Keith Arnold

Donte Vaughn
Rivals / Yahoo Sports

E-Faxes in: Donte Vaughn

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Be sure to watch UND.com and WatchND throughout Signing Day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show.

 

DONTE VAUGHN
Memphis, Tennessee

Measurables: 6’3″, 190 lbs.

Accolades: All-USA Tennessee first-team, 6A All-State first team, 4-star recruit per 247 composite, Liberty Bowl All-Star game MVP.

Impressive Offers: Auburn, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M.

Projected Position: Cornerback

Quick Take: No, that’s not a typo. Notre Dame thinks Vaughn can be a cornerback at nearly 6-3 and 195-pounds. That says something about the athleticism that he possesses, with DB coach Todd Lyght already doing the inevitable, comparing his skill-set with All-Pro Richard Sherman’s.

From a size perspective alone, Vaughn stands out at the position group on the roster. He’s a rare pull for the Irish staff out of Memphis, played for a premier program in the area and will likely come in as a corner with the positional flexibility to shift to safety if needed.

What he means to the Irish: Another big body and high-level recruit in a reloaded back end of the defense. As the Irish evolve as a program, it’s interesting to see the diverse set of players they’ve recruited to play defense. Vaughn has already displayed big-time production to go along with the lofty projection of his talents.  He’ll bring a needed edge to the secondary.

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E-Faxes in: Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool
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Be sure to watch UND.com and WatchND throughout Signing Day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show.

 

CHASE CLAYPOOL
Abbotsford, British Columbia

Measurables: 6’4″, 215 lbs.

Accolades: 4-star consensus, played for 2015 B.C. high school football AA Championship, participated in The Opening, 2016 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.

Impressive Offers: Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah.

Projected Position: Wide Receiver

Quick Take: Notre Dame went across the border to pull out one of this cycle’s most intriguing prospects. Claypool looks like an immediate contender for playing time at wide receiver. He also looks like a guy who could grow into an edge rusher. Not too many guys could play wide receiver or defensive end in college.

After dropping 51 points in a high school basketball game on Tuesday night, it’s clear that Claypool’s athleticism puts him atop the prep scene in British Columbia. Whether that lessens the considerable adjustment period he’ll face once he starts playing college football at an elite level remains to be seen.

What he means to the Irish: If this were a signing day victory, Claypool would be among the best stories of the recruiting cycle. He still should be, especially after seeing his performance at The Opening—where Claypool showed great speed and athleticism to go along with elite size and length.

A recruitment that took a lot of time and resources, landing Claypool was just the beginning. Developing him into the football player we see on film is the next step, and that process will begin this June.

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E-Faxes in: Jonathan Jones

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Orlando Sentinel
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Be sure to watch UND.com and WatchND throughout Signing Day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show.

 

JONATHAN JONES
Ocoee, Florida

Measurables: 6’0″, 200 lbs.

Accolades: Invited to The Opening, Team USA U-19 team member, All-State Class 8A second team, No. 3 player in Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Super 60, consensus 3-star recruit.

Impressive Offers: Signing day win over Michigan, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, LSU, Stanford

Projected Position: Middle Linebacker

Quick Take: A middle linebacker high on performance but a little short on measurables, Jones will be an interesting test case coming through Notre Dame. A need-based recruit at middle linebacker, Jones picked the Irish over Michigan and a slew of great offers, though his diminutive size could be a hinderance.

What he means to the Irish: What’s clear after hearing the signing day comments and talking to people in the program is that they believe Jones has the opportunity to be an immensely productive football player. Add two-inches to Jones’ height and he’s an elite 5-star player—and his offer sheet would seem to indicate he’s a national target already.

It helps having just pushed Joe Schmidt through two seasons as a starter. It also helps to have Mo Crum, a tackling machine during the Weis era as a sub-6 foot MLB on staff as a graduate assistant.

Jones has football instincts, great leadership skills and is a sure tackler. While he’s not a big collision guy on tape, there’s got to be something all these top programs see other than a lack of height.

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E-Faxes in: D.J. Morgan

DJ Morgan
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Be sure to watch UND.com and WatchND throughout Signing Day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show.

 

D.J. Morgan
Norwalk, California

Measurables: 6’2″, 190 lbs.

Accolades: Tw0-year starter and team captain for nationally ranked team. O.C. Register All-Trinity League, Consensus 3-star recruit, CIF Open Division Champion

Impressive Offers: Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Utah

Projected Position: Safety

Quick Take: Mike Denbrock said all you need to hear, calling Morgan the best player in the best program in California. That’s much higher praise than a 3-star ranking. Morgan ran the team’s secondary, a team captain with great leadership abilities. He’s got the chance to stay at safety or move down into the box, a big kid who’ll only get bigger as he gets into a college strength program.

What he means to the Irish: With Morgan, Spencer Perry and Donte Vaughn in the class, the Irish got a lot bigger in the secondary. That was by design and certainly will help reshape a safety position that needs to improve.

Playing at Don Bosco should help Morgan step onto campus ready to contribute. There’s room for him on the field to do so, especially if he can develop his speed to go along with elite size.

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E-Faxes in: Ian Book

Ian Book
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Be sure to watch UND.com and WatchND throughout Signing Day for real-time official announcements of national letters of intent and a live signing day show.

 

IAN BOOK
El Dorado Hills, California

Measurables: 6’0″, 190 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus 3-star recruit, All-Sierra Foothill League MVP, Sacramento Bee first-team All-Metro.

Impressive Offers: Boise State, Washington State, Arizona State, Colorado

Projected Position: Quarterback

Quick Take: Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford has long known Book, recruiting him when he was at Boise State. While the Irish had a few other 2016 quarterbacks on their board ahead of Book, the Irish flipped him from Washington State and Mike Leach a move possibly prompted by the decision of 2017 QB Hunter Johnson.

He’s an accurate, athletic and heady quarterback. Physically he won’t necessarily wow you, but a look at his highlights show you a versatile playmaker who on the field did as much as any guy the Irish were recruiting.

What he means to the Irish: Stability. With a position battle set for spring and three highly-touted guys fighting for snaps, Book allows continuity at the position and also keeps the roster in line if a transfer does occur down the line.

Book’s more than a placeholder, even if he’s not an Elite 11 or 5-star guy. He’s a return to athletic and accurate quarterbacks after signing a high-ceiling prospect like Brandon Wimbush and the first QB brought in by Mike Sanford.

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