The 2014 Notre Dame football recruiting class was finalized last week when twenty-three recruits signed with the Fighting Irish. Recruiting services ranked the Irish class anywhere from six to eleven so by any standard it was a very good class.
Now, the Notre Dame coaching staff will turn their full attention to the class of 2015 and are wasting no time getting those recruits on campus. A March 1st Junior Day is planned but one recruit wanted to get a head start on that and visited South Bend last weekend, but also plans to return for the Junior Day. Irish Sports Daily also spoke to another recruit whose name should be quite familiar to Irish fans. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Miles Boykin, WR/TE, 6-4, 230, Providence Catholic High School, New Lenox, IL visited the Notre Dame campus last weekend. It was Boykin’s second trip to South Bend and the talented Illinois recruit came away impressed with everything he saw and heard.
“It went awesome,” Boykin said of his visit. “I really liked it. I got a chance to see the basketball game. I talked with Coach (Bob) Elliott and talked with some of the players. The fans are awesome. I like basketball too so watching the game was real cool and everything.”
Elliott made it clear to Boykin that he was a priority for Notre Dame in this recruiting class. The Irish Safeties’ Coach took him on a tour of the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and spent a considerable amount of time talking with him. During their discussions, Elliott outlined exactly how the Notre Dame coaching staff envisioned him fitting in to their offense.
“We talked after (the basketball game) and he was like, ‘we want you to play that hybrid receiver/tight end,’ so I wouldn’t have just one position. I’d be split out sometimes; sometimes I’d be in the slot. He told me that if I’m up with playing that, Notre Dame thinks I’m the top player in Illinois, maybe the top player in the Midwest at that position. They said they’re very interested in me and hopefully an offer is coming soon.”
Boykin currently holds offers from schools like Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech. Like Notre Dame, Virginia Tech also sees him in a tight end/wide receiver hybrid role.
“It’s not the first time I heard it but I kind of like the idea,” said Boykin who also called the hybrid position “intriguing.” “They just said ‘Tyler Eifert played that position and look what he did. He was a two-time All-American.’”
Boykin spent time with some current Irish players. He singled out Corey Robinson and Max Redfield.
“They were just talking to me about Notre Dame and how they’re getting accustomed to it and everything like that,” he explained. “They were like normal guys. We got along and everything. That was awesome.”
Though Boykin has his third trip to South Bend planned for the March 1st Junior Day, he made it clear that he isn’t in any hurry to make a decision about his college destination.
“I’m very interested in Notre Dame,” he shared. “It’s just such a rich tradition. I don’t have any favorites, though. I plan on making my top ten list during the summer and hopefully by the time the season comes around, I’ll have a top five.”
While Boykin has visited Notre Dame a number of times, a recruit that ISD’s Brian Town spoke to last week, has practically lived at the university. Mirko Jurkovic, Jr. OT, 6-5, 260, IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL grew up in South Bend, IN and attended school at South Bend St. Joseph until this semester when he transferred to IMG. If the name sounds familiar, his father was Mirko Jurkovic who started at guard for Notre Dame during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. Sadly, the senior Jurkovic lost a 28-month battle with colon cancer about a year ago. However, his memory and his legacy lives on through his son.
“My dad passed away before all this recruiting stuff happened, but when I was younger he taught me all the fundamentals and it’s still stuck in my head,” he said. “Everything he’s taught me I still practice throughout the day, whether it’s in football or just life in general. He taught me how to be a good person and an even better man.”
To date Jurkovic has only received one scholarship offer, from Purdue, but he’s beginning to hear from a number of Big Ten schools. In addition to the Big Ten, Jurkovic has begun to get some interest from both Florida and Notre Dame.
“I just moved down here to Florida to attend IMG Academy and it’s kind of funny because as soon as I did that, Florida started to reach out to me and now I’m going to visit them on February 22nd,” he said.
Jurkovic led his South Bend St. Joseph football team to an 8-4 record last season and a nice run in the playoffs. However, he’s already noticed the differences between Indiana and Florida football.
“I would say the biggest difference between IMG and St. Joe is the prestige of the skill positions,” he explained. “It’s definitely a whole another level with all the talented kids they have down here. These guys are a lot faster, and to tell you the truth, it just seems like everything is a lot faster down here.”
Jurkovic is also eager to see where he stands with Notre Dame. Recently, Irish Defensive Line Coach Mike Elston reached out to the Notre Dame legacy, inviting him to the March 1st Junior Day.
“Notre Dame has always been in touch with me a little bit, but it seems as soon as Florida started reaching out, I started to hear from Notre Dame a little bit more,” he shared. “It’s still not anything real serious at this point, but I’m going to their Junior Day on March 1st and see what they have to say. Coach Elston messaged me and told me that Notre Dame wanted me there, so I’m planning on being there.”
The person that Jurkovic is most eager to renew his acquaintance with at the Junior Day is Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand.
“We have a good relationship, but I haven’t spoken to him since last June and it will be great to catch up,” he said. “Obviously I’m very interested in Notre Dame and I really like the tradition they have there. I really like the coaches they have and it’s just such a beautiful place to be.”
While Jurkovic made clear his interest in Notre Dame, he also made it clear that he plans to take time with his decision and allow the process to play out.
“If Notre Dame decides to offer, they’ll definitely be one of my top schools, but there’s still a lot of time left in the process so I’ll have plenty of time to make my decision.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.