Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2024 71 2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE From 2000-04, Burress played with Notre Dame legend Jerome Bettis Sr. for the Steelers, and the Irish also have been recruiting the son of "The Bus" since last March. Atlanta Woodward Acad- emy's Jerome Bettis Jr. is a three-star prospect and the No. 87 wide receiver nationally. Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M are among the contenders, but the expectation is that he'll end up playing in South Bend. Another longtime Irish receiver target in the 2025 class is Las Vegas Bishop Gorman's Derek Meadows, who is listed as the No. 170 overall prospect and No. 19 wideout in the land. Notre Dame of- fered him last summer, but it wasn't until January that his recruiting process exploded, with offers arriving from Ala- bama, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon and others. Notre Dame still seems to be the favorite for him, though. The Irish could take up to four re- ceivers in this class, but the plan for the staff — per sources — is to take three and then probably add another from the transfer portal. Other receiver targets to know in- clude but are not limited to: Jacksonville (Fla.) Mandarin's Jaime Ffrench (No. 14 prospect and No. 3 receiver in the na- tion); Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy's Donovan Olugbode (No. 204 player and No. 26 receiver) and Raiden Vines- Bright (No 54 player in Florida); Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic's Quincy Porter (No. 32 prospect and No. 5 receiver); and Geneva (Ill.) Community's Talyn Taylor (No. 81 player and No. 9 receiver in the class of 2025). TIGHT END Committed: 1 Projected Take: 1-2 Synopsis: Last October, the Irish landed a pledge from Green Bay (Wis.) Notre Dame de la Baie Academy's James Flanigan, who ranks as the No. 92 pros- pect and No. 5 tight end in the country. Notre Dame beat out Michigan, Penn State, Stanford and Wisconsin for the four-star prospect, who is the son of former Notre Dame defensive lineman Jim Flanigan. It's not off the table for the Irish to take a second tight end in the 2025 class. If they do, it'll be a prospect who the Irish think is simply too good to pass up. As always, that is the thought for now but remains subject to change. Goodland (Kan.) High's Linkon Cure, the No. 42 overall prospect and No. 2 tight end in America, would be a pros- pect the Irish would like to land. Cure is considered a Kansas State lean, but position coach and offensive coordina- tor Mike Denbrock is looking to make a move for the 6-4, 210-pounder. OFFENSIVE LINE Committed: 2 Projected Take: 3-4 Synopsis: As you may expect, Notre Dame offensive line recruiting is in a great spot. Position coach Joe Rudolph already has two early commitments from top targets — Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rosemary Hall's Will Black, a Canadian native who ranks as the No. 203 prospect and No. 14 tackle nation- ally, and Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic Memorial's Owen Strebig, the No. 111 player and No. 11 edge blocker in the land. Black previously said that Michi- gan was his "dream school" but he picked the Irish over the Wolverines. And Notre Dame was able to pull away Strebig from The Badger State. Florida State, Miami and Wisconsin were also on his short list. Notre Dame looks primed to land a pledge from Greenwich (Conn.) Bruns- wick School's Matty Augustine, a three-star player and the No. 29 offen- The Irish appear to be in a good spot with Indianapolis Ben Davis' Mark Zackery, the No. 219 recruit and No. 25 cornerback in the land. PHOTO BY ZACH LIBBY/ON3

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