Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2019

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

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32 DECEMBER 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame is put- t i n g t h e f i n a l touches on its 2020 class and will likely sign a top-20 group nationally per Rivals. The Fighting Irish wrapped up most of that haul by the end of the summer, which allowed the staff to get a head start on 2021 recruiting. The Irish already have seven pledges in 2021, and head- ing into the week of Thanksgiving that group was ranked No. 1 nationally by Rivals. The highest- ranked commit of the class is Blake Fisher, the country's No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 17 overall prospect according to Rivals. Matthews (N.C.) Weddington's Will Shipley, the nation's top all-purpose back and No. 53 overall prospect ac- cording to Rivals, is at the top of of- fensive coordinator Chip Long's wish list. Shipley doesn't plan to announce anytime soon, but whenever he does consider a commitment, Notre Dame will be on his short list. The 5-11, 200-pounder was already strongly considering Notre Dame, and the Irish shot up his list after he visited for the USC game Oct. 12. His visit checked all of his boxes. Notre Dame has offered four backs in the 2021 class, and Shipley seems to be the top priority for the staff. Notre Dame would love to have Wyatt Milum blocking for Shi- pley for a few years. Milum, a 6-6, 250-pounder who is listed as the na- tion's No. 20 offensive tackle and No. 158 overall recruit by Rivals, checked out Notre Dame for the Virginia Tech game Nov. 2. That was his second visit of the year — he was also in South Bend during the spring and landed an offer from the Irish on that trip. Milum's list of his top six schools consists of Alabama, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He and his family came away very impressed with the Irish football program and its academic presentation. There are a handful of uncommit- ted wide receivers who hold offers from Notre Dame, but there are just a couple who are trending toward the Irish. The program has already secured 2021 receiver pledges from Athens (Ga.) Academy's Deion Col- zie, the Rivals' No. 95 overall recruit in the nation, and Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Lorenzo Styles, the No. 28 prospect in the land. Numbers are always fluid, but it's looking like the Irish will take one more receiver in the class. That pros- pect may be East Lansing (Mich.) High standout Andrel Anthony, the No. 12 recruit in Michigan and the No. 56 wide receiver in the country. The 6-2, 165-pounder is high on Michigan and Michigan State, and is also enamored with the Fighting Irish. Anthony participated in a prospect camp at Notre Dame over the sum- mer, visited for the New Mexico game Sept. 14 — landing an offer from the Irish a few days after that contest — and returned to South Bend for the USC game Oct. 12. Anthony just can't get enough of Notre Dame, and he'll likely be back in the offseason. T h e o t h e r p a s s catcher to keep an eye on is Atlanta P a c e A c a d e m y ' s Jayden Thomas, who Rivals rates as the No. 20 wide receiver and No. 108 overall prospect nationally. The 6-2, 188-pounder c a m p e d a t N o t re Dame durin g th e summer of 2018, and he and wide receivers coach Del Alexander have kept in contact since then. During a Nov. 2 visit, he received an offer from the Irish. Notre Dame's aca- demics are highly in- triguing to Thomas, who attends a very well respected school in Georgia. He also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State. There are also a few defensive back prospects the Irish are in a strong po- sition to land. Indianapolis Ben Davis cornerback Daylan Carnell, the nation's No. 19 athlete and No. 231 overall recruit per Rivals, has had high interest in Notre Dame for several months. He visited the campus Oct. 12 and had valu- able feedback from defensive back coaches Todd Lyght and Terry Joseph. The 6-1, 185-pounder has offers from Indiana, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue and others. If Notre Dame makes a push for Car- nell, he will likely commit to the Irish. Bolingbrook (Ill.) High's Justin Wal- ters, the nation's No. 14 safety accord- ing to Rivals, is a Notre Dame lean at this time. He received an offer from the Irish during a visit in September. Look for the 6-1, 170-pound, hard- hitting safety to get back to South Bend this offseason. Muskeho (Wis.) High's Hunter Wohler, the No. 6 safety and No. 199 overall prospect, added Notre Dame to his offer list during his visit Nov. 2. Ohio State and Wisconsin will be tough to beat, but Wohler has high interest in Notre Dame. ✦ Matthews (N.C.) Weddington's Will Shipley, the No. 1 all-purpose back and No. 53 overall pros- pect nationally according to Rivals, is one of Notre Dame's top targets on the 2021 board. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Class Of 2021 Commitment Candidates For Notre Dame

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