Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 19, 2016

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

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Page 44 of 55 SEPT. 19, 2016 45 FOOTBALL RECRUITING Jones was committed to Baylor earlier in the year, but reopened his recruitment May 28 and committed to the Aggies July 29. Of his recruit- ment, Jones has said that he is "keep- ing an open mind" and "still listen- ing to other schools." Jones has also said that if he were to decommit for a second time, Notre Dame would be at the top of his list. SALVON AHMED — OFFICIAL VISIT Defensive Back • Kirkland (Wash.) Juanita Rivals Rankings: Four-star recruit, and the No. 9 athlete and No. 152 overall player nationally. The Skinny: Ahmed may be a challenge to pull away from his home state. The four-star athlete lives and attends high school just minutes away from the campus of the Univer- sity of Washington. Ahmed will announce his decision Sept. 23, just six days after his Notre Dame visit. Along with Notre Dame, he also plans to take official visits to Washington, USC, Oregon and Stan- ford. Many perceive Washington to be Ahmed's leader, but the fact that his decision will come so soon after visiting Notre Dame could be seen as a good sign for Irish fans. DONOVAN JETER — OFFICIAL VISIT Defensive Tackle • Beaver Falls (Pa.) High Rivals Rankings: Four-star pros- pect and the No. 14 defensive tackle in the land. The Skinny: Notre Dame was once out of the picture, but after a little talk with current Notre Dame commit Kurt Hinish, Jeter reconsidered and added Notre Dame back to his list. He has also done the same with Michigan. His officials may open up his eyes to other options, but Pittsburgh has been the longtime favorite and will be one of the top contenders until the end. His of- ficial visit to Notre Dame will go a long way to determining where the Irish stand in the four-star's recruitment. JEREMIAH HOLLOMAN — OFFICIAL VISIT Wide Receiver • Covington (Ga.) Newton Rivals Rankings: Three-star talent and the No. 41 athlete in the nation. The Skinny: The wide receiver will be a tough pull from the Peach State. Notre Dame appears to be on the out side looking in, but a chance is all the Irish staff needs to re-enter the picture. Georgia, Miami and Tennessee seem to be the favorites for Holloman, and it's always a difficult sell for the Irish when the rest of the competition is "warm weather schools. Blue & Gold Il- lustrated football analyst Bryan Driskell is high on Holloman and ranks him as one of the top wide receivers on his board. Notre Dame wants to add another wide receiver to the class, and Holloman could be a much more real- istic target following the visit. ✦ 2018 VISITORS Notre Dame also will welcome a handful of impact juniors to the Michigan State game: LEONARD TAYLOR — UNOFFICIAL VISIT Tight End • Springfield (Ohio) High Rivals Rankings: Four-star recruit, and the No. 6 tight end and No. 118 overall player in the junior class. The Skinny: Taylor was committed to Michigan for three weeks in August, but backed off his pledge to the Wolverines Aug. 22. Before that commitment, Notre Dame was in his top three along with Michigan and Ohio State. With Taylor being an Ohio product, and Ohio State reeling off an incredible stretch of recruiting momentum, it may be hard for the Irish to lure the elite tight end away from Urban Meyer. This will be Taylor's second visit to Notre Dame since June. EMIL EKIYOR — UNOFFICIAL VISIT Offensive Guard • Indianapolis Cathedral Rivals Rankings: Four-star prospect, and the No. 4 offensive guard and No. 127 overall player in the junior class. The Skinny: Ekiyor does not yet hold a Notre Dame offer, but one might be on the way. He is teammates with Notre Dame commits 2018 running back Markese Stepp and 2017 linebacker Pete Werner. At 6-4, 315 pounds, Ekiyor is an imposing force on the Cathedral offensive line. He holds several big-time offers, including Auburn, Georgia, Florida State and Michigan. According to Ekiyor, the Notre Dame staff told him they wanted to see film from the first three games of his junior season. Ekiyor, the No. 1 junior in the state of Indiana, said a Notre Dame offer would be an honor. MALIK VANN — UNOFFICIAL VISIT Defensive End • Fairfield (Ohio) High Rivals Rankings: Four-star talent, and the No. 9 strongside defensive end and No. 168 overall player in the junior class. The Skinny: Vann is probably the most frequent name brought up when the current 2018 Notre Dame commits mention who they are targeting on the recruiting trail. Stepp and Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison linebacker Ovie Oghoufo both are pursuing the Rivals four-star defensive end. Notre Dame has been the leader for Vann following his visit to South Bend for the Irish Invasion in June. He has said he won't commit until next year sometime, but a great visit can change everything. CHRISTIAN TUTT — UNOFFICIAL VISIT Defensive Back • Thomson (Ga.) High Rivals Rankings: Four-star recruit, and the No. 21 cornerback and No. 228 overall player in the junior class. The Skinny: Tutt is one of the highly regarded cornerbacks in the 2018 class. He visited Notre Dame this April for a spring practice and earned his offer from head coach Brian Kelly. He came away im- pressed and will experience his first Notre Dame game. Tutt recently narrowed his long list of 30-plus offers to a top 11, and Notre Dame made the cut. It in the end it will be difficult to pull Tutt from the South, but the talented cornerback has legit interest in Notre Dame and has previous ties to defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who coached his uncle at Georgia. OVIE OGHOUFO — UNOFFICIAL VISIT Linebacker • Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison Rivals Rankings: Three-star prospect and the No. 17 outside linebacker in the junior class. The Skinny: Oghoufo committed to Notre Dame July 22 and is currently one of the school's six pledges for the class of 2018. He ended his recruitment early, and still has schools such as Michigan and Michigan State after him. The three-star prospect said that he is actively recruiting for the Irish, and two of his main targets have been Vann and Florence (S.C.) Wilson Rivals five-star 2018 defensive end Xavier Thomas. — Corey Bodden and David McKinney Rivals four-star cornerback Christian Tutt of Thomson (Ga.) High will be making his second trip to Notre Dame this year and seeing his first game in South Bend. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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