7 Elite 2014 College Football Recruits Who Could Spurn Notre Dame

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IOctober 28, 2013

7 Elite 2014 College Football Recruits Who Could Spurn Notre Dame

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    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have constructed another wonderful recruiting class during this 2014 cycle. They have 16 commitments, and their class is No. 10 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.

    Recruiting at Notre Dame has its advantages and disadvantages, but head coach Brian Kelly has done an excellent job. The Irish are not finished assembling their class, as several elite uncommitted targets remain on their radar.

    However, not all will sign up to wear a golden helmet. A tight end could opt for an SEC school, while an athlete has many alternatives. Also, a linebacker flirting with the Irish may leave them at the altar. 

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Matt Elam, DT

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    At 6'6" and 350 pounds, Matt Elam has rare size and strength at the defensive tackle position. He naturally gobbles up space before the snap, then bullies blockers in the trenches.

    Elam, who is from Kentucky, would be a great fit in Notre Dame's defense as a replacement for incumbent nose tackle Louis Nix III. The 4-star prospect can easily make a mess versus running plays due to his bulk and power.

    The Irish are in the mix, but it appears Kentucky and Alabama are ahead, according to 247Sports

Nyles Morgan, LB

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    247Sports

    Hailing from Illinois, 4-star linebacker Nyles Morgan would not be far from home should he sign up to play in South Bend. His physical style of play would fit well in Notre Dame's defense.

    Morgan, who is 6'2.5" and 230 pounds, is a terrific inside linebacker prospect. He anticipates plays before the snap with instincts, then shoots gaps quickly after reading his keys. Morgan challenges blockers with strength and toughness at the point of attack, plus he is capable of helping out in coverage.

    Notre Dame has entered the race for Morgan, but he is more likely to sign with Ole Miss or Vanderbilt, says 247Sports.

Michiah Quick, ATH

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    A fantastic offensive weapon, Michiah Quick has electric ability with the ball. The California native can help at receiver, running back, returner and even at defensive back.

    Quick, who is 6'0" and 170 pounds, has great speed and quickness. He displays natural instincts with the ball in his hands, which allows him to make a ton of plays. The 4-star recruit has sudden athleticism, and he routinely shows it off when explodes upfield after a catch. He would be an awesome addition to Notre Dame's offensive attack.

    Yet, schools such as Oklahoma, USC and UCLA will do all they can to keep him from heading to South Bend, per 247Sports

Damien Mama, OL

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    247Sports

    Damien Mama is a talented offensive lineman from California who is on Notre Dame's radar. The big man has impressive size at 6'4" and 370 pounds.

    Mama has played offensive tackle for most of his career, but will likely kick inside to guard in college. He is light on his feet in space, evidenced by his ability to dance with rushers to protect quarterbacks. However, his strength and power are by far his best assets.

    Mama plays big at the point of attack, where he brings his hips and feet through his opponent. Most of his blocks finish with him burying his target in the dirt. The Irish have a shot, but Mama is expected to sign with USC, says 247Sports

Thomas Holley, DT

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    A former basketball player, 4-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley has made a successful conversion to the gridiron. He plays in Brooklyn, where he terrorizes New York offensive linemen.

    Holley, who is 6'4" and 285 pounds, has a great surge at the snap. He quickly engages with blockers to play like a giant at the point of attack. Holley has the strength and power to bully his way past the line of scrimmage, but he also displays the athleticism and quickness to wiggle around blocks.

    He could opt for Notre Dame, but signing with Ohio State appears more likely, according to 247Sports

Tyler Luatua, TE

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    Notre Dame has had a great recent run of good tight ends, and 4-star prospect Tyler Luatua could be next. However, mighty Alabama is also after him, reports 247Sports

    Luatua, who is from California, is 6'4" and 230 pounds. He has good speed to shoot upfield, plus he shows good quickness at junctions to separate from defenders. Luatua also has good hands and ball skills, evidenced by his ability to easily catch in crowds.

    He is a willing blocker who has the strength and toughness to work on defensive ends, linebackers and safeties. 

John Smith, ATH

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    John Smith is a 5-star athlete who could be a dynamic receiver or safety in college. At 6'1" and 200 pounds, the Golden State prospect is an explosive athlete with excellent agility.

    Smith has sudden athleticism, which is displayed when he accelerates to get his hands on the ball. He plays with great vision and instincts, plus he flashes good strength. Smith also has the potential to be a great returner on special teams. 

    The Irish have a great shot, but schools such as Alabama, USC, Ohio State, UCLA, Michigan and Oregon are also heavy in the mix, per 247Sports

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Many of the recruits Notre Dame has its sights set on can be located by using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This is an interactive tool that allows recruiting fans to track their favorite prospects!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.