Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2017

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

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42 FEBRUARY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES During a season that saw his Bell- flower (Calif.) St. John Bosco team cap- ture a state title, four-star 2018 athlete Jaiden Woodbey said he did his best to focus on football and tried to keep the recruiting noise to a minimum. Woodbey, who played primarily as a defensive back, was pleased with his growth as a player during his junior campaign. "I think my development helped me understand my spot on the field a lot more than I did the year previous," he explained. "… That was a major thing as to why we were able to win the championship." With the season now behind him, things will no doubt start to pick up for the four-star on the recruiting trail. Rivals rates Woodbey as the No. 7 prospect in California, and the No. 3 athlete and No. 45 overall player nationally. In particular, he said he's hoping to hear more from Notre Dame going forward. "Hopefully the recruitment between them and me gets picked up," Wood- bey said. The exposure Notre Dame offers, he noted, is second to none. "They play on TV every Saturday," Woodbey said of what sticks out about the Irish. "I'm going to say that's elite." Should Woodbey end up at Notre Dame, he would be playing under de- fensive backs coach Todd Lyght. "That would be pretty big," he stated. "I know that he knows what it takes to get to the next level, so play- ing under him he'll guide me to play in the league. That's a major advan- tage." Another factor that has Woodbey interested in Notre Dame is his friend- ship with former St. John Bosco stand- out and current Notre Dame freshman safety D.J. Morgan. "I ask him how it is all the time, and he said he loves it up there," Wood- bey said. "Based off of his words and based off what I know, I'm pretty sure it's a great program." In the future, he said he hopes he can make a trip to Notre Dame to see what the Irish are all about. "Just the simple fact that they've been around in the top 25 teams in college football for the past couple years," Woodbey said of what makes him want to visit Notre Dame. "I know they're doing something right with that program." — David McKinney Things in South Bend have changed just a little bit since four-star Jackson- ville (Fla.) Providence School tight end/wide receiver Will Mallory re- ceived his Irish offer in early Novem- ber. Most notably, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Scott Booker — Mallory's main contact on the Notre Dame coaching staff — was let go. Even so, Rivals' No. 53 wide receiver in the class of 2018 said he hasn't lost interest in the Irish. "I have high interest in Notre Dame and really like the coaches," Mallory stated. "I know with Coach Booker leaving it'll be a little change, but I'm ex- cited for the coach- ing staff they will have. " M y r e l a t i o n - ship with them will be new. Coach Booker leaving will change things since he was who talked to me the most." The coaching staff may be unfamil- iar to the Florida standout, but Notre Dame itself won't be. He got his first look at South Bend this fall and came away impressed. "I visited Notre Dame in November and loved it," Mal- lory said. "The cam- pus was beautiful and the coaches were awesome, and it was good to sit down with them and talk." When the Irish offer came Nov. 6, Mallory said he was honored. "I was very excited when I was of- fered by Notre Dame because I had been talking to the coaches for a cou- ple of months at that point," he said. "It was worth the wait and I was very happy to get that offer." In watching and learning about Notre Dame, Mallory said he's begun to notice how beneficial four years in South Bend could be to not only his football career, but also his life in general. "What separates Notre Dame from others is the academics and tradition they have there," he said. "Everything about Notre Dame has to get you ex- cited because of the great tradition there. Also the great tight ends that have come out of there is something special." Before a decision comes — Notre Dame or otherwise — Mallory still has one more season of high school football to play, and his goals are clearly established. "For next season, I really want to step up and be that leader," he said. "I also would like to make a run in the playoffs and have fun with my buddies in our last year." — David McKinney Four-Star 2018 Athlete Hoping To Hear More From Irish Talented 2018 Pass Catcher Very Interested In Notre Dame "I KNOW THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT WITH THAT PROGRAM." WOODBEY ON NOTRE DAME "EVERYTHING ABOUT NOTRE DAME HAS TO GET YOU EXCITED BECAUSE OF THE GREAT TRADITION THERE." MALLORY JAIDEN WOODBEY ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ St. John Bosco Bellflower, Calif. Class: 2018 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 205 Rivals Rankings: No. 7 pros- pect in California, and No. 3 athlete and No. 45 overall player in the nation WILL MALLORY ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Providence School Jacksonville, Fla. Class: 2018 Position: Tight End/Wide Receiver Ht.: 6-5 • Wt.: 210 Rivals Rankings: No. 53 wide receiver in the country

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