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2016 Notre Dame Recruiting Big Board: Quarterback & Running Back

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The Irish are one quarterback lighter heading into the season but will still target one player for the position this cycle.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the OFD recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.

Quarterback
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.914 Ervin Barrett FL 6-2/225 Mild
.899 Xavier Gaines FL 6-2/200 Cold
.964 Dwayne Haskins MD 6-3/198 Mild
.950 Jawon Pass GA 6-5/220 Cold

The Irish offered (CA) Matt Fink .912 in early March and were immediately in the mix for his services. Shortly after, USC offered and things changed a bit. Fink talked about visiting South Bend during the summer, and the Irish may have been a serious player at some point, but the quarterback committed to USC on May 4th.

Some good news as Woody Barrett put Notre Dame in his top five as announced last week. The former teammate of Dexter Williams talked with Scout ($$) about his relationship with Notre Dame and noted he won't take official visits to all of his top 5 schools but the Irish will be one of the programs he will make the trek to in the fall.

Dwayne Haskins got a laugh from Notre Dame fans recently with this tweet poking fun at the Big Ten. What's not so funny is that most believe Rutgers and Maryland are way out in front for Haskins. He visited Rutgers in late April and again in early May. The Irish are still in the mix but Haskins still plans on committing during the Elite 11 this summer so something would have to change for Notre Dame before then.

In recent weeks Xavier Gaines has taken a fall in the rankings as he's now a very low 4-star in the Composite. There hasn't been much news with him recently, and although Notre Dame made his top 5 back in April, it's not believed the Irish are in any great position.

For quite some time it's been Auburn, Louisville, and Alabama leading the way with Jawon Pass. He was at Auburn for their spring game and was recently invited to the U.S. Army Bowl. Pass is tentatively schedule to commit in the summer once he's gone to a couple more camps.

A new quarterback prospect is popping up on Notre Dame's radar as assistant Mike Sanford was out to see (TX) Dillon Sterling-Cole .845 from Westfield High School in the northern suburbs of Houston.

Sterling-Cole was recently offered by Florida and carries additional top offers from UCLA, Texas A&M, and Arizona State. His stock has been on the rise since he was the Houston NFTC MVP which gave him an invite to The Opening this summer. An offer from Notre Dame could come at any point in the near future.

The other name to watch is (TN) Tylin Oden .876 from Columbia, Tennessee just south of Nashville. He's made it very clear in recent months that he's waiting for an offer from Notre Dame. Oden visited for Junior Day and might have to throw in front of the staff to earn an offer--with Fink off the board now we could see things accelerate between the two parties.

Running Back
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.923 Elijah Holyfield GA 5-11/205 Mild
.848 Deon McIntosh FL 5-11/175 Cold

If Notre Dame is serious about utilizing more of a power spread on a consistent basis they'll have to expand the running back offers at some point even with the commitment of (FL) Tony Jones Jr .892--who by the way has moved up 65 spots in the national rankings and is now a Composite 4-star prospect.

On April 24th, Michigan State swooped into the D.C. area and gained the commitment of (DC) Abdul Adams .857 after he visited East Lansing.

In case you missed it, (NC) Robert Washington .908 provided us one of the early bizarre commitments as he gave a verbal to Florida in a pre-recorded video taped with Bleacher Report, then gave a verbal to Syracuse minutes later at a press conference. Apparently, he's sticking with the Orange. For now.

You can add Alabama and Miami offers for Elijah Holyfield whom assistant Scott Booker was in to see last week. Scout has a video with him explaining why boxing isn't for him.

Autry Denson was also in recently to see Deon McIntosh who says the Irish will make his Top 10 when he comes out with that list. According to McIntosh, Notre Dame is recruiting him as a slot receiver.

At this point there aren't many tailbacks on the radar with the exception of (IN) Toks Akinribade .849 who Irish 247 ($$) thinks will be a Notre Dame commit with their Best Guess for May article. Toks spoke with Rivals recently and mentioned Notre Dame has been to his school a couple times and saw him workout. An offer could come in the future. Full disclosure: he's good friends and teammates with top 2017 quarterback Hunter Johnson but the two of them are not planning to be a package deal, especially not being in the same grade.