Notre Dame Recruiting Big Board- 1.6.14

Jeff Zelevansky

The Irish class sits at 23 members as we approach National Signing Day.

ONE MONTH TO GO WHO WILL JOIN THIS CLASS?

Welcome to the newest update to the recruiting Big Board. We've had a lot of verbals in recent days following the major all-star games and so have combined the offense and defense into one post as we're a month away from the finish line.

Same update at quarterback as last month. The plan is to roll with Everett Golson, Malik Zaire, incoming freshman DeShone Kizer, with 2015 quarterback commit Blake Barnett coming to school in roughly 53 weeks to enroll early. The program will still have walk-on senior Charlie Fiessinger and will look to take a preferred walk-on for next fall as well.

Running Back
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.945 Derrell Scott NC 5-11/180 Cold
.911 Donte Thomas-Williams NC 6-0/220 Cold

The nation's top prospect (LA) Leonard Fournette .999 stayed in state choosing LSU over the weekend at the Under Armour Bowl Game. Another 5-star back in (CA) Joe Mixon .989 was believed to be down to Oklahoma and UCLA ultimately picking the Sooners on Saturday.

Scott is expected to pick South Carolina but did just receive an offer from Florida. Thomas-Williams will visit West Virginia in late January where's he's favored to sign.

Wide Receiver
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.990 Malachi Dupre LA 6-2/187 Cold
.873 Isaiah McKenzie FL 5-9/172 Mild
.937 Trevion Thompson NC 6-3/188 Cold

Shortly after our last offense update Urban Meyer went down to his old stomping grounds and picked up a commitment from (FL) Johnnie Dixon .964 a top ten receiver. In a mild upset over the weekend (LA) Speedy Noil .992 spurned LSU and gave his verbal to Texas A&M.

LSU didn't have the historic weekend it'd hoped for but they still lead for Dupre while Trevion Thompson is scheduled to visit Clemson and West Virginia this month.

The pseudo-Irish commit McKenzie had a good showing at the Under Armour game. He picked up offers from Florida, Ole Miss, and Tennessee over the weekend.

Athlete
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.870 Charles Nelson FL 5-8/170 Mild
.976 Michiah Quick CA 6-0/170 Mild
.991 Ju Ju Smith CA 6-1/200 Mild

As predicted (WA) Budda Baker .971 picked Oregon shortly before Christmas. Not long after missing out on Joe Mixon the UCLA Bruins were able to get a verbal out of (CO) Nathan Starks .921 an athlete Notre Dame was still unwilling to take since his dismissal from Bishop Gorman last year.

The Irish are still in contact with Nelson but he's visiting USC and West Virginia later this month. Quick will go to NSD with his decision and has Oklahoma and UCLA hard after him. Notre Dame is still trying to stay in the race there as well as with JuJu. The big time safety from California will visit USC in January a couple weeks before NSD.

Tight End
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.949 Dalton Schultz UT 6-5/215 Mild

Back on December 16th (CA) Tyler Luatua .903 committed to Notre Dame adding the second tight end to the class.

Schultz has long been rumored to be a Stanford lean but he really enjoyed his visit to Notre Dame in early December.

Offensive Line
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.888 Natrell Curtis AZ 6-3/335 Cold
.984 Damien Mama CA 6-4/370 Cold
.987 Damian Prince MD 6-5/295 Cold
.968 Braden Smith KS 6-6/290 Cold
.960 Casey Tucker AZ 6-6/270 Cold

Curtis left Washington's class, returns to the Big Board, and is now favoring Oklahoma. Mama will visit USC and BYU later this month. Prince has visits lined up with South Carolina, Florida, and Miami. Tucker is coming off a Christmas visit to Arizona State and will head to Palo Alto later in January.

Smith has visits lined up with Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and TCU in that order. That's probably the order of his favorites right now too. Anything can happen but I'd still consider him a long shot.

Defensive Line
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.990 Lorenzo Carter GA 6-5/232 Cold
.929 Matt Elam KY 6-6/350 Cold
.852 Jaylen Johnson CA 6-3/232 Cold
.981 Malik McDowell MI 6-7/290 Cold
.949 Derrick Nnadi VA 6-1/305 Cold
.988 Solomon Thomas TX 6-3/256 Cold
.908 Andrew Williams GA 6-4/247 Cold

Florida State picked up a commitment from (NC) Lorenzo Featherston .922 on New Year's Day. A week before Christmas (NY) Thomas Holley .957 picked Penn State but is now dealing with the loss of head coach Bill O'Brien. The Hokies from Virginia Tech were glad to accept the commitment of (MD) Melvin Keihn .877 the day before Christmas.

Carter will visit LSU, FSU, and Georgia this month. Matt Elam has eliminated Notre Dame, is down to Kentucky and Alabama, and moved his announcement date from this past weekend to NSD.

Former Boise commit Johnson visited Washington before Christmas. The battle for McDowell has long thought to have been between Michigan State and Michigan but the lineman is visiting Florida State, LSU, and Ohio State this month.

Nnadi has visits lined up to Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Both Thomas and Williams have eliminated the Irish. The former is visiting Stanford, Arkansas, and Ohio State in January. The latter only has a visit to Ole Miss scheduled.

Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.980 Rashaan Evans AL 6-3/220 Cold
.934 Edwin Freeman TX 6-0/212 Cold
.857 Vincent Jackson FL 6-2/235 Cold
.911 Kenny Young LA 6-2/220 Cold

LSU has been pushing for the nation's top class and received a verbal from (IL) Clifton Garrett .985 who made good on his wish to play in the SEC. Ohio State once again went down South and picked up the country's top inside linebacker in (GA) Raekwon McMillan .989. Alabama lost a commit as (TX) Zach Whitley .955 left the Tide and has joined UCLA's class.

Of course Notre Dame added (IL) Nyles Morgan .974 on Saturday.

Evans has visits lined up with Alabama, Ole Miss, and Georgia this month. Freeman looks to be coming down to Texas or Texas A&M. Not much info out there on Jackson, while Young will visit Arkansas this month.

Defensive Back
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.866 Terrence Alexander LA 5-10/180 Mild
.996 Adoree Jackson CA 5-9/182 Cold
.883 Mattrell McGraw LA 6-0/183 Cold

LSU gained the commitment from (TX) Jamal Adams .986 back on Thursday. Alabama countered by grabbing their own DB out of the Lone Star State in (TX) Tony Brown .994. Notre Dame was rumored to have told (TX) Payton Hendrix .863 that he would have to wait to join the Irish class, and he joined Texas Tech's instead. In a bit of a surprise (DC) Jalen Tabor .987 decided to head out West and joined Arizona's class. Shortly before Christmas (IL) Parrker Westphal .939 gave his verbal to Northwestern.

Alexander is a new name to the Big Board. The Irish are showing some interest and he's scheduled to visit Notre Dame this month in addition to Ohio State and Ole Miss.

Notre Dame has been eliminated by Jackson. McGraw visited Oregon and LSU last month and will visit Ohio State in January.

Irish Offense Commits
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Position 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.908 DeShone Kizer OH 6-5/207 Quarterback
.954 Justin Brent IN 6-3/190 Wideout
.920 Corey Holmes FL 6-2/175 Wideout
.903 Nic Weishar IL 6-5/223 Tight End
.903 Tyler Luatua CA 6-4/230 Tight End
.892 Jimmy Byrne OH 6-4/290 Offensive Line
.907 Sam Mustipher MD 6-3/285 Offensive Line
.970 Quenton Nelson NJ 6-5/295 Offensive Line
.958 Alex Bars TN 6-6/309 Offensive Line

Weishar and Luatua have been going in different directions with the recruiting rankings for quite some time. When Weishar gave his verbal he was a pretty average 3-star recruit and Luatua was considered one of the top tight ends in the country. Now, Weishar is just .0003 behind Luatua in the 247Sports Composite and will likely pass him soon after a good showing during all-star weekend.

Did you notice every prospect on offense is now a 4-star?

I think the coaching staff still wants another wide receiver. They'll likely have to fight much harder for Nelson than the experts previously thought and who knows what's going to happen with McKenzie. There are also some academic concerns out there with Quick as well.

Irish Defense Commits
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Position 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.898 Grant Blakenship TX 6-6/252 Defensive End
.860 Jonathan Bonner MO 6-4/250 Defensive End
.853 Kolin Hill TX 6-2/220 Defensive End
.935 Andrew Trumbetti NJ 6-5/250 Defensive End
.840 Jhonathon Williams MI 6-6/237 Defensive End
.891 Matt Dickerson CA 6-5/275 Defensive Tackle
.907 Jay Hayes NY 6-5/260 Defensive Tackle
.974 Nyles Morgan IL 6-1/225 Linebacker
.883 Greer Martini VA 6-3/232 Linebacker
.872 Nile Sykes IL 6-2/223 Linebacker
.904 Richard Yeargin FL 6-4/225 Linebacker
.935 Nick Watkins TX 6-1/185 Cornerback
.892 Drue Tranquill IN 6-2/210 Safety
.805 Tyler Newsome GA 6-3/190 Punter

There are a ton of bodies on defense for this class but you can see another defensive back wouldn't hurt. We'll see how Alexander's visit goes and if the Irish can stay in the race with JuJu Smith.

We may not quite be there yet, but we're approaching the point where the staff might sit tight on the current 23 verbals and see if they can add an elite prospect on National Signing Day.

Not too shabby to have 17 of 23 recruits in a class be 4-star prospects.

Monday Morning Edit: I don't foresee the early exit of Tuitt really changing the recruiting picture with a month left until this cycle all but wraps up. Technically there is another scholarship available for next season but it's not like the staff is surprised by this fact and needs to go get another defensive linemen. What this likely means is that an extra fifth-year senior will come back in 2014.

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