Welcome back to the OFD recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.
With only a handful of targets left on either side of the ball, we're combining the offense and defense boards into a single update for the remainder of the cycle.
Nothing much to update on Damian Alloway, who is still set to take an official visit to UCLA on January 22nd. This still looks like a Notre Dame-UCLA battle, with Oregon looming but not offering. Recent roster attrition has probably made it less likely that Alloway's Irish window will close if he waits.
Five star Nate Craig-Myers has shown a lot of interest in Florida, where his brother Jayvaughn was at one point committed, and Auburn throughout the process. While he is adamant that his recruitment is wide open, it's very interesting that he and Jayvaughn will take an official visit to Auburn this weekend. Hmm.
The Irish are very much in it for Demetris Robertson, who spent last week making All-Americans look badly outclassed. He'll announce on signing day, which seems an interminably long time away right now. He'll take an official to Alabama next weekend - watch the tea leaves after that.
Off the Board
Javon McKinley is Irish!
Jordan Fuller will take an official visit to Ohio State this weekend - with Damar Hamlin, no less - and to Michigan next weekend. Penn State could possibly get a visit before signing day as well, but right now they seem like the clear #4 in this race, especially with Shoop moving to Tennessee. He has been very private about his recruitment, so it's hard to know where any of the top three really stand. Notre Dame is in it but I don't have a great feeling here; we'll have to watch what happens after these two key visits.
Ben Davis is locked in for his official visit this weekend; his father, who happens to be Alabama's all-time leading tackler, will join him on the trip. Major kudos to Autry Denson for getting the Davises to campus, whether Ben signs or not. He has been adamant that his interest in Notre Dame is real; nonetheless, I'll believe it when we're still in the race on Monday.
Speaking of linebackers... Mike Elston won't visit Davis in Tuscaloosa when the dead period ends tomorrow because Davis will be on his way to South Bend, but he will make a few other stops. What could be be referring to?
It's a dead heat between Notre Dame and Michigan for Jonathan Jones (Orlando). Perhaps of note is that Jim Harbaugh, who up to now has made a good impression on Jones, will mark the end of the dead period with a semi-creepy 12:01 AM sleepover - complete with a movie - at the house of a kicker who is committed to Penn State. For the second straight week, I swear I am not making this up. He told the kid all he needs is a 6'3" stretch of carpet to sleep on. Umm, weird, Jim. Where will Notre Dame be? Visiting Jones. Duly noted.
Caleb Kelly (Fresno), much like Demetris Robertson, just looked like he was at another level during Army All-America activities. He'll announce on signing day, with Oklahoma and Notre Dame probably holding an edge over Oregon.
Jeffrey McCulloch (Houston) has real interest in the Irish, but is also considering home state Texas and Texas A&M. Potentially throwing a wrench into the works is Stanford, who finally offered the high-academic prospect on Tuesday. The (other) Shark will take an official visit to Texas this weekend and Alabama next; he has already taken officials to Notre Dame, Stanford, and Michigan. He'll announce on signing day.
Rashan Gary flew out to LA for his USC official visit yesterday. Michigan sent former Paramus Catholic (NJ) coach and current Wolverine recruiting coordinator Chris Partridge to check in on multiple kids, but of course mostly to see Gary. I doubt you should read too much into that, but it is kind of funny. For what it's worth, despite Michigan fans' certainty, I think Gary is more likely to end up in the South. Just a hunch. Despite lip service paid to the Irish at various points and at least casual interest from his mother, it doesn't seem that Rashan himself was ever really interested in Notre Dame. USC will mark just his fourth official visit with no others planned, so there's a remote possibility, but don't hold your breath.
Off the Board
Brandon Burton tweeted his top three Friday, which is USC, UCLA, and FSU.