UPDATE: Added Daelin Hayes to the list of unofficial visitors.
Notre Dame will open the 2015 football season against Texas Saturday - of course, a day we've all been waiting for. The day before will start up the 2016 recruiting class official visit season, which has its own significance as well. Perhaps not surprisingly given the marquee opponent, the opener has become a huge recruiting weekend over the last few weeks as more prospects have made plans to visit.
Players who have already committed to ND are in italics; rankings are 247 Composite overall/position.
Demetris Robertson, ATH, #39/#2
Lamar Jackson, S, #95/#5
Melquise Stovall, APB, #169/#4
Eric Cuffee, CB, #266/#23
Donte Vaughn, CB, #299/#27
Parker Boudreaux, OG, #338/#12
DJ Morgan, S, #451/#28
The story of the week is definitely Demetris Robertson, who might not even seriously look at the Irish - that's how good a prospect he is. He's a good fit for Notre Dame all around, much like Max Redfield, but unlike Redfield Notre Dame may be playing from too far behind here. The one-time Alabama commit is still considering the Tide and Stanford, who are firmly in the two lead slots for him in some order. The staff is probably looking at Robertson mostly as a safety, but they would give him the chance to play wherever he wants.
Lamar Jackson might not make it, but we'll leave him on this list for now anyway just in case. Notre Dame has a very real shot at the Top 100 safety, who will look to reschedule his visit if he can't in fact make it.
Fellow Californian Melquise Stovall, whose explosive athletic ability has the coaches drooling, recently decommitted from USC and immediately scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame. It could be a first man in situation between him and Damian Alloway - at the very least, it's hard to imagine room for both of them in this class. Although, talk about Cadillac problems.
Eric Cuffee is another visitor who was having difficulty coordinating things, but he seems more likely to make it so we'll also leave him in here. The coaches loved his physicality at Irish Invasion; competition is tough for the Texan, but the staff likes where they stand. I hope he brings his BA Barracus shirt...
If anyone is on commitment watch this weekend, it's Tennessee star Donte Vaughn. The Irish are in excellent shape here; as noted in the Big Board yesterday, Vaughn has said he wants to announce on his birthday next month but he might not make it that far. The 6'3" 200-pounder is a physical specimen at corner that would fit well in Brian VanGorder's attacking, pressing system.
Parker Boudreaux will make the trek from Florida, probably not pulling a bus the entire way. Probably. He has been one of the most active recruiters in the 2016 cycle and no doubt will continue that good work this weekend.
Recent ASU decommit DJ Morgan will round out the official visitor list for this weekend. As we've noted before, he's Skylar Diggins's cousin, has family in the area, and is very familiar with Notre Dame. It'll be interesting to see how his recruitment trends after this weekend.
Tommy Kraemer, OT, #45/#6
Daelin Hayes, OLB, #107/#9 (USC commit)
Liam Eichenberg, OT, #103/#11
Julian Love, CB, #523/#44
Adetokunbo Ogundeji, WDE, #636/#41
John Shannon, LS, NR/#1
Josh Ross, ILB, #133/#5
Josh Lugg, OT, #170/#27
Corey Malone-Hatcher, WDE, #171/#8
Tyrell Ajian, ATH, #190/#18
Cole Kmet, TE, #241/#5
PJ Mustipher, DT, #35/#5 (247 rankings - no Composite as 247 is the only service with 2018 rankings)
Simply put, this is a phenomenal list. Twelve unofficial visitors, seven ranked in the top 250, and six commitments. Notre Dame is in great shape with Tyrell Ajian, who was impressed that the Irish contacted him first yesterday morning when the 2017 contact period opened, and Cole Kmet, who seems not to be deterred by Brock Wright's commitment.
UPDATE: The shockwave news here is the late addition of Daelin Hayes to the unofficial visitor list. Notre Dame has made a big move for the Ann Arbor talent, restoring the momentum they had with him after the 2014 Irish Invasion. In the last week he scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame for the USC game, and there have been rumblings about an imminent decommitment. He is very good friends with Ricky Towns, who just transferred from USC to Arkansas, and the Sark After Dark episode didn't make a positive impression on him either.
The Irish staff is recruiting Hayes as a rush DE - word is he's filled out his 6'4" frame to about 250 already and shows no signs of stopping there. Kudos to Brian Kelly and Keith Gilmore, who were both specifically mentioned by Hayes, for keeping the Irish in this race.