Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2018

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

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Page 28 of 47 FEBRUARY 2018 29 FOOTBALL RECRUITING but I'm going to take other visits.' It really, truly is a commitment to one university. " … We identified those kids that were committed to this university, and we went to work on that. That's resonated in this process. "The way our class was set up this year and the way we recruit to Notre Dame, it's set up really nice for us this year. There was no confusion as to what the parameters were leading up to this." REMAINING TARGETS While signing 21 in December was gratifying, Kelly said the Irish were "still open for business" at defensive back, offensive line and then "best athlete available." The Irish could sign 25 or even 26 if they want. Whether they will and if it's a "fit" is still to be determined. • No. 22 was filled with Jones Dec. 27 — and the Irish would still love to add top-100 offensive tackle Nick Petit-Frere from Tampa, Fla., as No. 23. • Notre Dame wants to fill out the secondary with at least one more player such as Noah Boykin of Wash- ington, D.C., or Julius Irvin of Ana- heim, Calif. • Although five-star California wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, brother of Irish junior wideout Equa- nimeous St. Brown, is considered by most analysts a lock for USC, the Irish would find room for him or Louisiana wideout Lawrence Keys, among others such as California linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu, as a "best athlete available." ✦ Seven To Enroll Early In addition to the early signing period, the most players ever at Notre Dame will begin their college careers early at the university. Since first admitting early entrants in 2006, the Irish have never had more than five enroll for the spring semester, but this year will have seven when classes begin Jan. 15. That means they will begin weight training activities before the start of the 15 spring practices in March, giving them a head start in team-related activities. Last year five enrolled — running back C.J. Holmes, tight end Brock Wright, offensive linemen Aaron Banks and Robert Hainsey, and safety Isaiah Robertson — and all but Banks saw action, with Hainsey finding a co-starting role at right tackle. The seven early enrollees this year are led by linebackers Matthew "Bo" Bauer, Jack Lamb and Ovie Oghoufo — which is particularly valuable because the Irish graduate two senior captains there in Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini. Furthermore, returning starters Drue Tranquill and Te'von Coney (who also was looking at turning pro) are entering their final season of eligibility. The other four early enrollees are running back Jahmir Smith, wide receiver Micah Jones, tight end George Takacs and defensive back Houston Griffith. — Lou Somogyi 21 SIGN WITH NOTRE DAME Here is the positions breakdown, with the heights and weights officially listed by the University of Notre Dame: Quarterback Phil Jurkovec (6-5, 204, Pittsburgh) Note: Potentially the highest rated Irish QB recruit since Gunner Kiel in 2012. Running Back Jahmir Smith (5-10, 198, Sanford, N.C.) Wide Receiver Kevin Austin (6-2, 197, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Micah Jones (6-5, 202, Gurnee, Ill.) Braden Lenzy (6-0, 175, Tigard, Ore.) Tight End George Takacs (6-6, 244, Naples, Fla.) Tommy Tremble (6-3, 224, Johns Creek, Ga.) Offensive Line John Dirksen (6-5, 303, Maria Stein, Ohio) Cole Mabry (6-5, 275, Brentwood, Tenn.) Note: Luke Jones (6-4, 290, Little Rock, Ark.) verbally committed to Notre Dame Dec. 27 and is expected to sign Feb. 7. Defensive Tackle Jayson Ademilola (6-3, 288, Jackson, N.J.) Ja'Mion Franklin (6-1, 296, Ridgley, Md.) Defensive End Justin Ademilola (6-2, 246, Jackson, N.J.) Note: The Ademilola twins plus rover Shayne Simon all hail from powerhouse St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, N.J., which also produced current Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Linebacker/Rover Matthew Bauer (6-2, 212, Harborcreek, Pa.) Jack Lamb (6-3, 211, Temecula, Calif.) Ovie Oghoufo (6-3, 208, Lathrup Village, Ill.) Shayne Simon (6-3, 212, West Orange, N.J.) Note: Bauer was selected to the USA Today first-team All-America unit. Cornerback Tariq Bracy (5-11, 170, Milpitas, Calif.) Houston Griffith (6-0, 194, Chicago) Joseph Wilkins Jr. (6-2, 180, North Fort Mey- ers, Fla.) Note: This was a huge area of need after not signing any corners in 2017. Safety Derrik Allen (6-2, 215, Marietta, Ga.) Paul Moala (5-11, 196 Mishawaka, Ind.) Note: Landing the high-rated Allen from the Peach State was one of the top Irish coups in this recruiting cycle. Head coach Brian Kelly said the Irish were "still open for business" at defensive back, offensive line and then "best athlete available" for the final few spots remaining in the 2018 class. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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