Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2016

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

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Page 86 of 127

FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY ANDREW IVINS F or the third consecutive summer, Notre Dame will open its doors — and stadium — to some of the na- tion's top high school football pros- pects for the Irish Invasion. While the event in years past has brought plenty of talent from around the country to campus for the invite-only camp, this summer 's version could bring a record number of targets to South Bend the weekend of June 18. As of mid-May, upwards of 35 prospects had confirmed with Blue & Gold Illustrated that they planned to be in town for the under-the-lights showcase inside Notre Dame Sta- dium, but that number was expected to double or even triple before the event started — and for one telling reason. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has continued to place a strong emphasis on the Irish Invasion ever since linebackers coach Mike Elston replaced Tony Alford as the pro- gram's recruiting coordinator last spring, and the one-day event — which started as a simple camp to rival other program's events like Ur- ban Meyer's Friday Night Lights at Ohio State — has evolved into more and more of a recruiting tool for the Irish. "What makes the Irish Invasion different from any other university is the fact that it's a national event," tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Scott Booker said on Na- tional Signing Day Feb. 3. "You have things like the Rivals' camps … you have things like that, and then you have a thing like our Irish Invasion. We pull kids from all four time zones. We have 20, 30 states represented." The event is organized to optimize the prospects' short time on campus. Stars Set To Align — Again — At Irish Invasion Norcross (Ga.) High four-star and one-time Irish commit Robert Beal, the nation's No. 3 weakside defensive end and No. 62 overall player according to Rivals, headlines an impressive and evolving list of visitors for the Irish Invasion. PHOTO BY ANDREW IVINS

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