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2015 Notre Dame Recruiting Big Board: Defense

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All the latest updates for Notre Dame's recruiting on defense.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the OFD Big Board for December 30, 2014.

Defensive Tackle
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.905 Darrion Daniels TX 6-3/290 Cold
.965 Neville Gallimore ON 6-3/300 Cold
.992 Rasheem Green CA 6-5/275 Cold
.991 Daylon Mack TX 6-0/330 Cold
.960 Tim Settle VA 6-2/362 Cold
.969 Christian Wilkins CT 6-4/290 Cold
.935 Joseph Wicker CA 6-2/265 Cold

Some shock waves were sent down in Texas when Daylon Mack left Texas A&M's class on December 19th. He quickly named LSU and TCU among his top two and will be taking official visits to Baton Rouge and to Austin to see Texas next month.

One of the top players in the west is down to four teams. Rasheem Green has narrowed his list to Arizona State, Miami, Oregon, and USC. He'll be visiting USC and then Arizona State right before National Signing Day.

The elite player with the strangest top five has to be Tim Settle with Virginia Tech, USC, Washington State, Oklahoma State, and Louisville as his finalists. He'll be deciding on Friday at the Under Armour All-Star Game.

Suffield Academy's Christian Wilkins made his fourth official visit to Ohio State a couple weekends ago and looks to be narrowing things down to the Buckeyes along with Penn State, Clemson, and Stanford. No word yet on when he plans on committing or if he'll take a final official visit somewhere.

It appears we can scratch Joseph Wicker off the list for Notre Dame.

He's taken official visits to Texas Tech, Arizona State, plus recent OV's to Oklahoma and Arizona. Wicker will be playing in the U.S. Army Game later this week.

Defensive End
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.997 Byron Cowart FL 6-4/250 Cold
.996 CeCe Jefferson FL 6-2/250 Cold

The plan moving forward for Byron Cowart is to attend the Under Armour Game and then take official visits to Auburn, Florida, and Florida State with a decision likely to come on National Signing Day. Cowart nearly killed a lineman in practice yesterday.

CeCe Jefferson is down in San Antonio getting ready to play in the U.S. Army Game. He's mentioned he might take a few more trips to LSU, Auburn, and Ole Miss. In addition Alabama, Florida, and Florida State are still heavily in the mix.

Outside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.969 Porter Gustin UT 6-5/240 Mild
.956 Jeffery Holland FL 6-2/230 Cold
.983 John Houston CA 6-3/211 Cold
.973 Osa Masina UT 6-4/230 Cold
.868 Arthur McGinnis LA 6-2/226 Cold

Texas received some great news as (TX) Malik Jefferson .993 spurned UCLA and Texas A&M to give a pledge to the Longhorns. The country's top outside linebacker will surely see his first game action in South Bend next year.

Everything remains quiet for Porter Gustin who is mulling official visits to Ohio State and Arizona State. He'll also likely get back to Los Angeles to see USC which would be his third visit since summer.

Look for Jeffery Holland to come down to a battle between Florida and Auburn.

The Gators were always presumed to lead and new head coach Jim McElwain paid Holland a visit before Christmas. However, with former Florida head coach Will Muschamp taking the DC position at Auburn it may be the Tigers who have a slight lead now.

There are no uncommitted inside linebackers left on the Big Board however some drama continues to swirl around Irish verbal pledge (FL) Tevon Coney .877 who is in St. Petersburg this week for the Under Armour Game.

Welcome to recruiting! One interesting note is that Coney told Rivals Irish Illustarted site that he is 100% committed to Notre Dame ($$$) but that he was set on going to Florida before Will Muschamp was fired.

"At first, not gonna lie, I was gonna go to Florida," Coney said. "I was 100 percent committed to Florida in my mind. When the whole coaching situation happened with coach (Will) Muschamp, me and my family had to reevaluate some things and to think about if I really wanted to get to know a new coach."

But of course Coney committed to Notre Dame on October 23rd a full 24 days before Muschamp was fired at Florida. Not that the ax coming down was a big surprise, though. At any rate keep in mind that the NCAA dead period--which forbids any in-person contact--began on December 15th and extends through January 14th. Coney can keep receiving phone calls from Florida but he will not be able to visit Gainesville prior to his scheduled arrival at Notre Dame as an early enrollee on January 11th with classes beginning for the spring semester on January 13th.

Corner
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.943 Frank Buncom IV CA 6-1/190 Mild
.948 Holton Hill TX 6-2/184 Cold
.914 Jaylon Lane TX 6-1/177 Cold
.997 Iman Marshall CA 6-1/190 Mild
.991 Kendall Sheffield TX 6-0/181 Cold

We now have a decision date for Frank Buncom who will make a college decision on January 28th. Nothing has changed to move the experts off their picks for Stanford.

Coming from Long Beach Poly the nation's top corner Iman Marshall has long been considered a USC lock. However, if he ultimately chooses the Trojans he's sure making them sweat and work for it.

Marshall is taking an official visit to Florida State next month and may also make the trek to Ann Arbor now that Jim Harbaugh is their new coach.

Safety
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.863 Hunter Dale LA 5-11/195 Cold
.965 DeChaun Holiday CA 6-2/195 Cold
.833 Denzel Johnson SC 6-2/187 Cold
.870 Justin Reid LA 6-0/193 Cold
.969 Marvell Tell CA 6-2/175 Cold

If you haven't heard yet Notre Dame landed the committment of (IN) Mykelti Williams .873 back on December 19th. The Irish waited quite a long time to offer the Warren Central product but did so a few days before he gave his verbal. He now provides much needed depth at the safety position.

Notre Dame is still looking for another safety and offered Justin Reid shortly before the Holidays. He gives the Irish yet another focused target in Louisiana and is lining up an official visit on January 23rd.

While only a 3-star keep in mind that Reid does hold a LSU offer and will be visiting Baton Rouge the week after he comes to Notre Dame. He'll also be visiting Stanford the week before South Bend so this will not be an easy recruit to swing in Notre Dame's favor.

One quality safety prospect came off the board recently as (TX) Kahlil Haughton .891 gave a verbal to Oklahoma on December 19th. The Irish looked to make a move during the fall after an offer but just couldn't do enough to get an official visit out of the Midway High School star.

The top true safety target left was (FL) Ben Edwards .890 who had been narrowing things down to Notre Dame and Stanford. Then Florida came on real strong after McElwain was hired. Apparently the Cardinal put the pressure on because last night Edwards joined Stanford's class.

Edwards' commitment to Stanford really puts a lot of pressure on Notre Dame to close with another defensive back.

Also remember that (CA) Ykili Ross .974 and (VA) Gary Jennings .838 are still being recruited as safeties by Notre Dame but are not listed at those positions by the Composite rankings.