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2016 Notre Dame Football Big Board: Secondary

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A little bit of movement with both corners and safeties, and plenty of drama.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the One Foot Down recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.

Corner
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.871 Carlos Becker FL 6-1/185 Cold
.901 Eric Cuffee TX 5-11/188 Mild
.980 Kristian Fulton LA 6-0/177 Cold
.933 Damar Hamlin PA 6-1/175 Mild
.951 Mecole Hardman GA 5-11/173 Cold
.952 Lamar Jackson CA 6-3/205 Cold
.919 Jaylon Jones TX 5-11/182 Cold
.929 David Long CA 6-0/175 Cold
.938 Jared Mayden TX 6-0/190 Cold
.978 Trayvon Mullen FL 6-2/175 Cold
.940 Byron Murphy AZ 5-11/160 Cold
.894 Donte Vaughn TN 6-3/192 Cold
.922 Joejuan Williams TN 6-2/195 Mild

Entering the Field

Virginia Tech commit Troy Pride picked up an Irish offer since last we examined the secondary field. We're not adding him to the Big Board proper since he's committed elsewhere and seems to be solid, but he will probably take visits and it's a name to keep in mind.

Memphis product Donte Vaughn visited Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago and picked up an offer; the offer immediately moved Notre Dame into his top five. Vaughn could be a tough pull from SEC country, but he made it very clear that he likes Notre Dame and he loved his visit. So we'll see.

Vaughn also becomes the fifth corner on this list that's 6'1" or taller - combine that with a safety recruiting strategy that predominantly is targeting athletes 6'2" or taller, and it's pretty clear that VanGorder likes him some big defensive backs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In Play

Carlos Becker, Eric Cuffee, and Joejuan Williams all attended Irish Invasion last weekend. Becker impressed with his physicality in one-one-one drills, showing the press coverage ability that VanGorder craves. He talked to Scout about his experience ($) and said he could possibly schedule an official for the fall.

Cuffee similarly showed a physical presence and fire; at one point, angered by being beaten by Chase Claypool, he made sure to put Claypool on the ground during the next rep. Claypool, if you haven't heard, is a big dude. Cuffee also tweeted one of my all-time favorite recruit-coach photo ops:

"What's the B.A. stand for?" "Bad attitude."

Williams didn't work out, but got a lot of face time with Todd Lyght and Mike Elston and came away very impressed. He told Rivals that Notre Dame has a good shot to make his top five, which he's announcing next month. He also picked up an invitation to The Opening finals next month, so it's been a good week for him.

Top 40 prospect Kristian Fulton wants to commit somewhere before the end of the summer. He hasn't visited Notre Dame and doesn't plan to, so connect the dots there. LSU looks to be firmly in the lead for the Bayout State prospect.

If new Irish kicker Justin Yoon doesn't pan out, perhaps Damar Hamlin could be a viable fallback option. Oh, and he's a pretty good corner too... Current conventional wisdom has momentum trending towards Ohio State, but little information comes from Hamlin himself so who knows. If you're into overparsing, he did tweet out a top ten in "no particular order" at the beginning of the month that had Notre Dame at the top.

Elite prospect Mecole Hardman recently told Rivals he's planning to take an official visit to Notre Dame (semi-$). We'll see if it actually happens, but Hardman is saying the right things about wanting to get to campus. And Mom might be on our side! He'd be a tremendous and, at this point, unlikely pull from the South.

Jaylon Jones, former teammate of newly-minted Irish freshman Jalen Guyton, tweeted his top six a few weeks ago. Spoiler alert: Notre Dame isn't included.

Top 100 California talent David Long also tweeted a cut list recently, of ten schools, and Notre Dame was on this one. He's a high-academic kid who will probably be hard to pull away from Stanford, but VanGorder and Denbrock have been working personally on his recruitment and aren't likely to go down without a fight.

Tis the season for cut lists... Jared Mayden tweeted his top seven - points for originality - and, not surprisingly for a prospect the staff never gained traction with, Notre Dame isn't on this list either. It's a bit unusual in that Mayden is a top Texas kid who isn't even considering any of the Texas schools. Not exactly common. He'll announce at The Opening in a couple of weeks.

Trayvon Mullen hit the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit and talked to Scout about his recruitment. He says it's wide open, but Florida State and LSU are widely considered the leaders for his services.

Arizonan Byron Murphy just visited Washington and will visit USC again before the summer is out. His focus has pretty clearly been on the West Coast to this point and it looks like that's where he'll land.

Off the Board

No corner targets have committed to other schools since the last update.

Safety
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.977 Deontay Anderson TX 6-1/192 Cold
.948 Brandon Burton CA 6-2/195 Cold
.952 Lamar Jackson CA 6-3/205 Cold
.988 Brandon Jones TX 5-11/183 Cold
.857 Thomas Jones SC 6-2/190 Cold
.865 Ikenna Okeke TN 6-2/200 Mild
.867 Spencer Perry FL 6-3/202 Warm
.905 C.J. Pollard CA 6-1/180 Cold
.879 Andrew Pryts PA 6-1/199 Mild
.865 Devin Studstill FL 6-1/180 Mild
.864 Chanse Sylvie LA 6-0/ Mild
.857 Chacho Ulloa CA 6-0/190 Mild
.963 Nigel Warrior GA 6-0/175 Cold

Entering the Field

Californian Lamar Jackson picked up an Irish offer and has said he'll take an official visit to South Bend in the fall. Pulling Jackson away from California, more specifically away from Los Angeles, will be very difficult. He told Rivals that his favorite recruiter is UCLA assistant Demetrice Martin, which could give some insight into his leader.

Thomas Jones also earned an Irish offer recently; his recruitment has heated up since the spring started, picking up offers from South Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Vandy in addition to the Irish. Scout caught up with him after Notre Dame offered and he talked about the importance of education and a family environment, which, you would think...

Chanse Sylvie is more in play than the typical Louisianan; he's Tarean Folston's cousin and the Notre Dame offer was definitely a big one for him. He told Scout that he's "ecstatic" about the Irish offer, although his recruitment is still pretty open.

Perhaps the biggest news here is that Spencer Perry re-entered the Big Board by decommitting from Florida after attending Irish Invasion last weekend. Momentum has swung wildly in favor of Notre Dame here.

In Play

Elite safety Deontay Anderson doesn't have Notre Dame on the radar; his interest list is basically the SEC plus Texas, Texas A&M, and USC. Ole Miss has been gathering cash steam with him lately.

Brandon Burton recently told Rivals that he could take an official visit to Notre Dame for the USC game. It sounds like his relationship with LaFleur kind of faded and Denbrock has done a decent job building it back up.

The staff had some very early traction with top 25 prospect Brandon Jones, but nothing more ever materialized and it seems the Irish are well off his radar now. Texas A&M is in the driver's seat here.

High-academic prospect Ikenna Okeke visited for Irish Invasion and loved it, but is willing to take a little bit of time to make a decision. He wants to visit Stanford before closing things down; whenever that happens and whatever his feelings for the Cardinal are afterward, the staff might not have room for him if he wants to be Irish.

CJ Pollard told 247 that he wants to commit at The Opening in a few weeks and wants to squeeze in unofficial visits to Oregon, Michigan, and Notre Dame before that. He's at Oregon today - we'll see if he makes it to the Midwest. Of course, no visit, no commitment.

Penn State legacy Andrew Pryts recently visited Notre Dame and was blown away - but will it be enough to overcome Ohio State or an impending trip to Stanford? Interestingly, Steve Wiltfong and Tom Loy at 247 put in conflicting crystal ball predictions within a day of each other - Wiltfong for the Buckeyes, Loy for the Irish. This is very much a toss-up.

Devin Studstill is another of the many talented players who attended Irish Invasion. He loved the visit, perhaps enough to commit in the coming weeks. The staff absolutely loves him and will find a way to take him if they have to.

Californian Chacho Ulloa visited for Irish Invasion and enjoyed it just as much as he did Junior Day weekend back in March. Like Pryts, though, he wants to visit Stanford before making a decision.

Nigel Warrior doesn't have Notre Dame in his top ten or his projected official visit list, and that doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. The smart money at this point would probably be on Warrior staying in the South.

Off the Board

Top 30 prospect Eric Monroe committed to LSU, in a minor upset over the local Texas schools.

Craig Watts, good friend of one Tony Jones Jr., committed to Wisconsin.