When it comes to recruiting priorities Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly certainly “gets it.”
Nearly every successful college football coach understands that great teams are built from the offensive and defensive lines up. Since Kelly has taken over the reins in South Bend he has clearly made offensive and defensive line recruiting a priority and the results have been very impressive, especially on the offensive side of things. The Class of 2013 featured one of the best offensive line hauls in recent Irish history and the current offensive line commits in the Class of 2014 rank among the best in the nation. And just to add the spicing on the cake, Notre Dame has already gained a verbal commitment from one of the top offensive linemen in the class of 2015, Jerry Tillery.
Earlier this week, Irish Sports Daily spoke to yet another 2015 highly-rated offensive lineman who is high on Notre Dame. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
2015 recruit Tristen Hoge, OL, 6-5, 285, Highland High School, Pocatello, ID named Notre Dame his leader quite some time ago, but after a trip to Florida earlier this month, the Irish have some company on the list.
“I’d say those two are definitely clear and away the leaders right now,” Hoge said of the Irish and the Gators.
After wanting to make a college decision before his junior season started, he’s now aiming for a postseason decision.
“I have my top schools and I’m planning on going to a couple games this fall and spending more time at Notre Dame and Florida,” he said. “Right now, I’m just assessing pros and cons, but until I spend more time there, I’m not going to be making any decision.”
The 2015 offensive lineman will visit Notre Dame for the BYU game and then return to Gainesville for the Gators’ contest with Florida State in November.
“I want to see the game atmospheres, that’s always a true experience,” said Hoge. “I’ll also get the chance to spend more time there. Once you’re at a game, you can also spend a couple more days at each school and learn a little bit more that you didn’t get during the first few days.”
While college football coaches know that success requires strong play up front, they also know that in the era of wide open spread offenses, skill position players are also a must. And Notre Dame has also been quite successful at bringing in elite playmakers during the Brian Kelly era. The Irish coaching staff has been checking out yet another one in the Class of 2015. Jalen Christian, ATH, 5-10, 175, Damascus High School, Damascus, MD recently took an unofficial visit to South Bend and came away with nearly everything he wanted. The only thing he didn’t get from his Notre Dame visit was a scholarship offer but that didn’t seem to dampen his enthusiasm for the Irish.
“I know he absolutely loved it and so did his mom,” stated Damascus assistant coach Gregg Frazier. “They thought the campus was beautiful. They got a chance to speak with pretty much all of the coaches. They didn’t get a chance to speak with Coach Kelly. I’m not sure if he was there that day. They got a tour; they talked with an academic advisor, and got to do all the standard stuff. They really enjoyed it.”
While Christian didn’t get a scholarship offer, the coaches explained that the process was early. The talented Maryland athlete didn’t seem to have any issue with the Irish failure to offer him yet.
“He understands the process,” Frazier reported. “At this point he’s got plenty of choices, so he doesn’t let something like that bother him. He wouldn’t visit Notre Dame if he didn’t have an interest in it. Everything we talked about on the phone and through text messages was completely positive.”
Notre Dame has definitely gained Christian’s interest.
“He loved the visit and it’s definitely a school he wants to consider and is hoping for the offer,” Frazier related. “I think both of us kind of feel that the offer will be coming; it’s just when does he get it. I know mom and him both really liked it. He texted me that he really wanted to get the offer from Notre Dame.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.