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2017 Notre Dame Football Big Board: Offense

Heeeeere's Johnny.... The 2017 Big Board is open!

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the OFD recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.

Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.921 Avery Davis TX 6-0/190 Warm
.882 Hendon Hooker NC 6-4/190 Mild
In Play

Avery Davis is Notre Dame's top signal caller target in 2017. He could try to visit over the summer with his friend and teammate, WR Charles Rambo; if he makes that visit, he could be on commit watch.

Hendon Hooker just picked up a Notre Dame offer, and definitely has serious interest in the Irish - he could visit soon as well.

Running Back
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.999 Najee Harris CA 6-2/220 Cold
.983 Stephen Carr CA 6-0/195 Mild
.973 Anthony McFarland MD 5-9/189 Cold
.968 JK Dobbins TX 5-10/200 Mild
.966 Toneil Carter TX 5-11/205 Cold
.961 Ty Chandler TN 5-11/190 Cold
.957 Colin Wilson FL 6-1/220 Cold
.946 Trey Sermon GA 6-1/206 Cold
.909 AJ Dillon MA 6-1/230 Warm

In Play

Najee Harris is committed to Alabama, but says he intends to take all his visits. So I guess he's not all that committed... The odds are slim, of course, but Notre Dame is still in the conversation here.

Stephen Carr said last fall that he would listen to Notre Dame if an offer came, and a couple of weeks ago, an offer came. He's committed to USC but is looking around, much more actively than Harris. He's also Damian Alloway's teammate, which I suppose could cut either way.

DeMatha prospect Anthony McFarland is interested and could potentially schedule a visit over the summer. He's teammates with fellow 2017 target WDE Chase Young, who is also into the Irish.

If you gave me my pick of any back in this class, I'd take Harris. If he was off the board already, I'd take JK Dobbins. Seriously, watch this and tell me you think differently. I dare you. As we noted in our 2017 primer, ISD's Matt Freeman said Dobbins was "fired up" to get a Notre Dame offer a couple of weeks ago. Let's hope that enthusiasm translates to action.

Toneil Carter is in all probability going to stay in the South - Notre Dame hasn't really gained any traction, and that's not likely to change.

Last fall, Ty Chandler talked about setting up a visit to Notre Dame, which to our knowledge never happened. Most of the SEC plus Ohio State is after him, so competition will be fierce.

Colin Wilson has hit it off with Autry Denson, and while he's leaning towards staying in the South now that could all change quickly if Denson can talk him into taking a visit to Notre Dame.

Ohio State has some big early momentum with Georgian Trey Sermon, enough that they seem to be in the driver's seat right now. Notre Dame doesn't really appear to be on his radar.

Finally, AJ Dillon, as we've noted elsewhere, is the grandson of record-setting Irish receiver Thom Gatewood. As you might expect, AJ and his family were extremely happy when he got his Notre Dame offer. He says he's going to go through the process, but the gut here says that if the bruiser makes it back to campus over the summer he won't leave without committing to the Irish.

Wide Receiver
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.994 Donovan Peoples-Jones MI 6-2/192 Mild
.991 Trevon Grimes FL 6-4/195 Cold
.986 Tyjon Lindsey CA 5-9/165 Mild
.985 Joseph Lewis CA 6-2/190 Mild
.979 Jerry Jeudy FL 6-1/174 Cold
.956 Osiris St. Brown CA 6-1/178 Warm
.955 Tarik Black CT 6-3/185 Mild
.941 Tylan Wallace TX 6-1/170 Cold
.939 Charleston Rambo TX 6-2/165 Mild
.898 Taariq Johnson CA 6-4/210 Cold
.895 Trey Blount GA 6-3/192 Mild
.870 Kevaughn Dingle FL 6-1/193 Cold
In Play

Donovan Peoples-Jones just visited Notre Dame for the January elite junior day event, and by all accounts enjoyed himself. If he makes it to the next one, in mid March, we'll know we have a ballgame here.

Trevon Grimes has connected early with Ohio State, but Florida State and Florida are also in the picture here and will push hard. Notre Dame isn't under serious consideration, or any consideration really, at this point.

Tyjon Lindsey just picked up an Irish offer yesterday, saying he was "dearly blessed" by the news. He transferred from Bishop Gorman, the alma mater of Ronnie Stanley, Alize Jones, and Nicco Fertitta, to Centennial, the current school of Javon McKinley. He's very good friends with Jones and Fertitta, and I'm sure he and McKinley will talk as well. Stay tuned.

USC is the favorite for Joseph Lewis, but Mike Denbrock has been working hard here for the past year and has at least built a connection with Lewis. He'll most likely stay west, but the Irish will keep trying.

Alabama and Miami are the early leaders for Jerry Jeudy, who plans on touring a number of Southern schools over the summer.

Osiris St. Brown is the older of current Irish wideout Equanimeous St. Brown's two very talented younger brothers. Notre Dame is the very heavy favorite to land him, but Equanimeous has advised his brothers to take their time and enjoy the process.

Connecticut star Tarik Black picked up a Notre Dame offer last month and is very interested, noting the importance of academics (stop rolling your eyes) and how similar Notre Dame is to his high school (I said stop). The Irish also made a nice impression with their ecard last week. Aww.

Tylan Wallace just picked up a Notre Dame offer yesterday from Mike Sanford. The electric Texan averaged a touchdown every three receptions last season. Not a misprint. Nothing is set yet, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him visit at some point. Something to watch is that Notre Dame will also evaluate his twin brother, Tracin, at quarterback.

Charleston Rambo, as noted above, is the teammate of top QB target Avery Davis. Notre Dame is definitely in a stronger position with Davis than Rambo, but the connection between them is significant and Rambo could potentially follow Davis somewhere.

Last December, Taariq Johnson said Notre Dame was "still definitely up there" on his list. We'll see if anything materializes from that... USC hasn't offered yet but could be tough to beat if they do.

Trey Blount recently picked up an offer and called Notre Dame one of his top schools; he could potentially visit soon, which could help Notre Dame make a big move. He's a teammate of 2016 Irish preferred walk-on Mick Assaf.

Miami-area athlete Kevaughn Dingle has the Canes as his clear leader right now, even picking up a Miami crystal ball from Florida 247 analyst Luke Stampini. It's highly unlikely that he'll get outside Dade County, let alone Florida.

Tight End
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
N/A Brandon Gaddy VA 6-4/240 Cold
In Play

Remember that Notre Dame already holds commitments from Brock Wright and Cole Kmet, the #1 and #4 tight ends in the 247 Composite.

That's what makes Brandon Gaddy so interesting. This Notre Dame staff has proven to be pretty decent at plucking diamonds from the three-star rough, but Brandon isn't ranked by any of the four major recruiting services. Much like Tylan Wallace's touchdown ratio, Brandon's lack of stars is not a misprint. In and of himself it doesn't seem he would garner that much attention, but his twin brother is four-star defensive tackle Breyon Gaddy. And every school seems to be recruiting them together. This is a situation that bears watching.

Offensive Line
Score Player State Ht/Wt. Temperature 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.991 Austin Jackson AZ 6-5/260 Mild
.986 Wyatt Davis CA 6-5/290 Mild
.981 Jedrick Wills KY 6-5/315 Mild
.969 Trey Smith TN 6-5/290 Mild
.962 Andrew Thomas GA 6-5/295 Cold
.959 Austin Deculus TX 6-6/315 Cold
.958 Austin Troxell AL 6-7/275 Cold
In Play

Austin Jackson has talked about setting up a visit for this spring - nothing scheduled yet, but obviously worth watching.

Fellow five-star Wyatt Davis has also been planning to visit South Bend in the offseason. He was high school teammates with 2016 S/LB commit DJ Morgan.

Jedrick Wills, right on the cusp of being a five-star himself, intended to go to the January junior day but got snowed into his hometown in Kentucky. He has hit it off with Harry Hiestand and, while Kentucky will be a big draw for him, the Irish are definitely in this one.

Tennessean Trey Smith has also said he'll set up a visit soon - keep an eye on this recruitment, as the staff really likes Smith.

Andrew Thomas just picked up an Irish offer earlier this week and should give Notre Dame a serious look. Much like WR target Tarik Black, Thomas goes to a high school that in many ways is similar to Notre Dame, and like Black, he talks about the importance of academics.

Texan Austin Deculus is extremely likely to stay in Texas, and in fact is only on here for one reason: He's friends and teammates with 2017 TE commit Brock Wright. Wright may be able to catch his ear about Notre Dame, but otherwise expect this Lone Star product to stay home.

Austin Troxell is rehabbing a torn ACL - perhaps we should put him on the Jaylon Smith recovery plan... Troxell looks like a heavy Alabama lean, and if he doesn't go there he'll most likely pick Auburn.