With 21 verbal commitments already, Notre Dame is close to wrapping up its recruiting efforts for the Class of 2013 and the Irish are already turning much of their attention to future classes, 2014 in particular.
Notre Dame has extended several offers to current junior prospects and the Irish even have a pair of pledges on board already. Here is an overview of what Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting board looks like at this early stage at offensive skill positions.
Ideally, Notre Dame would like to take one quarterback each cycle. The Irish have been able to do so in each of the last three classes with Everett Golson, Gunner Kiel and Malik Zaire. The target number for 2014 will be one as well.
Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian): Notre Dame has only offered one quarterback prospect in the Class of 2014 to date and he comes from a familiar school as the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Dawkins plays for the same Oaks Christian squad that Jimmy Clausen used to lead. Notre Dame was the first school to extend an offer in May. Utah has since followed suit with schools like USC, UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee and Alabama among others.
Dawkins (pictured) has a very high opinion of Notre Dame at this point and will get his first look at South Bend in two weeks when he visits for the Stanford game. The combination of an early offer and ties to Oaks Christian, where Clausen’s brother Casey serves as Dawkins’ offensive coordinator, have Notre Dame in a solid position early.
Click here to watch Dawkins’ highlights.
OTHER QBs TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day), D.J. Gillins (Jacksonville, Fla./Eagles View), Chase Litton (Tampa, Fla./Wharton), John Wolford (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny), Shelby Spence (Chicago, Ill./De La Salle)
The Irish always want to add at least one dynamic player at the position and would take two if they complement each other well. Whether Notre Dame takes two players at running back in 2014 could depend on whether the Irish land a second back to go with Jamel James in 2013.
Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage): Michel was the Irish’s first public offer in the Class of 2014 and has been one of the nation's top 2014 prospects since his freshman year. The torn ACL that kept him sidelined for virtually all of 2011 isn’t likely to hold many schools back. Notre Dame was able to get Michel on campus this summer when he accompanied his American Heritage teammate Michael Deeb for a trip that resulted in Deeb’s commitment to the Irish just days later.
Michel and Deeb are trying to get to Notre Dame’s game against Miami in Chicago next week. Deeb’s commitment will allow the Irish the opportunity to establish some traction with Michel, but it could be tough to pull the 2014 back out of the South.
Click here to watch Michel’s freshman highlights.
Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine): Notre Dame has shown it isn’t afraid to go down to Louisiana to fight for players and proved it again by offering the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder who rushed for over 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns as a sophomore. Fournette says he has more scholarship offers than he can count, but isn’t paying much attention to the recruiting process at this point, so it’s hard to get a clear idea of Notre Dame’s chances.
Click here to watch Fournette’s highlights.
OTHER RBs TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Jeff Jones (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn), Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic), C.J. Hilliard (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep)
The target number at receiver usually lies at either three or four. The Irish have four receiver pledges already in 2013, but continue to recruit some of their top targets. If Notre Dame ends up landing a fifth wideout in the current class, say Laquon Treadwell, the Irish may end up on the lower side in 2014.
Justin Brent (Indianapolis, Ind./Speedway): The 6-foot-3, 193-pounder has torn it up so far as a junior after offering his pledge to Notre Dame this summer. Despite the Irish offer being his first and the fact that Brent jumped on it only days later, his commitment is a solid one.
Click here to watch Brent’s highlights.
Corey Holmes (Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas): The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder already had big-time offers from schools like Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin, but Holmes called an offer from the Irish during an unofficial visit last week “special.” Holmes is serious about academics and considering last week’s visit was his second to South Bend in a matter of months, it's clear he's serious about Notre Dame as well.
Click here to watch Holmes' highlights.
Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield): A broken collarbone forced the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder to miss most of his sophomore season and prevented him from getting important film to college evaluators. But Snodgrass hit the camp circuit this summer and landed offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan State. He currently has those three schools on top and plans to make it to an Irish game this fall.
Click here to watch Snodgrass' highlights.
Terry Googer (Atlanta, Ga./Woodward): The 6-foot-3, 208-pounder has the athleticism to play numerous positions, but the Irish see him at receiver and liked him enough to extend an offer after he worked out at their camp. Googer was extremely impressed with Notre Dame and the Irish shot to the top of his list along with South Carolina, but a visit to Georgia Tech put the Yellow Jackets in a strong position as well. Notre Dame will get the chance to make a second impression later this month when Googer returns for the Stanford contest.
Click here to watch Googer’s highlights.
Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr): Another top New Orleans prospect that Notre Dame has offered. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder also has offers from the South’s top programs like LSU, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Texas and Miami along with Ohio State and Oregon among others. Noil hasn’t paid too much attention to the recruiting process, but he figures to be a tough pull at this point.
Cameron Denson (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe): Denson earned his Notre Dame offer earlier this year when he participated in a 7-on-7 competition in South Bend. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound receiver was extremely happy and says the Irish will definitely be considered. He is planning on visiting Notre Dame, but at this time he's not sure when. Denson currently has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah and Washington.
Click here to watch Denson's highlights.
K.D. Cannon (Mt. Pleasant, Tex./Mt. Pleasant): Cannon tore up the camp circuit all summer and earned a number of scholarship offers from some of the top football programs in the nation. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound prospect has blazing 4.40 speed and some of the surest hands in the nation. Cannon received his Irish offer earlier this year and admits he doesn't know much about them. He's open to making a visit up to South Bend, but he's not exactly sure when. The talented receiver currently has offers from Baylor, Louisiana Lafayette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
Click here to watch Cannon's highlights.
Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs,Fla./East Lake): Scott received an offer from Notre Dame back in July while he was out visiting other schools in the Midwest. After receiving the offer, the talented receiver decided he needed to add Notre Dame to his itinerary and stopped in South Bend after seeing Ohio State and Michigan. Scott enjoyed his visit and left extremely impressed.
The East Lake star is the type receiver who attacks the ball and can get plenty of yards after the catch. He currently holds offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Alabama, South Carolina, South Florida, Central Florida, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
Click here to watch Scott's 7-on-7 highlights.
Jalen Hurd (Nashville, Tenn./ Beech): Hurd is physically impressive, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at over 200 pounds. He is already considered one of the top athletes in the 2014 class and received his offer from Notre Dame earlier this month. In 2011, the talented prospect was a jack-of-all-trades, racking up 1,606 yards rushing, 437 yards receiving, 387 kick-return yards and 27 touchdowns. Hurd has yet to visit Notre Dame and isn’t sure when he might. The Beech standout currently holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.
Click here to watch Hurd's highlights.
OTHER WRs TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Dominique Booth (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan), Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons), Bobby Baze (Dallas, Texas/Prime Prep)
Like quarterback only with more flexibility, the Irish would like to bring in one tight end per cycle. They could take more in some years and none in others, but after being hurt by lack of depth at the position this season, Notre Dame won't be passing in 2014.
Nic Weishar (Midlothian, Ill./Marist): The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has made numerous trips down to South Bend this year, the latest being for last week’s win over Michigan. It looked like the Irish had some ground to make up early in the process, but they’ve seemed to done that and every time he comes back, he seems to like Notre Dame more. Weishar has hit double-digits in offers from the likes of Michigan, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Northwestern and Purdue among others, but the Irish were in early.
Click here to watch Weishar’s highlights.
Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada): The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder figures to be one of the most heavily-recruited tight ends on the West Coast and already has offers from schools like USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, Florida State and Alabama among others. Still, the Notre Dame offer made a big impression on him and he has a great appreciation for the Irish, according to his coach.
Click here to watch Luatua’s highlights.
Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian): Notre Dame has targeted another of the nation's top 2014 tight ends by offering Blazevich earlier this month. The talented prospect is definitely in the mold of former Notre Dame tight ends such as Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Anthony Fasano and this year's All-American Tyler Eifert. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound recruit is definitely a vertical threat and has very good hands.
Currently Blazevich has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami (FL), Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Click here to watch Blazevich’s highlights.
OTHER TEs TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Ethan Wolf (Minster, Ohio/Minster), Brandon Fritts (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor)