Notre Dame Recruiting: Aaron Lynch & the Top 8 Targets for National Signing Day
Savon Huggins (photo courtesy of yorkblog.com)
With National Letter of Intent Day on the horizon, it's time to take a look at the recruits that remain on the radar, uncommitted, or who could be swayed to South Bend for one reason or another.
Anything can happen before the fax machines at various institutions of higher learning start spitting out the names that will have an immediate and long-term effect on so many people.
Savon Huggins, Running Back
Savon Huggins (photo courtesy of yorkblog.com)
At 6'0", 190 pounds, this 4-star running back out of St. Peters Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a punisher. Huggins has rushed for close to 3,500 yards over the past two seasons and has accounted for 77 touchdowns on the ground. Huggins was the Gatorade Player of the Year for New Jersey in 2010.
With 4.4 speed and a bench press of 310 pounds, Huggins is a bruiser, but his most important numbers come in the classroom: Huggins boasts a 3.8 GPA and scored a 1400 on his SATs.
Notre Dame will contend with Auburn, which Huggins visited in December, and Rutgers, which he will visit on January 22nd. Huggins made a visit to Notre Dame in October, and was scheduled to take in the Notre Dame vs. Army at Yankee Stadium, but was reportedly absent due to another engagement.
While Rutgers has the upper hand, due to being in-state and the fact that Huggins' friend Miles Shuler has committed there, don't count the Irish out.
Cameron Clear, Offensive Line
Cameron Clear (photo courtesy of ESPN)
Cameron Clear, is a 6'6", 255-pound offensive tackle out of Memphis, Tennessee. The 4-star recruit would be a big addition to a Notre Dame interior that needs a boost.
Clear is also a superior tight end, and would like to assume that role at the next level. Some of the major players that are after Clear are Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn. While his only visit has been to Duke, Clear has been told by Tennessee that he would be recruited as a tight end.
The depth of the Notre Dame tight ends makes Clear a long shot for the Irish, but if he was committed to putting on some weight he would be a welcome addition to the offensive line.
Clear is being recruited by running backs coach Tim Hinton.
Troy Niklas, Defensive Line
Troy Nicklas (photo courtesy of LA Times)
Troy Niklas, the Los Angeles Times Lineman of the Year, is an imposing figure: At 6'7" and 265 pounds, his presence could make an immediate impact in South Bend.
Niklas is from Anaheim, California, which thickens the recruiting plot somewhat. Along with Notre Dame, the other schools that Nicklas plans to visit are Stanford on January 14th, and USC on January 21st.
With a scheduled visit to Notre Dame on January 28th, the Irish will be the last team to sit down with Niklas before National Signing Day.
Niklas is being recruited by tight ends coach Mike Denbock, who has recruited the Atkinson brothers who also hail from California.
Aaron Lynch, Defensive Line
Aaron Lynch (photo courtesy of escout)
Aaron Lynch is 6'6", 250 pounds of nasty. The 4-star defensive end out of Cape Coral, Florida with 4.6 speed has had a much-chronicled recruiting process. He committed to Notre Dame in the summer, decommitted in the fall, commited to Florida State, and decommitted on Saturday night after the Army All-American game.
Lynch will visit South Bend this weekend. As an early enrollee this would give him time to make a decision and be ready for classes next Monday, January 18th.
Having a dominant game in the Army All-American game, Lynch looked ready for the next level.
Miami is also in the running and they also start their semester on January 18th.
Lynch is being recruited by Notre Dame super recruiter Tony Alford, who, to his credit, kept in constant contact with Lynch after his decommitment.
Shane Ray, Linebacker
Shane Ray (photo courtesy of notredamescout)
Although Shane Ray, 6' 4", 221-pound defensive end out of Shawnee Mission, Kansas has committed to Missouri, he still scheduled a visit to South Bend in December.
A 3-star recruit with 4.8 speed, Ray would be more of a project than an immediate impact player. Ray registered 203 tackles over the past two seasons (131 as a junior.)
Ray was recruited by offensive line coach Ed Warriner, who also recruited Conor Hanratty and Matthew Hegarty.
Brennan Scarlett, Linebacker
Brennan Scarlett (photo courtesy of Rivals)
Brennan Scarlett is the number two-rated defensive end in the state of Oregon; at 6'5" and 255 pounds he is extremely athletic.
Scarlett made visits to Notre Dame, Cal and USC back in November—these were his only trips although he is being recruited by Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford and Washington.
Scarlett, an Army All-American who lost some time this season with a collarbone injury, will make his announcement next week.
Ishaq Williams, Linebacker
Ishaq Willams (photo courtesy of NY Post)
Ishaq Williams is the crown jewel of the linebacker corps of this recruiting cycle. At 6'6" and 230 pounds with 4.6 speed, Williams creates havoc.
As a junior, Williams registered 11 sacks and was named All-City (New York Post) and first team All-City (New York Daily News).
Penn State and Syracuse are the other contenders for Williams' services, and Miami has been mentioned as a late contender. One of Al Golden's first moves after taking the helm at Miami was to make an in-house visit to Williams.
Syracuse may have a slight advantage due to the fact that both of Williams' parents went to school there. On the other side of the coin, Williams' father was spotted wearing a Notre Dame hat this weekend, for what its worth.
Williams was set to make an announcement this past Saturday at the Army All-American game, but he postponed it until later this week.
This one could go either way, but wherever Ishaq Williams ends up, he will make an immediate impact.
Williams is an early enrollee, and is being recruited by Bob Diaco.
Amir Carlisle, Athlete
Amir Carlisle (photo courtesy of SFGate)
Running back Amir Carlisle out of Sunnyvale, California, is 5'10" and 181 pounds; he has 4.4 speed and is listed as the number 10 running back in this cycle.
Carlisle committed to Stanford in June of 2009, but has since visited USC in September 2010 and most recently Notre Dame on December 12th, 2010.
With the changes in the Stanford coaching staff, it will be interesting to see if Carlisle hangs on with the Cardinal.
Carlisle is being recruited by Tony Alford and Mike Denbrock for the Irish. With Alford's record of keeping in contact with recruits all the way through the process, a late change of plans for Amir Carlisle would not be totally unexpected.