Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 80 of 99 PRESEASON 2016 81 FOOTBALL RECRUITING Irish staff has not backed down in its pursuit of Jones. He has all the traits the Notre Dame coaches want in a wide receiver: vertical speed, top- level quickness, elite ball skills and supreme confidence. Jones keeps in frequent contact with the Notre Dame staff and in- tends to take an official visit the weekend of Sept. 17, when the Irish host Michigan State. 5. Jacob Phillips, Linebacker: The Irish staff has already landed com- mitments from three talented line- backers, so they will be picky about adding another to the class. Landing a highly talented player or one with positional flexibility will be the focus. That is exactly why the Nashville (Tenn.) East Magnet product is still a top target of the staff. Phillips is a physical, between-the-box line- backer with good size (6-3, 230), ini- tial quickness and finishing speed. With his size and quickness, Phillips could eventually see a move to de- fensive end. Notre Dame is among his five fi- nalists, along with Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Oregon. Rivals lists him as the No. 37 overall prospect in the country. 6. Chaz Ah You, Safety: Notre Dame would like to add at least one more back end prospect to go along with current commit Isaiah Robertson. Provo (Utah) Timpview safety Chaz Ah You is rangy and physical, possessing the skills to play either safety spot in the Notre Dame defense. Ah You is looking to serve a Mor- mon mission before he attends col- lege, so he will not immediately impact the roster of the school he chooses, but he's worth the wait. Ah You recently announced a top 12 that included Notre Dame, BYU, Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Utah, among others. 7. Tarik Black, Wide Receiver: Another top receiver on the board is Hamden (Conn.) Cheshire Acad- emy pass catcher Tarik Black. A high school teammate of Notre Dame run- ning back commit C.J. Holmes, Black has long been a top target for the Irish. Rivals' No. 99 overall player na- tionally is a big (6-3, 201) and physi- cal pass catcher whose game fits into the Irish's backside receiver spot. Black visited Notre Dame twice in the last five months and plans to make an official visit during the season, although the specific date has yet to be announced. The Irish made Black's final five, along with Alabama, Michigan, Stanford and UCLA. 8. Donovan Jeter, Defensive Line: When Beaver Falls (Pa.) High defen- sive lineman Donovan Jeter released his final list of schools, Notre Dame was not included. Instead, Jeter an- nounced he was down to Alabama, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio State and Tennessee. That did not keep recruiting co- ordinator Mike Elston from staying after the four-star lineman. Notre Dame defensive tackle commit Kurt Hinish also kept in touch with Jeter, and in early August he amended his list of schools, adding the Fighting Irish. He now plans on visiting Notre Dame Sept. 17, when the Irish face Michigan State. 9. Thomas Graham, Cornerback: In order to properly execute defen- sive coordinator Brian VanGorder 's pressure defense, the Irish need cor- nerbacks that can play man cover- age at a high level. Notre Dame has already added standout corner Paul- son Adebo to the class, but it would love to pair him with Rancho Cu- camonga (Calif.) High cover corner Thomas Graham. The former USC commit draws comparisons to current senior Cole Luke for his smooth style of play, instincts and high character. He will make his second visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Sept. 17, and the Irish are considered one of his top schools. Rivals ranks him as the No. 68 over- all player nationally. 10. Justin Foster, Outside Line- backer/Defensive End: Shelby (N.C.) Crest pass rusher Justin Foster made a summer visit to Notre Dame for its June Irish Invasion, and he left with significant interest in the Irish. Rivals' No. 84 overall player nation- ally is a versatile player that could play Sam linebacker, or use his 6-4, 247-pound frame to put his hand in the ground and rush the quarterback. Foster has released a top seven of Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia, Stanford, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. Clemson is considered the leader, but Notre Dame appears to be running second. If the Irish coaches can convince him to make it back for an in-season official visit, Notre Dame could close the gap. ✦ Notre Dame supports Provo (Utah) Timpview safety Chaz Ah You's desire to take a Mormon mission, which has the Irish among his final schools. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM In its quest to land a difference maker at wide receiver, the Irish staff hopes to flip Hezekiah Jones, a Texas A&M commit. PHOTO BY ANDREW IVINS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Preseason 2016