Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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www.BLUEANDGOLD.com APRIL 2017 47 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ROUNDUP • Notre Dame held its first big re- cruiting event of 2017 on Feb. 11, wel- coming 11 players — including all six commits at the time — for Junior Day. The weekend was a success with four of the five uncommitted players in town — Detroit Cass Tech four-star corner- back Kalon Gervin, Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township four-star wide receiver Micah Jones, Portland (Ore.) Tigard four-star athlete Braden Lenzy and Brentwood (Tenn.) three-star offensive tackle Cole Mabry — all pledging to the Irish within the next two weeks. Toledo (Ohio) St. John's linebacker Dallas Gant is the only player from the weekend not to commit, but the Irish are considered one of his top choices and could make it a perfect five for five when he makes a decision. Notre Dame will host a few more big events throughout the year including another Junior Day this spring and the Irish Invasion in the summer. The staff hit a grand slam the first go-around. • March and April will be big visit months for the Irish when it comes to the 2018 class, with spring practice underway and the annual Blue- Gold Game set for April 22. March has already seen one of the nation's top tight ends make his way to South Bend. Lindenhurst (N.Y.) Senior standout Jeremy Ruckert, who is ranked as the No. 5 tight end and No. 134 overall player na- tionally, took a visit to Notre Dame March 9 and noted via Twitter he had an "unforgettable" time in South Bend. Notre Dame entered the visit on the outside looking in — Ruckert's top group consisted of Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan and Wisconsin. When he made his top list public in late December, Ruckert mentioned his Irish visit could change his list. He will be a player to watch moving forward. • The visitors for the weekend of March 24 cur- rently include Traverse City (Mich.) West three- star offensive tackle Ryan Hayes, one of the top targets for offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, and Ridgely (Md.) North Caroline three-star de- fensive tackle Ja'mion Franklin, who could be in line for an offer when he arrives in South Bend. Other top targets visiting Notre Dame in the coming weeks include San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra Catholic three-star defensive end Abdul-Malik McClain (March 24) and Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward four-star pass catcher Kevin Austin (April 22), who is ranked as the No. 24 wide receiver and No. 129 overall player in the 2018 class. Both Mc- Clain and Austin hold the Irish in high regard. • New offers also continue to roll out for the 2019 class as well, with 10 going out during February and March to bring the current total to 18. The staff is trying to get an early start on the 2019 class and identify the top talent. • Blue & Gold Illustrated learned the Notre Dame staff is moving on from 2018 Fairfield (Ohio) High de- fensive end Malik Vann, who had named Notre Dame as his leader since the summer of 2016. Vann, who is ranked as the No. 12 strongside de- fensive end and No. 231 overall player nationally by Rivals, was heavily pursued by Notre Dame's 2018 commits, and it was also believed the junior could be the next player to pull the trigger and join the Irish class. The staff has offered several other defensive ends with most coming in at 6-4 or taller, sig- naling the Irish are looking at taller players at defensive end with more length than Vann, who is listed at 6-3. — Corey Bodden and David McKinney Follow @BGI_CoreyBodden and @BGI_DMcKinney on Twitter for daily recruiting updates available on BlueandGold.com! Recruiting Notes Houston Griffith, 6-0, 185, Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy) D'Shawn Jamison, 5-10, 174, Houston (Lamar)* A.J. Lytton, 5-11, 170, Upper Marlboro, Md. (Wise)* Nasir Peoples, 6-1, 180, Warminster (Archbishop Wood Christian)* — Virginia Tech commit Brendan Radley-Hiles, 5-10, 175, Calabasas, Calif. (Calabasas) Myles Sims, 6-3, 173, Atlanta (Westlake) Isaac Taylor-Stuart, 6-2, 177, San Diego (St. Augustine) Christian Tutt, 5-11, 184, Thomson, Ga. (Thomson) Safety Derrik Allen, 6-1, 204 Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter) Aashari Crosswell, 5-10, 185, Los Angeles (Hawkins) Trey Dean, 6-2, 180, Hampton, Ga. (Dutchtown) B.J. Foster, 6-2, 180, Angleton, Texas (Angleton High)* Gurvan Hall, 6-1, 185, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Palm Beach Lakes) Jevon Holland, 6-1, 175, Oakland, Calif. (Bishop O'Dowd)* Talanoa Hufanga, 6-1, 194, Corvallis, Ore. (Crescent Valley) Julius Irvin, 6-1, 180, Anaheim, Calif. (Servite)* Adrian Jackson, 6-3, 205, Denver (Mullen) Tyreke Johnson, 6-1, 177, Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian) Kyler McMichael, 6-1, 185, Duluth, Ga. (Northview) Shayne Simon, 6-2, 195, Jersey City, N.J. (St. Peter's Prep) Alan Tisdale, 6-3, 206, Greensboro, N.C. (Page)* Athlete Tre'Shaun Harrison, 6-1, 185, Seattle (Garfield)* Kearis Jackson, 6-0, 191, Fort Valley, Ga. (Peach County)* Braden Lenzy 6-0, 165, Portland, Ore. (Tigard) L'Christian Smith, 6-5, 215, Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne) Chase Williams, 6-1, 175, Corona, Calif. (Eleanor Roosevelt)* Devon Williams, 6-4, 196, Lancaster, Calif. (Antelope Valley)* Commitments in bold italics * Received an offer between Feb. 4 and March 13 Master List Changes Prospects Removed: RB Jaelen Gill of Westerville, Ohio (committed to Ohio State), RB Lorenzo Lingard of Orange City, Fla. (committed to Miami), RB Zamir White of Laurinburg, N.C. (no longer considering Notre Dame), WR Manuel Allen of Corona, Calif. (no longer considering Notre Dame), WR Brian Hightower of Bradenton, Fla. (committed to Miami), LB Palaie Gaoteote of Las Vegas (committed to USC), LB Teradja Mitchell of Virginia Beach, Va. (no longer considering Notre Dame), LB Payton Wilson of Hill- sborough, N.C. (no longer considering Notre Dame), CB Asante Samuel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (no longer considering Notre Dame), CB Patrick Surtain of Plantation, Fla. (no longer considering Notre Dame) and S Jaiden Woodbey of Bellflower, Calif. (committed to Ohio State). Ohio defensive end Malik Vann maintained Notre Dame as his leader throughout late summer to early this winter, but the Irish staff has decided to go in another direction. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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