Notre Dame Football: Reviewing the Week in Recruiting
Notre Dame football had a busy week in the recruiting world.
Three commitments joined the class, but the Irish missed out on three other marquee names.
Notre Dame’s Class of 2015 now sits at 17 commitments after landing 10 pledges over a 34-day stretch ending this week.
We’ll take a look back at the eventful week in Fighting Irish recruiting and analyze what each result means to the program.
Here we go.
Running back was a major position need for the Irish in the Class of 2015 after they failed to land a back in the previous recruiting cycle. Senior Cam McDaniel and sophomores Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston are the only three scholarship running backs on the roster.
Notre Dame added 3-star running back Josh Adams on Monday, providing the foundation of a potentially multifaceted running back class. Adams is listed at 6’2” and 208 pounds, and he is ranked as the No. 28 running back in the country.
According to 247Sports’ director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong (subscription required), the Irish may look to sign one or two more running backs “depending on how the recruiting numbers shake out.”
Some of Notre Dame’s top targets at the position are Jacques Patrick and Soso Jamabo, the No. 2 and No. 3 running backs in the nation, respectively.
The Irish landed their third cornerback in the Class of 2015 when 3-star prospect Ashton White pledged to Notre Dame on Tuesday.
Slotted as the No. 56 athlete nationwide, White joins cornerbacks Shaun Crawford and Nick Coleman in the secondary. Like running back, we chose cornerback as one of Notre Dame’s four biggest position needs after the Irish only snagged Nick Watkins last year.
Having already earned commitments from three prospects, the Irish are in good position. While Crawford—the No. 10 cornerback and No. 103 player overall—headlines the trio, White and Coleman round out the group.
Ever since former Irish quarterback pledge Blake Barnett decommitted from Notre Dame at the beginning of June, Travis Waller has been one of the marquee names on the Notre Dame recruiting scene.
But on Tuesday, Waller committed to Oregon. His pledge to the Ducks further muddies Notre Dame’s quarterback situation in the class of 2015.
Passing on a commitment in this cycle could be risky, as the Irish only have three scholarship quarterbacks—Everett Golson, Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer—on the roster for 2014. Without a 2015 quarterback, Notre Dame would be banking on Golson, Zaire and Kizer all returning in full health to the program in 2015.
Jashon Cornell and Justin Hilliard
Notre Dame missed out on two of its top overall targets when Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell announced verbal commitments to Ohio State on Wednesday morning.
The Irish were among the finalists for the services of the elite prospects. Hilliard, a 5-star outside linebacker and the No. 21 overall recruit in the country and Cornell, a 4-star weak-side defensive end and the No. 37 overall player nationwide, would have provided major high-end talent atop Notre Dame’s class.
While the Irish do check in at No. 7 in the team rankings, Notre Dame’s class is relatively devoid of the best prospects in the country. Of the 10 top classes, Notre Dame is tied for the second-fewest 4- and 5-star pledges (five). Center Tristen Hoge is the only commitment who ranks among the top 100 players.
But although Notre Dame failed to land two top prospects, the Irish should still be well set at both positions. With Josh Barajas (No. 166 overall) already in the mix and targets Asmar Bilal (No. 218) and Te’von Coney (No. 363) as potential additions, Notre Dame could recover well at linebacker.
The Irish have three defensive linemen commits, but the search likely continues for defensive ends.
With two receivers already in the class of 2015 fold, Notre Dame added a third pass-catcher when Miles Boykin joined the group Wednesday.
Boykin—the fifth-highest ranked commitment in Notre Dame’s class—is the No. 23 wide receiver and the No. 187 overall player in the country.
Not only is Boykin ranked well above the other wide receiver commitments—C.J. Sanders (No. 364 overall) and Jalen Guyton (No. 468)—but the New Lenox, Illinois, native brings a different style. Boykin checks in at 6’4” and 220 pounds but still possesses solid speed and athleticism.
Boykin—along with rising sophomore Corey Robinson—is listed as Notre Dame’s tallest wide receiver commitment since Irish head coach Brian Kelly took over. His unique physical tools should be a welcome addition to Notre Dame’s corps of offensive playmakers.
Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.
Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.