Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 25, 2017

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

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44 SEPT. 25, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY DAVID MCKINNEY N otre Dame welcomed in a long list of impressive prospects for the Georgia game Sept. 9, includ- ing several top class of 2018 targets who made their official visits. Here is a rundown of the biggest names on campus and what they had to say after their visits. CHASE COTA WIDE RECEIVER MEDFORD (ORE.) SOUTH MEDFORD Rivals Rankings: Four-star talent, and the No. 113 overall player and No. 21 wide receiver in the class of 2018. The Skinny: This was Cota's sec- ond trip to Notre Dame, his first com- ing for the Blue-Gold Game April 22. Cota returned to South Bend with both his parents, and was reportedly impressed once again. "The game-day atmosphere on the whole campus is something to expe- rience," said Chase's father, Chad. "It was great to be there and get a feel for that." Cota's West Coast upbringing, combined with the fact his father played at Oregon, has led many to believe that he is destined to stay in that part of the country. However, the elder Cota indicated that after the visit, Notre Dame has emerged as a major player in son's recruitment. "After the visit, it's moved up the list a little bit," he said of the Irish. "We'll say that." KALON GERVIN CORNERBACK • DETROIT CASS TECH Rivals Rankings: Four-star talent, and the No. 106 overall player and No. 14 cornerback in the class of 2018. The Skinny: A one-time Notre Dame commit, Gervin decided to give the Irish another look thanks to the combined efforts of defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and defensive coor- dinator Mike Elko. This was an unof- ficial visit for Gervin, who will return to South Bend for an official visit Oct. 21 when the Irish host USC. Gervin said he'll have a better feel for where his recruitment stands with the Irish after that second trip. "They're in the mix," he said. "That wasn't my official visit, so I'm not go- ing to come out of this visit and say this is this or this is that. After my official I think I'll really know where I stand with them." HOUSTON GRIFFITH DEFENSIVE BACK BRADENTON (FLA.) IMG ACADEMY Rivals Rankings: Four-star talent, and the No. 6 safety and No. 47 over- all player in the class of 2018. The Skinny: Like Gervin, the situation seemed to have faded sig- nificantly between Notre Dame and Griffith until recently. Prior to the visit, Griffith had been in communi- cation with Elko, and after watching his defense perform against Temple the highly rated safety's interest in the Irish was apparently renewed. After seeing the defense up close, Griffith has the Irish back in the thick of his recruitment. "They stand in pretty good posi- tion," he said. "I wouldn't take the visit if they didn't. Overall, it was a good visit, and it was good to see the new defense in person and un- derstand where I fit in the defensive scheme." JULIUS IRVIN SAFETY • ANAHEIM (CALIF.) SERVITE Rivals Rankings: Four-star talent and the No. 26 safety in the class of 2018. The Skinny: Notre Dame made a big move for Irvin during his official visit. The four star came into the trip with Notre Dame in his top five, but after the visit it appears that Washing- ton and Notre Dame are the likeliest options for Irvin going forward. According to his father, LeRoy Ir- vin, Notre Dame didn't have a ton of momentum coming into the trip, but the Irish changed that over the weekend. "They made a great impression on Julius," the elder Irvin said. "I'm not sure he was leaning toward Notre Dame when he came, but I know now he's really considering Notre Dame." Irvin himself echoed that when speaking about the visit. "It was a great visit," he said. "I enjoyed myself a lot." GEORDON PORTER WIDE RECEIVER • ETIWANDA (CALIF.) HIGH Rivals Rankings: Three-star talent and the No. 11 receiver in the state of California. The Skinny: Notre Dame benefit- ted from Porter taking an official visit to the school. "My interest in them was already high," Porter told Blue & Gold Illus- trated. "After this visit, it just shot up. This school is great, and it's a great opportunity to do what I want in life." Prior to the game, Porter was on the field watching warmups and said he started to envision himself strapping on a gold helmet and taking the field. "When I was out there I was like, 'Wow,'" he explained. "Catching the ball out there with that crowd in that environment would be amazing." Porter has Notre Dame in his top group and the Irish might just be the team to beat. However, he plans to visit Arizona State, Utah and UCLA before making his decision. ✦ Georgia Weekend Impresses Top Prospects Chase Cota, the nation's No. 21 wideout and No. 113 overall prospect according to Rivals, was one of many big names in South Bend for the Georgia game Sept. 9. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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