Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 84 of 111

FOOTBALL RECRUITING All-Star Game Season BY TOM LOY N otre Dame is hitting the final stretch of its 2014 recruiting campaign with 22 verbal commitments. The numbers game isn't an exact science with variables such as fifthyear options, transfers, career-ending injuries and other factors in play, but Notre Dame likely has three spots remaining with the possibility of adding a fourth spot depending on how some of those scenarios play out closer to National Signing Day Feb. 5. The primary focus is on inside linebacker and safety, with the potential to add a highly touted wide receiver that's currently committed elsewhere. The Fighting Irish have 10 commitments participating in the upcoming national all-star games, along with many other targets. Here's what to look for in those final contests leading up to National Signing Day. UNDER ARMOUR ALL-AMERICA GAME Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Date: Jan. 2 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN • Long Beach, Calif., five-star safety John "JuJu" Smith is the top target in St. Petersburg. The 6-1, 200-pound athlete has narrowed his focus to two schools — Notre Dame and USC. The Irish were able to land Smith's good friend in La Mirada, Calif., four-star tight end Tyler Luatua Dec. 16, and that only helps Notre Dame's chances. The two have a very close bond, and their families have known each other for years. The family connection, along with Smith's interest in attending a school with a religious feel and a strong academic environment puts Notre Long Beach, Calif., five-star safety John "JuJu" Smith is Notre Dame's top target at the Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 2. PHOTO COURTESY 247SPORTS Dame in great shape. One thing working against the Irish is that Smith grew up a Trojans fan. He showed very little interest in the program when Lane Kiffin was the head coach, but the change to Steve Sarkisian at the top has rejuvenated Smith's interest. The Pac-12 power is a real

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2014 Issue