Welcome back the OFD Recruiting Big Board for December 23, 2014.
We have a couple stories to talk about at the quarterback position. But first a quick video of Notre Dame commit (NJ) Brandon Wimbush .970 dropping a deep ball in a bucket, plus a short highlight video from his senior year.
Irish head coach Brian Kelly was in to see Wimbush shortly after our last offensive update with the quarterback prospect looking all of his listed 6'2" height.
Wimbush was also in South Bend for the football awards banquet and was recently named NJ.com's Player of the Year in New Jersey.
One of the earliest offers to go out at this position way back on March 31, 2013 was to Jack Beneventi. He committed to Iowa on December 5th of 2013 but earlier this month received a visit from the Hawkeye coaching staff who told him they are moving in a different direction.
Beneventi--who transferred from Benet High School to Fenwick High School before his senior season--lost his job this year and has tumbled in the rankings for quite some time. As you can imagine, the quarterback doesn't sound too pleased with the decision.
"Coach Brian Ferentz came in for a visit last Monday (Dec. 1). I'm not taking (an official visit). Iowa is not interested anymore," Beneventi said. "Basically yes (Iowa pulled his scholarship offer). They are pressuring me more along the lines of not going to Iowa. Yes, saying I'm uncommitted would be the appropriate way to classify it."
Some other major national news to report as (TX) Jarrett Stidham .987 left Texas Tech's class on December 13th and visited Baylor a day later. This past Friday the country's second ranked dual-threat signal caller committed to the Bears.
Scouting report on Baylor QB commit Jarrett Stidham http://t.co/Mo9dToYY5i Going to be awesome in Art Briles' offense— Jamie Uyeyama (@jamieuyeyama) December 19, 2014
According to our own Jamie Uyeyama Stidham is going to fit real well at Baylor.
|.958||Ronald Jones II||TX||6-0/185||Hot|
Running back remains a major focus for Notre Dame. The top target in Ronald Jones left Oklahoma State's class two Sunday's ago just a day after visiting Notre Dame. He also visited USC a week before South Bend and the Trojans and Irish are currently in a fight to grab Jones' services. Last night news broke that he'll be deciding between these two teams at the Under Armour All-American Game.
McKinney (Texas) four-star RB Ronald Jones will announce a college decision between Notre Dame & USC Jan. 2 at the Under Armour game— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive) December 23, 2014
The day after Jones visited South Bend, the Irish reached out to Nashville running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn and gave him an offer. He was recently named the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year after scoring 45 touchdowns this season. Vaughn has Louisville and Purdue among his favorites and will be looking to visit South Bend next month. He's also carrying top offers from North Carolina, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt while being extended an offer from Nebraska this past weekend.
A couple weeks ago we talked about Notre Dame's high interest in JUCO (LA) Jeremy Smith N/R but it appears he may never have been formally offered after cancelling his visit to the awards banquet. A few days later after seeing Louisville and Alabama the back committed to the Cardinals.
Notre Dame also expected (MI) Michael Weber .954 to visit for the award show but he backed out as well. Not long after the former Michigan commit gave a verbal to Ohio State.
Just recently NC State picked up the commitment of (NC) Nyheim Hines .943 who did so with his twin sister. She'll be running track for the Wolfpack.
Since our last update (LA) Kendall Bussey .887 has been reclassified from an athlete to running back. He left Nebraska's class in late November and recently committed to play for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Also note that Penn State commit (PA) Saquon Barkley .933 has a Notre Dame offer and was not previously reported.
Nothing to report on Soso Jamabo but the Notre Dame recruitniks are losing faith that he'll choose the Irish over UCLA.
Our lone commit at the athlete position was (OR) Cameron Scarlett .900 deciding on Stanford. His verbal gives the Cardinal their second highest ranked commit of the cycle and their third 4-star prospect.
4-star RB Cameron Scarlett commits to Stanford. 6-1, 200+ pounds. Good runner in traffic. Had ACL surgery in Dec. Redshirt candidate— Rule of Tree (@RuleofTree) December 15, 2014
Notre Dame recently received an official visit from Jordan Cronkrite out of Westminster Christian in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay. Ever since he left Miami's class the Mountaineers of West Virginia have been the presumed leader but Notre Dame may be comfortably in second place right now. Cronkrite was recently offered by Nebraska and may visit Lincoln the week before going to Louisville. This will likely go down to the wire close to National Signing Day.
We reported back in late November that Notre Dame had offered Nate Meadors and are looking at him for the defensive backfield.
However, it looks like the Irish are out of the picture as a few offers in recent weeks have shaken up Meadors official visit plans. He's already been to Boise State, Washington, and California while now taking the last two trips to Oregon and UCLA.
|.937||Equanimeous St. Brown||CA||6-5/205||Hot|
One commit to report is (AZ) Christian Kirk .986 giving his verbal to Texas A&M. That gives the Aggies the top player in Arizona and another 5-star recruit to use on offense.
Lawrence Cager was supposed to visit for the Notre Dame awards banquet but cancelled the trip just a few days beforehand. Not long after he released a top five that featured Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Virginia Tech, and Ole Miss. Obviously the Irish missed the cut but even more surprising was Ohio State being left out as well due to their OC taking the Houston job.
The buzz is that Cager was told not to visit South Bend because Equanimeous St. Brown is a silent verbal who plans on announcing for Notre Dame during the Under Armour All-American Game. This is recruiting so don't go counting your chickens before they hatch but this appears to be a positive development for the Irish.
Notre Dame isn't done recruiting Ykili Ross who they still would like to add to the defensive backfield. However, he took yet another visit to USC and is considered a strong lean to the Trojans.
Someone who keeps flying under the radar is Gary Jennings, yet another recruit who came to the awards show and is being looked at as a versatile athlete who would get his first shot on defense.
The Irish made a big move with Jennings but it may be tough to overcome a pair of January visits to Virginia and West Virginia right before National Signing Day.
It still remains (NV) Aliz'e Jones .972 or bust for Notre Dame. The UCLA commit visited Notre Dame again for the awards ceremony and continues to be heavily recruited by teammate and Irish verbal Nicco Fertitta.
It'll be worth keeping an eye on Chris Clark who left Michigan's class in early December. He is visiting UCLA and Texas the two weeks before NSD. The Bruins are increasing their interest but how much of that is to apply pressure to Jones? At any rate, I wouldn't expect Jones to make his final decision until late January, if not National Signing Day.
Notre Dame only offered 12 offensive linemen all cycle long and we're down to these three still deciding on their schools.
From the northern Orlando suburb of Apopka, Florida it is Martez Ivey who has moved into the top spot as the country's No. 1 recruit.
Ivey will be deciding between Florida and Auburn.