Welcome back the OFD Recruiting Big Board. Today we'll talk about the good vibes continuing with Blake Barnett and visit plans for some athletic playmakers.
Notre Dame remains at only 6 offered quarterbacks this cycle and it will likely stay that way forever. So, get used to it! We do have some news on current Irish commit (CA) Blake Barnett .963 who hasn't been shy about competing in the off-season circuit this year. He was the first quarterback extended an invitation to the The Opening Elite 11 back in January following a camp in Los Angeles and two weekend's ago Barnett went up to Oakland for the Nike Football Training Camp.
QB Blake Barnett just keeps getting better too, VERY high ceiling for him— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) May 18, 2014
Notre Dame quarterback commitment @BlakeBarnett_8 jumps nine slots to No. 55 in the newest Rivals100. Nation’s No. 5 QB.— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) May 19, 2014
It's important to keep in mind that Barnett was a little bit off the radar about 8 to 10 months ago and he's really sky rocketed up the rankings since his junior season. Still, with the way he's handled his business this off-season Barnett probably isn't done climbing and should push closer to 5-star status. There are plenty of recruitniks who think he's the top quarterback in the country so you could make the case Barnett is still very underrated.
Tyler James from the South Bend Tribune ran a story last week on Barnett after his appearance in Oakland and spoke with Scout.com's Greg Biggins who was in attendance at the camp:
"The ball comes out of his hand really clean," Biggins said. "It's a tight ball every time. He has a really live arm. He was throwing deep balls accurately. Everything was just on point from his drops to his accuracy. He owns all the deep throws, the intermediate throws, the short stuff. He was throwing with touch when he needed to. He was really good."
Biggins remembers Barnett's throwing motion being long and inconsistent in the past. Now, he says, Barnett has found a consistent release point and improved his motion to be quicker and tighter. And all the improvements shown on Sunday don't include his ability to make plays on his feet and run by defenders in the open field. In a camp setting, he has to be a pocket-passer.
"You knew he made some strides pretty quickly, but the fact that it's happening even faster than I thought it would it shows how good he's going to be two or three years from now," Biggins said. "If anyone wants to say he has the highest ceiling of any of the quarterbacks in this year's class, I don't think you can argue with that at all."
Barnett's busy off-season isn't over yet. Next weekend he'll travel to M&T Stadium in Baltimore for the RIvals 5-Star Challenge. Later in June Barnett will be in South Bend for the Irish Invasion camp and in early July he participates in the Elite 11 Finals in Oregon.
We had one running back commit over the past month and that was (GA) Eric Swinney .953 who joins Mississippi's class as the Rebel's highest rated recruit.
In early May the Irish went down and visited Nyheim Hines. Following that meeting we offered him a scholarship. He seems to be highly interested so keep an eye on him. If he takes a visit this summer he might be someone who could fit in really well at Notre Dame.
Pitt and Penn State appear to be the stiffest competition for Josh Adams. He's scheduled to camp this summer at Notre Dame and I think he'll strongly favor the Irish if we convince him he's a running back prospect and not someone who should play defense. As we've said previously, there are some concerns that he's out-growing the tailback position.
Some positive news from down in Texas. Although Jamabo isn't coming to the Irish Invasion he is planning on taking a flight to Notre Dame early next week. The main competition here looks like Oklahoma and Baylor. We'll see how a campus visit changes things.
Malik Lovette said earlier this month that Notre Dame leads in his recruitment. Most expect USC to have a say about that but it's encouraging right now nonetheless. He plans on taking official visits in the fall so this won't end anytime soon.
Notre Dame isn't believed to be among the leaders for Jacques Patrick but he is coming to the Irish Invasion next month. Someone who was supposed to come to the Invasion this summer was Ty'Son Williams but he's not going to make it.
|.920||Ray Ray McCloud||FL||5-9/175||Mild|
A pair of offers at athlete have gone out since our last update. First, the Irish offered Jerome Baker from Benedictine in Cleveland. He's supposed to be a heavy Ohio State lean but Notre Dame could make things interesting. Watch out for him to visit this summer and maybe for Irish Invasion. He's told multiple sites he's been recruited as a linebacker by Notre Dame.
Donte Jackson is the other new offer. I don't expect Notre Dame to be a player here.
As of right now the Irish coach's are confident that McCloud is going to be visiting this summer. He's a top running back/athlete for Notre Dame.