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Recruits flock to campus for Irish Invasion camp

Jun 20, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

Jaylon Smith

In the past, Notre Dame had to wait for a game weekend to get a group of elite prospects onto campus. But as the timeline for recruiting compresses, Notre Dame’s coaching staff has turned their annual summer camp into one of the must-attend events of the summer.

Dubbed the “Irish Invasion,” the event will begin Friday night. A slew of national prospects in both the 2015 and 2016 cycle will be in attendance. Here’s a quick look at the most up-to-date list of attendees, highlighting some of the players that already have an Irish offer.

(All rankings are based on Rivals’ evaluations)

Josh Adams
3-Star RB
Warrington, PA

Austin Bryant
4-star DE
Thomasville, GA

Tevon Coney
4-Star LB
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Justin Hilliard
4-Star LB
Cincinnati, OH

Jacques Patrick
5-Star RB
Orlando, FL

The following elite prospects from the 2016 class have offers as well.

Liam Eichenberg
4-Star OT
Cleveland, OH

Malik Henry
4-Star QB
Westlake, CA

They’ll be joined by the following Irish commitments:

Shaun Crawford
4-Star CB
Lakewood, Ohio

Nicco Fertitta
3-Star Safety
Las Vegas, NV

Tristen Hoge
4-Star OG
Pocatello, Idaho

Trevor Ruhland
4-Star OL
Cary, IL

Jerry Tillery
Shreveport, LA

Of the uncommitted offers, the fact that elite players like Bryant, Hilliard, Patrick and Coney are all on campus is a great start. The Irish are on the short-list for all four prospects, and would likely take a commitment from every one of them.

A few dozen more prospects will be in attendance, with some attendees trying to earn a scholarship offer (like Jonathan Bonner did last year at camp). That group includes San Diego linebacker Casey Toohill, an Irish legacy whose entire family has attended Notre Dame. He’s got double-digit offers though missed a significant portion of last season with an injury.

Local media has a viewing window during the Friday night session, so expect news to trickle out after this weekend. While the confirmed attendee list is a work-in-progress, Las Vegas’ Calvin Broadus canceled earlier this week,  it’s a big first step before Notre Dame’s staff starts traveling the country next summer with satellite camps.



  1. irishmob89 - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    “Irish Invasion”. I love it. Coach Kelly and his staff are wizards when it comes to recruiting. Notre Dame is also doing a fantastic job of getting Southern talent and I see that only getting better and better.

  2. deadman3020 - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    I wonder how many commits we get this weekend? Go IRISH!!!

  3. mtflsmitty - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Justin Hilliard visiting ND today and OSU tomorrow. Says a decision will follow.

    No one player, and for that matter no single class, is all that big of a deal one way or another. But you either have momentum or you don’t. Hilliard is a good example of a momentum-building recruit. Plus always great to stick our collective thumb in Urban’s eye.

    • upthera44 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      For anyone who hasn’t seen this yet. There are highlight reels and then there are *highlight reels*:

      In this case, one recruit might really matter (but you’re right, it’s not worth obsessing over)…

      • chaunce922 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Kids alot like shembo, finds the whole and explodes.

        Looks like a beast..

    • iamgolden4life - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Well this should be interesting. His decision will probably be in the next few days. I think it’s funny how Chris Clark tweeted how “sick” Ohio St is, only to commit to Michigan a day or two later. I honestly think we have a great shot to land Hilliard,. I guess only time will tell. WEAreND

  4. johngaltisspeaking - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    I think its great that we go out of our way to recruit this top talent. We have got to do anything we can do to compete with Alabama. These 5 star players fall into the hands of Bama while we have to work hard to get a five star commit.

  5. fnc111 - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Garbage weather today. Looks to be 80 and sunny tomorrow though. Hopefully the recruits remember that it doesn’t snow there all the time.

    • gtizzo - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      What is it with people think kids care about the weather? Notre Dame can’t control the weather in South Bend why should it be held against them? These are not ducks flying south for the winter, there football players. Football is a battle against the elements not just an opposing team. The weather-ist movement is as silly as the star gazers.

  6. irishwilliamsport - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Alabama is a football school, period. Saban is all business, they over-recruit, greyshirt and cut guys who are not living up to their scholarship. We are chasing different types of kids then they are and that’s the bottom line.

    They have had solid QB play the last 6 or 7 years and we have not and when you couple that with the head scratching defensive schemes and recruiting principles, that’s why we go 8-5 or 9-4. With the exception of their last 2 games last year Alabama rarely beats themselves, unlike some of our losses over the years.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      I agree its a big problem. If I want to have a shot at Football do I want to play for a professional organization or do I want to go to Notre Dame or Stanford and get an education. You can’t do both. Notre Dame’s Football program is not run like Alabamas. Can you still get a good education at Alabama ? Yes… I just think at some point Notre Dame would be better off offering a degree program that would be tailored to meet the needs of the Football player only. Just my two cents but whatever.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Well, actually our 8 draft picks this year prove that you can do both. Nice try though. As usual when you post anything, you failed.

      • ndgoldandblue - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Eight draft picks? That’s amazing! We must’ve made it to a BCS bowl then. I’m guessing no one on this board would care if a single person got drafted from Notre Dame if it meant the Irish won a national championship.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        No sh!t goldandblue. Many thanks, captain obvious. Although poorly written, the point he was making was that if a kid wants to play pro football, then that goal conflicts with getting a ND or Stanford type degree. The point I made was that we have a lot of guys that go pro AND get great degrees. As many or more than the “football factories”. Where did I state I’d rather have draft picks than wins? Work on your reading comprehension.

      • ndgoldandblue - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Yeah, you’re right. You can get a degree at a rigorous academic institution like Notre Dame and also get drafted. You’re 100% on point with that. But my point was that, on this board, too much has been made of the eight draft picks. Maybe our favorite team is oozing talent, and we can expect a high number of draft picks each year. If that happens, great. I wish all of them boatloads of success in the NFL. I’d just like to see that talent translate into winning while they’re at ND.

        And, yes, you brought up 2012. Fantastic. It’s one great year sandwiched between three average ones. But you were definitely right, especially when you mentioned Stanford. They are currently the standard for success when it comes to tough academic universities. They’ve had four straight years with double-digit wins. That’s what they boast about. Not how many draft picks they’ve had.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        ibleedirish Buffalo and Western Michigan send players to the NFL. What is your point ? Sending kids to the NFL is not the reason I watch ND Football. I want to see ND win 10 + games every year. I know I will get flamed for this but I doubt that the Football Players currently have the some educational rigors as a non student athlete. I think they get a tons of help from Tutors and such to get through school. Right now they might have already designed a program for the Football Players but we still might not be able to recruit the star talent.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Also ibleedirish we are nowhere near an Alabama when it comes to our football program. This just goes to show how out of it your are and how you are obviously living in the old days. Alabama has one of the best facilities in the nation. They have outstanding management and have some of the best coaches in the country. Nick Saban is not only a proven winner he is in the category of a Lou Holtz or Ara Parseghian. Who would you want to train under Nick Saban or Brian Kelly ? I get it the academics are great at Notre Dame but the football program is no Alabama. So NO you can’t get both at one school its either one or the other. For kids that are top talent who want a shot at the NFL going to Alabama makes much more sense. For kids who know they are not the best on the field and know they will end up doing something outside of football they are going to pick Notre Dame. Obviously not all players see it this way and its great for us but the majority of players value NFL pedigree to education.

        I am still not convinced Brain K is nothing more than a Big East coach with MAC coaches. The new T shirt should read ” No More Excuses WIN BABY WIN ! “

      • ibleedirish - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        My apologies for being harsh. rough day at work. my bad.
        Clearly we agree more than we disagree. I couldn’t care less whether we have draft picks, just making the point that going to the League and getting a really high quality degree (I’m also not saying other schools degrees are bad) aren’t mutually exclusive. I’d take consistent 10+ win seasons over draft picks all day long. I also believe with the proper QB in place, ND would have done that last year. Going forward, BK has ND set up to do just that. Its time to put up or shut this year though, no doubt.

        Galt. Stop moving the argument. You said you couldn’t do both. You can. End of story.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        ibleedirish No you cant ! Name one academic powerhouse football team that won the NC in the BCS era ?


        Still Waiting …………………………………


      • ndgoldandblue - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        On that, we definitely agree. He’s got the QB line of succession in place. As you said, this year it’s put up or shut up. I’ve said before that I like BK, but now’s the time to start winning consistently.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        ” If I want to have a shot at Football do I want to play for a professional organization or do I want to go to Notre Dame or Stanford and get an education. You can’t do both.”

        You mentioned nothing about winning championships. Your point was that one cannot play professional football and get a ND/Standford degree. That clearly is false. Your poorly written words, Galt (yeah, right), not mine.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        College Football is based on wins and losses. Honestly I could careless about the education or all the other drama that plagues this sport. At the end of the day Nick Saban wins because he is an outstanding football coach. They win the big games because they have the best of the best when it comes to players. My argument is if you are going to train to be an NFL player why not get trained by the best . Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern Vandy Duke etc are all great programs but they don’t win NC anymore. And the two cannot and will not coexist in College Football. So kids have to pick one over the other. Its like being taught the computer business by Bill Gates or Stanford University. Just becoming a 5 star recruit out of HS is so rare so I don’t blame kids for seeking the best coaching in the country. And that sir right now is Alabama.

    • wisner74 - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      I guess 12-1 in 2012 doesn’t count.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Right? According to some of these jokers it never happened.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        2012 was a great year for the program but also keep in mind Notre Dame caught both Oklahoma and USC in down years. The schedule looks way more impressive on paper than it does on tv. We had a few great games but I seriously believe Notre Dame would have made out better if Pitt won the game and we played in a bowl game. The Alabama game showed our true colors. That game was over after the first few plays of the game.

  7. notthatconfused - Jun 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Calvin Broadus from Las Vegas? Snoop Dogg’s kid or strage coincidence?

    • notthatconfused - Jun 20, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      It is Snoop Dogg’s kid, but his name is Cordell.

      • mcirish27 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        Exactly – Calvin is Mr. Snoop Lion himself. Cordell is the scion of the lion.

      • onward2victory - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        Let’s be honest, did we really think a son of Snoop would be a good fit for ND anyways?? Cierre Wood probably would have strongly advised him to stay in PAC12 country.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        Onward you an asshole.

      • onward2victory - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:26 AM

        Well that’s better than being a troll…

  8. lightskin350 - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Yes Justin Hilliard is worth obsessing over because you can believe that Urban Meyer and Ohio Stare are obsessing over him. Meyer like Brian Kelly has personally taken over the recruitment of Justin. Both head coaches realize how special he is and how important he is. Ohio State will be fine without him but not us. We need as much 5 star elite talent we can get. Whoever gets left out when Hilliard decides to announce will still recruit the hell out of him.

    • mtflsmitty - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      “OSU will be fine without him, but not us”.

      I disagree completely. We are every bit in the same class as OSU in terms of the quality of football we are playing. Our schedule is substantially more challenging, and we are competing for the same players.

      IMO, players like Hilliard (I.e strong parental involvement, seemingly well-raised) make decisions on fit with the culture of the institution, and often more importantly, fit within the existing depth chart. These kids are generally thinking NFL and want to find the straightest line to playing time and exposure.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I agree way too many fans over use the term rkg. the bottom line is an rkg is an excuse for not getting 5 star players. notre dame needs all the 5 star talent it can get its hands on.

      • mediocrebob - Jun 21, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Bk doesn’t need excuses. He’s won everywhere he’s been. People on here need to chill out and enjoy life a bit more. Let bk worry about wins and just be fans. Nobody cares what any of us think on here and nobody in this discussion is changing their opinions regardless of how many times you post the same things over and over.

        Notre Dame is not Alabama or Florida St. But they never have been. Which is one reason why I love them.

        Go Irish. Beat everyone.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Hillard to Ohio State… This is a complete waste of time…. NEXT

  9. njnapa - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Hilliard is a tremendous player. He’s not Jaylen, but he’s in the vicinity ND is the perfect place for him. I hope he realizes it, and isn’t taken in by Meyer. Signing Jaylen, Morgan and Hilliard in successive years would be an outstanding piece of recruiting by this staff.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Ohio State is a good University and Urban is another proven winner. Hillard can be successful at Ohio State. Dont try to sell the Notre Dame Brand. Either kids like the school or they don’t. But believe me Hillard will do just fine at Ohio State. This elitist behavior from Notre Dame fans makes me not proud to be a fan. I wish they would just get over the academics already..

      • mediocrebob - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        Ooooh the classic “Notre Dame fans are elitist..” Ever been to columbus ohio?

  10. yaketyyacc - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    welcome young men, and thank you for considering and coming to Notre Dame. While visiting, remember what Knute Rockne said, … in a few years, the public will forget the best of you. translation, your education will be with you forever. only eight of ND’s players were drafted. and whether or not you are, Notre Dame is going to give you an education and experience equal to none.
    so if you decide in favor of Notre Dame, it is a win win for both of us.

  11. 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Today is June 21.

    9 days in June

    31 Days in July – total 40

    29 days in August – total 69.

    As of today we are OFFISHULLY short timers in re the kickoff of the 2014 season.


    My work here is done (for the day) and we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming

    A few of you (I won’t mention any names) seemed to me to be perilously close to getting a room together and i would hate to think that I prevented a meaningful relationship

    • papadec - Jun 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      hist – thanks for the update. I couldn’t find my abacus, and I ran out of fingers & toes. I usually don’t start counting until AUG 1st though.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      always nice to have a healthy dose of perspective and a reminder of the impending season. thanks for both.

    • mayo1010 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      They last time I checked there is 31 days in August. What’s the deal with “29 days in August” 1historian?

  12. irishwilliamsport - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    No one committed over the weekend ? That’s not a great sign in my opinion.

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