Welcome back to the OFD Big Board for December 16, 2014.
We've had a pair of tackles come off the board since our last update beginning with (SC) Albert Huggins .959 who gave a verbal to Clemson. He'll be looking for a lot of playing time and may square up against Notre Dame next year as the Tigers lose 6 defensive linemen this off-season.
Shoutout and #salute to #ArmyBowl defensive lineman Albert Huggins [@Im_The_Hulk] on his commitment to #Clemson pic.twitter.com/Cj4P6veupe— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) December 12, 2014
Several weeks ago we told you about (MD) Adam McLean .943 leaving Penn State's class. Earlier this month he decided to join his in-state Maryland Terrapins. Not long after there were some rumors about academic issues being raised but his high school coach says he'll be fine.
MEET MY NEW HEAD COACH AND YOUR NEW EDITION TO THE MARYLAND FOOTBALL TEAM I JUST COMMITTED TO MARYLAND #Pride #Terps pic.twitter.com/QenHRhevpw— *Next Level* (@MoneyMakeinAdam) December 5, 2014
QO coach: Maryland commit Adam McLean 'definitely going to qualify' http://t.co/FY8qVDhnWb pic.twitter.com/CcJncwmmGW— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) December 6, 2014
We have now downgraded Christian Wilkins to Cold. The Suffield Academy product is coming off an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend and has already taken OV's to Clemson, Penn State, and Stanford. It is possible that he takes his last visit to Notre Dame but things are not trending in that direction right now.
Buckeye DT target Christian Wilkins is headed home after his #OhioState official visit. Bucknuts has the word (VIP) http://t.co/YUIgFEOIQe— Bill Kurelic (@Bill_Kurelic) December 14, 2014
Notre Dame was in a similar position with Joseph Wicker (hoping for the last OV) but that is not going to happen. The Long Beach Poly product has taken 4 official visits in recent weeks to Texas Tech, Arizona State, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Wicker mentioned possibly coming to South Bend in January but it looks like he'll use his last OV to UCLA.
We've reiterated many times that Notre Dame was interested in Nick Watkins' former high school teammate Darrion Daniels but this relationship stalled a long time ago. Now it appears that Daniels will be staying in the Big 12 region.
4-star DT Darrion Daniels (@DarrionGolden79) on his #OkState official visit. #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/hDwRIQ0A53— Damon Sayles (@DamonSayles) November 16, 2014
Daniels has taken official visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech so far.
Larz and Jamie have been fighting back tears as Canadian Neville Gallimore has been zeroing in on schools which don't include Notre Dame. He only has one OV left and has already been to Oklahoma, Florida State, Auburn, and Ohio State.
#Rivals100 DT Neville Gallimore has revealed his commitment date: http://t.co/ABDHMgNPeQ #AU #OU #OSU #FSU #Bama pic.twitter.com/F58fVxZymm— Rivals.com (@Rivals) December 10, 2014
He'll be committing at the U.S. Army All-American game early next month.
Florida State recently received some big news as (VA) Josh Sweat .996 committed to the Seminoles over Virginia Tech. The country's top defensive end was injured for most of his senior season but gives FSU a major weapon off the edge. And yes, it is the most Florida State thing ever to refer to themselves as Five Star University.
No sweat: #Noles land No. 1 defensive end recruit Josh Sweat http://t.co/kOYkhOXIga #FSU #Tribe15 pic.twitter.com/yfyEYUhQSs— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) December 10, 2014
The country is anxiously awaiting the conclusion to the recruitment of Byron Cowart. A bunch of teams are still in the mix including Florida, Auburn, Florida State, and Alabama with Cowart still lining up official visits.
5-star DE Byron Cowart plans three more official visits before making his decision http://t.co/zfMWaezDHa #SEC #ACC pic.twitter.com/hfANlRxk7e— Rivals.com (@Rivals) December 15, 2014
The other top defensive end CeCe Jefferson is fresh off a visit to Alabama. If you go by numbers of visits it looks like his decision will come down to Florida or the Crimson Tide.
5-star CeCe Jefferson sees another side of #Alabama (VIP) http://t.co/NYq2CmJ30d via @247Sports— BamaOnline (@BamaOnline247) December 15, 2014
If Notre Dame adds any defensive end-types it'll likely be from the OLB position below.
We do not have any inside linebackers left on the Big Board but will note that (FL) Cecil Cherry .877 recently left Tennessee's class and just committed to Texas last night.
A Cherry on top for the Longhorns. MLB Cecil Cherry has committed to texas! http://t.co/np1AqTOXjL #Hookem pic.twitter.com/uGG4R3lm84— Scout Recruiting (@scoutrecruiting) December 15, 2014
Also, Notre Dame never did end up offering him but former Michigan commit (IN) Darrin Kirkland .925 committed to Tennessee last night, as well.
One of Florida's casualties this season was (GA) Adonis Thomas .923 who left the Gators class back in late October. About a week ago Thomas gave a verbal to Alabama. He'll visit Tuscaloosa next month, presumably a smart move to fend off any talk from new Florida head coach Jim McElwain.
Elite Pass Rusher Adonis Thomas Commits to Bama http://t.co/ubwQwIG1Xb pic.twitter.com/WWxgK8mvmQ— Roll Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) December 9, 2014
Porter Gustin is laying low since a late November official visit to USC. The Trojans are still considered the heavy favorites but he may visit Ohio State or Arizona State at some point too. Gustin was recently in New York City as part of the U.S. Army Player of the Year celebration.
Trent Thompson, Chris Warren, @DhaSickest, and Porter Gustin on top of Rockefeller Plaza || #ArmyBowl NYC P.O.Y Tour pic.twitter.com/v7dT4K9GCv— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) December 8, 2014
We'll find out where Malik Jefferson commits later this week. He appears to be down to Texas A&M, Texas, and UCLA. He just got done visiting the Bruins and was recently given the Butkus Award as the top high school linebacker in the United States.
Congrats to @Official_MalikJ and @EKLA6 for winning the Butkus award for best LB in the nation. Both well deserved. pic.twitter.com/GYx2r7Ch6K— chad_cox (@coachcoxxy) December 10, 2014
Arthur McGinnis recently released a top five which does not include Notre Dame. He's looking at Arizona, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Texas A&M.
|.943||Frank Buncom IV||CA||6-1/190||Mild|
There was some big national news when Oklahoma State pulled its offer from Jaylon Lane following the prep star's arrest about 3 weeks ago. I would imagine he's not someone the Irish will be hotly pursuing down the stretch.
Four-star CB Jaylon Lane No Longer An OSU Commit Following Arrest - via @OkStateOnScout ..http://t.co/zoKxhaIDzs— Oklahoma State (@TheOkiePokie) November 22, 2014
As noted in our award's banquet preview the Irish are heaving up a prayer with Iman Marshall and hoping his visit to Notre Dame makes a big difference. USC has long been the favorite and the Irish will have to deal with that in addition to Marshall still having 4 more official visits available to use.
Good Meeting With @CoachBrianKelly pic.twitter.com/Lk93F9Irg0— Biggie (@iman_marshall8) December 14, 2014
Frank Buncom is down to 4 teams: Stanford, Notre Dame, California, and Vanderbilt. He's already taken his official visits to South Bend and Nashville and will be visiting Palo Alto and Berkeley next month. He was supposed to see Cal this past weekend but a knee injury during his playoff championship game prevented such a trip.
#VIP: Four-star CB Frank Buncom adds an official visit, moves decision timetable back http://t.co/JOiAkn2woN @ChrisSmithVU247 @bartonsimmons— Ryan Bartow (@RyanBartow) December 14, 2014
Remember that Buncom has apparently cleared admissions at Stanford and they presumably have a sizable lead. He'll be deciding in late January after he's done with his visits.
As we take a look at this position keep in mind that listed receivers (VA) Gary Jennings .838 and (CA) Ykili Ross .940 plus athlete (CA) Nathan Meadors .880 are all targets at safety for Notre Dame. Jennings was one of the visitors this past weekend at the Notre Dame awards banquet.
The Irish also hosted Michigan commit (OH) Tyree Kinnel .920 this past weekend and are making a strong push to flip him. As of now he'll be visiting Michigan State on January 16th and waiting to see who Michigan hires as their new head coach.
4-star #Michigan commit Tyree Kinnel gets a feel for #NotreDame on official visit http://t.co/UMDaqQkFDi #Irish pic.twitter.com/GKamHldYna— Rivals.com (@Rivals) December 15, 2014
Last week Notre Dame offered Nebraska commit (GA) Aaron Williams .861 but he appears to be content with the hiring of Mike Riley and pulled out of a planned visit to South Bend this past weekend.
Ben Edwards remains one of the top options for Notre Dame. He took an OV to South Bend a few weeks ago and still has two more visits left on his docket.
In home visit with Notre Dame went really good— Ben Edwards (@Ben_Edwards_) December 7, 2014
Right now he is looking at Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, Miami, Ohio State, and North Carolina. He's planning a visit to UCLA next month but hasn't scheduled his final official as of yet.