Author: Keith Arnold

247 Sports

Faxes in: Nicco Fertitta


Las Vegas, NV

Measurables: 5’9″, 175 lbs.

Accolades: All-USA Nevada All-State, first-team All-State, No. 295 on Tom Lemming’s Top 300, U.S. Army All-American, State Champion.

Other Impressive Offers: Arizona, Boston College, UNLV, Utah

Projected Position: Safety


Quick Take: An incredibly productive high school player on one of the nation’s top teams. Fertitta will be challenged physically from a size and speed perspective, but certainly not from a toughness or instincts front.

Following Ronnie Stanley from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Fertitta also played a key role in bringing Aliz’e Jones to Notre Dame. But pegging him as a ride along companion isn’t fair. Even if it’s as a special teams standout, sleeping on Fertitta isn’t wise.


What he means for the Irish: Another body at safety. And an instinctive football player. While most pegged Drue Tranquill as a linebacker in waiting, Fertitta might have the size of a student manager, but that won’t keep him from pushing for early playing time.

A highly trained athlete, Fertitta developed a reputation as a knockout artist on the football field, a unique distinction considering his family’s ties to the UFC. The next four years will test Fertitta, another underdog challenge that I’m sure will motivate him.

Notre Dame’s defense is looking for football players of all shapes and sizes. Fertitta will be an interesting test case.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s Fertitta’s senior highlights. Pound for pound, there might not have been a bigger hitter in high school football.


Faxes in: Bo Wallace

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New Orleans, LA

Measurables: 6’4″, 215 lbs.

Accolades: Semper Fidelis All-American game, All-USA Louisiana team, Times-Picayune District 11-sA team, No. 129 on Tom Lemming’s top 300, State runner-up

Other Impressive Offers: Arizona State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas.

Projected Position: Defensive End.


Quick Take: If you’re looking for a premium pass rusher in this recruiting class, Wallace is it. No, he’s not one of the big fish that the Irish were initially chasing, but there’s reason to believe that Wallace will be an impact pass rusher, even if it takes a year or two to get there.

Look at Wallace as somewhere between Jhonny Williams and Kolin Hill. He’s lacking the bulk that Williams has but has a bit more length than Hill, who was a designated pass rusher at times last year. He’s going to need to gain some weight, but there’s a lot of fast twitch there, and that’s something needed on this defense.


What he means to the Irish: Notre Dame went into John Curtis, a powerhouse New Orleans football program, and got one of their best prospects. That’s a big victory for this staff, and a credit to Kerry Cooks, who handled that region for Notre Dame.

More functionally, Wallace is a nice hybrid player who can exist as a linebacker or rush defensive end. Getting his weight up will be important, but that versatility will continue to help the Irish be a very good third down team.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s Wallace’s official preview from our friends at


Faxes in: Shaun Crawford

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Garfield Heights, OH

Measurables: 5’9″, 181

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, All-USA Ohio DB, first-team AP All-State, No. 63 overall player by Rivals, consensus 4-star CB, State Champion.

Impressive Offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, Miami, Penn State

Projected Position: Cornerback


Quick Take: Add two inches to Crawford and he’s a five-star recruit. He’s almost one right now at 5’9″. Some could argue that the Ohio native is one of the crown jewels of the recruiting class. He certainly plays football that way. Now getting it to transfer to the next level will be key.

There’s no teaching length and no way around the fact that Crawford doesn’t have it. But he’s got the speed, athleticism and instincts to cover anyone, and don’t be surprised if he’s in the slot sooner than later next season.

Crawford was a Michigan commit early and Notre Dame fended off Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer for his signature. That’s a big victory and one of the top pieces in this recruiting class.


What he means to Notre Dame: The staff believes they’ve got a lockdown corner and future star in the making. As a high schooler, there wasn’t much Crawford couldn’t do as a football player. Expect to see him get every opportunity to do that at the next level as well.

Crawford could be a specialist/return man. He can also be a lock-down cover corner. He showcased elite speed and ability at both the scouting combines and in practice drills in Orlando for the Under Armour game. This is an exciting prospect who is among the best football players in the country.

If you’re in the business of celebrating recruiting victories, don’t forget to celebrate this one.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s 10 minutes of Crawford putting on a show. The interception to open this reel might be my favorite.


Faxes in: Brandon Wimbush


Hackensack, NJ

Measurables: 6’2″, 205 lbs.

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, First-team athlete MaxPreps All-American, All-USA New Jersey Offensive player of the year, New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year, consensus 4-star, MSG Varsity first-team All-Metro, Tri-State Player of the Year, State Champion

Other Impressive Offers: Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Nebraska, Stanford

Projected Position: Quarterback


Quick Take: Good luck finding something you don’t like about Wimbush. A rocket arm, better than good legs, and the type of leadership you want in your quarterback. While the Irish were originally committed to making Blake Barnett work, if Wimbush is considered a consolation prize, he should also be considered a better bet to excel in Notre Dame’s system.

While he’ll be behind Everett Golson, Malik Zaire, and DeShone Kizer, Wimbush should expect to compete for playing time from jump street, though a redshirt 2015 season is likely a luxury that Brian Kelly will exercise before jumping into the fray.


What he means for the Irish: While the Irish were ready to go through this recruiting cycle without a quarterback, Wimbush puts them back on schedule — and prepared for life moving forward if Everett Golson decides that his best bet for playing football is in another program next season.

Wimbush is a centerpiece recruit, and one of the fastest rising prospects in the nation this year. The sky is the limit for him as a quarterback, though there are still some raw parts to his game.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a nice look at Wimbush’s senior season, opening with an absolute bomb (maybe 65-yards on the fly) for a ridiculous touchdown pass.


Faxes in: Ashton White

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Clinton, MD

Measurables: 5’11”, 182 lbs.

Accolades: Third-team all-WCAC, consensus 3-star prospect, No. 28 cornerback per ESPN.

Other Impressive Offers: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Iowa, West Virginia

Projected Position: Cornerback


Quick Take: Notre Dame was in early on White, who had committed to Virginia Tech very early before reopening things. He camped in South Bend to earn an offer, giving the Irish coaching staff a look at his length and athleticism.

He’s certainly not the highest profile recruit on the Irish board. But he’s a “profile” guy who the Irish jumped on early and helps the depth chart immediately.


What he means for the Irish: After playing over a dozen freshmen on defense, White won’t likely need to see the field in 2015. But he’s the type of guy Kelly has made a living finding — a very good football player who might not get the acclaim on the recruiting trail that others do, but looks and fits the part athletically.

Going into the Washington D.C. area and pulling another athlete out is something to be excited about as well.


Oligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a look at White’s senior highlights.