We've already come out with two 2016 Big Board previews up until today, once in June last summer and a second time in late October as the football season was winding down. Back in the summer Notre Dame had already handed out nearly 40 offers and by the fall that number was up to almost 70. Today, that number is nearly 110 offers just under a year until the next National Signing Day.
For the next few weeks I'll break up the Big Board into paired positional posts until we work our way through everything and circle back to alternating offense/defense posts every week.
Notre Dame has offered 7 quarterbacks so far, including the 4 above who remain uncommitted. As you may remember the country's top signal caller (WA) Jacob Eason .997 gave a verbal to Georgia last summer.
The Irish were heavily in the mix to land (CA) Malik Henry .994 late in the fall but Florida State won that battle.
Henry's high school coach Jim Benkert left Westlake for cross-town Oaks Christian this off-season which started a domino effect of transfers. Henry considered in-state powerhouse Long Beach Poly but will be moving all the way to Florida to play at IMG Academy--coached by former FSU Heisman winner Chris Weinke.
Back on January 18th (CA) Mique Juarez .938 committed to USC. A few days later he was offered by Notre Dame. I'd put the odds of the Irish flipping a Trojan commit at quarterback somewhere between 0% and not happening ever. For now, USC is saying Juarez will play linebacker for them.
Another quarterback transferring schools is Xavier Gaines going from Frostproof up north to Lake Wales about an hour east of Tampa, Florida. Back in the fall he had a top five of Clemson, Notre Dame, Auburn, Florida State, and Tennessee. Gaines has yet to visit South Bend. His older brother Kaleel Gaines just signed with Michigan State.
Notre Dame looked to be high on Dwayne Haskins' board when he visited last summer but he recently talked to reporters and mentioned Oklahoma, Alabama, and Maryland as the teams sticking out to him.
Haskins lives a half hour from Maryland's campus and is a major priority for the Terrapins as he's one of the biggest quarterbacks to ever come out of the state.
Jawon Pass was another quarterback who visited last summer but has started focusing on other schools. Since coming to South Bend he's camped at Ohio State, Alabama, and Auburn. Last month, Pass visited Louisville and named the Cardinals his leader. His brother Khane Pass is a safety recruit who just signed with Louisville.
The battle for Shea Patterson's older brother Sean Patterson still rages on. If you haven't been following this saga the elder brother was a GA at Arizona where Shea committed on December 7, 2012. Last summer Sean took a GA position with LSU, and Shea promptly left Arizona's class. Most believed Patterson would commit to the Bayou Bengals but he has not done so--the Tigers do have the highly touted Feleipe Franks already in the fold anyway.
Upon further review, LSU grad asst Sean Patterson, older bro of No. 1 QB '16 class Shea Patterson of Shreveport, may be on way to Ole Miss.— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) February 7, 2015
Now, his brother appears headed to Ole Miss. We'll see if Shea ultimately follows in his foot steps when he commits today.
247 has an article on the Notre Dame targeted quarterbacks to watch ($$$) for the 2016 class and in addition to some of the names mentioned above it includes (FL) Ervin Barrett .916, (TX) Jalen Hurts .865, (TN) Tylin Oden .924, (IN) Brandon Peters .896, (CA) K.J. Costello .977, (CA) Devon Modster .881, and Texas Tech commit (TX) Tristen Wallace .912.
Barrett is carrying a Notre Dame offer already (he's listed as an athlete by the Composite) and goes to West Orange High School--the same program as incoming freshman running back Dexter Williams.
Since our last update a trio of running backs came off the Big Board. We'll start with (SC) Tavien Feaster .990 who stayed in-state and gave a verbal to Clemson on February 4th. Obviously, he's the top player in the state of South Carolina for 2016.
While the second rated back in the nation came off the board recently the number one prospect at the position committed soon after the National Championship. After watching the Buckeyes performance, (NJ) Kareem Walker .994 gave his verbal to Ohio State.
Of course Stan Drayton has moved on from Ohio State but in steps Tony Alford to coach the country's top talent.
Right before Gary Andersen left town and Paul Chryst took the job, (NC) Antonio Williams .944 committed to Wisconsin and hasn't wavered under the new leadership.
Last month Notre Dame reached out to Abdul Adams and extended an offer. He's coming out of Wilson High School in the northwest section of the District of Columbia. Adams was at one point committed to East Carolina but is no longer a part of the Pirates' class.
The Irish have also offered Miami commit (FL) Amir Rasul .848 a day after the speedy Coral Gables athlete gave his soft verbal to the Hurricanes. He's got Miami, Notre Dame, and South Carolina as his favorites right now.
'16 RB Amir Rasul on if Alford's departure affects his interest in ND: "Not even in the slightest. He'll be missed, but the show must go on"— Anna Hickey (@AnnaHScout) February 10, 2015
Notre Dame has offered Penn State commit (PA) Miles Sanders .958 out of Woodland Hills just east of Pittsburgh. He's been a part of the Nittany Lions class since last summer and is one of the top players in Pennsylvania.
A handful of schools are sticking out for Elijah Holyfield including Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, and Michigan.
Demario McCall has been to Notre Dame a couple times and while the Cleveland area native is considered an Ohio State lean he's not ignoring the Irish. However, he hasn't taken any foreign language classes yet which he's admitted could prevent him from admission to the university.
Notre Dame has been on Robert Washington for quite some time, offering last April, and he's shown a lot of interesting especially after a visit to campus late last fall.
However, Washington plans on deciding on his college next month and with the loss of running backs coach Tony Alford there likely won't be enough time to gain his commitment with a new position coach.
The 247 article on the Notre Dame targeted running backs to watch out for ($$$) covers some of the names mentioned above plus others who have not received offers in (IN) Chris Evans .899, (OH) Jeremy Larkin .878, (FL) Trey Sneed .857, and (MI) Martell Pettaway .896.