Welcome back to the OFD recruiting Big Board for Fighting Irish football.
Entering the Field
No new offers to report since our last update.
Nate McBride recently picked up an offer from Texas A&M, but it looks like it's going to be an Alabama-Georgia battle for him.
Anthony Hines just visited Texas and tweeted that it was "fantastic."
Will Ignont transferred back home, from IMG to Buckhorn (AL), for his senior year and named Alabama his leader.
Sampson Niu just added offers from Michigan and Texas A&M, shortly after naming USC his leader. He was very excited to receive his Notre Dame offer, but USC is the childhood favorite and were always going to be a near-lock if they offered. They offered, obviously, so the rest is likely academic.
Off the Board
David Adams is Irish!
Drew White is Irish! (Technically not off the board because he committed so quickly he was never on the board, but hey.)
Josh Ross committed to Michigan right after Adams and White committed to Notre Dame - the general assumption is that Michigan and Notre Dame were his final two, and when the Irish told him they were full at inside linebacker he didn't see any reason to prolong a commitment.
Malik Robinson committed to North Carolina.
I took Levi Draper off as well - he was already committed to Oklahoma when Notre Dame offered and seemed like he might consider a visit, but now looks very solid to Oklahoma.
Entering the Field
Perhaps the most interesting thing here, given the post-junior-day flurry of Irish linebacker commitments, is not just that the Notre Dame staff is staying in contact with outside linebacker targets but that they're still handing out offers. Hmm. The most recent
Dylan Moses recently named Texas his leader. The one-time LSU commit and consensus top-three prospect also picked up an offer from Florida International - if you don't ask the answer is definitely no, I guess. He's at Alabama this weekend with a few other IMG kids.
Baron Browning released his top ten via Twitter and included Notre Dame, along with Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, UCLA, and USC, along with a note that read in part that "these are just the Top 10 schools that I believe can help me become a better student, develop me as an athlete, help me get where I am trying to get in life and last but not least help develop me in become a better young man on and off of the field." Worth noting again that the family knows Mike Sanford very well from when Sanford recruiting Browning's brother to Stanford, and that Stanford is not in his top ten. It'll be interesting to see how serious he really is about his interest in Notre Dame.
Drew Singleton could see Jim Harbaugh in a couple of months when Jimbo gives the commencement speech at Paramus Catholic High School. I'm not kidding. Hiring their coach as your new recruiting coordinator could be seen as a savvy, if slightly shady, move, but giving their commencement speech? It's not showing up at midnight for a Netflix sleepover weird, but it's not exactly normal either. I'm actually disappointed in the school - he obviously has an ulterior motive for going there that has nothing to do with their academic or spiritual mission, and yet they're all too happy to blush like a school girl at his advances. Puke.
In case you're wondering, I would be equally uneasy about Brian Kelly giving the commencement speech at De La Salle.
Justin Foster just attended Clemson's spring game and could be trending toward the Tigers. According to a Clemson forum, he has also visited Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, and plans to visit Georgia and Virginia soon too. Notably absent from that itinerary is, of course, Notre Dame.
Hamsah Nasirildeen continues to absolutely explode on the recruiting trail; since we last checked in, he has picked up offers from Clemson and Georgia. On February 12th he held just four non-FBS offers, and now he basically has offers from the entire SEC and ACC. He's been making the rounds in the spring; the last school he has visited at any point in time seems to get quite a boost, which is not unexpected given his sudden elite-prospect status. He hasn't visited Notre Dame yet but still talks about the Irish being in his top group, and about his interest in the mix that Notre Dame can offer. An interesting twist here is that he's from North Carolina and his father played basketball for the Tar Heels, but they sort of seem to be on the periphery of his recruitment.
While there's precious little (free) concrete information out there, it looks like Nathan Proctor could be trending to Penn State. That gives me a chance to re-post this:
Well, JF deleted the tweet in question - and apparently blocked me for pointing it out.— Josh Moyer (@ESPNJoshMoyer) March 31, 2016
Here's the pic he tweeted: pic.twitter.com/0fDTCy9ytr
I don't know what's more enjoyable - that this absolutely asinine marketing idea* got through so many people at Penn State, or that Franklin was so petulant as to block a reporter on Twitter for having fun with it. I wonder if he checked how hot the guy's wife is first.
* Yes, I get what they were going for. It was still a really stupid way to convey the message.
Georgian Leonard Warner's top interests include Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia, sure, but also Duke, Georgia Tech, and Stanford. Notre Dame doesn't seem to have been able to gain any kind of foothold with him, which is a little odd given that he's considering some pretty strong academic schools. The guess here is that he lands at one of the SEC schools, but his academic focus at least makes me think the Irish have some shot at talking to him at least.
DeAndre Wilder visited for the March junior day festivities and came away impressed. His older brother Richard Jackson was a 2006 Notre Dame signee who played wide receiver for two seasons under Charlie Weis before transferring to Central Florida. Jackson is actually a bit of a sad story - he hurt his wrist at Notre Dame before his sophomore season and never cracked the rotation, transferred back to UCF to be closer to his family, including his baby daughter, and then tore his ACL at UCF and never completely recovered. No doubt his perspective on things will be valuable one way or the other for DeAndre.
Jacob Phillips was another prospect in for the March junior day, and loved his time on campus. It remains to be seen how hotly the Irish staff will pursue him after the commitments of Adams, Werner, and White, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him back in the fall.
Off the Board
Pete Werner is Irish!
There was a general sentiment afoot that VanDarius Cowan could flip, and flip he did - from Florida State to Alabama. I kept him on the board even as a Florida State commit because he kept in touch with the Irish staff, but after a second commitment to a school not named Notre Dame I think it's fair to take him off.
Ellis Brooks committed to Duke.