Notre Dame Football Recruiting 2014: Updates on Commits, Visits and Offers
Make sure to follow this exclusive tracker from now until national signing day for the latest news and happenings surrounding Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class.
All recruiting rankings via 247sports.com.
After experiencing some bad luck recruiting at Central East High School in Fresno, Calif. (remember Tee Shepard, L.J. Moore and Hatari Byrd?), the Irish coaching staff is intent upon reversing that trend with 4-star athlete Michiah Quick.
Quick's recruitment has taken an upward trend in the Irish's direction, as the 6'0", 170-pound athlete has scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame Oct. 18, per his profile at 247sports.com.
That weekend, the USC Trojans will be in town for the Irish's annual home night game, which the program has, unmistakably, declared as its most significant recruiting weekend of the season.
The official visit is the first of two Quick has scheduled, with the other being to Alabama Nov. 8.
Notre Dame has been in hot pursuit of one of the nation's premier defensive ends in Lorenzo Carter.
The Irish's odds of landing the 5-star prospect (per 247 Sports) increased tremendously this afternoon, as the Norcross, Ga. native has been announcing his top seven schools, one by one, via his Twitter account.
The 6'5", 232-pound defensive end announced Notre Dame having made his cut at approximately 12:19 p.m. ET:
Notre dame made the cut! #goldenarmy14— lorenzo carter (@LCarter_25) August 7, 2013
Also making Carter's top seven were Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Oregon at the time of this posting.
One more school is set to be announced momentarily.
The catalyst of Notre Dame's run to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, the school's first appearance in the title game in 24 years, was the stellar play of its defense, particularly the line.
Incumbent nose guard Louis Nix is entering his final academic year at Notre Dame, though he is eligible for a fifth season, as he redshirted as a freshman in 2010.
It's unlikely Nix returns for his fifth season, pushing the Irish coaching staff to find a replacement at the position, as well as depth, considering both of Nix's backups, Kona Schwenke and Tyler Stockton, will exhaust their respective eligibilities following the current season.
Thus, scholarship offers have been offered to three prominent defensive tackles in the 2014 class—Jay Hayes, Thomas Holley and Matt Elam.
Holley's crystal ball at 247 Sports has predicted a commitment to Notre Dame.
In other news surrounding these three prospects, Elam has announced his first official visit, which will be to Alabama Dec. 13.
The 6'6", 350-pound defensive tackle recently trimmed his list of schools to six, with Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisville, Ohio State and Notre Dame making the cut.
Notre Dame's coaching staff has an eye on the future, as it's already hard at work in assembling its 2015 class.
The first step for head coach Brian Kelly and Co. is to identify a pool of prospects who they'll extend scholarship offers to, and one such candidate is defensive end Russell Ude, a 3-star prospect, per 247 Sports, hailing from Atlanta.
While the Irish have yet to offer the 6'3", 245-pound defensive end, the coaching staff has been in contact with his recruiting coordinator at the Westminster School, per a report from Christian McCollum of Irish Sports Daily.
“I know that he’s spoken with them at length on multiple occasions about me. I think as things continue to pick up as far as more big-time schools offering me scholarships that Notre Dame could end up pulling the trigger pretty soon.”
Ude currently boasts offers from Vanderbilt, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, TCU and West Virginia.
With the season winding closer, prospects are hard at work deciding which schools they'll take their NCAA-allotted five official visits to.
Along with 4-star tight end Tyler Luatua, Notre Dame's second announced official visitor will be Long Beach, Calif. native and 5-star safety John Smith. The 6'1", 200-pound prospect is slated to visit the Irish during the weekend of Oct. 19, when Notre Dame will meet USC in the teams' annual rivalry game.
The weekend is also the marquee recruiting weekend for the Irish.
Smith will also be taking official visits to Ohio State (Sept. 27), Alabama (Nov. 8) and Michigan (Nov. 29).
Smith has caught the attention of such major programs due to his athletic diversity, being listed as a safety, receiver and athlete by 247 Sports.
With the Irish having accumulated a wealth of depth at safety, expect Notre Dame to recruit Smith as a receiver.
During the past decade, Notre Dame has earned a reputation as "Tight End U."
The Irish have produced four NFL tight ends since 2005: Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert.
Thus, the Irish coaching staff's recruiting pitch to tight end prospects is simple—play for us and a future in the NFL awaits.
That pitch will be crucial in securing the commitment of 4-star tight end Tyler Luatua, who recently scheduled three official visits, with Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama making the cut.
The La Mirada, Calif. native will visit the Buckeyes Sept. 27, the Irish Oct. 18 and the Tide Nov. 8.
Making things interesting in Luatua's recruitment is the fact that his older brother, Isaac, is a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman at Alabama. My colleague Andrew Kulha—Bleacher Report's resident recruiting expert—has more on the effect that relationship has on the younger Luatua's recruitment.
Notre Dame has landed its 12th commitment of the 2014 recruiting haul, according to Tom Loy of 247Sports.
Jonathan Bonner, a 3-star defensive end—per 247sports.com—out of Chesterfield, Mo., gave his pledge to the Irish late this afternoon.
His commitment arrived on the same day he was offered by the university, which he has called his "dream school."
The 6'4", 250-pound defensive end becomes Notre Dame's third commit along the defensive line, joining fellow defensive end Andrew Trumbetti and defensive tackle Jay Hayes.
Check back for further developments.
Notre Dame has landed a commitment from 4-Star quarterback DeShone Kizer.
I am privileged to say that I will be continuing my Fighting Irish tradition by playing football at the University of Notre Dame! #CCHStoND— DeShone Kizer (@Dkizer_14) June 11, 2013
The 6'4", 205-pound dual-threat quarterback selected the Irish over offers from LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisville, among others.
Updates to follow.
Notre Dame received another addition to what is shaping up to be a ferocious haul of offensive linemen in the 2014 class.
Alex Bars, a 4-star offensive lineman, per 247Sports, committed to the Irish today via his Twitter account:
I have officially committed to The University of Notre Dame! #playlikeachampiontoday— Alex Bars (@Alex_Bars70) May 17, 2013
The Nashville, Tenn. native becomes the 10th member of the Irish's 2014 class, which is better known by the Twitter hashtag #GoldenArmy14.
Bars is also the fourth offensive lineman to have joined the class, along with Jimmy Byrne, Sam Mustipher and Quenton Nelson.
With Notre Dame having only one linebacker commit thus far in the 2014 class—Greer Martini—the Irish are after a number of highly touted linebacker prospects, including Richard Yeargin.
Yeargin, a 6'3", 216-pound linebacker out of the University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has narrowed his list of schools to nine: Notre Dame, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Marshall, Tennessee and UCLA.
Working in Notre Dame's favor is having running backs coach Tony Alford—the Irish's highly regarded recruiter in the state of Florida—as Yeargin's lead recruiter.
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is working with Alford as Yeargin's secondary recruiter.
Note: Yeargin was offered by Washington State this afternoon.
After landing defensive end Isaac Rochell in the 2013 class, the Irish coaching staff has been hard at work pursuing Rochell's former teammate, 4-star defensive end Andrew Williams.
The McDonough, Ga. product out of Eagle's Landing Christian Academy sports offers from programs all across the country, and the Irish are relentlessly working to become a front-runner for Williams' services.
Part of that effort included Irish tight ends coach Scott Booker and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco stopping by Eagle's Landing Christian to check on Williams today:
Each and every recruiting cycle, Notre Dame is after quick, agile and speedy receivers to implement in head coach Brian Kelly's up-tempo offense.
The Irish are currently pursuing a player who fits that bill in New Orleans product Malachi Dupre.
The 6'2", 187-pound receiver displayed his breathtaking athleticism during the weekend at Louisiana's high school track and field state championships:
This weekend, Malachi Dupre won the Class 2A state title in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. John Curtis won the team title.— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) May 4, 2013
With only one linebacker commit in the 2014 class—Greer Martini—the Notre Dame coaching staff is hot on the trail of Hinesville, Ga., linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
Rated as the nation's best inside linebacker, per 247sports.com, McMillan has declared Ohio State as his top school, all but pushing Notre Dame out of the running for his services.
However, that hasn't deterred the Irish coaching staff, as it was out to see the Liberty County High star today:
With nine commitments already secured in the 2014 class, the Irish coaching staff has shifted the bulk of its attention to five particular players considered "top targets" by Blue and Gold Illustrated.
Those prospects are as follows (all star rankings courtesy of 247sports.com):
—Raekwon McMillan, inside linebacker, 5-star
—Malachi Dupre, wide receiver, 4-star
—Braden Smith, offensive guard, 4-star
—Tyler Luatua, tight end, 4-star
—Andrew Williams, defensive end, 4-star
—It should be noted that McMillan and Dupre have each shown a heavy interest in a school other than Notre Dame. McMillan is considered an Ohio State lean, while LSU leads for Dupre's services.
—While the Irish may be on the outside looking in with those two, they have a unique connection with Williams, who was a high school teammate of Isaac Rochell, a member of the Irish's 2013 recruiting class.
Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class—currently ranked seventh nationally by 247sports.com—stands at nine members following the commitments of running back Elijah Hood and offensive tackle Quenton Nelson last week.
The current breakdown of the class is as follows (all star rankings courtesy of 247sports.com):
—Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end, 4-star
—Jay Hayes, defensive tackle, 4-star
—Elijah Hood, running back, 4-star
—Sam Mustipher, offensive guard, 4-star
—Quenton Nelson, offensive tackle, 4-star
—Nic Weishar, tight end, 4-star
—Greer Martini, outside linebacker, 4-star
—Justin Brent, wide receiver, 3-star
—Jimmy Byrne, offensive guard, 3-star
The past week has been, perhaps, the most eventful of the Irish's 2014 recruiting cycle.
Hood, a 4-star prospect, per 247sports.com, announced his pledge Apr. 28, much to the surprise of his father, Vee. According to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune:
He got home and he's like, "I'm gonna pull the cord." I said "go ahead." We're ready. We'll get to talk to Brian Kelly and talk to him about things. There was a lot of pressure on him right now. He's just a kid, he wants to have a fun senior year. That's the whole thing.
Hood's commitment fills the void left behind by the decision of coveted running back Sony Michel to spurn Notre Dame in favor of Georgia. And should Hood remain committed, the Charlotte, N.C., native will likely be the Irish's lone running back commit of the 2014 crop.
One of the many linemen blocking for Hood in the years to come will be Nelson, a fellow 4-star prospect, per 247sports.com.
The 6'5", 295-pound offensive tackle announced his intention to attend Notre Dame during a phone call with Kelly three days after Hood's announcement. Nelson's mother, Maryellen, was ecstatic about her son's decision, per ESPN.com's Jared Shanker:
He's really thrilled. We're so happy that he committed to a great school like Notre Dame. He's wearing his Notre Dame hat and shirt right now.
With their commitments, Nelson and Hood became the eighth and ninth members of the Irish's 2014 recruiting class, which has collectively identified itself with the Twitter hashtag #GoldenArmy14.
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