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Faxes in: Ashton White

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ASHTON WHITE
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.

Faxes in: Nick Coleman

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NICK COLEMAN
Dayton, OH

Measurables: 6-0, 170

Accolades: First-team All-Ohio Division IV All-State running back, first-team 2014 AP Southwest All-District, State runner up.

Impressive Offers: Michigan State, Pitt, Illinois, Boston College

 

Quick Take: One of the true “projection” recruits in the class. Coleman did his dirty work as a running back — a good one — at Malik Zaire’s alma mater. But Notre Dame likes him as a physical, competitive cornerback, and jumped on him early.

An instinctive football player that the Irish staff has seen a lot of, there are higher ranked recruits, but Coleman is a heckuva football player.

 

What he means to the Irish: As a cornerback, he’s a physical, aggressive athlete that’ll fit with the man scheme types that Brian VanGorder is looking for. He also might be the perfect utility player, capable of flipping to the offensive side of the ball if the depth chart at running back continues to be thin.

The 2014 depth chart in the secondary doesn’t seem like the easiest one to break into, especially assuming KeiVarae Russell is back at cornerback. But Coleman also looks like the type of player who could show some utility on coverage teams, if the special teams needs an infusion.

 

Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a senior highlight reel of Coleman (mostly at running back) via Hudl.

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Report: Brady Hoke to join Notre Dame’s coaching staff (UPDATED: Maybe not?)

Kelly Hoke
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Amidst the chaos of Signing Day, some huge coaching news has opened more than a few sleepy eyes Wednesday morning. CoachingSearch.com is reporting that former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke will join Brian Kelly’s coaching staff.

(Crazy, right?)

Hoke spent the past four seasons as Michigan’s head coach. Before that he ran the program at San Diego State and Ball State. He’s a defensive coach by trade — specializing in defensive line play. That job is currently Mike Elston‘s, a former player under Hoke at Michigan when he was an assistant.

There is a vacancy on Notre Dame’s staff with Kerry Cooks‘ still unannounced departure to Oklahoma. So if Hoke is filling that job, that likely means an internal shuffle is taking place on the coaching staff. That could mean Bob Elliott running the secondary. Or some (me included) have speculated that Scott Booker could move back to the defensive side of the football, where he started his career coaching the secondary at two different MAC programs.

Of course, Hoke’s addition could hint at future moves still taking place. There’s an open head coaching vacancy at Central Michigan. Elston’s name has surfaced in connection to that job, though has also been refuted by various media reports.

Kelly is set to meet with the assembled media today at 3:15 p.m. In addition to discussing a growing recruiting class, he’ll likely now answer more questions about his coaching staff as well.

Michigan is still paying Hoke a considerable amount of money — a reported $3 million buyout — after firing him after the 2014 season.

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: Sam Webb of Michigan’s Scout affiliate throws some cold water on the initial report, after a text exchange with Brady Hoke.

Faxes in: Miles Boykin

Boykin
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MILES BOYKIN
Tinley Park, IL

Measurables: 6-5, 208

Accolades: Semper Fidelis All-American, consensus 4-star prospect, All-USA Illinois wide receiver, first-team All-State Chicago Tribune, No. 86 player by Tom Lemming, Chicago Sun-Times first-team All-Area team, State Champion, Class 7A

Impressive Offers: Florida, Michigan, Ole Miss, Missouri, Oregon, Ohio State

Quick Take: A long, powerful, physically imposing receiver that doesn’t seem to exist on the current roster. Should remind Irish fans of Maurice Stovall or Duval Kamara as a recruit, yet with some surprising speed.

While the numbers still need to be taken with a huge grain of salt, Boykin’s SPARQ certified 40-time of 4.51 is an eye-opening number, especially for someone of his size. For a recruit who seems to be off the radar and not finding himself among the nation’s elite, there is certainly a lot to like about Boykin.

What he means to the Irish: While the receiving corps is among the deepest spots on the roster right now, Boykin’s impact on the team could be felt in 2016 and beyond. His combination of size, power and speed is an intriguing weapon. It’s hard to say anybody has the physicality of Michael Floyd, but Boykin certainly does some really intriguing things as a receiver — dominating competition at the high school level. (So even if he’s a poor man’s Floyd, that’s quite a place to start your career from.)

Boykin will be a very interesting developmental prospect, and anytime you can get an athlete that big and strong to run like Boykin, he has a chance to be a contributor on your football team. Talking to people inside the program, there’s a belief that Boykin is a steal.

 

Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a look at Boykin’s senior year highlight film, courtesy of Hudl.

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Faxes in: Josh Barajas

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JOSH BARAJAS
Valparaiso, IN

Measurables: 6’3″, 215

Accolades: U.S. Army All-American, All-USA Indiana linebacker, consensus 4-star prospect, All-State 3A, Defensive Player of the Year by Times of Northwest Indiana.

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

 

Quick Take: Barajas was a terrific addition to the Irish recruiting class, battled away from Penn State after a surprising commitment to James Franklin’s staff early. Barajas was always a highly touted recruit, but only after he took part in the All-Star festivities in San Antonio did he truly get some looks among the national elite.

Barajas is too light right now to be a in-the-box linebacker, but he could be the prototype for what Brian VanGorder is looking for at the Sam linebacker spot. He’s a top-shelf athlete that’ll do his best to fight his way onto the field as a freshman, especially if he’s a quick study in the defense.

 

What he means to the Irish: Defending the home turf is crucial and landing Barajas is a big part of that. It also brings an elite defensive player into a depth chart that’s still evolving at linebacker. He’ll likely be a large part of the team’s DNA once Jaylon Smith and Joe Schmidt are gone.

Looking for an interesting test case? Let’s see how much weight Barajas gains during his first year in the program. I’ll set the over/under at 25 pounds.

 

Obligatory YouTube Video: Here’s Barajas laying the wood at linebacker for his Andrean squad as a senior:

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