Recruiting never stops. Recruiting never slows down. In fact, recruiting is just speeding up as time goes by.
So just a day removed from National Signing Day for the 2013 class, plans are already being made for signing day for the Class of 2014. Four prospects have already made their plans to sign with the Irish a year from now as linebacker Greer Martini, receiver Justin Brent, offensive lineman Jimmy Byrne and defensive lineman Jay Hayes have all made verbal commitments to Notre Dame.
The Irish are already in great position with several other 2014 prospects. This is a look at some of those prospects. Remember, it’s still very early for most of these players. These aren’t predictions that these guys will end up committing to Notre Dame, but just a snapshot of some of the prospects the Irish have made strong early impressions on.
DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley): The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder grew up a Notre Dame fan and traveled to South Bend for last summer’s camp with the clear intention of securing an offer from the Irish. He accomplished that mission, but stayed true to his promise of taking this slow. Trumbetti also has offers from Michigan State, Purdue, Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers and Boston College and is receiving interest from schools like Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and USC. Still, the Irish remain as his clear leader. He’s hoping to make a few more trips in the coming months and already has one scheduled to South Bend for the Irish's Junior Day on March 23rd. He's excited to show his mother the campus, something he wants to do before he makes a decision. He could make a decision relatively soon, but Trumbetti still wants to make sure he isn’t rushing things.
OT Reilly Gibbons (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic): Few prospects in the Class of 2014 are craving an offer from the Irish as much as this 6-foot-6, 270-pounder. Gibbons (pictured) has never been shy when speaking of his affection for Notre Dame and has already made multiple trips to South Bend on his own dime. He’s also put together a very impressive offer sheet with close to 30 offers from schools like Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Miami, Clemson, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Virginia. An offer from the Irish would definitely change Gibbons’ recruitment and could possibly end it.
LB Greg Miclisse (Palm, Fla./Bayside): Another Florida prospect relishing an offer from Notre Dame. Unlike Gibbons, the 6-foot-1, 235-pounder has never been to South Bend, but he’s just as much a fan of the Irish and is already planning a trip this summer. Miclisse has seen his recruitment take a steady rise over the last few months as sincere interest from schools like South Carolina, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Cincinnati among others has turned into offers while interest from top programs like Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ohio State and others has picked up. Like Gibbons, an offer from Notre Dame would have a huge impact on Miclisse’s process and possibly bring it to an end.
WR Corey Holmes (Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas): South Bend was added to the summer itinerary at the request of his father and the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Holmes is extremely excited it was. Holmes was impressed enough to return to Notre Dame for the Irish’s game against Michigan in September, when he landed an offer from the Irish. He’s continued to add offers to list that includes Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Wisconsin among others, but the Irish remain right near the top. Tony Alford is in contact with Holmes virtually on a daily basis. Holmes doesn’t plan to decide until he takes all of his official visits, but says Notre Dame will definitely get one.
OL Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Good Counsel): The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder took his first visit to Notre Dame last month and was blown away. He was hoping to land an offer from the Irish and did. Mustipher also has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Clemson, Pittsburgh and West Virginia among several others. He was especially intrigued by Notre Dame’s tradition and is planning on returning this spring to show his mother and brother. Before the visit, he said he was planning to wait until he took all of his officials to decide, but afterward said he’d definitely take an official to Notre Dame if he hadn’t decided by then already.
OL Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake): The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder is one of the most sought-after linemen this cycle. He already has offers from schools like Notre Dame, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford and USC. He’s already visited Notre Dame twice and is looking into getting back again. We’ve been told that Notre Dame and Michigan are two schools near the top of Cole’s list at this point, so location probably won’t be a huge factor.
ATH Tommy Mister (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita): The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had Notre Dame as his top school early in the process and was even close to pulling the trigger last fall. He didn’t and he’s taking the process slower now as he looks to add offers to his current list of Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana and Ball State. The Irish offered Mister as an athlete and he actually moved from quarterback to running back during his junior season.
DE Enoch Smith (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel): The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder has eight offers from schools like Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Purdue, and Illinois. He’s had Notre Dame at the top of his list since landing the offer at the Irish’s camp last summer because of the blend of athletics and academics. Smith has paid attention to the development of Notre Dame’s young defensive linemen. He’s not in a rush, but hopes to make a decision before the start of his senior season.
WR Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain): The Irish have clearly made the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder a priority, having made more stops at Desert Mountain than any other program. Brian Kelly even made an appearance at the school last month. Andrews may have the size of a tight end, but he has the skills of a receiver and that’s what he wants to play college. That’s fine with Notre Dame. He already has offers from the Irish, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Virginia and Washington State among others. He’s planning to make a trip to South Bend this spring, but Andrews is in no rush to make a decision.
TE Nic Weishar (Midlothian, Ill./Marist): The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has more than 15 offers from programs like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio State, Arkansas and Northwestern. He’s not looking to rush into his decision and Notre Dame is one of the schools he’s seriously considering. He’s been to South Bend a handful of times already, but he does have some family ties to Northwestern.
TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian): The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder isn’t looking to let the recruiting process play out very long and has already narrowed things down. He’s down to six schools, Notre Dame, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Alabama and he’s planning to make a decision before the start of his senior season. Blazevich has a brother at Clemson and the draw to play in the SEC will also be strong, but Notre Dame will have a chance. He goes to the same high school as Matthias Farley and has been told great things about Notre Dame. Blazevich is going to be at Notre Dame’s Junior Day next month and will likely find that he’d fit in great with the current players in the program.
QB Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian): Notre Dame has had the attention of the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder since extending a scholarship last spring. It was Dawkins’ first offer and still the only one Notre Dame has given out this cycle. Dawkins also has an offer from Utah now and is hearing from programs like Alabama, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Cal and Washington among others. He took a trip to South Bend last fall and left saying the Irish couldn’t be higher on his list. He still feels the same way and has already penciled in Notre Dame as his only definite official visit.
LB Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra): Another Florida prospect Tony Alford has taken a huge interest in. Alford has expressed a desire to get Bates to campus for a spring visit that would allow for extended individual time and the junior linebacker is looking forward to making that happen. He already has offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Virginia among others. Bates is the son of former Tennessee and Dallas Cowboy standout Bill Bates. The Volunteers figure to be in the race for a while along with the Buckeyes.
DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagle’s Landing Christian): Notre Dame successfully snagged a defensive lineman from Eagle’s Landing Christian in 2013 in Isaac Rochell and now the Irish will try to parlay that into another score. Rochell’s commitment has already helped as Williams has joined his former teammate in South Bend twice. Williams is already over 30 offers that include the Irish, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Wisconsin just to name a few. Williams has already said Notre Dame is one of his top schools.
RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic): The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has been on Notre Dame’s radar since the Irish were recruiting his former teammate, Mark Harrell, in the 2012 cycle. Hood landed an offer from Notre Dame in December and the Irish were immediately in his top five along with Ohio State, North Carolina, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Having Harrell on campus will definitely increase the comfort factor for Hood, who is hoping to catch a practice this spring in South Bend.