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Irish brace for biggest recruiting weekend ever

Oct 20, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT


There are recruiting weekends, and then there are big recruiting weekends. But to get a feel for just how big this recruiting weekend will be for Notre Dame, take the biggest Irish recruiting weekend in recent memory and add about 30 more prospects.

As the weekend approaches, Notre Dame’s coaching staff gears up for some serious double-duty: A grudge match with its most vaunted rival and the logistical reality of organizing over 50 recruiting prospects heading to campus this weekend.

Not that defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Chuck Martin‘s tipping his hand.

“We got some guys coming in this weekend?” Martin said with a cheshire smile.

Guys is an understatement. The Irish are embarking on their largest recruiting weekend of all time, entertaining approximately 55 recruits in the class of 2012 and 2013 on official and unofficial visits.

When Notre Dame takes on USC in primetime Saturday night, they’ll be doing it in front of recruits from a staggering 18 different states. Seventeen official visitors. Right around 30 junior prospects. Nine recruits from the state of California alone. While it may not have been Brian Kelly and the coaching staff’s decision to turn this game into what amounts to an all-in bet, the reality is that an impressive Irish performance this Saturday night will be the type of double down performance the Irish need to super-charge their recruiting efforts for the next two years. If you’re looking for star power, this group has it. Fifteen visitors find themselves ranked among the top 100 recruits in the country.

With 16 commitments in the 2012 recruiting class already, let’s take a look at the visitors that’ll be in South Bend this weekend.


Ishmael Adams, CB: The Oaks Christian CB is getting his first look at Notre Dame.
Arik Armstead, DL/OT: No longer a Trojan commit, Armstead will visit Notre Dame. A huge priority recruit.
Zach Banner, OT: Another national target, the jumbo-sized left tackle prospect has his pick of schools.
Justin Ferguson, WR: Already committed to the Irish, Ferguson will be taking his official visit to Notre Dame.
Deontay Greenberry, WR: The Irish commit is working as another recruiter for the prospects visiting.
Donaldven Manning, CB: The V-Tech commit is being recruited by Tony Alford. (Enough said.)
Keith Marshall, RB: Fresh off a visit from Brian Kelly, he’s one of the highest priority’s on the Irish wish-list.
Byron Marshall, RB: Another explosive back, Byron might be closer to picking ND than Keith.
Ifeadi Odenigbo, OLB: An Ohio product with a Buckeyes offer, Odenigbo is one of Ohio’s top players.
Jordan Payton, WR: The former Trojan commit would add athleticism to WR depth chart.
Brian Poole, CB: The Florida commit will bring mom and dad to South Bend. Elite offer list.
KeiVarae Russell, RB: A dual-threat RB, Russell has his pick of the Pac-12 to go along with an Irish offer.
Tee Shepard, CB: Committed to the Irish, Shepard announced he’ll enroll early at Notre Dame this January.
John Theus, OT: The Georgia commit is among the nation’s top players. Huge chance for the Irish.
Shaq Thompson, WR/DB: Wherever he lines up, Thompson will make an immediate impact.
Bryce Treggs, WR: Committed to Cal, Treggs has the Irish No. 2 on his impressive list of suitors.
Will Redmond, DB: A Mississippi State commitment, Tim Hinton is working hard to get this visit.

It’d be hard to find a better collection of talent on any campus in the country this weekend. The Irish will get closer looks from some of the top players in the nation, and even the visitors that are committed to other schools are seriously considering the Irish. This group could almost double as a wish list, as even reeling in three or four of the guys not currently committed to the Irish would be a serious haul for Notre Dame. Huge credit should go to West Coast recruiter Mike Denbrock, who has been responsible for getting such a large contingent of California players in to visit.

If you’re looking for positions the Irish need to strengthen, they’re still looking at adding another cornerback, running back, wide receiver and depth along both lines. The Irish would gladly accept a commitment from any of these recruits, as they try to firm up the final spots in their ever-evolving 2012 recruiting class.


Chris Brown, WR: After making waves with a potential visit to South Carolina, Brown will be on campus.
Scott Daly, LS: With Jordan Cowart still battling a broken hand, Daly will be watching from the sidelines.
Sheldon Day, DT: Irish commit will make the drive from Indianapolis for the big game.
Mark Harrell, OT: Irish commit will be making an unofficial from North Carolina.
Jarron Jones, DT: The massive defensive end will be visiting from upstate New York.
Will Mahone, RB: The Irish’s most recent commit will be back in South Bend.
Romeo Okwara, OLB: Irish commitment can spend time with fellow Tar Heel Keith Marshall.
David Perkins, OLB: The South Bend native will bond with some recruits he met on the summer circuit.
John Turner, S: The third of the Irish’s Indiana commitments will be in town.
Jordan Diamond, OT: Chicago native giving the Irish a look for the big game.
Jon Moore, WR: Another North Carolina prospect coming to South Bend for a look at the Irish.


Matt Alviti, QB — Maine Township South, IL
Nadir Barnwell, QB — Piscataway HS, NJ
Kyle Kempt, QB — Massillon Washington, OH
Brayden Scott, QB — Sequoyah High, OK
JJ Green, RB — Camden HS, GA
Ty Isaac, RB — Joliet Catholic, IL
Kentrell Taylor, RB — Massillon HS, OH
Ryan Switzer, RB — George Washington HS, WV
Jalin Marshall, WR — Middletown HS, OH
Laquon Treadwell, WR — Crete Monee HS, IL
James Quick, WR — Trinity, KY
Alvin Scott, WR — Oneonta HS, AL
Adam Brenneman, TE — Cedar Cliff HS, PA
Christian Morgan, TE — Prestwood Academy, TX
Demetrius Cooper, ATH — Morgan Park HS, IL
Darian Horn, ATH — Peachtree Ridge, GA
Hunter Bivin, OT — Apollo HS, KY
Steve Elmer, OT — Midland HS, MI (Notre Dame commitment)
John Lopez, OT — Lutheran HS, CA
Billy Price, OL/DE — Austintown Fitch, OH
Jacob Matuska, DE — Bishop Hartley, OH
Elijah Daniel, OLB — Avon HS, IN
Ethan Posic, OLB — Lemont HS, IL
Chans Cox, ILB — Blue Ridge HS, AZ
Jon Reschke, ILB — Brother Rice, MI
Courtney Love, ILB — Cardinal Mooney, OH
Eli Woodard, CB — Eastern HS, NJ
Shaquille Wiggins, CB — Sandy Creek HS, GA
Caleb Day, S — Darby HS, OH

  1. bernhtp - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Huge weekend from so many perspectives. I’m so glad I will be there (I hope).

    I need some education here. What happens if a large number, say 10, of new commitments (esp five and upper-four star) come from this weekend. I think I know what an SEC team does, but how does Notre Dame handle such a situation given the previous commitments and scholarship limits?

    • papadec - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      To berntp – I believe the four year allowable number is 85. Scholarships (even @ ND) are awarded on an annual basis. ND, and other honorable institutions/conferences honor the scholarships offered for four years, sometimes five. They typically look at 22 per/year. They know that there will be attrition through injuries, transfers, etc that will keep them within the 85 limit. I think ND can be looking at 22-24 commits this year. If they take more – then it reduces what they could do for 5th year seniors & future classes.

  2. urfinished - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Typical golden domer expecting 10 commitments after one game. Hilarious.

    • rambler09 - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Hilarious? He was clearly posing a hypothetical. There wasn’t even a hint in his post that he ‘expected’ 10 commitments. We only have 5 spots left and we have 16 visitors coming this weekend that are considering us but haven’t committed. His question was completely valid.

      It’s good to know that you care enough about Notre Dame to go so far as to create a user name for one of our blogs. Closet fan?

      • urfinished - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Smart guy…the user name one chooses for profootballtalk is the same for each of their “sister sites”…so if you have a user name for one, you have a user name for all. And I browse this site occasionally, but not too often. I actually root for ND…not a hater by any stretch. But this fanbase is consistently the most hilarious year after year after year. The homerism is unparallelled for any team in any sport on any level. 75% of ND fans think they have a shot every year, the refs are against them, the press hates them, and every recruit that chooses another school is stupid. You have to know you have that reputation.
        And the orginal poster was not kidding…I just dont think they are educated on the process which is fine.
        Of course I’m not shocked I have to explain delusion to a golden domer. I’ll be pulling for you this weekend.
        Please learn to relax in the meantime.

    • jomilly - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM

      I expect 2, but a real nice 2. Thanks for coming on and posting comments, if you decided to not post anything again that would be ok.

  3. oldestguard - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Mercy !

    This could become Lane’s worst nightmare — Double-down loser on prime-time !!

    Gotta love the way Kelly is going all in .

    I got a good hunch the place WILL BE ELECTRIC by kickoff !

    The sit-down geezers are in for a shock !

    • dbldmr - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      As a geezer myself I’d be thrilled to have a reason to stand…I hope we all have one (or more) on Saturday night. I’m as excited by this game as I have been for any game in a few years. I was there with my son at the Bush Push game and we were hoarse when we left. This time I hope to be hoarse and celebrating a victory.

      Go Irish!

  4. jomilly - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Cant wait till Monday to check Scouts for new Irish commitments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • garfdog9 - Oct 20, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Are there too many? Recruits? Distractions? I’m worried that no one could pull this with any degree of success. We might lose the game and the recruiting edge.

      • papadec - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:40 PM

        Worry not!!!!!! It will all come together. Kelly and his staff know what they are doing in both coaching & recruiting. Some of the current 2012 commits have said they will be there, for the weekend, to help recruit. To ALL the ND detractors – I guess the 50+ recruits/commits & their families still think ND is relevant enough for a visit!!! GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 1historian - Oct 21, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    1) I’m not going to mention any names, mainly because I don’t remember any names, but t’was not long ago that many of BK’s detractors were very skeptical of his ability to attract top-notch recruits.

    I think those concerns have been put to rest.

    2) Granted this is a huge weekend, but I think the Stanford weekend will be just as big. Last year Stanford kicked our butts all over the field while Harbaugh stood on the sideline and egged them on. We should beat USC because we have the better team, we HAVE to beat Stanford because we OWE them. In addition ND will not be BACK until they beat a team that is clearly favored over them, preferably on THAT team’s turf.

    Those sparkly helmets are silly

  6. NDfan1224 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Huge Weekend
    Irish could pull in another impressive talented class

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