Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2014

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

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FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY TOM LOY T he national perception of Notre Dame's 2015 class is that it's a good, solid collection of players. However, this class could be great if the Irish can pull some big names during the final six months of the recruiting cycle. There were 17 recruits verbally committed to the Fighting Irish as of Aug. 18, and there are roughly six more spots left to fill in 2015. Getting commitments from Pocatello (Idaho) Highland offensive lineman Tristen Hoge, the nation's No. 1 center, and Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean linebacker Josh Barajas, the No. 2 inside linebacker in the country, was huge for the Irish. However, there are still a few uncom- mitted difference-makers that the Notre Dame coaching staff is hoping to land. Blue & Gold Illustrated takes a look at the 10 most wanted recruits (in alpha- betical order) on the radar for Notre Dame. ASMAR BILAL LB • 6-3 • 210 Indianapolis (Ben Davis) Junior Statistics: Notched 106 total tack- les, five sacks and one fumble recovery. 247Sports Rankings: Four- star recruit, the No. 161 overall player in the 2015 class, the No. 3 inside linebacker nationally and the No. 2 prospect in Indiana. Skinny: Notre Dame and Michigan have always been the favorites for the 6-3, 205-pounder, and nothing has changed on that front. The Irish were the per- ceived leader up until late July when 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong reported that he had been hearing that the Wolverines pulled ahead of the Irish. Bilal doesn't have a timetable for his decision, but he admits that he's getting tired of the recruiting process. The Irish could pull back in front if they can get Bilal on campus early in the fall. Ideally for Notre Dame, Bilal gets on campus for the matchup against Michi- gan Sept. 6 and a big win at home helps make this an easy decision for the in- state standout. TEVON CONEY ILB • 6-1 • 222 Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Palm Beach Gardens) Junior Statistics: Totaled 172 tackles, 14 sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. 247Sports Rankings: Four- star prospect, the No. 11 inside linebacker nation- ally and the No. 38 re- cruit in Florida. Skinny: It continues to look like a battle be- tween Notre Dame and Florida for the 6-1, 222-pounder. Coney was considered a heavy Florida lean early in his recruitment, but his visit to South Bend for the Irish Invasion camp Notre Dame's 10 Most Wanted

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