As soon as the football recruiting “dead period” ended, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coaching staff hit the road to visit their current commits, as well as several recruits committed elsewhere. A good number of those recruits were offered scholarships to play in South Bend, and some are working on visiting before signing day. With two recent decommits and depth issues rising, Notre Dame is taking an aggressive approach to recruiting.
Let’s take a look at the recruits now on the radar.
Deon Jackson - RB (Duke Commit)
The Pace Acadmey star attended Irish Invasion in the spring and caught the staff’s eye. Along with his impressive talent, Jackson is a high-academic kid who holds offers from other highly regarded academic schools in Northwestern and Vanderbilt. He has similar all-purpose type skills like early-enrollee CJ Holmes and considering the decent depth at the running back position, this offer may come as a surprise to some but staff likes him that much. Jackson is ranked as a 4 star by ESPN. Tom Loy, 247 analyst, has placed a “crystal-ball” prediction for him to flip his commitment to Notre Dame.
Dayo Odeyingbo - DE (Vanderbilt Commit)
The 4 star talent (per ESPN) is a high-energy, punishing tackler with long arms and a large frame that could hold much more bulk. He committed to Vanderbilt early in the summer and has remained solid despite holding offers from in-state Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor as well as Oklahoma (where he took and official visit) and Michigan. Defensive End is certainly a position of need for the Irish and Odeyingbo has 3 possible visits remaining. Mike Elston offered him a scholarship yesterday and will work on getting him up to South Bend for an official visit soon.
Tre Norwood - CB (Former Louisville Commit)
Todd Lyght has had his eye on this speedster for a long time and finally offered him a scholarship this week. Lyght visited the Louisville commit on Jan. 12. Within an hour, Norwood dropped his commitment and is now working on visiting Notre Dame for a visit this month. Things are trending in the right direction for the Irish who lost 2 cornerback commits recently and need to “stock the shelves.” He has similar traits to last year’s recruit Troy Pride, small with great speed and technique. I like Notre Dame’s chances in this one.
Joshua Paschal - DE (Kentucky Commit)
This name isn’t new to Notre Dame fans. Paschal, the #290 recruit in the country per 247 Sports, has been an ND target for a long time now. He visited Notre Dame on December 9 for the year end banquet and Irish fans, including myself, were confident the talented defensive end would end up in South Bend. Soon after his visit he committed to Kentucky where his older brother is a part of the staff, much to the dismay of Irish fans. Coach Elko visited him today which would have been the first time Paschal met the new Defensive Coordinator. There’s been recent reports that Penn State has also been showing interest in him. Fans will be watching this one closely.
Deontre Thomas - DT (Nebraska Commit)
Mike Elston visited the 4 star, #189 overall recruit today. Thomas plays with great speed, power and has very violent hands which allow him to shed blocks and blow up the backfield. Expect Notre Dame to offer soon. It’s said that he is considering a visit. He seems fairly solid in his commitment to Nebraska at this point as they’ve been on him since early in the process.
Jalen Harris - DE (Arizona Commit)
Brian Polian was at the Harris household yesterday. Jalen was offered recently in attempt to add numbers to the most criticized position on the Notre Dame football team. At 210 pounds he will need a considerable amount of work in the strength and conditioning program but has the frame to work with. Flipping him from in-state Arizona, where both his parents played sports and graduated from, will be a tall task. Interesting note, his father played linebacker in the NFL at 245-250 lbs.
Jordan Genmark-Heath - S (Cal Commit)
The Swedish born Cathedral Cathoilc High School stand-out has a slew of offers from Ivy league schools including Harvard. He’s a very talented multi-position recruit ranked #260 per 247 Sports. Notre Dame has offered recently and it's assumed he would play safety but he’s also an explosive running back/kick returner with an elite physique. HE has the frame and skill set to be a dynamic rover in 4-2-5 scheme.
Things are getting interesting. Stay tuned.......