washington State head coach Mike Leach and informed him that he was decommitting from the Cougars. It wasn’t an easy call to make. He and Leach had a strong bond and he fully planned on playing for Washington State until Notre Dame came into the picture. A few days later on Aug. 4, Wiltfong broke the news that Book had committed to Notre Dame and his recruitment was over.

    Jonathan Jones— This four-star linebacker wasn’t a recruit we talked about too much in the summer. He was on the board, but it was clear he was about to commit to Michigan at that time. However, Wiltfong learned from a source that Jones was going to commit to Michigan without even visiting his other two favorites: Notre Dame and Stanford.

    We’re told running backs coach Autry Denson played a huge role in this recruitment. He was the reason Jones slowed things down and got him to visit South Bend. Denson even told Jones that he needed to visit Stanford to make a fully educated decision. Denson and Jones’ father developed a strong connection and that played a huge role in Notre Dame even getting into this battle with Michigan, the heavy favorite at the time.

    Things changed quickly when Jones visited Notre Dame in September. He even told Wiltfong that he nearly pulled the trigger for the Irish during that visit. He decided that he needed more time and had a visit set for Ann Arbor in December.

    Things looked great for Notre Dame at the time, but with the lingering visit to Michigan, we felt the Wolverines would be tough to beat.

    However, as you know, there wasn’t much drama to this recruitment leading up to his announcement on National Signing Day. We made it very clear Jones was committing to and inking with the Irish on Wednesday. Why were we so confident?

    We’re told Jones made a silent verbal to the staff in December. He looked at his options, had taken his visits and made a decision. He still had planned to take an official visit to Duke after committing to Notre Dame, but decided not to waste anyone’s time. As noted above, Jones had been high on Notre Dame since first visiting in September. However, Michigan made this a tight race throughout his recruitment. Even after his silent verbal, Jones visited Michigan’s bowl practices in Orlando, which gave the staff a little pause. We believe that Notre Dame’s pulse on the situation was a little off in the time frame from September to December. They even felt Michigan had pulled ahead, even though Jones actually was leaning toward Notre Dame the whole time. That said, we’re told Jones genuinely had his mind made up before his December official visit to Michigan, but actually took the trip to give the Wolverines one more shot.

    That didn’t change anything. Jones inked with Notre Dame on Singing Day.

    Tommy Kraemer— The five-star recruit committed to Notre Dame in Oct. 2014, but he actually would have been on board earlier if his parents would have let him. He had his mind made up at the Irish Invasion before his junior season. However, his parents asked him to slow things down, take a few visits and think things through. He took one trip to Ohio State and multiple to Notre Dame. Things didn’t take long, as midway through his junior season he pledged to the Irish and never once wavered throughout the process.

    Liam Eichenberg— Back at the Irish Invasion before his junior season, Eichenberg named Notre Dame his leader. He didn’t workout at the Invasion, but did with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand the following day. That was the point where the Irish really made a major move for his services. We’re confident Notre Dame never relinquished that lead at any point.

    Eichenberg committed publicly way back on Apr. 19, 2015. The Irish beat out Ohio State for his services. However, he actually knew where he was going in March, which was when he told Loy of his intentions to commit to Notre Dame.

    He was leaning toward the Irish and was set to commit to Notre Dame on his next trip. He visited on Apr. 10 and the visit couldn’t have gone better. However, he only told his family, Hiestand, and Loy that he was going to Notre Dame. He didn’t want to commit publicly because he wanted to visit Ohio State the following weekend. The reason for that trip was only because his sister had a volleyball game to play in on campus. He wanted to avoid the awkwardness of being on campus while committed elsewhere.

    While driving home from Columbus, he called head coach Brian Kelly and fellow Notre Dame commit Tommy Kraemer and told them that he was committing to Notre Dame. Two days later, Eichenberg publicly committed to the Irish. He signed with Notre Dame on Wednesday.

    Parker Boudreaux— Early in his recruitment, Boudreaux was expected to end up at Florida. Then there was talk of Oklahoma. After that, it was Clemson that looked to be the favorite down the stretch. Notre Dame continued recruiting him with a very simple pitch: Once you visit, you won’t want to go anywhere else. That proved to be true. Boudreaux visited South Bend on June 10, 2015. He put the Irish in his top five on June 17. Then, on July 2, Boudreaux’s recruitment came to an end with a commitment to Notre Dame. Things played out exactly how the Irish staff expected. The coaches got their top guy following one trip to South Bend.

    Damar Hamlin— Notre Dame wanted the four-star cornerback pretty bad leading up to his senior season. They pushed hard to get an early commitment from him when he was on campus in the summer. However, he maintained that he was genuinely torn between the Irish, Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh.

    Hamlin returned to campus in October and had a great official visit. It was at that point, we’re told, where the Irish became the outright leader. He took an official visit to Penn State and the Lions were still a genuine threat, but Notre Dame kept its lead. However, at that point, Hamlin was no longer the top guy on the board and the staff had a new target they felt they had to land.

    The staff was torn between Hamlin andTroy Pride Jr.The coaches had been pushing for both pretty hard, but after getting him on campus, the staff really wanted Pride. During his October official visit, that’s when the staff learned Pride would likely end up flipping his commitment from Virginia Tech to Notre Dame.

    The staff was going back and forth as to whether or not they would take one or both. They decided to take both, but they weren’t going to wait until Signing Day to land them.

    In November, Notre Dame went on the road to play Pittsburgh. The night before the game, Kelly and multiple Irish assistant coaches went to Hamlin’s high school game and stood on the sidelines. Notre Dame’s lead increased at that point. It looked like the recruiting efforts were going to pay off and Hamlin was likely ending up with the Irish. It was going to take a lot for Notre Dame to get beat for Hamlin.

    However, again, Hamlin maintained that he wanted to take a few more visits before making a decision. We’re told the staff informed Hamlin that time was ticking and he was going to have a spot forever. Hamlin went on to visit Pittsburgh twice and Ohio State once leading up to the middle of December. However, that wasn’t enough for him to shut things down completely.

    We’re told that on Dec. 23, the day before Pride made his commitment to Notre Dame, the Irish staff had a conversation with Hamlin. They informed him that they were about to land another cornerback and were going to shut things down at that point. However, they said that if he wanted to make a commitment to them and shut down his recruitment, he would have a spot. The staff would have taken both Hamlin and Pride at that time. If he decided against committing, they were going to be full at the position and move on with just Pride. We’ve learned that Hamlin said he wanted to go to Notre Dame, that the Irish were his leader, but he still needed to take one more visit to each of his other finalists before completely ending his process. His team won the state championship, so he didn’t have a real opportunity to take other official visits. That was a valid point, but not one the staff was completely sold on, since he had already taken multiple unofficial visits to each of his finalists in the past.

    Notre Dame decided to move on at that point and the staff was happy with the defensive back board at that time. They were no longer pursuing any other targets including Hamlin. The next day, Hamlin took to Twitter to announce a top three and removed the Irish from consideration. Pride committed that same day. Hamlin inked with Pittsburgh on National Signing Day.

    Adetokunbo Ogundeji— Notre Dame actually discovered the three-star defensive end at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp. Multiple coaches were in attendance and Ogundeji had a strong day. His height, length, frame, shoe size and hand size all caught the attention of Notre Dame’s staff. He became a major target at that point.

    Jalen Elliott— This was a recruitment that occurred extremely quickly and still comes as somewhat of a surprise. He was barely on our radar until Wiltfong learned that he was visiting for the Irish Invasion. This was a guy that most believed would end up elsewhere. Elliott was a Virginia Tech legacy that most pegged to end up with the Hokies. Even the Virginia Tech staff didn’t take the Notre Dame visit all that serious. However, Wiltfong talked to a source that said Elliott could actually commit to Notre Dame during the visit. That’s when we found out he was a top of the board target and one Notre Dame felt good about. It didn’t take long for Elliott to end his recruitment and he committed to Notre Dame on that visit. He never wavered throughout the process.

    Devin Studstill— We weren’t surprised when Studstill committed to Notre Dame in December. We had good intel on this recruitment and told our readers for months to expect him in this class. He nearly committed to the Irish when he visited for the Irish Invasion, but decided to hold off because he wanted to have a bigger announcement similar to what his friend and teammate Te’Von Coney had the year prior. He took an official visit to Notre Dame in October and told both the staff and Loy that he was likely ending up at Notre Dame. He didn’t completely shut things down, but made it really clear that he was going to be Irish. Down the stretch, Studstill made it more and more clear it was going to be Notre Dame and never backed off that stance.

    D.J. Morgan— He was always coming, regardless of his commitment to Arizona State. He was just waiting on the offer from Notre Dame. He got it a few days after he committed to the Sun Devils and it was a matter of when rather than if he was going to be Irish. He signed with Notre Dame on Wednesday.

    Deon McIntosh— Kudos to the talented running back for being the one pledge this cycle that we didn’t have a pre-written story for. We were good with each and every commit except for him. We always felt Notre Dame was a major contender for him. That part wasn’t a surprise. He was constantly naming Notre Dame among his leaders. However, out of nowhere, 24 hours after saying he had visits still to take, he decided to shut things down. He called the coaching staff, committed to Notre Dame and announced it on Twitter.

    Caleb Kelly— Now that it's official and the five-star linebacker has made his commitment to Oklahoma, here are a few details as promised by Loy…

    In early January, Kelly gave me a call to fill me in on the latest with his recruitment. We had just had some great conversations prior to that during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and I could tell that he was pretty torn between both Oklahoma and Notre Dame. I didn't really feel this way until we got to really talk in San Antonio and he started opening up about his process.

    During this conversation, he started talking about his visit to Notre Dame for the football awards banquet in December and flat out told me, "I'm leaning toward Notre Dame." I laughed and figured he was joking, but he said he was serious. He asked me to keep that between us and even asked me to not change my Crystal Ball pick to Notre Dame just yet, but wanted to let me know where his head was at.

    The interest in Notre Dame seemed legitimate. He talked about Oklahoma and said he didn't understand why everyone thought he'd end up there. He said early on in the process, he "wasn't really feeling the Sooners" all that much, but that changed after his last two visits to campus, including his official visit.

    About a week later, Kelly and I were talking again and he told me flat-out, "I made up my mind. I'm going to Notre Dame." I asked him what it was that helped him come to a decision and he kept talking about the visit to South Bend and he kept using the word "perfect" to describe it. He said that he had a great time with the players, the coaches and stressed that the trip was way better than expected. The next day he texted me and told me he didn't mind if I put in my Crystal Ball pick to Notre Dame.

    A few days later Kelly contacted me and told me that he was already recruiting his good friend, four-star defensive backJordan Fullerto Notre Dame. As of that point, the only people he informed of his decision were myself, his mother, Fuller, and Tony Perry, the local 7-on-7 coach and a long time mentor and family friend. Kelly was locked in with the Irish and was already doing his part on the recruiting trail. He wanted Fuller to go to school with him and pushed hard. However, Fuller hinted at that time that he was torn between the Irish and Buckeyes, but was likely going to end up at Ohio State. He ended up signing with them on Wednesday.

    Notre Dame's in-home visits went well. The staff continued to push the right buttons and made him feel comfortable with life in South Bend and playing for head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and linebackers coach Mike Elston. However, things changed shortly after that following an in-home visit from Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

    As I had stated for a very long time, there isn't a coach in the country that had a better relationship with Kelly than Stoops. He was the key behind Kelly's interest in the Sooners. Following that visit, Kelly had a change of heart. He contacted me and told me that he changed his mind and "couldn't pass up the opportunity to play for the Sooners." He cited his conversation with Stoops and said that it was "eye-opening" and the true game-changer behind his decision. He said that he kept going back and forth between both schools and even admitted that he didn't want to "be just like the other Fresno guys." However, Kelly said that he honestly felt most comfortable at Oklahoma. He felt as though he would regret not signing with the Sooners. He truly wanted to play for Mike Stoops and head coach Bob Stoops.

    In the end, Kelly committed to Oklahoma on National Signing Day. He followed his heart and gut regarding one of the biggest decisions in his young life.

    Jake Hausmann— Notre Dame led for the four-star tight end after the Irish Invasion heading into his junior season. That lead grew following his visit to campus for a game in the fall of his junior season. However, things changed when Notre Dame landed the nation’s top tight end in the 2015 class,Aliz’e Jones. According to Wiltfong, the No. 1 aspect Hausmann was looking for was depth chart and he was not going to follow the top tight end in the country to Notre Dame. He knew he couldn’t go wrong at either school — Notre Dame or Ohio State — so, it was depth chart that really played the biggest factor. Things quickly looked better for the Buckeyes and the addition of Jones to Notre Dame helped push Hausmann to Ohio State.

    Curtis Robinson— The big-time linebacker inked with Stanford on Wednesday. However, if you remember back when he visited South Bend prior to his senior season, some had him pegged in Notre Dame’s class. That was when Robinson was unsure if he was going to be accepted into Stanford. Notre Dame showed him a perfect visit and he was on board with everything. However, Robinson got into Stanford and he knew that’s truly where he wanted to go, so he committed. If he didn’t get in, he had already told the staff and Loy that he would have gone to Notre Dame.

    Aaron Hansford— We’ve touched on this before, but we’ll reiterate. Hansford was ready to commit to Notre Dame. However, we’re told he didn’t get the job done academically. The staff set him up with an academic plan and he didn’t meet the requirements. The staff could no longer accept a commitment and had to move on from his recruitment. He ended up at Texas A&M on Signing Day.

    Cameron Brown— The four-star linebacker was ready to commit to Notre Dame, but his spot was gone onceJamir Jonesjumped on board. Brown had a terrific visit to campus and had Notre Dame as his leader. The day before he was ready to call the staff and commit, Jones jumped on board and took the last spot. Sometimes waiting for that moment is great and works out, but there are other times where you miss your opportunity. This was one of those times. Brown ended up signing with Penn State on Wednesday.

    Dwayne Haskins— Notre Dame felt good about where things stood with the four-star quarterback following his visit to campus in the spring. However, in the end, playing time was a concern and with the loaded depth chart in South Bend, it was going to be tough to land him.

    Matt Fink— Notre Dame made a move on the three-star quarterback even before going after Haskins, but he never showed a ton of interest in getting on campus. He and Mike Sanford had a strong connection, but he was clearly interested in staying close to home. He signed with USC on Wednesday.

    Carlos Becker— The four-star cornerback visited campus for the Irish Invasion. He had a great time and Notre Dame pulled ahead for his services. However, at that point, the staff didn’t recruit him all that hard. They made Hamlin and Pride the priority moving forward. Becker had a good, not great showing at the Irish Invasion and may have made some coaches question his overall talent. However, Becker was dominant during Under Armour week and became a hot name down the stretch. That said, according to Becker and members of his high school staff, the Irish were going to land him if they pushed for him following that summer visit to campus. He ended up signing with Florida State.

    Marquez Callaway— The four-star defensive back/wide receiver visited campus for the Irish Invasion and had a so-so showing. The staff liked him, but didn’t necessarily want him at receiver. They stopped pursuing at that point. However, Callaway had Notre Dame has his top school and actually wanted to commit, but it didn’t work out. Callaway’s preference was to play offense, although he was outstanding in the secondary all week at the Army All-American Bowl. Callaway informed us again at the Army Bowl that he intended on going to Notre Dame, but his recruitment with them “pretty much ended after that visit.” He signed with Tennessee on Wednesday.

    Elijah Holyfield— The four-star running back had a great trip to South Bend, but that’s where the recruitment pretty much came to an end. At the Atlanta Nike Camp, just after Holyfield returned from South Bend, a coach told Wiltfong that the only way he goes to Notre Dame is if the adults push him there. That proved to be true because Notre Dame wasn’t a player from that point forward. He signed with Georgia on Wednesday.

    Jonah Morris— The four-star athlete decommitted from Michigan State to go to Notre Dame. He made that decision before the Irish had a chance to really look into his academics. Once they did, I’m told the staff couldn’t get him into school. We’re told the staff advised him to hold off on that decision, but he chose to part ways with the Spartans on his own. He was set to take an official visit to Notre Dame down the stretch, but that visit was cancelled, as he was no longer a take for academic reasons. Morris signed with Indiana on Signing Day.

    Naquan Jones— The Michigan State signee told us early on that he wanted to go to Notre Dame, but was waiting for an offer. He admitted that grades were a concern for Notre Dame. Things didn’t get cleared up along the way and he never earned an offer. He was one of the few defensive tackles the Irish would have likely pursued if his grades were in order.

    A.J. Taylor— The four-star athlete was just waiting on an offer from Notre Dame to commit. That offer never came. The staff liked him, but didn’t love him at any particular position. Taylor plays running back, wide receiver and even defensive back. The staff felt they would land higher-caliber players at all three positions. He ended up signing with Wisconsin.

    Chacho Ulloa— It was clear Notre Dame was going to land him, but the staff no longer had a spot for him and in the end, didn’t need to add him to get Javon McKinley on board. He had a spot with Stanford, but that didn’t workout academically. He signed with Arizona on Signing Day.

    D.J. Turner— The slot receiver was hurt during his senior season, which kept him from adding some big offers. However, he did visit South Bend before his senior year and really enjoyed himself. He told Loy that if Notre Dame offered at some point, he would have flipped his commitment from Maryland. The staff never really pursued because they were looking at other wide receiver targets, but he was a guy who definitely would have ended up in South Bend if offered. He is going to be great in Maryland’s offense.

    Brandon Peters— The first high-profile school Peters dad mentioned to Wiltfong was Notre Dame. It was the school they all grew up cheering for and one that had an early edge for his recruitment. The Irish never really showed much interest. They brought him in for a game day visit, but they weren’t pushing for him at all. While we don’t know for sure if Notre Dame would have beaten out Michigan if the Irish offered late, but based on what we gathered at the Army Bowl, it still seemed like a likely occurrence.

    Ben Bredeson— Notre Dame missed on its four-man offensive line “dream class” when Bredeson committed to Michigan. The Irish made a major move and were his leader late in his process, but a final visit to Michigan sealed the deal. The fact that his brother attends school in Ann Arbor also played a role in his decision. Wisconsin finished third for him.

    Isaac Nauta— The top tight end told Dawgs247 insider Rusty Mansell at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that he was surprised Notre Dame didn’t recruit him harder. He had some early interest in the Irish.

    Donnie Corley— Notre Dame led on a few different occasions for him. He really liked the Irish a lot. However, in the end, he just didn’t see himself as a true fit inside the Notre Dame locker room and felt more comfortable elsewhere. He inked with Michigan State.

    Tre Nixon— Both Wiltfong and Loy are very surprised Nixon never visited South Bend. He is a fit academically, athletically and personality-wise, but it just never worked out. He and his mother were very excited about the offer initially, but things never seemed to work out with that one.

    Austin Mack— He visited Ohio State, received an offer personally from head coach Urban Meyer and that was pretty much a wrap on his recruitment. He was personally recruited by the Buckeyes head coach and the Irish staff wasn’t going to overcome that. Mack had a strong relationship with linebackers coach Mike Elston, but never got the same attention from head coach Brian Kelly, as he got from Meyer. Despite multiple visits to South Bend, it wasn’t happening. He was all Buckeye.

    Thomas Jones— The talented athlete is a big-time football and baseball player. Turn the tape on and he is a really good safety. He told Loy that he was deciding on playing football and baseball at Notre Dame or playing just football at Vanderbilt. He nearly committed to the Irish during his spring visit to campus, but held off because of Vanderbilt. He ended up not being able to turn down the opportunity to play baseball for Vandy.

    Chase Pine— The talented linebacker visited the Irish Invasion with hopes of landing an offer and committing on the spot. Pine will be the first to tell you his academics weren’t in order and that’s the reason he wasn’t offered. The staff really liked him, but their hands were tied. They never offer, which was tough for Pine. He turned things around as a senior and started focusing more on academics, which likely wouldn’t have happened if Notre Dame didn’t hit him with that reality check. He signed with Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
    laxjoe, chase538 and Thoros of Beer like this.
  44. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
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  45. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    so this is what it has come to, hoping kids (robinson, robertson) dont get into stanford
    well 2017 class and 2018 class are going to be awesome
  46. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    we need stanford to die.
  47. Thoros of Beer

    Thoros of Beer Academy Award-Winning Actor, Tim Allen

    the austin mack thing pisses me off
  48. Bert Handsome

    Bert Handsome I'm sorry, the card says Moops
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    I get it that Kelly likes to empower his assistants to take the lead, but there are cases where it goes a bit to far and he is more or less absent.
    Thoros of Beer likes this.
  49. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
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    So, basically, every kid we pursued wanted to commit to ND, but couldn't due to various reasons. Wouldn't expect anything else from Loy
  50. chase538

    chase538 Well-Known Member
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishBarcelonaAtlanta United

    Interesting tidbit on Chase Claypool, he just turned 17 years old. Also wears a size 16 shoe and weighs about 228lbs right now. Don't see him staying at WR, that may not be a bad thing.