(Updated with a new prospect on Notre Dame's radar at the bottom of the post and a new offer to one of the prospects)
Well, that all happened pretty fast.
On June 2nd, Blake Barnett gave an interview to Rivals.com ($) which stated his commitment to Notre Dame was strong and he was excited to get back up to South Bend for a week later in the month. He said the same things in similar interviews over the last few months and did not take any visits, so everything must have been all good, right?
The next day he was interviewed by Rivals.com again ($) after a surprise visit to Oregon. One day later he officially decommitted from the Irish.
Welcome to the wonderful world of college football recruiting!
There is no doubt Notre Dame fans have a bad taste in their mouth from the whole situation, but there is no time for the Irish coaching staff to sit around and be upset about what happened. If they want to try and get a quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class, they need to jump back in the game immediately.
They are at a huge disadvantage because they have not established relationships with just about every available quarterback because Barnett committed so early and appeared solid. There are still some players that may be open to listening though that may fit in well with what Notre Dame does on offense. Fortunately, the Irish have recruited well at the position as of late and don't have to take a guy because of need.
Here's a look at some of the candidates for an offer:
Update: Waller just tweeted he received an offer from Notre Dame. Here's a scouting report from SB Nation's Bud Elliott on Waller as well as my scouting report on him.
He was already a hot name as the "next best guy available" for several programs and his name got a bit hotter with this news. It's such a loaded quarterback class in California that he hasn't received the attention that he probably deserves, but he is a very talented kid.
I watched film of him before and he has solid mechanics when he has a clean pocket and throws a nice deep ball. His mechanics get a little bit off when throwing on the run, but I'm sure that is something he is working on. He can make a lot of plays with his feet and showed the ability to run away from people in the best league in California. He's a true dual-threat and a nice fit for what Notre Dame does on offense.
Waller needs to add weight and fill out his frame, but he likely wouldn't be put in a situation where he is asked to play early.
Quarterback coach Matt LaFleur should have at least had a glimpse of him while recruiting his teammate, wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, when he visited Servite last month. St. Brown is supposed to visit South Bend this month. Maybe Waller will wants to tag along if he receivers an offer? We'll have to see how it plays out, but Waller seemed to be waiting on an offer from Oregon and Ohio State and it looks like those probably won't be coming. Northwestern and Alabama would seem to be the primary competition.
Jones is another dual-threat out of California that has been heating up in terms of recent offers. He's got really good tools to work with, but is far from a finished product.
He has above average arm strength and very good mobility. From what I saw from him, his footwork is inconsistent and needs to be improved. He also loses his mechanics a bit when under pressure. If Notre Dame needed him to play early, then he probably would not be the best candidate for an offer. Much like incoming freshman Deshone Kizer, he would have the time to refine his game before seeing significant snaps. He has really good potential though and is another player that fits into what Notre Dame is trying to do on offense.
He sounds like he has some visits set in the summer to places like Florida and Tennessee so if Notre Dame is going to make a move on him, they will need to do it soon.
Francois is listed as a dual-threat, but most of the plays he is going to make are from the pocket. He can run, but his arm is his greatest weapon. He's similar to Everett Golson in that sense.
I saw a player on film that has solid mechanics and a a very good arm. He's just a solid prospect in just about every aspect of his game and someone who is already comfortable in a spread offense. He might be more ready from a fundamental standpoint to play early, but he needs to mature physically as well. He's pretty thin right now.
He named a top 6 last month and also announced his intention to commit at The Opening, which takes place from July 7-10. Some of those top 6 are eliminated now because of quarterback commitments that happened between now and then, so Notre Dame might have a shot to sneak in the mix with an offer. Obviously, that's a fairly tight window to try and make an impression and get him on campus.
His name has been mentioned by some recruiting sites as a possible candidate to get an offer in the last day or two, but I'm not sure if that will be the case.
As a runner, he is probably the best quarterback I've seen at running the zone read in this recruiting class and he is dynamic in the open field. As a passer, he has a lot of work to do and doesn't flash the greatest arm strength. He normally would be someone I would think would be asked to come to camp to earn an offer so Brian Kelly and LaFleur could watch him throw in person and work with him. The chances of that happening though are pretty slim unless Tony Alford can work some Florida magic to get him on campus in the next two weeks.
He's an intriguing prospect, but probably better suited for a team like Auburn.
Other committed prospects
White is committed to Arizona State, but they already have another quarterback commitment as well. Maybe he could be intrigued with a Notre Dame offer? Who knows, but it couldn't hurt to try.
He is not the biggest guy, but is a very polished passer that has very good mobility.
He's committed to Penn State and did so fairly recently so it may be people seeing the Catholic school angle, he attends St. Peter's Prep in New Jersey, and running with it. There is no denying that he may be a fit at the school and in the offense though, so if he's having second thoughts, then he would be someone worth kicking the tires on.
Most people don't see South Carolina as an offense for dual-threat quarterbacks, but if you have watched them over the past few seasons you have probably noticed they are trending that way. Lorenzo Nunez fits into that system and would fit at Notre Dame too. He's another player with really good tools, but needs time to improve.
His commitment came pretty quickly after he received his South Carolina offer so maybe that's where he always wanted to be. Or maybe he made a hasty decision and will realize that he doesn't know the coaches as well as he should have. Right now he's just another name on the board for Notre Dame and if they are interested we'll get to see if he is really committed to South Carolina or not.
Update: Stidham was just offered by Notre Dame.
This is probably the most interesting possibility on the list. He's committed to Texas Tech right now. Blue and Gold Illustrated is reporting that Notre Dame has high interest in him ($) and why wouldn't they? Some places have him ranked higher than Barnett and from what I have seen, I think he is right behind Josh Rosen in terms of the top quarterbacks in this class. Here's a scouting report I did on him awhile back.