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2016 Notre Dame Recruiting Big Board: Linebackers

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Quiet on the inside, but the Irish are making a little bit of noise and jockeying for position on the outside.

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

Inside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.913 Devin Bush FL 6-0/220 Cold
.955 Brendan Ferns OH 6-3/223 Cold
.938 Dontavious Jackson TX 6-2/239 Cold
.853 Elysee Mbem-Bosse GA 6-3/232 Cold
.848 Jonathan Smith NC 6-1/220 Cold

Entering the Field:

No new offers were extended to inside linebackers since our last update.

In Play:

Florida State legacy Devin Bush recently broke down his three top schools for 247 ($): Florida State, Michigan, and Georgia. I think he'll end up a Seminole like his father, but it's worth noting that two of his teammates have committed to Michigan in this cycle.

PennLive.com reports that Brendan Ferns is down to Penn State and West Virginia, as he has been for a while. Smart money has the Ohioan landing with the Nittany Lions.

Dontavious Jackson made his second visit to Texas in the last month for their Under the Lights camp, and the Horns definitely helped their cause. He was disappointed not to have an offer from Texas last spring, but they seem to have made up ground pretty easily with him now.

Elysee Mbem-Bosse told 247 he'll release a top five soon ($). He visited just after Irish Invasion with his coach and a couple of teammates; he liked it and said he could visit again, but it still doesn't seem like the Irish got enough traction to be a serious player here. Most likely the talented Georgian will stay down south.

Rivals reports that Jonathan Smith is favoring two in-state schools (free) - North Carolina and Duke - but is still considering Georgia Tech, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He has visited all the Southern schools and has reiterated to several outlets that he'd like to visit Michigan and Notre Dame before the summer is over.

Off the Board:

Connecticut star Koby Quansah pulled a bit of a surprise by committing to Duke before even visiting Notre Dame, after saying that if the Irish offered they would be difficult to turn down. They did offer, but shortly after he committed to Duke. The services differ on how much the Irish staff wanted him, but nonetheless it was a slight upset that he chose Duke. Should Notre Dame strike out with some of its higher profile linebacker recruits, keep an eye on a potential flip here.

Outside Linebacker
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.988 Ben Davis AL 6-4/230 Cold
.871 Aaron Hansford DC 6-2/210 Cold
.989 Caleb Kelly CA 6-3/215 Cold
.915 Jaleel Laguins GA 6-2/213 Cold
.946 Jeffrey McCulloch TX 6-2/230 Cold

Entering the Field:

No new offers to report.

In Play:

Alabama legacy Ben Davis had a bit of a rough go of it, relatively speaking, at The Opening and dropped a bit in the national rankings as a result. He's still really good, though. Duh. He has talked about Notre Dame and about education in the past but hasn't scheduled a visit yet.

On the flip side is Aaron Hansford, who earned an extra star from 247 at The Opening (see the same link as for Ben Davis above) and turned a lot of heads by clocking a 4.47 40 yard dash. Hansford's father is a huge Notre Dame fan; the staff would love to get both of them on campus at some point. He talked to Scout about watching Rudy every day as a kid, which I guess could cut either way for us.

Caleb Kelly scratched his visit for Irish Invasion due to a broken nose; since he's a Fresno prospect, the reaction from the Irish polloi was predictable. He had promised at the time to reschedule though and, lo and behold, he has locked in a visit to South Bend for next week. He'll be in town with his coach Tony Perry, the "DB Guru," who is a big factor behind the Fresno pipeline to Oklahoma. Interestingly, Perry has also known Mike Denbrock for a very long time - that might explain why we could at least get guys there to listen to us after so many years of being frozen out.

He tweeted his top seven after The Opening and Notre Dame made the cut. How much longer will they be in there? And DID HE PLUG IN HIS PHONE RIGHT AWAY??? (pet peeve with screenshots kids post to Twitter)

Jaleel Laguins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that hometown Georgia is still his leader, but it's a business decision and he's going to explore all his options. Smart kid. The only other schools he's mentioned recently are Auburn and Tennessee, but he just scheduled an official visit to Nebraska for their game against Southern Mississippi. Honest. No, I don't get it either.

Elite prospect Jeffrey McCulloch showed out at The Opening and then had some nice things to say about the Irish, scheduling an unofficial visit for next week. Unfortunately, as the South Bend Tribune reports, his travel plans fell through - but he still intends to get to campus on his own, plus he has scheduled an official visit for the USC game.

Off the Board:

Daniel Batuli decided to stay home and commit to the Volunteers.

Hybrid linebacker/defensive end prospect Cameron Brown committed to Penn State. He named the Irish among his finalists, but all indications were that anyone other than Penn State among his finalists was window dressing. And sure enough...