While the OFD staff looks forward to the Blue-Gold Game on Saturday afternoon, I thought it would be a good opportunity to update the recruiting numbers going into what has historically been a big weekend for visitors. With the spring evaluation period officially under way, expect to hear more from prospective student athletes listing their top schools and narrowing down lists for camps and official visits in the fall.
Bear in mind that the numbers I show are based on a few key assumptions, mainly the returning 5th years for 2013 and that the current commitments stay at the position that I project them.
For reference, Whiskey just updated the scholarship numbers on Monday. Based on our collective wisdom, it appears that this class will probably end up at 21 players.
Eric has been hard at work keeping tabs on all the offers out there from the staff. As always, stop on by and share your two cents on the prospects and prognosticate on the next verbal commitment.
Finally, don't forget to stop on by Recruiting Central for links to all of our up-to-date info and more.
We will jump into the numbers after, well...the jump.
Based on everything I have read, it appears that the staff is looking for the following distribution of talent:
QB - 1
Commit: Malik Zaire
The staff is done here after landing Zaire. By the way, he just dominated in the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Ohio Elite in Cincinnati over the weekend, earning top skilled position billing.
RB - 1
The staff appears to be sticking to one RB this cycle. Ryan Green (St Petersburg, FL) and Ty Isaac (Joliet, IL) appear to be the two leading the pack right now from coaching staff's interest level. Green recently visited both Florida and Florida State for their spring games and distance may be a factor here.
WR - 2-3
There are still a ton of outstanding offers to this group, but the dust appears to be settling on a few names for what appears to be the remaining spot at WR. The top name on the board right now is probably Laquon Treadwell (Crete, IL), who appears to be done with spring visits. Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) is the other top name right now after his visit to campus a few weeks ago.
TE - 1
After missing on the consensus #1 TE in the class (Adam Breneman), the staff has turned its focus to Mike Heuerman. Heuerman visited in early April and is on campus again this week. He will be announcing his decision at the end of the month. I think the Irish are a little behind Miami and Ohio State at the point, but anything can happen over the next week or two.
If the Irish miss on the remaining targets on board (which is possible), look for current commits Jacob Matuska or Corey Robinson to move to the TE position.
OL - 4
The staff appears to be done here, but still has several offers out to prospective offensive linemen. I don't think that they would take five, but there is the potential for one or two of the current commits could also move to the defensive side of the ball. A few of the names still out there include Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, PA -- cousin of assistant coach Scott Booker), Aaron Cochran (Atwater, CA), and a pair of OL/DL combo players in Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights, OH) and Darius Latham (Indianapolis, IN).
DL - 4
Commit: Jacob Matuska (DE)
I firmly believe that the staff will take a DT/NG and three DEs in this class with the recent announcement from the Kraken. They potentially have one DE on board already (Matuska, who may end up at TE). The aforementioned Donovan Munger (who was at Junior Day) really projects as a defensive tackle in college while Latham has said that he wants to play DE at the next level. Dajaun Drennon (Sicklerville, NJ) also came to South Bend for Junior day, but may be a better fit as an OLB in the 3-4 scheme. The staff appears to be in great shape with DEs Isaac Rochelle (McDonough, GA) and Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) right now. A few more names to keep an eye on are Alquadin Mohammad (Ramsey, NJ), Josh Augusta (Peoria, IL) and Devante Lee (Chicago, IL).
LB - 3-4
The staff really needs to land two top ILBs and probably a pair of OLBs in 2013. At ILB, the staff appears to be focused on Junior Day visitors Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA) and Justin Mastrogiovanni (Dallas, TX) as well as trying to get Yannick Ngakoue (Washington, DC) and Chans Cox (Lakeside, AZ) on campus.
Outside LB features a player who is likely the #1 overall target for the staff in Jaylon Smith (Fort Wayne, IN). A few other names to keep in mind are the previously discussed Drennon and current Stanford commitment Doug Randolph (Richmond, VA). Athlete Marcus Ball (Westerville, OH) projects at either safety or outside linebacker and just visited campus last weekend.
CB - 3
Three is the magic number for cornerbacks in this class, and the staff has landed verbals from two already. Names to keep in mind for the final spot include Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, TX - visitor last weekend) and Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee, FL)
S - 0-1
After taking several safeties in the 2012 class, the staff may elect to skip the position this cycle if they miss on the elite talent. Su'a Cravens is probably the top name on the list, but will probably stay in California for school. Other names to keep an eye on are Vonn Bell (Rossville, GA -- recently visited), Leon McQuay III (Seffner, FL), Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, CA), and Priest Willis (Tempe, AZ).
ST - 1
I think the staff will have to look at taking a punter to replace Ben Turk. Ideally, they could sign a combo punter/place kicker (similar to Kyle Brindza) to save on the overall scholarship numbers. There aren't any offers out yet, and I don't expect any until the summer camp circuit.
Wrapping It All Up
QB - 1 (done)
RB - 1
WR - 3
TE - 1
OL - 4 (done)
DL - 4
LB - 3-4
CB - 3
S - 0-1
ST - 1