Welcome back to the OFD recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.
Entering The Field
No new offers have gone out since the last Big Board update.
Xavier Gaines has long expressed interest in Notre Dame, even though it's not clear how hard the Irish staff has actually pursued him. His coach recently told Scout that he'll take three officials for sure and possibly a fourth - Notre Dame, Alabama, and Florida are the sure things, and Nebraska is under consideration. Could the Irish be pursuing him somewhere other than quarterback? Possibly, as he's a superb athlete, but I doubt Gaines would ultimately sign unless he could at least try quarterback first.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention 2017 five-star QB Hunter Johnson, who Notre Dame was pushing very hard for, and his recent commitment to Tennessee. Johnson's availability affected both the 2017 and 2016 classes, although the staff likely was looking to take a bridge prospect like Ian Book in 2016 no matter what. Johnson's commitment to Tennessee should cast no aspersions on the Irish staff - they worked very hard on him, despite what you might read in some places, and he just decided to go elsewhere. His cousin played for and liked Butch Jones at Cincinnati, and Tennessee was the first program to offer him. That combination just proved too much to overcome.
Going forward, look for Sanford and Co. to stand pat with Ian Book in 2016 and push hard for 2017 prospect Dylan McCaffrey, no slouch himself at #78 overall in the 247 Composite. He's the son of former Broncos standout and Stanford alum Ed McCaffrey and brother of current Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, but reports are that his recruitment is very much open at this point. The game is afoot.
Entering the Field
Melquise Stovall decommitted from USC and thus re-entered the Big Board. Stovall is a tremendously explosive athlete that the Irish would love to deploy as a Swiss Army knife to stress defenses - and he reportedly will take the opportunity to picture exactly that on an official visit to South Bend this fall.
Rivals reports that Damian Alloway, widely believed to be a strong Notre Dame lean, is now slowing things down and planning to use at least some of his official visits this fall. At the moment this looks like a Notre Dame-UCLA battle, but other West Coast schools could potentially jump in if Alloway is having second thoughts about going far from home.
Floridian Deon McIntosh will make it up to Notre Dame for an official visit this fall, per ISD ($). He's pretty likely to land in the ACC, but Notre Dame is doing its due diligence here.
Off the Board
No commits elsewhere by Irish targets.
New This Week:
No new offers to report, and none on the horizon.
Off the Board:
Luke Farrell, the last tight end on Notre Dame's 2016 board, surprised no one by committing to Ohio State.
With 2017 #1 TE Brock Wright committed, in good shape for 2017 four-star TE Cole Kmet, and boasting an absurd amount of talent already on campus at the position, the Irish will happily pass on the position in the 2016 class.
New This Week:
No new offers, and again, none likely to go out soon.
John Curtis prospect Willie Allen hasn't officially eliminated anyone but has never shown real interest in Notre Dame. He hasn't officially announced favorites either, at least not that I've seen, but following the bread crumbs it's pretty clear that Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, and Georgia lead for his services.
Greg Little stunned everyone by decommitting from Texas A&M last month. While, like Allen, he hasn't eliminated Notre Dame, also like Allen, he's never really been interested either. His 247 profile page shows a top five of Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Ohio State, and Ole Miss.
Stewart Reese finally picked up a Florida State offer; he'll go through the process, but it'll be very surprising if he doesn't end up in Tallahassee. While he also hasn't officially eliminated anyone, he is very unlikely to have interest in Notre Dame at this point; the Irish staff backed off with the commitment of Parker Boudreaux and haven't pursued him since.
Off the Board:
No commitments to report.
New This Week:
No new offers went out to receivers.
Off the Board:
Devin Duvernay tweeted his top ten, as promised, and Notre Dame didn't make the cut, as expected.
Darnell Salomon gave a top five recently of Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
Donnie Corley continues to strengthen his relationship with the Michigan State coaches ($), according to 247, despite Michigan fans' belief that they're gaining ground with the Detroit Martin Luther King star.
Rumor has it that #19 overall talent Nate Craig-Myers, erstwhile Auburn commit, has been contacted by the Irish staff since his decommitment and that the interest is mutual. We'll see how true that proves to be; get yourself a lottery ticket if he actually makes it to campus, because it'll be our lucky day. His brother committed to Florida last month, so watch the Gators here too.
Dylan Crawford tells 247 that "a commitment could come soon but I'd still probably be open to other schools." Which is why you shouldn't get too wrapped up in this stuff. Michigan may be making a move, but Oregon could cause a splash with an offer and Crawford reports that Washington is recruiting him hardest.
If you're into reading tea leaves, Kyle Davis took the field for his high school recently wearing Georgia gloves.
Javon McKinley had been trending toward Notre Dame for a while, but recent events hint that his recruitment may be more open than was believed. For a long time Notre Dame was his only scheduled official visit, but he now has scheduled his other four visits as well - to Ohio State, UCLA, Oregon, and Tennessee. Not sure why the Vols are on his radar, quite honestly; maybe he really likes country music.