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.
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.
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.
|.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|.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|
|.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|
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.