Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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Page 38 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 39 PREP PROFILES Ocoee (Fla.) High defensive back Lovie Jenkins will be taking his first trip to Notre Dame in June, and the three-star class of 2020 prospect can't wait to see South Bend. He has been told great things about what the Fighting Irish have to offer, but when he arrives June 21 for his official visit he'll be able to form his own opinion. "I hear about Note Dame so much," Jenkins said. "It has a big reputation behind its name. You can't miss out on that. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportu- nity. There's only one Notre Dame." Jenkins earned a scholarship offer from the Irish March 8 and has formed a strong relationship with Irish de- fensive backs coach Terry Joseph. On May 7, Joseph and defensive coordi- nator Clark Lea watched Jenkins practice. " I t ' s r e a l l y good. That relationship keeps build- ing," he said of his bond with Joseph. "I mainly keep in touch with Joseph but I speak with other coaches." Notre Dame is in a very good posi- tion to land Jenkins' commitment. He will officially visit Louisville and Pittsburgh in May, but the Fighting Irish are his top school. "They're a school that has stepped on top for me; they're No. 1 right now," the Central Florida standout said. What position he would play at Notre Dame is an interesting topic. The versatile prospect lines up mainly as a single-high free safety for his high school team, but colleges may start him out at cornerback. "The [Notre Dame] coaches say they're going to give me a chance to play wherever I want to play," Jen- kins said. "They're going to move me around and see where I can help the team at." Though a Flor- ida native, he has no problem leav- ing the Sunshine State. "I thought about it, but with the love I have for the game, I'll play in the cold, rain, snow, anything," he said. "I'm a player." The 6-1, 180-pound athlete has seen his recruitment skyrocket since his junior season in 2018 ended. He's landed more than 20 offers in the past few months, thanks to his hard work and improving skills. "I've been focused on lifting weights, getting stronger," the three- star recruit said. "My strength has exploded this offseason. I'm working on my speed; I've been doing track. "I'm just working to be a better person and build my character." — Mike Singer Notre Dame Leads For Sunshine State Standout Arlington (Texas) High athlete Ja- hari Rogers went from unknown to a national recruit almost overnight. After starring at quarterback for his high school team, Rogers started to receive plenty of attention as an under-center prospect. Since the turn of the calendar year, Rogers has amassed a whopping 23 Division I scholarships. Notre Dame jumped in the mix for Rogers in April and is making its case to pluck one of the best talents the Lone Star State has to offer this recruiting cycle. "Notre Dame is one of the best schools in America," Rogers said. "You look at what they did last year and couple that with the academics, and it's a great opportunity. They are really high on the list for me. "They produce some really good players, so I want to visit and see what they have to offer for me." Irish defensive backs coach Terry Joseph has made a couple of stops at Arlington during the spring evalu- ation period. The two are quickly forming a strong relationship, and the prospect has also touched base with defensive backs coach Todd Lyght. "I've been talking a lot to Coach Jo- seph, and I've also had some contact with Coach Lyght," Rogers noted. "I've really enjoyed talking to Coach Joseph. He loves Notre Dame. I want to play for a guy that loves his school and wants to be there. "That opens my eyes because I know, logistically, he can be there for a long period of time." Rogers is considering making an official visit to Notre Dame. He cur- rently has three remaining after mak- ing trips to Arkansas and Florida. Georgia is another school in line to get him on campus, while Oklahoma and Texas are considered the overall frontrunners. While there is a lot of competition for Rogers, who is part of True Buzz, the same seven-on-seven program that produced Irish defensive line- man NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Notre Dame's unique blend of academics and athletics is extremely appealing. "Everybody wants to make it to the league, but at the end of the day, it's about that degree," Rogers said. "That's what I'm achieving to get. I'm for both football and academics. I want to go to a program that produces great players and where I can get the most out of the education. Notre Dame is great in both categories." — EJ Holland The Fighting Irish Are High On Texas Athlete's List LOVIE JENKINS ✪ ✪ ✪ Ocoee High School Ocoee, Fla. Status: Offered Class: 2020 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-1 • Wt.: 180 Rivals Rankings: Currently unrated JAHARI ROGERS ✪ ✪ ✪ Arlington High School Arlington, Texas Status: Offered Class: 2020 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-0 • Wt.: 170 Rivals Rankings: No. 44 player in Texas and No. 34 athlete nationally "Notre Dame is one of the best schools in America. You look at what they did last year and couple that with the academics, and it's a great opportunity." ROGERS "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There's only one Notre Dame." JENKINS

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