Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2014 Edition

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

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Page 84 of 126

FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY TOM LOY F or the Blue-Gold Game April 12, the Fighting Irish coaching staff hosted 12 class of 2014 signees, one transfer, two commits in the 2015 class, and an- other eight targets from the 2015 and 2016 classes. The spring scrimmage is an opportu- nity for the Irish signees to relax, enjoy themselves, and get a final look at the football program before they enroll and step on campus in June. The recruiting targets get a chance to hear from the signees themselves and learn why each of them chose to attend Notre Dame. It also gives them a chance to speak with the current players and get a preview of life as a college student-athlete. The coaches have the opportunity to make a big recruiting pitch to some top targets. There wasn't a bigger, more impor- tant prospect on campus than Cincin- nati St. Xavier five-star linebacker Jus- tin Hilliard. The 6-2, 230-pounder is arguably the top defensive target for this Notre Dame staff. He has made multiple trips to South Bend since his freshman year of high school, includ- ing two visits this spring alone. This trip was about spending time with the players and the coaches, and watching the game. "I've been here so many times," Hill- iard told 247Sports national insider Steve Wiltfong. "I don't feel like I can see much more. I'm just trying to have a good time and hang out with the coaches and build a better relationship with them. "I got a chance to talk to Coach [Brian] Kelly for a little bit, and [defen- sive coordinator Brian] VanGorder and [linebackers coach Bob] Elliott, and had a good conversation with them." Alabama, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State are the major threats for the Irish, but Notre Dame is in very good shape Notre Dame Hosts Top Targets At Blue-Gold Game Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati, the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker according to 247Sports, visited Notre Dame for the school's spring scrimmage April 12. PHOTO COURTESY 247SPORTS

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