The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program has a huge need at the cornerback position, but all of that may change and more if they can bring in 5-star defensive back Priest Willis.
Willis has to be head coach Brian Kelly's recruiting focus right now, and that's an understatement.
The good news is Willis is scheduled for a visit to watch Notre Dame take on Stanford in South Bend, according to Justin Hopkins of 247sports. The other good news is USC, one of his favorites, appears to be at a disadvantage in regards to his recruitment, also according to Hopkins:
The nation's No. 23 overall player has kept a tight lid on his recruitment, but is also figured to be looking hard at USC and UCLA. USC figured to be a slight favorite for quite some time but it appears the Trojans may have run out of room for a cornerback in this class.
According to Rivals.com, USC already has two cornerback commits, one of them being 5-star prospect Jalen Ramsey. Notre Dame, on the other hand, only has one corner commit, and that's in 3-star Devin Butler.
Corner is also an area of weakness on the Irish's current defense, so bringing in a 5-star talent like Willis would be vital. Being able to tell a prospect that he fits a huge need for your program and that he can make an impact right away is important, and that gives Notre Dame an edge over USC.
While the Irish have the depth-chart advantage, they also have a ton of momentum going for them right now. Notre Dame is currently 3-0 and coming off a huge 20-3 win at Michigan State that really featured how strong their defensive front seven is and can be in the future.
Remember, the Irish also have 5-star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith verbally committed, so with him in the fold for the next few years, it's realistic to see the front seven getting even better.
If Notre Dame can beat Michigan this weekend, they will establish themselves as more than able to play with the country's best teams. Meanwhile, USC suffered a huge loss to Stanford on the road last week, and now they're scrambling to regain their dominant form.
Advantage: Notre Dame.
Will ND get a commitment from Willis?
If this trend continues and Notre Dame establishes themselves as one of the best teams in the nation—wins over Standford and Oklahoma would really help—and then they beat USC in their annual game, I'd say Notre Dame will be the hands-down favorite for Willis over USC.
That's all in the future, though, but even in the here and now the Irish have an advantage over the USC Trojans in the recruitment of 5-star corner Priest Willis.