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.
Michigan commit Nate Johnson received a late offer and will make the trek from the Volunteer State for an official visit this weekend. He's an electric athlete who had a monster senior season and has seen recruiting interest ramp up accordingly. He looks like a very good fit for the slot receiver role, much like Damian Alloway. Read into that what you will.
Speaking of whom... We've said here for quite some time that the longer Damian Alloway takes to make his decision, the less likely it is that he will choose Notre Dame. That's where the tea leaves seem to be headed now, with 247's often-optimistic Tom Loy switching his crystal ball prediction to UCLA and the late offer to Nate Johnson. Never say never, but right now it looks much more likely that Alloway will end up somewhere else.
Few prospects in memory have generated as much discussion as Demetris Robertson has over the last couple of days. Robertson will probably take an official visit to Alabama this weekend (that's as much as is fair to say without oversharing premium info, and please keep that in mind in the comment thread). This is a kid that is highly coveted by basically everyone; that means that even with less than two weeks to go, there could still be plenty of twists and turns in his recruitment. That said, there's a ton of momentum for Notre Dame right now (at a high level, that's free info), and my gut feeling is that he will sign with the Irish on February 3rd. Get your favorite adult beverage ready, just in case.
Off the Board
Nate Craig-Myers has narrowed his list to Auburn, Ole Miss, and North Carolina. He'll announce on signing day and before that will take one last official visit, to Ole Miss, on January 29th. Is that enough time for the Rebs to raise the requisite funds?
Jordan Fuller just came off an official visit to Ohio State and the Buckeyes seem to have all the momentum here.
Ben Davis loved his official visit and put the Irish in his top three afterwards. There's no doubt that the visit made a real impression on him, but picking Notre Dame over Alabama would still be the biggest pro-Irish upset that I think I can remember in all the time I've followed recruiting. Which goes back farther than I'd care to admit.
The Irish staff is making a big push for Jonathan Jones, who could be the most game-ready of the various linebacker prospects Notre Dame is chasing down the stretch. Seriously. He has an official visit to Duke coming up, but look for this to stay a Michigan-Notre Dame battle until the end.
There's a ton of smoke about Notre Dame building substantial momentum with Caleb Kelly over the last couple of weeks. I know, I know, #fresno, but he's a different kind of kid and his visit for the football banquet really resonated with him on a number of levels. Gut feeling again is that Kelly will make Irish fans very happy on signing day, no matter how many OU players call him between now and then.
Jeffrey McCulloch seems to be trending towards staying home, although the staff hasn't given up on him yet. Keep an eye on Stanford here as well, who just admitted him and followed that up with a David Shaw in-home visit. McCulloch is a serious academic kid and the Cardinal could definitely be a big player here late.
Rashan Gary is on an unofficial visit to Michigan right now, which of course must have Wolverine fans giddy enough to knock over the entire khaki display at the Ypsilanti Walmart. There are a pile of schools fighting to get his final official visit, but the two most likely to get it are Alabama and Clemson. He has already taken officials to Auburn, Michigan, Ole Miss, and USC. I know Michigan feels really confident about him, but somehow I just see Gary ending up in the South. He'll announce on signing day.