A trio of 2015 teammates from Dallas’ South Oak Cliff High School will be making the short trip over to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for Notre Dame’s game against Arizona State on Saturday night.
Notre Dame invited running back Jordan Stevenson, defensive lineman/linebacker Jalen Goss and defensive lineman/offensive lineman Kameron Stubblefield to the Shamrock Series contest and all three South Oak Cliff players will be attending.
Stevenson, a 5-foot-9, 185-pounder, already has a few offers, including one from Texas.
“Jordan is one of the top running backs in the 2015 class,” South Oak Cliff assistant R.J. Bond said. “On pretty much all of the sites, he’s a top-10 running back for his class.
“He’s explosive. He’s extremely fast, quick, explosive with great vision. He can cut on a dime and leave you a little change. He ran 4.37 on laser. He can catch out of the backfield and he’s a return specialist.
Bond doesn’t believe Stevenson (pictured) is necessarily ticketed for Austin despite the early offer.
“It’s too early in the process,” he said. “I would assume since Texas is the biggest offer he has that they’re high on the list, but it’s too far away to determine if there is any one particular leader. I would believe Texas should be up there, but it’s too early to tell.”
Bond said Goss and Stubblefield are both ranked among the top juniors in the state with the 6-foot, 265-pound Goss probably closest to landing an offer at this point.
“He’s extremely explosive,” Bond said of Goss. “He’s powerful. He’s very athletic.”
Goss was playing three-technique, but after pleading with his coaches for a shot at linebacker, he finally got his shot last week and made the most of it.
“He was begging to play there, so we moved him to linebacker and he had about 14 tackles,” Bond chuckled. “He’s an extremely smart kid, a natural leader, has a great understanding of the whole defense. The whole defense last week seemed to different.
“You can really see somebody completely take charge of the whole show. With him standing up now, I think that might make his recruitment pick up a bit. They’re very interested to see what he looks like standing up. I don’t know if they’re going to look at him as a Mike or an athletic three or what.”
Stubblefield can play center, guard or defensive tackle.
“He’s 6-foot, about 280,” said Bond. “He’s nasty. He’s just nasty. When you see him, he just looks mad. That’s just his demeanor. He’s business, all business. He can snap that ball and we can pull him at center and he can get to that second level, sometimes he gets to that third level. We put him at guard and run power or trap behind him and he’s destroying whoever he has to kick out.
“We put him at defensive line and we put him at the one or the three and he’s quick, strong and nasty enough to demand double-teams. When he gets down in the trenches, he’s going to fight. He’s a lunch pail-type dude. He’s bringing it every play.”
Bond expects his players to make the most of Saturday night’s opportunity.
“We talk to our kids about a lot of things to look at when they go to games,” he explained. “Obviously watch the game, but watch the game within the game.”
He also instructs his players to watch the coaches’ interactions with players and their demeanor on the sideline. He tells them to watch their position group and see if they would fit the profile at the position or if they could get their body into that profile. He also wants them to watch the demeanor of the players and team in general.
“Don’t just watch the scoreboard or the uniforms they have on,” he said. “Look at the stuff that you would have to be involved with day in and day out. Our kids are used to energetic coaching and a family-orientated team.”
Bond isn’t surprised his players took the Irish up on the invitations to attend the game.
“It’s Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s the tradition. They had a heck of a season last year. I’ve been a Notre Dame fan since I was a kid.”
Bond served as recruiting coordinator at perennial power Dallas Skyline prior to his stint at South Oak Cliff and has had plenty of recruiting contact with the Irish in the past.
“At that time, Notre Dame was kind of down,” he said. “The whole tradition of Notre Dame, a lot of these kids weren’t aware of it. When I came up, I was watching Tim Brown and Rocket Ismail play with Tony Rice at quarterback. These guys didn’t get to see those kids.
“Now Notre Dame is starting to get back where they have been traditionally as a program. They’re such a prestigious university. Any time a school like that shows interest, you’ve got take the opportunity to see what it’s about.”