Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 16, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 86 of 111

FOOTBALL RECRUITING that the degree stays with you for life, and it's about more than just football." The 6-4, 220-pound Betiku was born in Nigeria and grew up playing soccer until he was discovered at a football camp by former Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington, who is now his legal guardian. Arrington moved Betiku to the United States in 2013 and began train- ing him to play defensive end. High- lights tapes of a lean, yet quick Betiku spread across the Internet, and college coaches came calling. "He's absolutely raw," Rivals na- tional recruiting analyst Adam Gorney said. "But there's so much potential. He's much more of a wild card when it comes to his recruitment. He continues to travel around the country and see dif- ferent schools. But the understating I get from Wole is that he's taking these visits to see if getting away from Los Angeles is something that he wants to do. "People around him are pretty con- vinced that he's going to stay close to home at USC or UCLA, but I also think he's more open minded than people give him credit for. I think if he falls in love with something, that could really be a sticking point for him." Notre Dame's coaching staff would be more than happy to have Betiku fall in love with them, but the coaches at Texas A&M, Florida State and Florida, which are three other schools that the defensive end plans to visit, have a sim- ilar goal. "It's definitely big for Notre Dame to get him to visit," Gorney added. The same can be said about Alloway, who returns to the Midwest after visit- ing Notre Dame with his uncle for two days back in July. The 5-10, 170-pound athlete — who is ranked by Rivals as the No. 19 player in California, and the No. 20 wide re- ceiver and No. 110 overall prospect in the country — was considered a heavy favorite to sign with the Irish, but his tune has changed in recent months with schools like UCLA and Arizona State in the picture. "I had thought throughout the sum- mer that Alloway was leaning towards Notre Dame and that the expectation was for him to end up committing at some point, but I'm not entirely sure about that anymore," Gorney said. "I think he's a little bit confused as to what he wants to do right now, which is go to Notre Dame, a school that he likes, or stay closer to home at one of the Pac-12 schools." The Irish are hoping it isn't the lat- ter after sending offensive coordinator Mike Sanford to see Alloway during the bye week. Alloway said Sanford has made his pitch simple: He thinks that Alloway can be the type of home-run threat that the Irish don't have in the backfield or in the slot. "He said I can do it all, and that they don't have anyone like me on the ros- ter," Alloway noted. "That's what I like." But like with Betiku and his open mind, it remains to be seen if Allloway's comments will result in a signature for the Irish on National Signing Day, and that's what makes the action in the re- cruiting section of the stands just as im- portant as the play on the field during the final home game of the season. ✦

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