Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 63

38 AUGUST 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY COREY BODDEN N otre Dame was well represented during The Opening Finals at the Nike World Headquarters from June 28-July 3 in Beaverton, Ore., with sev- eral commits and top targets in atten- dance. The event is invitation only with prospects earning their way there by performing at various regional camps or via film evaluation conducted by Student Sports. A total of 166 of the na- tion's top athletes received the coveted spots. Five Irish commits made the trip to the Pacific Northwest to showcase their talents on the national stage — Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep de- fensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, Mari- etta (Ga.) Lassiter safety Derrik Allen, Ridgely (Md.) North Caroline defen- sive tackle Ja'Mion Franklin, Farming- ton Hills (Mich.) Harrison linebacker Ovie Oghoufo and Naples (Fla.) Gulf Coast tight end George Takacs. DEFENSIVE LINE COMMITS SHINE Ademilola, who Rivals lists as a four-star talent and the No. 23 de- fensive tackle nationally, impressed throughout the event in drills and one- on-ones. He held his own against At- lanta Pace Academy standout Jamaree Salyer — winning a rep in their bat- tles, which was seldom done against the five-star guard during the week. He showed fast and powerful hands, which helped him get off blocks and into the backfield. The rising senior is athletic for his size and will be a force at the three- technique spot in the Notre Dame de- fense. He continued his hot summer and should have plenty of confidence heading into his final high school cam- paign. Like Ademilola, Franklin also im- pressed during the one-on-one session on July 2, showcasing his potential to put pressure on the quarterback in a variety of ways, including using his pure strength on multiple pass rush moves. Franklin entered the event with a chip on his shoulder and his effort was noticed. The North Caroline standout — who is listed as the No. 36 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals — should complement Ademilola very well in the middle of the Irish defense. TRIO PERFORMS WELL Allen consistently showed why he is considered one of the top safeties in the country. He made multiple big plays, including a one-handed interception during one-on-one drills that was one of the highlights of the entire event. Allen, who is ranked as the No. 5 safety and No. 47 player nationally by Rivals, displayed his ability to change directions with ease and elite ball skills in the back end. The work Oghoufo — a three-star prospect and the No. 31 outside line- backer in the nation according to Ri- vals — has been putting in during the offseason showed in Oregon when he arrived noticeably bigger. He still moved well and covered a ton of space at linebacker despite the added mus- cle. His future linebacker spot will de- pend on how much he grows before he winds up in South Bend. During the week, Takacs showed his ability to move well despite his 6-6, 235-pound size. He also catches the ball quickly and cleanly out of the air. Takacs, who is rated as the No. 234 overall recruit nationally per Rivals, will be quite the target in the middle of the field for Notre Dame. IRISH IN GREAT SPOT WITH THREE TARGETS The event featured several Irish tar- gets, which provided Blue & Gold Il- lustrated the opportunity to evaluate and gather recruiting information on each player. A consistently strong performer throughout the week was Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward receiver Kevin Austin. The pass catcher is phys- ically imposing and well built, which complements his fluidity as an athlete and makes him a difficult matchup. Austin hauled in multiple touch- downs along with several long passes during seven-on-seven games. Aus- tin, who is ranked as the No. 28 wide receiver and No. 141 overall player nationally by Rivals, appears to favor the Irish over fellow finalists Duke, Tennessee and Miami (Fla.). He could make a decision sometime in August. Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak line- backer Jack Lamb performed well at The Opening during the time Blue & Gold Illustrated observed. He showed solid speed and range, which allows him to have some positional flexibility whether it is one of the linebacker posi- tions or the drop spot allowing him to use his quickness on the edge or drop into coverage. Notre Dame and UCLA are the top two teams for Lamb — who Rivals lists as the No. 4 inside linebacker and No. 97 overall prospect nationally — Irish Commits And Targets Display Their Talents On National Stage Notre Dame commits Derrik Allen (left), Jayson Ademilola (middle) and Ovie Oghoufo (right) all partici- pated in The Opening Finals, June 28-July 3, in Beaverton, Ore. PHOTO BY COREY BODDEN

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - August 2017