With only a couple spots left to fill in the 2013 recruiting class, Notre Dame can turn much of its attention to the future and the Irish will have a great opportunity to build relationships with prospects in the 2014 and 2015 classes this weekend.
While several 2013 committed prospects along with 2014 pledge Justin Brent will be in attendance for Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, the bulk of the visitors will include underclassmen.
“I’m just excited to go out of the state for once and seeing some new stuff,” 2014 Illinois linebacker Robbie Odeneal Jr. said. “Last week I went to Illinois for my first visit. It was good.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Bishop McNamara High School is also receiving interest from Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State.
“They like my speed, my intensity out there on the field and my toughness,” said Odeneal, who has been clocked at 4.55 in the 40-yard dash.
Odeneal has been impressed with the Irish’s defense this season and is looking forward to seeing the unit in person this weekend. He’s also excited to get an impression of Notre Dame as a school.
“I’m going to be looking for a family-based school with nice people, a good program and stuff like that,” Odeneal said.
2015 QB COMING: Chris Riddle will get to see Notre Dame play for the second time in as many weeks as the Virginia signal-caller took an unofficial visit to Boston College last weekend. Riddle is excited to get the chance to see the Irish play a home game on Saturday.
“I’m so excited,” said Riddle, pointing to the tradition and history at Notre Dame. “I want to see how the football team is run and I want to talk to the coaches.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Tuscarora High School in Leesburg, Va., is also receiving interest from Georgia and Pittsburgh and was ranked as the second-best 2015 quarterback in the Southeast at the 5-Star Quarterback Competition.
“I think I’m definitely a pass-first quarterback, but I’ve been working on my scrambling ability,” said Riddle. “I think coaches are impressed with just how fast I throw the ball when I see receivers. I can make a quick decision and throw it.”
It’s still early, but Riddle is enjoying the start of the recruiting process.
“It’s really cool,” he said. “It’s just an honor because at Boston College, there were only juniors and seniors. To be invited up there as a sophomore is a big honor.”
Riddle wants to continue getting feels for different schools.
“I think the top things for me are going to be what offense they run because obviously that’ll be a big part of my decision,” he said. “Second will probably be how the school runs academically. The last one will be the tradition and how they run things in general.”
2014 OHIO TE EXCITED: Jordan Rigg will also be making the trip to South Bend tomorrow.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s a great atmosphere down there, so I’m looking forward to it,” the 2014 Ohio tight end said. “I’m very excited. I want to see the campus and see how nice it is. I want to see how the pregame is and all of the preparations they do and how nice the football facilities are and the fan base.”
He has family in the South Bend area.
“They’ve just told me how great their staff is and how intense their football team is and how much desire it takes to play there,” said Rigg.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder from Springboro High School hasn’t had much direct contact with the Irish staff, but he’s been getting a ton of mail and has been invited to each of Notre Dame’s home games this year.
He’s already been on visits to Ohio State, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Toledo.
“They were great,” he said of his other trips. “The coaches talked to me a lot. My favorite one had to be Ohio State because of how big it was and how intense everyone got. I liked UC too and Toledo. The Toledo coaches pulled me aside and talked to me, so that was pretty cool.”
Springboro saw its season end in the first round of the state playoffs earlier this month after a 10-0 regular season.
“I only got 11 passes this year, but I make the most out of them and try to get as many yards as I can,” said Rigg. “When I’m blocking, I try to help the running back get as many yards as he can. I try to be a leader on the field and get my team pumped up to go play.”
Playing time, education, atmosphere and coaching will be the biggest factors in Rigg’s decision.
LOCAL PROSPECTS MAKING THE TRIP: 2014 Concord Community High School linebacker prospect Phillip Carson will be making the drive from nearby Elkhart on Saturday and he’ll be bringing a couple of friends, including 2014 offensive lineman Eriq Jordan.
“I’m excited,” said Carson. “I just want to see the fans and see the defense play.
“I’m looking forward to talking to the coaches. I’m bringing two of my best friends, so it’s going to be good for them to see it too.”
Carson tore his ACL this season, but his rehab is going great and is looking forward to getting back to full strength soon.
“It’s all good now,” he said. “It’s pretty much back. I’ve just got to strengthen it back up.”
The 5-foot-10, 220-pound Carson plays defensive tackle in high school, but knows he’ll most likely be playing linebacker at the next level. Carson hopes his high school experience will benefit him in college.
“If I do play linebacker, I’m probably going to be an outside linebacker and they rush the ball a lot with pass rush moves and stuff like that,” he said. “I’m pretty good at that at defensive tackle right now, so I think that’ll translate good.”
Carson, who is also receiving interest from Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State and Indiana, is quite familiar with Notre Dame and Notre Dame Stadium.
“My aunt actually graduated from there and she usually gives me two tickets each season,” he said. “Obviously, with the national titles there’s a great tradition. They’re sending players to the NFL and they graduate a lot of their players too.”