With the early signing period now behind us and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, we can start looking to the future. No - not the 2019 class, but the next month and a half until National Signing Day on February 7th. Notre Dame isn’t done with this class, and would still like to add more recruits into the fold. How many more is up for debate, but an extra 2-4 commitments is likely.
NOT COMING TO SOUTH BEND
If you didn’t know by now, 5 Star Wide Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is not going to come to Notre Dame. That commitment is waiting for the USC Trojans to pick up at the Army All-American game. St. Brown’s high school quarterback is getting reclassified as a senior and he’s heading to Troy - so there’s that.
Another California kid that’s not joining this class is 4 Star Safety Julius Irvin. Irvin was all set to commit and sign with Notre Dame on Wednesday, but a family emergency caused him to delay his decision until later. I honestly don’t know what it is that he and his family are going through, but I’ve seen this play out before, and it doesn’t bode well for an Irish commitment.
3 Star Defensive End Malik Langham flirted with the Irish a bit, but will stay somewhere in the South.
3 Star Offensive Tackle Luke Jones sticks it out with the Arkansas Razorbacks (this is more of a gut feeling than anything else).
4 Star Linebacker Solomon Tuliapupu stays on the west coast - and yes... it’s with the Trojans.
CALLING IT FOR THE IRISH
Notre Dame is still recruiting quite a few players really hard right now. Here are three that I think will sign with the Irish on National Signing Day.
- 4 Star Cornerback Noah Boykin. Boykin is still committed to the Maryland Terrapins, but he could flip sometime soon - and I think that’s what will eventually happen. It would be a GREAT late cycle get for the Irish to further strengthen their defensive back haul.
- 4 Star Offensive Lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere has played his recruitment very, very quietly. One thing we know for certain is that Notre Dame checks off every box that he is looking for in a school athletically and academically. In the end, Notre Dame wins this commitment with a little more patience and work.
- 3 Star Defensive Tackle Otito Ogbonnia. Notre Dame recently offered the Texas prospect, and although I have him slated as a commitment - I have nothing to go on. However, this hunch is based off of what this staff did last year in a similar time span. They found a handful of prospects at the end and hit homeruns.
STILL PLAYING A DANGEROUS NUMBERS GAME
Notre Dame is sitting at 4 scholarships over the 85 man limit. Brian Kelly talked about being more aggressive this cycle, and it looks like that will stay the case. Still, if the Irish take 3 more players, that puts them 7 over the mark. That’s an awful lot of extra attrition on top of what we expect.
I think it’s safe to say that Kevin Stepherson has seen his last days in an Irish uniform. So there’s one... what about the other six? I offered a list of possibilities a few weeks ago, and I offer another one up now:
- Jerry Tillery (NFL)
- Te’Von Coney (NFL)
- Tyler Newsome (NFL)
- CJ Sanders (Transfer)
- Chris Finke (Walk-On)
- Equanimeous St. Brown ( NFL)
- Nicco Fertitta (Transfer)
Of course I could list another 10 possibilities for transfers, but I’ll keep it at this for now. At any rate, there are going to have to be some very grown-up conversations soon.
2018 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart
|Quarterback||Phil Jurkovec||Avery Davis*||Ian Book*||Brandon Wimbush*|
|Running Back||Jahmir Smith, C'Bo Flemister||Jafar Armstrong*||Tony Jones Jr.*||Dexter Williams|
|Tight End||George Takacs, Tommy Tremble||Cole Kmet, Brock Wright||Alize' Mack*||Nic Weishar|
|Wide Receiver||Micah Jones, Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys III||Michael Young||Chase Claypool, Javon McKinley*||Chris Finke*, Miles Boykin*|
|Center||Luke Jones||Sam Mustipher|
|Guard||John Dirksen||Dillan Gibbons*||Tommy Kraemer*||Trevor Ruhland*||Alex Bars|
|Tackle||Cole Mabry, Jarrett Patterson||Josh Lugg*, Robert Hainsey, Aaron Banks*||Liam Eichenberg*|
|Defensive Tackle||Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin||Kurt Hinish, Darnell Ewell*, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa||Micah Dew-Treadway*, Jerry Tillery||Jonathan Bonner|
|Defensive End||Justin Ademilola||Kofi Wardlow*||Ade Ogundeji*, Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara|
|Linebacker||Matt Bauer, Ovio Oghoufo, Jack Lamb||Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath||Jonathan Jones*, Jamir Jones, DJ Morgan||Te'von Coney||Drue Tranquill|
|Rover||Shayne Simon||Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah*, Isaiah Robertson||Asmar Bilal|
|Safety||Derrik Allen, Paul Moala, Houston Griffith||Devin Studstill, Jalen Elliott, Alohi Gilman*||Nicco Fertitta, Nick Coleman|
|Cornerback||Joe Wilkins Jr., Tariq Bracy, D.J. Brown, Noah Boykin||Julian Love, Troy Pride Jr., Donte Vaughn||Shaun Crawford**|
|Specialists||John Doerer||John Shannon*||Justin Yoon||Tyler Newsome|
|27/85 (27)||45/85 (18)||65/85 (20)||79/85 (14)||85/85 (6)|
STILL PLENTY OF TIME
Let this serve as a disclaimer of sorts. With a month and a half left until signing day, some or most of this article could be completely wrong. As it was said before, this staff works incredibly well in this span of time between Christmas and signing day. We could be in for a lot of noise, but regardless of that, this class is just a couple players away from being one of the best of the Kelly era - and certainly the most complete.