Today is Monday the 2nd of February in 2015. National Signing Day is Wednesday, which means if you're reading this in a timely manner there are less than 48 hours until Fighting Irish recruits officially begin signing their binding paperwork to accept scholarships at Notre Dame.
Get caught up on all the last minute details for the 2015 class right here, right now.
MINI-BIG BOARD UPDATE
Let's do this in alphabetical order. Our previous Big Board update came last Tuesday on the defensive side of the ball. Since then the following has happened...
Burton H.S. athlete (TX) Louis Brown .870 paid his entrance fee and joined the Triple Commit Club™ when he gave a verbal to Oklahoma State on January 25th. For the record, he was committed to Baylor, Texas, and now the Cowboys.
As expected, Notre Dame lost out on one of their defensive back prospects as (CA) Frank Buncom IV .942 joined Stanford's class five days ago.
St. Thomas Aquinas corner (FL) Rashard Causey .868 committed to George O'Leary and UCF.
Nick Watkins' former teammate (TX) Darrion Daniels .903 gave a verbal to Oklahoma State.
Two weekends ago (NC) Johnny Frasier .961 took an official visit to NC State. While still on campus in Raleigh the Wolfpack were able to flip one of the state's top players from Florida State.
Lamar H.S. tailback (TX) Tyreik Gray .878 figured he liked new head coach Tom Herman so much that he committed to Houston.
Charlie Strong and Texas are looking to finish...strong...as they picked up (TX) Holton Hill .960 which gives them one of the country's top corners.
Late last night (CA) DeChaun Holiday .965 committed to UCLA.
They weren't able to do it with Jerry Tillery but best believe LSU was able to lock down one of Louisiana's top players in (LA) Donte Jackson .973 who becomes the Tigers' fifth best recruit this cycle.
Another player who will soon be inducted into the Triple Commit Club™ is (MS) Leo Lewis .967 after he left Ole Miss' class recently. Lewis also left Alabama's class months ago.
The Sooners landed a verbal from (TX) A.D. Miller .852 on Sunday night.
One of the fastest players in the country (TX) Ryan Newsome .908 committed to UCLA a couple weeks ago, although the Bruins did lose running back (FL) T.J. Simmons .874 who was never expected to stick with UCLA anyway. He's now looking at Temple and Marshall.
The pieces to the running back puzzle are still being put together as (FL) Jordan Scarlett .944 left Miami's class while on a visit to Florida State. It is thought that Scarlett is down to the Seminoles and Florida.
One-time Texas Tech commit (TX) Carlos Strickland .926 opened things up earlier in January. A few days ago he gave a verbal to California.
WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?
Last year the states of Texas, Illinois, and Ohio led the recruiting class with 3 commits apiece. The 2015 cycle was a strong one in the Hoosier State and that was good news for Notre Dame as 4 prospects from Indiana led this recruiting year.
Just a couple days away from National Signing Day the state of Ohio maintains it's Brian Kelly-era lead for the most commits with 18, followed by Florida (13), Indiana (13), Texas (11), and Illinois (11).
EARLY START ON SCHOOL
This time last year Justin Brent and Andrew Trumbetti were the lone early enrollees on campus and taking classes for the spring semester. Both would go on to play as true freshmen in 2014.
We're talking recruiting. First, on the 4 early enrollees of the 2015 class & the roles they might play in the fall: http://t.co/cwxORmv9Oh— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) January 13, 2015
This spring semester Notre Dame welcomed four members from the 2015 class: Jerry Tillery, Tevon Coney, Micah Dew-Treadway, and Tristen Hoge. That's a lot of beef with three linemen and a middle linebacker.
As things stand right now here is the injury report for the Fighting Irish:
5th years: LB Jarrett Grace, LB Joe Schmidt
Seniors: DT Jarron Jones, S Nicky Baratti
Juniors: No one
Sophomores: S Drue Tranquill
After an extensive triage unit was deployed with the team on the sidelines down the stretch last season we're now seeing the roster begin to heal up. However, there are still several serious injuries that Irish players are trying to battle as we approach spring football.
Back in the middle of the 2014 season it appeared Grace was trending toward a medical scholarship but after a positive update from Brian Kelly during bowl practices (Grace was participating and taking contact) we might have to hold our horses on that notion.
Joe Schmidt (ankle), Jarron Jones (foot), and Drue Tranquill (ACL) will all miss spring practice while it is expected Nicky Baratti will have to retire following his third shoulder injury in two years.
Notre Dame handed out 195 scholarship offers to the class of 2015 and they are looking to take 3 more bodies with just a handful of prospects (to varying degrees) still considering Notre Dame.
Equanimeous St. Brown
Using the 247Sports Composite ranking system the top three recruits for Notre Dame are quarterback Brandon Wimbush, tight end Aliz'e Jones, and center Tristen Hoge. The bottom three are kicker Justin Yoon (No. 2 kicker nationally, though), safety Nicco Fertitta, and corner Nick Coleman.
THERE'S NEXT YEAR
At this time last year Notre Dame had already secured the commitments of 3 players for the 2015 class: Tristen Hoge, Jerry Tillery, and Blake Barnett. So far for the 2016 cycle the Irish have only landed one player but he is of the ELITE variety in (OH) Tommy Kraemer .986 from Cincinnati's Elder High School.
Obviously there will be a ton of movement in the rankings over the next year but for now Kraemer is the Composite top player in the state of Ohio, 4th best tackle in the country, and the 26th best player in the country. He has Composite 5-star status.
TOP 100 NATIONAL RECRUITS STILL TO DECIDE
(247Sports Crystal Ball favorite in parentheses)
- No. 1 OT Martez Ivey (Florida)
- No. 1 SDE Byron Cowart (Florida)
- No. 1 CB Iman Marshall (USC)
- No. 2 SDE CeCe Jefferson (Florida)
- No. 3 DT Terry Beckner, Jr. (Missouri)
- No. 4 DT Daylon Mack (Texas)
- No. 5 DT Rasheem Green (USC)
- No. 2 RB Soso Jamabo (Texas)
- No. 4 WDE Porter Gustin (USC)
- No. 6 WR Damarkus Lodge (Ole Miss)
- No. 5 OLB Roquan Smith (Georgia)
- No. 6 ILB John Houston (USC)
- No. 8 RB Chris Warren (Texas)
- No. 7 CB Holton Hill (Texas)
- No. 4 WDE Arden Key (South Carolina)
- No. 2 TE Chris Clark (Michigan)
- No. 6 SDE Joseph Wicker (UCLA)
- No. 9 WR Daylon Charlot (Alabama)
LIGHTING ROUND 5FW
Same questions as last year...
1. Who is the most underrated commit for Notre Dame in the 2014 class?
The easy answer is receiver Jalen Guyton, but I'll go even further down the list and say Nick Coleman. A lot of people have been talking about Guyton being underrated for practically a year so much so that he's really not underrated anymore. I like Coleman a lot, be sure to check out my comments and those from our other writers on his skills in the defensive back review coming after National Signing Day.
2. Don't pull punches. Was this class a disappointment or not?
Absolutely not, in fact it's pretty astonishing how stable and free of drama this 2015 class was when you look back at all of the opportunities for bad things to happen.
Now, plenty of crappy recruiting classes do not suffer a bunch of decommits, so that in and of itself isn't worth much. However, this is still a football program that lost 5 out of its last 7 games after a 6-0 start. There was every reason to believe the Irish would limp to National Signing Day, lose a couple bodies, hurt the depth that was built, and go into 2015 with a bad taste in their mouth.
Instead, the Irish look to close about as strong as you would have expected had they finished 10-2 or thereabouts.
3. 10 freshmen used their eligibility in their first season in 2013 and 11 more did in 2014. Over/under on 10.5 freshmen using their eligibility for 2015?
The past couple seasons we've seen Notre Dame use about half of its freshmen class during their first year on campus. That feels about right if you're playing a top five class full of high 4-star and above elite freshmen. For Notre Dame they'd probably like to redshirt a few more and it looks like in 2015--without a bunch of injuries--it's possible they could stay below double digit freshmen using eligibility.
One player each from running back, wideout, tight end, linebacker, corner, and kicker should be locks to see the field, in addition to at least two safeties. Can you find three more players who can play? I think you could probably do that.
4. In terms of positional need what was the biggest miss for the coaching staff this cycle?
A high impact, ready to play, immediately making your defense better safety was needed. They are hard to find but it was sorely needed. This did not happen.
5. In terms of positional need what was the biggest home run for the coaching staff this cycle?
Assuming they are able to close the deal and get Dexter Williams to sign on Wednesday the staff did a nice job grinding until the end to fill the numbers at running back. It wasn't always easy, and at times it was downright scary, but being able to pull a top 100 national recruit at running back is a job well done.
HOW YOU SHOULD FEEL BY 2/5/15
HOW YOU MIGHT FEEL BY 2/5/15
***BE SURE TO COME HANG OUT ON WEDNESDAY FOR OUR NATIONAL SIGNING DAY OPEN THREAD BEGINNING AT 7 AM ET.***