Welcome back to your regularly scheduled OFD Big Board for Fighting Irish recruiting.
Shortly after our last update at quarterback (LA) Shea Patterson .990 committed as expected to Ole Miss following a visit to Oxford. He's the only quarterback to come off the Big Board recently and has had an impressive off-season at several camps. Patterson is now nipping at Jacob Eason and Malik Henry's heels for the top rated quarterback in the 2016 class.
QB @SheaPatterson_1 talks #OleMiss, Eli #Manning & being the lead recruiter: http://t.co/qDec20glF9 #Recruiting pic.twitter.com/BUCz51F6ua— Patrick Ochs (@PatrickOchs) February 18, 2015
Report: Brother of 5-star Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson commitment hired by Ole Miss http://t.co/kxiYAaGw3A (247Sports) pic.twitter.com/Tk2xXMmTEH— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) March 4, 2015
Congrats to our Dallas QB #RivalsChallenge TD Touch Winner Shea Patterson (@SheaPatterson_1)! pic.twitter.com/RPzRJY4aCW— Rivals Camp Series (@RivalsCamp) March 15, 2015
Towards the end of February the Irish extended an offer to Jarrett Guarantano out of Bergen Catholic just across the Hudson River from Manhattan in New Jersey. This might be a quarterback who Notre Dame could re-visit down the road but for now he plans on making a commitment next Wednesday between Tennessee, Rutgers, and Ohio State. Guarantano visited Tennessee last month and has been to Rutgers and Ohio State on several occasions--visiting Columbus again today. For now, the Vols lead his Crystal Ball pick.
Top New Jersey QB Jarrett Guarantano shares he plans to commit on April 15. Ohio State, Tennessee & Rutgers in mix. pic.twitter.com/UckkaToWSr— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) March 27, 2015
On March 3rd, Notre Dame offered Matt Fink out of Glendora High School in eastern Los Angeles County. Since then he performed very well at the California Elite 11 competition and recently received an offer from USC. The Trojans are the presumed favorites with Fink noting he'd like to stay in California for college.
Full Story: 2016 CA QB Matt Fink (@FinkMattfink) gets his #Irish offer. (Premium) http://t.co/aTHxQQPkBo pic.twitter.com/iC4rLCBfAa— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 4, 2015
Wrote about that QB Matt Fink might be next offer for USC for @PacificTakes http://t.co/2lHuF1yeWP They didn't wait long to offer— Jamie Uyeyama (@jamieuyeyama) March 28, 2015
Notre Dame hasn't been in the picture with Xavier Gaines for quite some time and didn't make his top list from an interview last month.
Rivals250 QB Xavier Gaines goes into details about top schools http://t.co/aizLtUQxzn ($) #RollTide #Hookem #WarEagle #GoVols #GigEm— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) March 10, 2015
Some good news came when Dwayne Haskins came to Notre Dame's Junior Day in March. The Irish are in the mix for now as he continues to take a lot of visits. Haskins has been to Duke, Florida, Maryland, and Rutgers in recent weeks and is one of the few quarterbacks who appears to be taking his time making a decision.
4-Star Dwayne Haskins spoke with Scout about his Saturday at #NotreDame ($) http://t.co/ekYS1Ye6RQ pic.twitter.com/2xfySyUeTr— Notre Dame on Scout (@NDonScout) March 22, 2015
Play like a champion today #ND pic.twitter.com/QdhaSqDgve— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) March 23, 2015
Had a great time at Notre Dame with Coach Sanford and the bro @TonnJoness #FightingIrish #WeAreND pic.twitter.com/5ir2ptpqM9— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) March 21, 2015
Notre Dame is in an interesting position currently with the highly rated Brandon Wimbush coming in this fall and in-state 2017 quarterback Hunter Johnson high on Notre Dame as the top-rated quarterback in his class. Ideally, the Irish wouldn't be in a hurry to grab a 2016 quarterback if it meant securing Johnson at some point during this calendar year. It's something to keep an eye on moving forward.
One quick note as Ervin Barrett has been reassigned from an athlete to quarterback. The former teammate of Dexter Williams at Orange High School outside Orlando is now the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
Notre Dame's attempt to continue building depth at running back paid off with the committment of (FL) Tony Jones .885 out of IMG Academy. He's already earned an invite to The Opening following a performance at the Orlando NFTC in early March and was recently invited to the Semper Fi All-American Bowl.
.@OneFootDown breaks down Notre Dame RB commit Tony Jones Jr., a big back with skills. http://t.co/uTrTGwGC81 pic.twitter.com/Q2tyaZIM4U— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) March 27, 2015
#NotreDame RB commit Tony Jones Jr. about to get going for Team Tampa at #IMGAcademy SE Regional 7on7 pic.twitter.com/bxGYErdQDK— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) March 28, 2015
Congrats to 2016 #NotreDame commit RB Tony Jones Jr. on his invite to the Semper Fi All-American Bowl @TonnJoness pic.twitter.com/Mf4Mja0CoG— Coach Warren VPreps (@DemetricDWarren) March 29, 2015
Two weekends ago (OH) Demario McCall .970 visited Columbus again and finally gave his commitment to Ohio State. That gives the Buckeyes the No. 1, No. 3. and No. 4 rated running backs in the class of 2016.
"@11W: Demario McCall, the countrys third-ranked running back, has committed to OSU http://t.co/tHjLQq4PRl" @WillieMaybs— Taylor Brock (@theetbrock) March 29, 2015
The loss of Tony Alford hurt Notre Dame's chances with Robert Washington to Ohio State's gain. However, with 3 top backs already in the Buckeyes' class Washington is forced to look elsewhere. With the verbal from Tony Jones it doesn't appear the Irish are pushing all that hard for Washington at this time as his commit date approaches later this month.
Top six for #ESPNJr300 RB Robert Washington Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Syracuse, North Carolina and TCU. Planning announcement April 25— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) April 2, 2015
One player Notre Dame appears ready to wait on as a second back in the class is Elijah Holyfield. The son of the Real Deal Holyfield™ made the trip to South Bend for Junior Day and has the Irish in the mix among his favorites.
#NotreDame makes "big impression" on standout RB Elijah Holyfield during Junior Day trip http://t.co/U5PbAVtii3 (VIP) pic.twitter.com/eObuFV1Adm— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) March 21, 2015
Like many other players with the means to do so, Holyfield has been on a fairly large spring visit tour. In addition to his trip to Notre Dame he's been to Georgia, Auburn twice, Tennessee, Florida, and will be back at South Carolina this weekend for the second time during 2015.
A couple of new offers have gone out at the athlete position. Devin Asiasi comes out of northern California power De La Salle and is being looked at as a defensive end by some schools, but mostly as a tight end by others including Notre Dame. The only school Asiasi has visited this spring is California.
#Scout300 TE Devin Asiasi talks #NotreDame offer and the schools at which he’s looking closest, via @share24 ($): http://t.co/6h9R5yV6H7— Jake Brown (@Jake_Brown) March 4, 2015
Early March brought an offer to Jack Jones out of Long Beach Polytechnic. He's got UCLA, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma among his favorites and of course USC will likely be the favorite. A visit to South Bend could be likely in the summer or fall, however, Jones plans on deciding late in the process close to National Signing Day.
Jack Jones looks like he can fill Iman Marshall's shoes at Long Beach Poly next season http://t.co/pMAqES6VDp pic.twitter.com/uyoEG8aQRg— Jamie Uyeyama (@jamieuyeyama) March 9, 2015
Jordan Fuller remains a top target for the Irish but has yet to visit South Bend. He made a trip to Michigan last month and has set up a visit to UCLA (yesterday) and Ohio State (tomorrow).
'16 NJ ATH Jordan Fuller is the complete package according to Northern Valley A.D. . (Premium) http://t.co/pvr0X1cFwN pic.twitter.com/A6jBfNLCYQ— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 7, 2015
A Junior Day visit was set up for Ahmir Mitchell but he had to cancel due to nasty weather blowing through New Jersey right before the weekend. The bad news is that Mitchell was able to take visits to Ohio State and Michigan late last month. The good news is that Notre Dame is in his top 6.
Ahmir Mitchell (@TheDeuce_2_Nice) tells me his top 6 remains (alphabetically): Michigan Note Dame Ohio State Ole Miss Rutgers Virginia Tech— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) March 30, 2015
Another reclassifying note as Chase Lucas moves from running back to an athlete.
The Irish offered a ton of receivers relatively early in the process. As such, the only new offer to report is (CA) Theo Howard .937 back from March 4th. Less than two weeks later he gave his verbal to Oregon.
Theo Howard, 4-star WR, commits to Oregon Ducks over Michigan, USC. http://t.co/Qao2WOSm43 pic.twitter.com/FfoTjE7VuS— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) March 16, 2015
A busy spring for Donnie Corley has seen him visit Michigan three times, in addition to Michigan State, Penn State, Illinois, Tennessee, and a Junior Day trip to Notre Dame. Clearly a major target for the Irish, this one is going to be a spectacular Midwest battle.
Brian Kelly told Donnie Corley that he was the No.1 wideout on the board. He’s already eying a return visit. http://t.co/eqwDd8iDZY— Andrew Ivins (@BGI_aivins) March 22, 2015
One of the trio of players who were supposed to make the trip for Junior Day with Ahmir Mitchell was Brad Hawkins. He's made recent visits to Michigan, Ohio State, and Rutgers.
When Junior Day came for Notre Dame it was Austin Mack making his 5th visit to South Bend. Since then he's made a visit to Alabama and will be taking another trip to Ohio State and Michigan State later this month. As a Fort Wayne product this is a player most Irish fans feel is a must-get. He'll be committing to a school on June 7th at the R.A.S. Camp in Fort Wayne.
Video | Rivals250 wideout Austin Mack recaps Notre Dame Jr. Day. Where do the Irish stand? http://t.co/xkHb8bpWQX pic.twitter.com/qELonwUGaM— BlueandGold.com (@BGInews) March 21, 2015
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Top247 WR Austin Mack thinking about #NotreDame & the big picture after latest #Irish visit: http://t.co/vNzIpdX5ZL— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) March 21, 2015
If there's going to be a Californian as part of the 2016 class Javon McKinley would be as good of a bet as anyone. He's set to visit South Bend later this month so keep an eye on that trip.
ICYMI @SWiltfong247 and myself made a @247CrystalBall pick to #NotreDame for big-time WR Javon McKinley yesterday http://t.co/IwLKnrIY1k— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) March 10, 2015
The Irish looked in great position a few months ago after offering Tre Nixon but since Tony Alford left for Ohio State that momentum has dissipated. That's also coincided with Nixon blowing up nationally with top offers from Arizona, TCU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Stanford, and Florida State. Nixon has taken visits to Florida and Alabama a couple weeks ago.
With Asiasi and Cary Angeline the targets at tight end remain small as the Irish have good depth and are bringing in the nation's top prospect this fall.
4-star TE Cary Angeline looks back on #NotreDame visit w/ West Coast swing on tap this week, via @BrianDohnScout ($): http://t.co/P3OTHux77M— Jake Brown (@Jake_Brown) April 3, 2015
For his part, Angeline has been on a spree of visits since coming to South Bend including North Carolina, Miami, Michigan State, Michigan, USC, Arizona State, and UCLA.
One of the country's top offensive lineman came off the board last week as (GA) E.J. Price .957 stayed in-state and gave a verbal to the Georgia Bulldogs.
BREAKING: Rivals100 OT E.J. Price has committed to #UGA. He is the No. 56 player in the nation. pic.twitter.com/Yl4hJWZXKk— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) April 2, 2015
A new offer went out to (CA) Nathan Smith .909 who took a super quick visit to Notre Dame a week ago. That trip was preceded by visits to Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois and followed up with trips to Miami, Arizona, and Arizona State before returning home.
Four-star OT Nathan Smith has "amazing," quick visit to #NotreDame http://t.co/DzjnPfqVRh @NotreDame247 (VIP) pic.twitter.com/RzYryrHneQ— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) March 31, 2015
Boudreaux, Bredeson, and Jordan--the latter visiting for Junior Day--all remain in play for Notre Dame heading into the summer. However, the next big domino to fall with be Liam Eichenberg. He'll be visiting Notre Dame again this weekend and following that up with another visit to Ohio State the following weekend.
2016 OT Liam Eichenberg has questions for both Notre Dame and Ohio State as an April commitment approaches ($) http://t.co/f875IUtbbI— Anna Hickey (@AnnaHScout) March 14, 2015
Eichenberg is expected to make a decision between the Irish and Buckeyes shortly after these last round of visits. It doesn't happen too often but this one is looking like a true coin flip. You can expect the Irish to readjust their O-line plan once he makes his decision.