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Notre Dame Football Recruiting Big Board: Defense

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Welcome back to the One Foot Down recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football. Many prospects have come off the board recently as recruiting season has heated up around the country, so we're switching to doing sides of the ball instead of position groups.

Corner
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.940 Jordan Fuller NJ 6-2/190 Mild
.933 Damar Hamlin PA 6-1/175 Mild
.952 Lamar Jackson CA 6-3/205 Cold
.922 JoeJuan Williams TN 6-2/195 Mild

Entering the Field

Virginia Tech commit Troy Pride visited for the USC game and reportedly is now considering the Irish strongly. Frank Beamer's resignation could be the final nudge that pushes Pride back into the market.

In Play

Jordan Fuller still has some time to schedule a promised official visit, but the clock is ticking. He did retweet this yesterday, which could be a positive for Notre Dame - or not, because any conclusions reached by using Twitter as a source are tenuous at best.

Damar Hamlin visited Penn State this past weekend. While Penn State is nominally in his top group, the guess here is that the order is Pitt, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Hometown Pitt seems to be in the lead here.

Lamar Jackson, as we noted last time, visited Michigan and put the Wolverines in the lead right after. He still hasn't rescheduled his visit for the Texas game. Not good for the Irish here.

Tennessean JoeJuan Williams visited for Irish Invasion but hasn't been back since and hasn't said much about the Irish since, either. Tennessee, Vandy, Auburn, and Penn State are firmly in the running here; if we're placing bets, I like Tennessee or Vandy.

Off the Board

No eliminations to report.

Safety
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.948 Brandon Burton CA 6-2/195 Mild
.865 Ikenna Okeke TN 6-2/200 Warm
.865 Devin Studstill FL 6-1/180 Warm
.963 Nigel Warrior GA 6-0/175 Cold

Entering the Field

No new offers to report.

In Play

Californian Brandon Burton loved his USC visit; there are even some rumors that his stories of it are what finally convinced teammate Oluwole Betiku to schedule an official. This has the feel of a race that will go down to the wire, but the Irish are definitely in it for Burton.

Ikenna Okeke has theoretically had the Irish as his leader for quite some time, but something has prevented him from pulling the trigger. He has official visits scheduled to Texas A&M, Penn State, and North Carolina, and just came back from LSU. LSU is probably the biggest risk - they haven't offered yet but could make a major move if they do.

Devin Studstill, despite his three-star rating, is one of the staff's top targets on either side of the ball. He made his official visit for the USC game and had a good time hanging out with former teammate Te'Von Coney. He has official visits to West Virginia and Miami scheduled; while Miami is the local school, the smart money has West Virginia, where his father played, as the real competition here. Our hunch is that he'll make a decision pretty soon after he gets those visits in. Also, he recently asked something that's been on all of our minds as well:

Nigel Warrior is set to visit Ohio State in a couple of weeks, and Georgia is making a push as the local school. Hard to handicap this one, but the Volunteer legacy seems to be trending most strongly towards Tennessee. There's no indication that Notre Dame has a serious shot here outside of being included in his top ten.

Off the Board

Inside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*

Entering the Field:

No new offers were extended to inside linebackers since our last update.

Off the Board:

Dontavious Jackson just released his top seven via Twitter, and Notre Dame didn't make the cut. His finalists are Florida, Florida State, LSU, Alabama, Texas, Michigan, and UCLA.

Outside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.988 Ben Davis AL 6-4/230 Cold
.895 Aaron Hansford DC 6-2/210 Warm
.876 Jonathan Jones FL 6-0/225 Mild
.989 Caleb Kelly CA 6-3/215 Cold
.959 Jeffrey McCulloch TX 6-2/230 Mild

Entering the Field:

No new offers to report.

In Play:

Ben Davis is headed to LSU for an official visit this weekend, which is a very interesting move for the Alabama legacy. He says good things about Notre Dame when asked, but expect this elite talent to stay in the South.

Aaron Hansford is definitely trending toward the Irish - the Penn State 247 writer recently added a crystal ball prediction for Notre Dame. He's announcing in January, but if he visits Notre Dame again before then feel free to connect the dots a bit early.

No change on Jonathan Jones , who visited for the UMass game - this looks like a two-team race between  Michigan and Notre Dame.

Caleb Kelly is still on track to take his official visit to Notre Dame for the football banquet in December. USA Today just did a profile on him; there's nothing in there about a potential destination, but there was an interesting academic note at the end. He wants to pursue a broadcasting degree - quick, someone tell him about the COTH program!

So, about high-academic prospect Jeffrey McCulloch, who visited for the USC game...

Well. That's... interesting. As always, it might mean nothing, and follow the visits and communication. But Notre Dame got McCulloch's attention on his visit, and it looks like McCulloch will at least seriously consider it.

Off the Board:

No new commitments or eliminations to report.

Defensive Tackle
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.999 Rashan Gary NJ 6-4/290 Cold
.990 Dexter Lawrence NC 6-5/310 Cold

In Play:

#1 overall prospect Rashan Gary set an announcement date - he'll commit at the Under Armour All-America game. Rumors continue to float that he could potentially take an official to Notre Dame for the football banquet, but the Irish are the ultimate dark horse contender here.

Dexter Lawrence took yet another unofficial visit to NC State this past weekend; we've lost count of how many times he has been there. Lawrence will have his pick of blueblood program if he wants, but NC State is legitimately a potential destination for this uber-talent.

Defensive End
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.992 Oluwole Betiku CA 6-3.5/240 Cold
.946 Daelin Hayes MI 6-4/250 Mild
.896 Carlo Kemp CO 6-3/255 Warm
.952 Justin Madubuike TX 6-3/255 Cold

In Play:

Oluwole Betiku... Quite the adventure with this young man. He decommitted from UCLA shortly after being visited by Mike Denbrock. Coincidence? Perhaps, especially given that Texas A&M seems to clearly be trending right now - he took an official visit recently and scheduled another unofficial there right away. He'll take an official to Notre Dame for the Wake Forest; the official visitor roster for that game is just Betiku and slot receiver Damian Alloway, so expect both to get tons of attention from the staff.

The Irish are in excellent shape with Daelin Hayes. Enough said.

Carlo Kemp is down to Michigan and Notre Dame, with a decision likely coming soon. This race is much too close to call - he has said that Notre Dame has been his "dream school" since he was a kid, but Michigan has been on him longer and recruited him harder than anyone else. Stay tuned.

Off the Board:

Khalid Kareem is Irish! Woo!