Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2018

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

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50 MAY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY DAVID MCKINNEY AND COREY BODDEN C ome February 2019, the Notre Dame coaching staff may look back on April 2018 fondly as the month that got the ball rolling with its current signing class. Over the month, the Fighting Irish have hosted a heavy volume of talented prospects in the class at multiple po- sitions. The following is a rundown of the prospects that made it to cam- pus and where the Irish stand in their individual recruitments. (Note: All rankings are according to Rivals.) WEEK ONE The first week of April saw several unofficial visitors make their way to South Bend. On April 1, Notre Dame hosted Mesquite (Texas) West Mes- quite 2019 four-star wide receiver Dylan Wright. Wright, the No. 34 wide receiver and No. 219 overall player nationally, visited Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State over the span of the week during his school's spring break. While it was certainly a positive for Notre Dame to get Wright on cam- pus, the four-star is expected to end up attending school closer to home. Over the next several days, the Irish hosted more than 10 additional unofficial visitors, starting April 3 with Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco 2019 three-star linebacker Spencer Lytle. The nation's No. 24 outside linebacker told Blue & Gold Illustrated his trip to Notre Dame was "incred- ible in every way." He mentioned he is definitely going to make a second visit to South Bend this summer. On April 4, Notre Dame had two top linebacker targets on campus in four-star Mineral (Va.) Louisa County product Brandon Smith and Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley three-star rover Tristan Sinclair. Following the visit, Smith's father Rico told Blue & Gold Illustrated that everything went well during their second trip to South Bend. Notre Dame is one of several big-time pro- grams battling it out for Smith, in- cluding Michigan, Clemson, Penn State and Texas A&M. Sinclair was equally positive about his first look at Notre Dame. West Coast programs like California and Stanford will be major players for him going forward. On April 6, the Irish hosted a top offensive lineman in 2019 and an out- standing defensive lineman in 2020. Cincinnati Anderson 2019 four- star Zeke Correll, the country's No. 12 offensive guard, has visited Notre Dame multiple times and made his way back for an unofficial trip. Cor- rell is a priority for the Irish, and an official visit could happen before a decision is made. Ohio State, Clemson and Stanford are also major players. Damascus (Md.) High 2020 five-star defensive lineman Bryan Breese got his first look at Notre Dame. Major programs all over the country have offered Breese, but the Irish staff did a great job of getting him on campus early. On April 7, Notre Dame brought in several more prospects from all over the country on unofficial visits. Ethan Rae, the nation's No. 3 tight end from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, got his first look at the Irish, and the No. 146 player overall nationally wants to return in the fall for a game. Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis De- Sales defensive end Rodas Johnson, the No. 161 overall player in the 2019 class, also saw campus that day, and the Irish appear to have pulled ahead in the race to land the Ohio talent. Notre Dame also hosted 2020 of- fensive tackle Luke Wypler, who told Blue & Gold Illustrated the visit was "something special." Wypler landed an offer from Notre Dame in March. WEEK TWO The second week of April was just as busy as the first. On April 9, Notre Dame hosted Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph's 2019 of- fensive tackle John Olmstead, the No. 10 offensive tackle and No. 63 overall player in the country, on an unofficial visit. The Irish clearly knocked it out of the park, with Olmstead announc- ing his commitment to Notre Dame April 20. On April 10, Notre Dame hosted and offered Port Huron (Mich.) Northern 2020 defensive end Braiden McGregor, who said the scholarship tender from Notre Dame caught him off guard. Notre Dame Hosts Long List Of Talent For Spring Visits Fort Worth (Texas) Nolan Catholic 2019 defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah, the No. 160 player nation- ally per Rivals, took an official visit to Notre Dame April 13-15. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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