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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: An Army of One

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The Irish will host a single official visitor for the final weekend of the 2015 recruiting season, but he's a critical one. Let's take a look at the who, the why, and the likely endgame.

Huzzah! Safeties!
Huzzah! Safeties!
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Every 2015 need but safety has been addressed by the Notre Dame staff - wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more... With mere days until signing day (February 4th - mark your calendars), Notre Dame will host just one official visitor at that final position of need.

Players who have already committed to ND are in italics; rankings are 247 Composite overall/position.

Official Visitors

Arrington Farrar, S, #283/#15

Donnie Corley, WR, #120/#27 (2016)

Notes:

Georgia native Arrington Farrar committed to Stanford in August 2013, but decommitted and opened a whirlwind recruiting tour a couple of weeks ago in what was presumably a Stanford admissions-driven decision. By the time signing day rolls around, he'll have visited Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Wisconsin in a three-week span and checked in with Michigan, who reportedly told him they didn't have room, and Penn State, who lost out to Notre Dame for his final official visit. Farrar acquitted himself well as a combo safety for Woodward Academy, but most likely profiles as a strong safety at the next level. Academics are very important to Arrington, as you might have suspected, and there's a possibility that he could make his decision on this visit.

We have a new 247Sports Crystal Ball embed feature that we'll try out here for the first time. Note that apparently many analysts haven't updated their picks after Farrar's decommitment...

Junior receiver Donnie Corley will make his second unofficial visit to Notre Dame on Saturday after taking in the North Carolina game in the fall. The Michigan athlete may be tough to keep away from Michigan State, who he's visiting on Sunday, and Ohio State, among others. Nonetheless, he seems serious about Notre Dame - not only is this his second unofficial visit, but he wasn't deterred by the cancellation of the unofficial junior day that was the original reason for his visit. Speaking of that...

Junior Day Drama?

You should read that in the voice of Ron Burgundy, of course... Notre Dame had intended to hold a relatively small, elite-focused unofficial junior day this Saturday, but decided to reschedule. A couple of services reported that they rescheduled it because of the Super Bowl, which has a lot of people howling about the idiocy of the staff for not recognizing earlier that it was Super Bowl weekend. However, a little more detail makes this a bit more understandable: Two recruits asked to reschedule their visits because of the game, and two others asked to reschedule theirs because they will visit Ohio State instead. With four prospects out of a small group seeking to reschedule, the staff decided to push back the whole thing to an as-yet undetermined date.

Would it have been better if it didn't have to be rescheduled? Of course. But it's not an utter disaster either. What's most notable is that this would've marked the earliest Notre Dame has ever held a junior day, and whatever it's rescheduled to will still probably be the earliest. That's very significant as Notre Dame's junior days have often come weeks or months after other schools' events, which can make a big difference when dealing with impressionable 16- and 17-year-olds. With this and last year's Irish Invasion, which was also the first time the Irish have used a recruiting technique that other schools have been using for a while, it's clear that there's a stepped-up focus on modern recruiting methods that should serve Notre Dame well going forward.

So when exactly is Junior Day now?

Good question. There's no new date for the unofficial junior day, although I'd imagine the staff will look to put something together in relatively short order. Some names had started to leak out for this weekend's planned visitors, and the staff would likely seek to get all these same guys plus a few more in for the rescheduled event:

  • Tommy Kraemer, OT, #25/#4
  • Liam Eichenberg, OT, #80/#10
  • Noah Burks, OLB, #262/#20
  • Chris Evans, RB, #426/#5 (from Asmar Bilal's high school)
  • Corey Malone-Hatcher, WDE, #111/#4 (2017)

There are also plans to have an "official" junior day before the Blue Gold game, and to have prospects at the Blue Gold game as well. There will be plenty of news on junior prospects in the next couple of months, so stay tuned. Recruiting, after all, has no offseason.