Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2023

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

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Page 32 of 47

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM DECEMBER 2023 33 PREP PROFILES Kevyn Humes' reason for returning to Notre Dame — which took place for the Southern California game Oct. 14 — was simple. The Fighting Irish have been recruiting the 2025 class three-star re- cruit harder than any other program. "The entire coaching staff has been showing the most love throughout this process and since Aug. 1," Humes said. "It only felt right that I showed the love back and went to a game." Notre Dame has eyed the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Humes since March 17. The program offered him on St. Patrick's Day during their "Pot of Gold Day" re- cruiting event, which featured a flood of new scholarships to 2025 recruits. The Irish coaching staff could not be- gin contacting those recruits permissi- bly until Aug. 1. Since then, cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens and defensive co- ordinator Al Golden have led the charge. Both coaches also prioritized Humes by stopping by his school, Baltimore St. Frances Academy, once each during the spring NCAA recruiting contact period. Head coach Marcus Freeman also made a past stop at St. Frances Acad- emy. That one helped ignite Humes' ini- tial interest in the Fighting Irish. "He's one of my favorite coaches right now," Humes said. "He's such a people person. Whenever we talk, it's like talk- ing to a coach I've always known." Humes first visited Notre Dame March 24. That helped lay the ground- work for the Irish to become a key con- tender entering the fall. "The first thing that drew me was the education," he said. "Whether I play football in the NFL or not, the degree is going to have me good for life." And over the last three months, Mickens and Golden harped on wanting Humes to watch Notre Dame's second- ary play in person. And they did not dis- appoint him during his visit. The Irish defense held reigning Heisman Trophy- winner Caleb Williams to less than 200 yards and picked him off three times. "I remember great safety play by Xavier Watts," Humes said. "I saw Ben- jamin Morrison make a great play. And then, No. 5, Cam Hart, played lights out. It was just a great performance overall." Hart, a graduate student cornerback, is from Baltimore. He is a product of Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel. Humes had the chance to talk with the Irish standout during his visit. And Hart left him with a glowing review of Mickens. "He was just like, 'Coach Mickens is the best,'" Humes said. "Everybody says that up there — every DB [defensive back]. That's a good sign." — Kyle Kelly The Notre Dame football program has welcomed some of the state's emerging 2025 class recruits to campus for unof- ficial visits this season. The Irish are extensively scouting Indiana, whether it was NFL legacies offensive lineman Cameron Gorin (son of Brandon Gorin) or wide receiver Eugene Hilton Jr. (son of T.Y. Hilton). And that includes Max Phenicie. While Phenicie has no known NFL ties, Notre Dame hosted the 6-foot- 2, 190-pound prospect for its game against Central Michigan Sept. 16. The Zionsville (Ind.) High product does not yet hold an On3 ranking. Still, Phenicie has already reeled in scholarship offers from Maryland, Michigan State and Ole Miss. Seven other Power Five programs are also on his radar. Phenicie grew up an Indiana Hoo- siers football fan, but always admired the Fighting Irish. So when one of his coaches presented the opportunity to visit Notre Dame, he accepted it with- out hesitation. "I had always heard Notre Dame was a pretty cool place to at least see the campus, especially for a football game," Phenicie said. "And when I went to the game, it was nothing but a cool experi- ence." During his visit, Phenicie talked to Irish safeties coach Chris O'Leary and director of high school scouting Dre Brown. Though that did not produce an offer, he said the conversations had gone well. He credited Notre Dame's operation for allowing recruits to speak with the coaching staff easily. "They took us out on the practice fa- cility field to talk to the coaches," he said. "I really liked that aspect as well because they told you exactly who the coaches were and who you should talk to, which I really enjoyed." Phenicie complimented the overall experience. It included watching the players walk into the stadium. That was a highlight of the visit. "You get to experience the environ- ment, which I really enjoyed," he said. "It was definitely one of the better ex- periences I've had compared to other schools." It was not just the atmosphere that impressed Phenicie. He also raved about the campus. "I really enjoyed it," he said. "The buildings are really cool. I enjoy the academic part of the school. Football is obviously really important to me, and that's a big part of it, but so is education." — Kyle Kelly Irish Are Emerging As Big Contender For 2025 Cornerback Notre Dame Is Interested In Hoosier State Safety KEVYN HUMES ✪ ✪ ✪ St. Frances Academy Baltimore Status: Offered Class: 2025 Position: Cornerback Ht.: 5-11 • Wt.: 170 On3 Rankings: No. 17 player in Maryland and No. 59 cor- nerback nationally MAX PHENICIE Zionsville H.S. Zionsville, Ind. Status: Not offered Class: 2025 Position: Safety Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 190 On3 Rankings: Not currently ranked

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