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2016 Notre Dame Recruiting Big Board: Linebacker

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Notre Dame is focusing on a prospect from California as one of their top linebackers.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the One Foot Down recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football. We'll have a post today on the linebackers and one tomorrow on the secondary so we've made it through all of the positions before the upcoming Junior Day.

Inside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.959 Brendan Ferns OH 6-3/223 Cold
.930 Tre Lamar GA 6-4/240 Cold
.968 Lokeni Toailoa CA 6-1/212 Mild
.925 Jaquan Yulee VA 6-2/240 Cold

Notre Dame has extended a couple of new offers to the typical small pool of middle linebackers. The first up is Brendan Ferns from St. Clairsville, Ohio near the tiny northern stretch of West Virginia that extends in between the buckeye state and Pennsylvania. If the name sounds familiar that's because Brendan's younger brother Michael was also a nationally ranked linebacker recruit who signed with Michigan in 2014. The older Ferns has since transferred this off-season to West Virginia.

Ohio State has a big lead right now for Brendan Ferns. He's been on campus 6 times already.

The Irish also offered massive linebacker Tre Lamar back in late January. He's expressed interest in academics, and while that may be a token comment he at least visited Duke for their Junior Day. He's also recently visited Georgia, Clemson, and Auburn.

Nothing has changed as Lokeni Toailoa remains Notre Dame's primary target at this position. He's from Rialto, California in southwest San Bernardino County. He was offered 10 months ago by the Irish and has recently ascended to the No. 1 inside linebacker ranking.

Toailoa recently tweeted out his Top 7 and plans on committing one week from today. Without a visit to Notre Dame it's not a good sign for the Irish.

Jaquan Yulee is another big body already pushing the limit of linebacker size. He was an early offer by Notre Dame but is being pursued heavily by North Carolina, taking several visits to Chapel Hill already.

There are some grade concerns with Yulee, so keep that in mind. Insert Tar Heel jokes here.

Outside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.942 Daniel Bituli TN 6-3/227 Cold
.874 Cameron Brown MD 6-4/200 Mild
.988 Ben Davis AL 6-4/200 Cold
.990 Caleb Kelly CA 6-3/215 Cold
.923 Julian Okwara NC 6-4/210 Mild
.944 Curtis Robinson CA 6-3/205 Mild

Caleb Kelly was the first offer at outside linebacker for Notre Dame all the way back in late April 2014. That was a bit of a no brainer as he's the top recruit in the state of California. However, even though Notre Dame recently made Kelly's top 10 it's not believed that the Irish are a real player at this point. Case in point, Kelly just took a visit to Michigan and didn't bother swinging by South Bend before or afterwards.

He's also from Fresno, so yeah.

An offer last month went out to Nashville's Daniel Bituli who has in-state Tennessee hard after him plus Ole Miss. His teammate Alex Givens signed with the Rebels this year.

The Irish reached back into Maryland again to the prep academy Bullis School to offer Cameron Brown. He was an under the radar prospect who is slowly gaining steam with offers from Penn State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Brown is currently in the middle of visiting several schools this spring and will make it Notre Dame for the Junior Day event.

A very recent offer went out to Ben Davis from Gordo, Alabama just west of Tuscaloosa. He put the Irish in his top 8 along with Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, USC, and Ole Miss. He's said he will visit Notre Dame but I wouldn't hold your breath.

A legacy was offered in late February as the Irish contacted Julian Okwara, brother of rising senior Romeo Okwara. The younger Okwara is about 20 pounds lighter than Romeo was at this age but is almost 300 spots higher in the national rankings.

Okwara is coming off a Junior Day visit to Florida State but hasn't been to Notre Dame's campus as a recruit just yet. It's expected that he'll make it at some point, obviously.

Curtis Robinson comes from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California the alma mater of Joe Schmidt.

Those six top teams for Robinson are Notre Dame, UCLA, Stanford, Ohio State, Michigan, and Washington. He'll take an overnight visit to South Bend this Wednesday. Robinson was also recently offered by Stanford and will visit Palo Alto early next month.

Notre Dame has yet to offer but is still evaluating Jarron Jones' little brother (NY) Jamir Jones .843. He'll be visiting this weekend for Junior Day. Jones is currently holding offers from Pitt, Syracuse, and Boston College.

Lastly, just a minor note as USC commit (CA) Mique Juarez .956 has been switched from a quarterback to an outside linebacker in the Composite rankings. He's scheduled to play defense for the Trojans.