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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: The Latest On Visits And Commitments

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Less than one week to go until National Signing Day and the Irish coaching staff is working hard to fill the class.

Darnell Ewell is very fashionable.
Darnell Ewell is very fashionable.
Twitter @TJamesNDI

Hope is in the air for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as we count down towards signing day, but a lack of results on the recruiting trail over the past few months has things smelling like desperation. The Irish are in serious need of some commitments with a week to go. Currently, they sit at 79 scholarships for 2017, which means they have 6 spots open.

Can Notre Dame sign six more recruits? Can they sign three more?

Depending on what you listen to, the answer is both yes and no. It’s a very confusing time, so let’s take a few moments and cut through the weeds a bit. I’ll try to keep this brief and to the point.

Last Week’s Visitors

What the hell happened last weekend? Notre Dame had a nice haul of recruits up for an official visit, and the day after they all went home, the Irish had not gained any commitments and actually seemed to lose ground.

Jordan Genmark-Heath: Notre Dame seemed to be in good shape prior to his visit, and maybe they still are. There are conflicting reports about JGH that seem to suggest that this is down to the California Golden Bears and Notre Dame, but as to who actually leads... that’s a different story. This is a close one, but maybe the Irish pull off the flip in the end.

Russ Yeast: With a public commitment to the Louisville Cardinals after a decommitment to the Kentucky Wildcats, it could be anyone’s game. Russ’s father played for the Wildcats and might have a new job there, so that’s always fun to recruit against. When he committed to the Cardinals, he was in LOVE with Louisville and the guys on that team, which reports had indicated was a bit of an issue with Kentucky. Although Notre Dame is an offer he absolutely wanted back in the summer, it may have come too late. There were some negative vibes coming from Yeast after his visit to Notre Dame.

Kofi Wardlow: There was good news about Wardlow coming out of the visit. Notre Dame’s chances seemed to have improved with Wardlow, who is currently committed to the Maryland Terrapins. This could be another case of “too little too late,” but Kofi’s interest is definitely strong.

Tre Norwood: Going into last weekend, he was supposedly the best chance for Notre Dame to gain a commitment. That, of course, was all a bunch of crap and he was a silent commit to the Oklahoma Sooners. Kerry Cooks rides again, and I have nothing more to say.

Evan Fields: Uhhh... About as hard of a read as you will find. With Fields, I think I’ve heard it all and most of it says that Notre Dame won’t be his choice. Notre Dame might even lose this battle to the Kansas State Wildcats. It’s that weird.

Visiting This Week

Jeremiah Onwusu-Koramoah: JOK (because these hyphenated names are just killing me) has called Notre Dame his dream school. Once the Irish offered him, he decommitted from the Virginia Cavaliers, and has narrowed his choices down to the Irish and the Michigan State Spartans. This safety/linebacker prospect also wants to play basketball at his school of choice (both schools offer an excellent combo), but I’m not sure how much that will sway his decision. He is at Notre Dame right now, and perhaps by the time you read this, he will have some good news for Notre Dame fans.

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa: Tago (*sigh), is a big defensive end from Hawai’i. One of Brian Polian’s first jobs after his return to Notre Dame was to head out to the islands and see this rising prospect. The USC Trojans are still the favorite to land him, but they may not have any room left in their class for Tagovailoa-Amosa. Notre Dame has plenty of room, but I’m skeptical that the relationship is strong enough to draw him to South Bend.

Jalen Harris: I think this is more than a courtesy visit, but I highly doubt he signs with Notre Dame and sticks with his commitment to the Arizona Wildcats. Moving on....

Jafar Armstrong: The Missouri Tigers have a commitment from Armstrong, but nobody expects him to end up there. This has come down to a battle between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Notre Dame. Brian Kelly vs P.J. Fleck. Kelly was in-home with Armstrong on Wednesday, and the 4 star wide receiver is expected to visit Notre Dame this weekend. Two friends of Armstrong’s will already be attending Notre Dame in the fall of 2017; recent commit Colin Grunhard and another close friend that will play baseball for the Irish. Honestly, I think this is as good of a lock as we may have right now.

The last big name on the board

Oliver Martin is the last big name on Notre Dame’s board, and he’s the only one that hasn’t got an offer in just the last couple of months. This isn’t easy as the Irish are going up against the hometown Iowa Hawkeyes, the Michigan State Spartans, and the dangerous recruiting machine of Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Kelly has already done his in-home visit with Martin, and news coming out of that camp is fairly tight-lipped.

Best Guess?

I have no idea. Almost all of these guys are late offers, and the one that isn’t is so quiet that I don’t think the C.I.A. could figure him out. Notre Dame has six spots open, but I don’t really think they will fill all six. Maybe the max is four, but I just don’t know.

I can give you my six most likely recruits to commit to Notre Dame. Remember, these are predictions really, or a ranking of Notre Dame’s best chances.

  1. Jafar Armstrong - WR
  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - S/LB
  3. Jordan Genmark-Heath - S/LB
  4. Oliver Martin - WR
  5. Russ Yeast - CB
  6. Kofi Wardlow - DE

Best Case Scenario For This Class

Right now, Notre Dame sits at #12 in the 247 team rankings with 15 commits and 233.03 points. If the improbable happened and the Irish were to sign all six on that above list, they would have 21 commits and 254.41 points. That 254.41 point total would be good for #8 right now (if nothing else changed). But compared to last year, it would have landed them at #14. For comparison, their 233.03 point total would have put them around #23 last year.

This isn’t a great class, but a little help can make it a good class given all of the circumstances. Per usual, we will have to watch this unfold over the course of the next week before we can pass (too) much judgment.