Welcome back the OFD Recruiting Big Board. We're moving these posts to cover all of offense one week and defense the next as we approach National Signing Day.
We have some news to report on the quarterback front where (NJ) Brandon Wimbush .970 remains the jewel of the Fighting Irish class. Not only has Wimbush steadily moved up the Composite rankings recently (he's now the No. 55 recruit in the nation, 6th best quarterback, and 18 players away from a 5-star rating) but he was named the New Jersey Gatorade State Player of the Year this past Thursday.
Wimbush followed up that honor by leading his St. Peter's Prep team to a state title over Paramus Catholic this past Friday by the score of 34-18. Although he had a sub-par passing day (18 of 32 for 167 yards and 2 TD) for his standards, Wimbush made several big plays with his legs in the rainy weather and totaled 158 yards on 11 carries.
Wimbush finishes his senior season with 3,151 yards passing on 72.3% accuracy, plus 36 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. He missed the second half of last year's title game loss against Paramus with a concussion so Wimbush must feel proud to get some revenge in his last high school football game.
The only other news is that current Florida State commit (FL) Deondre Francois .950 mentioned that he'll be taking some official visits in the near future and mentioned a trip to Notre Dame.
However, no one is expecting that trip to happen as the Irish are more than satisfied with Wimbush as their quarterback.
Following the firing of Brady Hoke the Michigan Wolverines have seen their recruiting class completely crumble. One of the players to leave UM's haul prior to Hoke's dismissal was Mikey Weber who subsequently picked up offers from Georgia, Notre Dame, and Alabama in late November immediately following his defection.
Weber was originally scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend but will be going to Ohio State instead. He plans to announce at the U.S. Army All-American game on January 3rd so this is good news for the Buckeyes.
Something interesting to discuss as Jeremy Smith a JUCO running back out Fresno City College was extended an offer by Notre Dame on November 27th. Currently a freshman at FCC he decided to go the JUCO route out of high school because of a lack of offers and is currently an engineering major with a 3.0 GPA.
Smith will also be visiting Notre Dame for the awards banquet with his father. He also recently picked up an offer from Louisville, as well. As a JUCO transfer, Smith would be immediately able to play in 2015 with 3 years of eligibility left in his career.
Don't forget that Notre Dame is still pursuing Oklahoma State commit (TX) Ronald Jones II .957 and he'll be yet another running back coming for the awards banquet. Jones recently visited USC this past weekend. The Irish coaching staff were in Texas last Wednesday paying a visit to Jones.
The staff also stopped by to see Soso Jamabo, as well. After a big senior season Jamabo has gained Composite 5-star status and is tied with Damien Harris as the top running back in the country.
Miami commit (FL) Dexter Williams .959 was weighing a visit to Notre Dame but will be going to Coral Gables this weekend instead. He's hoping to get to Notre Dame next month.
A couple of players have been added to the Big Board. Following the firing of Bo Pelini at Nebraska the running back recruit Kendall Bussey left the Cornhuskers class. He recently named Texas A&M his new leader and will be picking between the Aggies and Tennessee soon.
Kendall Bussey's father said his son has chosen the SEC (VIP): http://t.co/tjTyDUSBZY— Mike Schaefer (@mikejschaefer) December 1, 2014
While the Irish coaching staff was hitting the recruiting trail out west they offered Nathan Meadors from San Gorgonio high school in San Bernardino, California.
Meadors will be visiting Washington this weekend but is looking to set up a visit in January to Notre Dame.
Some bad news recently for Cameron Scarlett who tore his ACL in his high school playoff quarterfinal game. He is still sticking to his selection date of December 15th and will pick between Washington, Notre Dame, Stanford, and UCLA.
You can throw Jordan Cronkrite in the mix as another player coming to the Notre Dame awards banquet later this week.
Since leaving Miami's class earlier this fall Cronkrite has only visited West Virginia for an official but has now lined up Notre Dame and Louisville trips.
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The lone commit from the receivers in recent weeks was (GA) Darius Slayton .936 staying in-state and giving a verbal to the Georgia Bulldogs.
Not much new to report on Equanimeous St. Brown who still has not taken any more official visits after seeing Notre Dame and Utah this fall. The Irish coaching staff paid ESB a visit last week.
Lawrence Cager will be another recruit coming to Notre Dame this Friday for the banquet. He's coming off a visit to Virginia Tech and will take an official to Alabama in January, as well.
Notre Dame is no longer in the running but a heads up that Christian Kirk will be making his decision on December 17th with Arizona State the presumed favorite.
Ykili Ross remains listed as a wide receiver despite being recruited as a corner by Notre Dame and others.
Ross came to Notre Dame for the Louisville game on an official visit and also saw the Irish lose in the season finale at USC. He still plans on deciding at the U.S. Army All-American game on January 3rd and will be taking an official visit to USC soon.
Not much of a surprise at tight end where Michigan lost another recruit. This time it was Chris Clark who has now left both North Carolina and the Wolverines' recruiting classes this cycle. He has kept a top five of North Carolina, Michigan, USC, UCLA, and Texas while setting up official visits to North Carolina and Texas next month.
Don't forget than UCLA commit (NV) Alize Jones .972 is also visiting this weekend for the awards banquet.
Just rolled into Bishop Gorman to visit Nicco Fertitta and Alize Jones. Never seen anything like Gorman before. Better than most colleges.— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) December 1, 2014
Jones took his official visit to UCLA two weekends ago and will return to South Bend this Friday after taking a somewhat surprise visit to Notre Dame back in September. He did not play this past weekend in Gorman's 70-28 win over Reed High School due to an ankle injury. The victory secured Bishop Gorman's 6th straight Nevada state title.
Offensive line recruiting has been quiet for months but the good news is that Notre Dame commits (ID) Tristen Hoge .955 and (LA) Jerry Tillery .930 have signed their paperwork to enroll early at Notre Dame next month.
Jerry Tillery affirms commitment to Notre Dame, shuts down recruitment http://t.co/hVK3LaaThM— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) December 5, 2014
Although Tillery will not be attending this week's awards banquet because he'll be watching his sister graduate college, he will technically still take an official visit on the weekend before he enrolls at Notre Dame starting January 9th.
One last note before we finish is that (FL) Mirko Jurkovic Jr .852 recently left Nebraska's class and gave a verbal to Ohio State. As a legacy of his late father who passed away nearly a year ago from a long battle with colon cancer Jurkovic was on the radar of many Notre Dame fans.