Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 8, 2012 Issue

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

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Football Recruiting Aiming For The Best Notre Dame can be more selective with only a few spots remaining in the 2013 haul By Jason Sapp There’s a perception that a big recruiting weekend isn’t successful unless a program lands a verbal commitment. Notre Dame begs to differ. While there were a number of key prospects that traveled to South Bend for the showdown against Michigan on Sept. 22, there were only a select few that the Irish were in position to take a pledge from with 20 commitments already in tow and anywhere from three to five spots left in the 2013 recruiting class. Notre Dame wasn’t necessarily in position, nor expecting, to land any verbal commitments from that group, despite being in a power position and being able to slow play some of the prospects if they were interested in popping. However, there are three recruits that the Irish couldn’t tell no if they wanted to hop on board. Torii Hunter Jr. WR, 6-1, 172, Prosper (Texas) High Junior Season: Caught 43 passes for 749 yards and 11 touchdowns. 247Sports Ranking: Rated as a four-star recruit, the No. 30 player in Texas, the No. 26 wide receiver in the land and the No. 231 overall prospect nationally. The Chatter: Hunter made strides over the summer, lighting up various events … He was named the offensive MVP at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., a Nike combine showcasing approximately 500 of the top players across the nation, and already had Notre Dame’s attention … His visit to South Bend over the summer solidified Notre Dame’s spot in the race, and the Irish remained in a strong position heading into his trip back … His playmaking ability puts him in the group of targets that could be the third wide receiver pledge in the class — James Onwualu of St. Paul, Minn., and Corey Robinson of San Antonio being the others … The fact that the Irish also offer a good baseball program to the dual-sport athlete piques his interest. Irish Stock: Notre Dame looked to be in position to land a commitment from the Texas native after his unofficial visit, but other programs remained on his radar, notably Arkansas, where his mother is from originally and he was born … He also has a visit to Nebraska scheduled for the weekend after the South Bend trip. Cole Luke CB, 6-0, 170, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton Junior Season: Recorded 63 tackles, 12 pass deflections and three picks for touchdowns. 247Sports Ranking: Tabbed as a four-star prospect, the No. 2 player in Arizona, the No. 8 cornerback in the country and the No. 61 overall recruit in the nation. The Chatter: Luke lost contact with the Irish for nearly a month after taking an extended visit to Notre Dame with his coach and former Irish quarterback Steve Belles … However, the program remained persistent in its efforts and was able to find its way back into the mix, especially after the Arizona native saw the Irish play while in Dublin for his own game against Notre Dame running back target Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks, Calif. … He has the lockdown-corner potential that Notre Dame is looking to add to Devin Butler of Washington, D.C., and Rashad Kinlaw of Absecon, N.J., in the class, and he’s an example of a target the coaching staff can’t turn away. Irish Stock: Notre Dame was able to get back into the picture, but still has some work to do with Oklahoma and Texas having Luke’s attention and scheduled to receive visits on Oct. 26 and Oct. 5, respectively. L.J. Moore DB, 6-2, 185, Fresno (Calif.) Central East Junior Season: Registered three interceptions. 247Sports Ranking: Ranked as a four-star recruit, the No. 26 player in California, the No. 17 cornerback in the country and the No. 233 overall prospect nationally. The Chatter: Moore had been waiting for his trip to South Bend for quite some time and was entering the weekend with plenty of anticipation … There’s an obvious connection to former Irish cornerback Tee Shepard, who left campus midway through the spring semester as an early enrollee … However, the senior is considered to be more of a fit for the program in regards to his off-the-field character … He’ll have another opportunity to watch the Irish play in person when he heads to Norman on Oct. 27 for the Oklahoma-Notre Dame game. Irish Stock: Was considered the closest to potentially offering an acceptable pledge during his official visit for the Michigan game … UCLA is another program to watch with the Bruins at the top of the list with the Irish … Has official visits scheduled to Cal on Oct. 7, Oregon State on Oct. 20 and UCLA on Nov. 3, and the Bruins may be one to watch late in the race due to receiving the last visit.

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