Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Football Recruiting: 9 Commits, Top Targets to Watch at the Opening

Mike MonacoContributor IJune 11, 2014

Notre Dame Football Recruiting: 9 Commits, Top Targets to Watch at the Opening

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    Travis Waller
    Travis WallerCredit: 247Sports

    Summer recruiting is in full swing, and this marks an important week in Notre Dame football recruiting with four high-end Notre Dame targets scheduled to announce their decisions in the coming days.

    #NotreDame target decision schedule: July 1 - QB Travis Waller, July 2 - WR Miles Boykin, LB Justin Hilliard and DE Jashon Cornell.

    — Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) June 29, 2014

    Notre Dame’s recruiting activity will continue to pick up at The Opening, when 162 of the nation’s top prospects will work out for four days at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

    10 days to go... We ready to dominate the future! #TheOpening

    — The Opening (@TheOpening2014) June 27, 2014

    As it stands right now, the Irish will be represented by four current commitments at The Opening. Who else will Notre Dame fans be watching at the camp? In determining the following five targets, we considered the prospect’s national rankings and recent reported interest. Linebacker Justin Hilliard and defensive end Jashon Cornell don't crack the list since they'll have announced their college decisions by then. Travis Waller does earn a spot, however, because of the importance of the quarterback position and his connection to a high-school teammate.

Shaun Crawford, 4-Star CB

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    High School/Hometown: St. Edward High School, Lakewood, Ohio

    Height/Weight: 5’9.5”, 170 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Notre Dame

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: Crawford was the third invitee to The Opening, according to Student Sports. He excelled at the Massillon Nike Combine and notched the second-best overall rating there with a score of 113.55.

    Crawford is already considered a top-notch prospect, as he checks in as the No. 10 cornerback and the No. 103 overall player in the class of 2015. Depending on his measurements, Crawford could potentially improve his ranking.

    Notre Dame Connection: Crawford pledged to the Irish on June 15, and he followed fellow cornerback Nick Coleman, who gave Notre Dame a verbal commitment June 12. Crawford is the highest-rated of the four defensive backs committed to the class of 2015.

Tristen Hoge, 4-Star C

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    Tristen Hoge
    Tristen HogeCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Highland High School, Pocatello, Idaho

    Height/Weight: 6’5”, 287 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Notre Dame

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: Hoge earned his invitation to The Opening thanks in large part to solid performances at the Oregon NFTC in each of the past two seasons, according to Student Sports.

    The 4-star prospect is the No. 1 center in the nation and the No. 90 overall player in the country.

    The Opening will afford Hoge a tremendous opportunity to showcase his abilities across from some of the best defensive linemen in the country. It should also be interesting to see how Hoge fares if he logs playing time at various spots along the offensive line.

    Notre Dame Connection: Hoge became the third commitment in Notre Dame’s class of 2015 when he landed with the Irish on Dec. 7. After Barnett’s decommitment, Hoge—along with fellow offensive lineman Jerry Tillery—is one of the pillars of the class.  

C.J. Sanders, 3-Star WR

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    C.J. Sanders
    C.J. SandersCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, California

    Height/Weight: 5’9”, 177 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Notre Dame

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: In March, Sanders impressed at the Atlanta NFTC, posting a 4.53 40-yard dash time and a 37.2-inch vertical jump. Roughly two weeks later, 247Sports rated Sanders as a 90, good for 4-star status.

    Sanders is the No. 47 receiver in the nation, and the California native is one of 26 receivers scheduled to participate in The Opening. Sanders has a chance to build on his performance in Atlanta and creep up into the ranks of the elite pass-catchers in the class of 2015.

    Notre Dame Connection: Sanders became Notre Dame’s second wide receiver pledge in the class of 2015 when he gave his verbal commitment May 6.

Jerry Tillery, 4-Star OT

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    Jerry Tillery
    Jerry TilleryCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, Louisiana

    Height/Weight: 6’5.5”, 315 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Notre Dame

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: One of four Irish commitments slated for The Opening, Tillery could be in a position to help pitch the school to his fellow class of 2015 prospects.

    The monster offensive lineman previously tallied a 91.59 SPARQ rating, including a solid 40-yard dash time (5.05 seconds). Tillery earned his invitation to The Opening on May 6.

    Irish fans will likely also look to keep tabs on Tillery’s progress, considering the Louisiana product has been committed to Notre Dame since June 2013.

    Notre Dame Connection: Tillery was the first Irish commitment in the class of 2015, beating everyone else by at least five months.

Te'Von Coney, 4-Star LB

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    Te'Von Coney
    Te'Von ConeyCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens High School, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 225 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; considering Notre Dame, Florida, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee, among other schools; recently told Blue and Gold Illustrated’s Tom Loy that he has Notre Dame and Florida tied at the top.

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: The No. 11 inside linebacker in the country, Coney earned his invitation to The Opening on March 31.

    Coney’s recruitment this spring has materialized quickly. The Irish offered in early April and then hosted the Florida product for his visit to campus for the Irish Invasion last weekend. In between the offer and the visit, Coney fielded eight other offers, including those from Alabama, Georgia and Michigan State.

    Coney will have a chance to line up with the best linebackers in the country and possibly ascend in the national rankings.

    Notre Dame Connection: Coney appears to be one of Notre Dame’s top linebacker targets. His fate will be especially interesting depending on the decision of linebacker Justin Hilliard, who is scheduled to announce his commitment Wednesday. The Irish already have inside linebacker Josh Barajas in the fold for 2015.

Soso Jamabo, 4-Star RB

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    High School/Hometown: Plano West High School, Plano, Texas

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 210 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; considering Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oregon.

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: Jamabo earned his invitation to The Opening in early May at the Dallas Nike Combine. According to Student Sports, Jamabo fought through a strained Achilles to post a 109.26 rating.

    Jamabo certainly has supreme size for the running back position. But after running a 4.61 40-yard dash in Dallas, it will be interesting to see at what speed Jamabo is clocked in Oregon. The Texas native is already slotted as the No. 3 running back in the country, with only Damien Harris and Jacques Patrick ahead of him. Still, a strong 40-yard dash time could tighten the gap at the least.

    Notre Dame Connection: Jamabo visited Notre Dame earlier this month, and the Irish will certainly be looking to add a running back after not grabbing one in last year's recruiting cycle.

Iman Marshall, 5-Star CB

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    Iman Marshall
    Iman MarshallCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Long Beach, California

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 190 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; considering USC, LSU, Michigan, Stanford and Notre Dame, among others.

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: Marshall had a strong showing at The Opening last year and earned another invitation thanks in part to his outing at the Los Angeles NFTC, according to Student Sports.

    Marshall is currently ranked as the No. 8 overall player in the country and the second-best cornerback.

    Picking up steam with Marshall would be a major boost to Notre Dame’s recruiting outlook.

    5-star CB Iman Marshall (@iman_marshall8) feels “strong” on visiting #NotreDame. #RivalsChallenge story ($): http://t.co/8lUMNqVnLD

    — Jake Brown (@Jake_Brown) June 10, 2014

    Notre Dame Connection: Notre Dame has already added two cornerbacks in the class of 2015 after only landing Nick Watkins last year. There's likely room for Marshall no matter what, considering his 5-star status. The Irish got in early on Marshall, offering him a scholarship last May.

Adonis Thomas, 4-Star OLB

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    Adonis Thomas
    Adonis ThomasCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville, Georgia

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 215 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; recently told Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his top five schools are Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, LSU and Georgia, with the first three the “favorites” more so than LSU and Georgia.

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: Thomas landed his invitation to The Opening on May 6, and the outside linebacker visited Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp June 20. So in a span of a few weeks, Thomas will both touch down in South Bend and participate in The Opening.

    Thomas told Carvell that, following his summer visits, he will announce his college decision Aug. 1. If the Irish have made a favorable impression on Thomas heading into The Opening, that could bode well for Notre Dame’s efforts both with the Georgia native and the other targets in Oregon.

    Notre Dame Connection: Already among Thomas' three favorites, Notre Dame has been intently targeting the linebacker. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder paid him a visit in April, four months after the Irish offered a scholarship.

Travis Waller, 4-Star QB

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    Travis Waller
    Travis WallerCredit: 247Sports

    High School/Hometown: Servite High School, Anaheim, California

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 190 pounds

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; recently listed his top four schools (no order): Alabama, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For: In the immediate aftermath of Barnett's decommitment, Waller was arguably the hottest name in Notre Dame recruiting. According to Student Sports, Waller claimed an Elite 11 Finals invitation at the Oakland Elite 11 Regional.

    Waller is scheduled to announce his college decision Tuesday, four days before The Opening. Still, it will be worth keeping tabs on the dual-threat quarterback, especially considering his Servite High School teammate, wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, is a Fighting Irish target also scheduled to be at The Opening. St. Brown himself recently took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame.

    Notre Dame Connection: Lodged in Waller's top four, Notre Dame has turned up the heat in recruiting the quarterback since Barnett departed. Waller figures to be one of Notre Dame's top targets at the position, if not the single highest-priority target there. 

    Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com. Star ratings reflect 247Sports Composite Rankings. Players listed in alphabetical order by commitments and targets.

    Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

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