Welcome back to the One Foot Down recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.
New This Week:
No new offers to report, and none likely to come anytime soon either. More on that in a bit.
Luke Farrell is due to announce a commitment soon, and is all but guaranteed to pick the Ohio State Buckeyes. Farrell is very similar to Tyler Luatua - a bruiser who has enough athleticism to play tight end - and would be a nice complement to Jake Hausmann, Ohio State's other 2016 tight end commit, who is more of a receiving threat.
Off the Board:
Pennsylvania behemoth Cary Angeline, who was universally believed to favor Notre Dame and Penn State with Miami running a somewhat distant third, shocked everyone by committing to USC. He visited USC for the first time back in April, during a West Coast swing in which he also hit UCLA and Arizona State, and was not rumored to be interested in any of them. There were some hints leading up to his announcement that he had depth chart reservations at Notre Dame.
In a made-for-TV twist, the Irish staff didn't have time to shed a tear even if they were inclined to do so, as later in the same day Brock Wright committed to Notre Dame. Wright is the #1 tight end in the 2017 class and - I know this is early, but trust me - arguably the most complete tight end at this stage that Notre Dame has seen since Kyle Rudolph. He's not the receiver that Alize Jones is or Tyler Eifert became, but he's very good at that phase and he's ahead of where Jones, Koyack, Eifert, Niklas, and Carlson were as blockers. He's been characterized as a more athletic version of Anthony Fasano, which, yeah, we'll take that.
With the commitment of Wright, Notre Dame has shut down tight end recruiting in the 2016 cycle - that's what we alluded to above when we said don't expect any more offers to go out soon. With Wright, Jones, Smythe, Luatua, and Weishar slated to be on the 2017 depth chart, Tight End U truly will have an embarrassment of riches at the position.
New This Week:
No new offers, and again, none likely to go out soon.
However, Greg Little sent shockwaves through the recruiting world by decommitting from Texas A&M today; Little is the #2 overall player in the 247 Composite and obviously is very highly coveted by everyone. We're putting him back on the Big Board since he holds a Notre Dame offer, but any hope of getting him to even visit South Bend is likely a pipe dream. Rumor has Alabama and Ole Miss
dropping cash gaining momentum here, and indeed, it would be a surprise to see him leave the SEC.
Willie Allen visited Auburn twice in June after having nice things to say about Ole Miss earlier in the month. The Louisiana product is a stone cold lead pipe lock to stay not just in the SEC but in the SEC West.
Stewart Reese has been very busy, visiting Miami, Tennessee, Cincinnati, and Ohio State since the last Big Board update. He never actually made it into town for Irish Invasion as planned, however, even though he was in the area for the Cincinnati and Ohio State camps at the time. Florida State is still the likely landing place for Reese if and when they decide to push for him.
Off the Board:
Parker Boudreaux channelled his inner Magnus Ver Magnusson and announced his commitment to Notre Dame. Boudreaux had been a top target of Harry Hiestand's from the beginning of this cycle; while some laughed at the bus pull video*, all saw at The Opening why exactly Hiestand loves him so much. He has some technique issues to work on but he held his own against Rashan Gary, who could start for a Top 10 team this fall, and posted one of the highest SPARQ scores on record for an offensive lineman.
* Not me, I loved it. ARRGH!
In the sole bit of evidence to disprove that Hiestand does in fact live a charmed existence, Ben Bredeson committed to Michigan. The commitment was disappointing but not entirely unexpected; Ben's brother plays baseball at Michigan and Ben himself favored the Wolverines before Hoke was fired. Once Harbaugh rebuilt a relationship with him, it was a done deal.
Still, Hiestand identified four top prospects in Ben Bredeson (247 Composite #30 overall), Tommy Kraemer (#41), Liam Eichenberg (#99), and Parker Boudreaux (#336 and due for a substantial bump after The Opening) and landed three of them. That's pretty damned impressive. With the Boudreaux commitment the offensive line in the 2016 cycle is likely complete, barring a sudden change of heart from a prospect who's too excellent to turn away.