Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 24, 2018

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

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44 SEPT. 24, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES The Ball State game weekend was on the slower side when it came to Notre Dame recruiting, but there was still talent in the stands taking a closer look at the Irish program. The highest-ranked player in town per Rivals was Gibraltar (Mich.) Carlson 2020 product Ian Stewart, the nation's No. 20 athlete and No. 218 overall player. It wasn't the first trip to South Bend for Stewart, who also took in the North Carolina State contest a year ago. "The experience up there was sweet," Stewart told Blue & Gold Il- l u s t r a t e d . " T h e tradition at Notre D a m e i s u n - matched. When you go there, it's always a fun time. The coolest thing w a s t h e p h o t o shoot. After that we toured the facili- ties and got to speak with the coaches a little bit. We went to the game from there. "The whole thing was cool. The thing about Notre Dame is the at- mosphere. When you go to Notre Dame, the tradition is what makes it. I like how everything is kind of old looking, but it's all renovated inside. It's nice." Stewart was also impressed by the Irish faithful while he was in town. "I'm happy they got the win," Stewart noted. "The atmosphere inside the stadium was cool. It was only a MAC school, so I can only imagine when they have someone like Michigan." The 6-3, 185-pounder had the op- portunity to spend time around Irish cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght and o f f e n s i v e l i n e coach Jeff Quinn during the visit. Stewart said the Irish mentioned both wide receiver and rover when it comes to his fu- ture position if he were to wind up at Notre Dame. "He's come up to my school a few times, so I'm kind of familiar with him," Stewart said of Lyght. "He was saying they like me and my athleti- cism, and they like me at wide re- ceiver and on defense. He said we'll stay in touch and build the relation- ship." If an Irish offer were to come his way, Stewart would take a long look at Notre Dame in his recruitment. "That would be pretty meaning- ful," Stewart said of a potential Irish offer. "They are a great school." — Corey Bodden Notre Dame recently entered the mix for five-star 2020 athlete Kelee Ringo, one of the few rising junior competi- tors at this June's Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta. Ringo, the No. 1 safety and No. 13 overall player in the class of 2020, said he was happy to add Notre Dame to his constantly growing list of offers. "Notre Dame is obviously a highly prestigious school," Ringo said. "The coaches are great also. I like Notre Dame a lot." Primarily a defensive back, Ringo said he's been watching some film of the Irish defense since getting the of- fer and has been impressed with what he's seen. "They're hard working and smart," Ringo told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "I've seen clips of their play recognition, and their intelligence on identifying plays is really high." Since the offer, Ringo, a Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro standout, has commu- nicated with multiple members of the Notre Dame coaching staff. Ringo said it's easy to tell how excited the Irish staff is about what they've got going on at Notre Dame. "When I talked to them, they were re- ally energetic," Ringo explained. "They know a ton about the school for sure." The Rivals100 prospect said the en- thusiasm the coaching staff showed made him eager to visit South Bend and see what it's all about. "I want to get out there," Ringo said. "It would be huge for sure." Ringo is one of the most highly re- cruited players in the class of 2020, already holding offers from major programs like Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, USC, Washington and several others. With a long time to go before mak- ing a decision, Ringo is planning on heading out on several visits. During those trips, Ringo said he's hoping to find a place where he feels comfortable. "When I go on my visits, my rela- tionships with the coaches will be a huge part of my recruitment," Ringo stated. "When I go somewhere, I want it to feel like home." Being from Arizona, Ringo has been pegged as a prospect that will be par- tial to the West Coast, but he was ada- mant that distance will not play any role in his decision. "Not at all," Ringo said. "If it feels like home, it feels like home." — David McKinney Michigan Athlete Enjoys His Return Visit To Notre Dame Five-Star Safety Has Early Interest In The Fighting Irish IAN STEWART ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Carlson H.S. Gibraltar, Mich. Status: Interested Class: 2020 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 185 Rivals Rankings: No. 20 athlete and No. 218 overall player in the junior class KELEE RINGO ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Saguaro H.S. Scottsdale, Ariz. Status: Offered Class: 2020 Position: Safety Ht.: 6-1 • Wt.: 180 Rivals Rankings: No. 1 safety and No. 13 overall player in the country "Notre Dame is obviously a highly prestigious school. The coaches are great also. I like Notre Dame a lot." RINGO "When you go to Notre Dame, the tradition is what makes it. I like how everything is kind of old looking, but it's all renovated inside. It's nice." STEWART

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