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ND Defensive Recruiting Big Board: 10.29.13

The Irish coaching staff continues to hit defense hard in recruiting.

Scott Cunningham


Welcome to the latest installment of the OFD Big Board. Today we're back with another look at the defensive side of the ball and we are tracking any progress the Irish have made since our last update.

Defensive Line
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.995 Lorenzo Carter GA 6-5/232 Mild
.935 Matt Elam KY 6-6/350 Mild
.946 Lorenzo Featherston NC 6-7/220 Cold
.940 Josh Frazier AR 6-3/324 Cold
.998 Da'Shawn Hand VA 6-4/254 Cold
.969 Thomas Holley NY 6-4/285 Mild
.874 Melvin Keihn MD 6-3/225 Cold
.981 Malik McDowell MI 6-7/290 Cold
.923 Anthony Moten FL 6-4/279 Cold
.946 Derrick Nnadi VA 6-1/305 Cold
.896 Tashon Smallwood CA 6-1/280 Cold
.959 Kentavius Street NC 6-2/262 Cold
.989 Solomon Thomas TX 6-3/256 Cold
.908 Andrew Williams GA 6-4/247 Mild

The latest verbal was Texas defensive end Myles Garrett who gave his commitment to the Aggies of A&M.

Per our last update the Irish are not in the picture with Featherston, Frazier, Hand, Keihn, McDowell, Moten, Nnadi, and Street.

California defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood was recently added to the Big Board and we might see his temperature move to mild in the coming weeks as Notre Dame puts in a little more effort.

Everyone wants to see the Irish get back in the picture with Carter but it's just not happening right now. The door is not shut by any means but Notre Dame really needs another visit.

Matt Elam had a good time on his official visit two weekends ago. I personally think we're still third behind Kentucky and Alabama and I'm not sure if that's changed.

Holley continues to be someone I think would be a great fit, but the love doesn't seem to be there at the moment. Ohio State and Penn State are coming on strong and like the situation with Carter mentioned above Kelly & Co. really need another visit to get back in things.

A lot of good things were said about Notre Dame's position with Thomas after his visit in the summer but it's gone cold since then. Stanford looks like his new leader and he is coming off a visit to Ohio State this past weekend.

Notre Dame is still lurking in the shadows with Williams but he's visited Clemson recently and the Tigers will remain very stiff competition as will Auburn.

Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.966 Rashaan Evans AL 6-3/220 Cold
.939 Edwin Freeman TX 6-0/212 Cold
.984 Clifton Garrett IL 6-2/228 Cold
.857 Vincent Jackson FL 6-2/235 Cold
.990 Raekwon McMillan GA 6-2/242 Cold
.973 Nyles Morgan IL 6-2/228 Mild
.907 Kenny Young LA 6-2/220 Cold

The Irish remain ice cold with everyone on this list but Nyles Morgan.

Morgan has been bumped up to a temperature of mild after an official visit to Notre Dame against USC but don't let that get your hopes up. Many still believe he's just giving the Irish lip service because of his parents while favoring Vanderbilt and especially Ole Miss.

Defensive Back
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.986 Jamal Adams TX 6-0/199 Cold
.994 Tony Brown TX 6-0/188 Cold
.862 Payton Hendrix TX 6-3/190 Mild
.996 Adoree Jackson CA 5-9/182 Cold
.885 Mattrell McGraw LA 6-0/183 Cold
.988 Jalen Tabor DC 6-1/182 Cold
.946 Nick Watkins TX 6-1/185 Mild
.944 Parrker Westphal IL 6-0/186 Cold

Adams, Brown, McGraw, Tabor, and Westphal are not on Notre Dame's radar. Or vice versa. You get the point.

The Irish really want Jackson---and he seems serious about leaving California with recent visits to Oklahoma and LSU---but Notre Dame has not made any progress lately.

Teammates Hendrix and Watkins made official visits to Notre Dame for USC and watched the Irish play in Arlington as well. Throw in Drue Tranquill who could flip from Purdue and these might be your secondary recruits for the 2014 class.

Irish Commits
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Position 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.865 Grant Blakenship TX 6-5/235 Defensive End
.932 Andrew Trumbetti NJ 6-5/250 Defensive End
.892 Matt Dickerson CA 6-5/275 Defensive Tackle
.906 Jay Hayes NY 6-5/269 Defensive Tackle
.850 Jonathan Bonner MO 6-4/250 Linebacker
.883 Greer Martini VA 6-3/232 Linebacker
.903 Richard Yeargin FL 6-4/225 Linebacker
.833 Tyler Newsome GA 6-3/190 Punter

With ~7 spots left in the 2014 class we'll likely see the bulk of the verbals coming on the defensive side of the ball. Numbers-wise a lot of them will be coming in the secondary, and don't forget Californian JuJu Smith who is classified as an athlete but would play safety in South Bend.

It will be interesting to see where the Irish fit in more front seven prospects.