Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2017

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

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Page 44 of 63 JUNE/JULY 2017 45 FOOTBALL RECRUITING Allen is Notre Dame's highest-rated commit according to Rivals, and keep- ing him in the class will be a top prior- ity for the staff going forward. The third Notre Dame commit to earn his invite to The Opening Fi- nals was Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep four-star defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, who was invited to the event following his performance at the New Jersey Regional April 30. Rivals lists Ademilola as the No. 8 player in the state of New Jersey and the No. 19 defensive tackle nationally. His twin brother Justin, a fellow Notre Dame commit and defensive lineman, also competed in the New Jersey Regional, but has not yet been invited to The Opening Finals. Four-star Irish commit Markese Stepp, the No. 11 running back and No. 214 overall player in the country per Ri- vals, out of Indianapolis Cathedral also competed in the New Jersey Regional. As far as other Notre Dame com- mits, both Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep four-star Matthew Bauer, Rivals' No. 6 inside linebacker and No. 111 over- all player in the country, and Gib- sonia (Pa.) Pine Richland four-star quarterback Phil Jurkovec, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and No. 59 overall player in the nation per Rivals, competed at the Cleveland Opening Regional. Portland (Ore.) Tigard four-star wide receiver commit Braden Lenzy participated in The Opening Re- gional in Los Angeles March 12, as well as the Under Armour All-Amer- ican Camp Feb. 19 in Los Angeles. At the Under Armour Camp, Lenzy, the No. 15 athlete and No. 203 overall player in the nation according to Rivals, was one of two winners of the Ill-Speed Championship, along with four-star Mission Viejo (Calif.) High cornerback Olaijah Griffin. According to Rivals director of re- cruiting Mike Farrell, the Ill-Speed test is made up of "four different parts: start, dynamic reaction agil- ity, feet and agility skill and the all- important race to the finish. Com- petitors got two individual runs through the drill where they began two yards behind the start line, burst out of their stance once the red light on the first gate is illuminated and then were off to the races." Lenzy is a track star in Portland, so it comes as no surprise he was able to take home the Ill-Speed honors. Several big-time Notre Dame tar- gets have also had successful camp seasons. Five-star Amon-Ra St. Brown, the No. 2 wide receiver and No. 12 overall player in the country according to Ri- vals, out of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei has been making a name for himself in the camp circuit during the offseason. St. Brown, whose older brother Equanimeous is a rising junior at Notre Dame, participated in The Opening Regional in Los Angeles March 12, and it was nearly a foregone conclu- sion that he would receive an invite to The Opening Finals. A strong showing against some of the West Coast's best defensive backs fulfilled that. The five-star also competed at the Rivals Camp in Los Angeles April 9, and he was named wide receiver MVP and earned an invite to the Five-Star Challenge. The fact that St. Brown will be in Indianapolis June 9-10 for the Five- Star Challenge could work out well for Notre Dame. The program's annual Irish Inva- sion is the same weekend, and St. Brown recently told Blue & Gold Il- lustrated he may try to tie in a trip to South Bend during his trip to the Midwest. Getting St. Brown back on campus is vital for the Irish staff, and that may be the perfect time to arrange a visit. Another top Irish target that has seen a lot of success during the camp circuit is four-star Cleveland Heights (Ohio) High defensive end Tyreke Smith. Rivals rates him as the No. 10 strongside defensive end and No. 211 overall player in the nation, and he earned an invite to The Opening Finals following a strong showing at the Cleveland Regional April 9. Smith also competed in the Under Armour camp in Cincinnati April 29, taking home an invite to the Under Armour All-American Game. Several other Notre Dame targets have been invited to The Opening Finals, including Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian five-star Tyreke Johnson, the nation's No. 1 safety and No. 10 overall prospect per Rivals; Houston Lamar five-star Anthony Cook, the No. 2 cornerback and No. 20 overall player in the country; Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four- star Houston Griffith, the No. 2 ath- lete and No. 42 overall player in the nation; Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward Prep four-star Kevin Austin, the No. 24 wide receiver and No. 129 overall player nationally; Linden- hurst (N.Y.) High four-star Jeremy Ruckert, the country's No. 5 tight end and No. 134 overall prospect in the land; and Owings Mills (Md.) Mc- Donogh four-star PJ Mustipher, the No. 8 defensive tackle and No. 136 overall recruit nationally. In addition, Medford (Ore.) South Medford four-star Chase Cota, the No. 34 wide receiver and No. 179 overall prospect in the land; Planta- tion (Fla.) American Heritage four- star Andrew Chatfield, the coun- try's No. 12 outside linebacker and No. 198 overall recruit; Ridgely (Md.) North Caroline three-star Ja'mion Franklin, the No. 28 defensive tackle in the land; Naples (Fla.) Gulf Coast three-star George Takacs, the nation's No. 35 tight end; and Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage three-star Anthony Schwartz, the No. 68 wide receiver in the country, also will be on hand. ✦ Four-star Irish commit Phil Jurkovec was one of several quarterbacks to compete at Nike Football's The Opening Regional April 9 in Cleveland. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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