Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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40 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY BRYAN DRISKELL N otre Dame is working on putting together one of the country's best recruiting hauls for the class of 2020. As of mid-May, the Fighting Irish were sitting at No. 6 in the nation after pledges from Rivals100 offen- sive tackle Tosh Baker and Rivals250 defensive lineman Rylie Mills. Whether or not Notre Dame can actually finish with a top-10 class in February will be largely about the players it lands hereafter. The month of June will be essential to a strong finish because a number of highly important targets are set to visit, and another is finalizing plans. Here is a look at the eight antici- pated June visitors who could have a major bearing on the Fighting Irish meeting all of their needs and finish- ing with one of the nation's premier recruiting hauls. CHRIS TYREE RUNNING BACK • 5-10, 185 Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale R I VA L S R A N K I N G S: Four-star talent, No. 2 player in Virginia, and No. 1 all-purpose back and No. 60 overall player nationally VISIT DATE: June 21-23 T H E S K I N N Y: There is not a more important recruit on the board than Tyree, who is arguably the most explosive back in the country. During his sophomore track campaign, the Thomas Dale star ran a 6.38 in the 55-meter dash, and he posted a 6.30 as a junior. Both numbers were the best in the entire nation for his grade. Tyree heads into his senior season with 3,275 career rushing yards and 28 career touchdowns to go with 511 yards as a receiver, and he is a stand- out cornerback for the Knights de- fense. Tyree's combination of speed, elusiveness and natural running back traits makes him a standout, which is why ESPN ranks him as the No. 22 overall player in the land. Oklahoma and Alabama are mak- ing a hard push for Tyree, but Notre Dame has put itself in strong posi- tion to land him this summer, which makes his June visit to South Bend incredibly important for the Irish staff. Landing Tyree would be a grand slam for an already potent Irish class on offense. LATHAN RANSOM SAFETY • 6-1, 185 Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe RIVALS RANKINGS: Four-star prospect, No. 5 player in Arizona, and No. 5 safety and No. 63 over- all player in the country VISIT DATE: June 7-9 T H E S K I N N Y: A f e w months ago, after Ran- som's February visit to Notre Dame, the Fight- ing Irish were in strong position for him. April visits to Oklahoma and LSU, combined with a hard spring rush by Ohio State — who Ransom visits June 21-23 — have pushed Notre Dame down his list. His return visit in June will either put Notre Dame back near the top of his chart, or it will make the staff realize it isn't going to land the top safety on the board. Ransom won't be arriving on his official visit alone; his mother will come with him, and it will be her first trip to South Bend. Ransom, who also is ranked as the No. 2 safety in the country by 247Sports, is a rangy and athletic player that can run and hit. He is just as comfortable playing in coverage as he is coming down and hammering the run game. That dual-threat abil- ity is what Notre Dame desires on the back end, and it's why Ransom is coveted by so many top programs. XAVIER WATTS WIDE RECEIVER • 6-1, 180 Omaha (Neb.) Burke RIVALS RANKINGS: Three-star recruit, No. 2 player in Ne- braska and No. 88 wide receiver in the nation VISIT DATE: June 21-23 T H E S K I N N Y: Don't let the consensus three-star ranking fool you. There is a reason why Notre Dame and Michigan are making such a hard push for the Omaha (Neb.) Burke star. He hauled in 67 passes for 1,093 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, and added 58 tackles, five intercep- tions and six passes broken up on defense. Just as important, he stood out in big moments. Burke caught 27 passes for 448 yards, had four touchdowns, made 27 tackles and intercepted three passes in four playoff games to lead Burke to a state championship. His combination of speed, play- making ability, toughness and ver- satility has made him a priority for Notre Dame's staff, which has had multiple trips out to Nebraska to visit his school. Notre Dame made a strong impression on Watts during his April 10 unofficial visit, his sec- ond trip to the South Bend campus. The Notre Dame staff will look to seal the deal during his June visit, but beating out Michigan and Ne- braska won't be easy. Success During The Month Of June Is Crucial To Notre Dame's 2020 Class Landing Rivals100 running back Chris Tyree is a key to Notre Dame finishing with an elite recruit- ing haul in 2020. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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