Faxes in: Asmar Bilal


Indianapolis, IN

Measurables: 6-3, 205

Accolades: U.S. Army All-American, All-USA Indiana defensive player of the year, second-team MaxPreps All-American, Indianapolis Star Super Team, 6A State Champion.

Impressive Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Wisconsin

Projected Position: Inside Linebacker


Quick Take: An in-state product with a national recruiting profile. And a linebacker who is athletic enough to be a safety. Bilal runs like someone playing in the secondary, but hits like a cement truck. Notre Dame won a big recruiting battle over Michigan, benefitting from the coaching change in Ann Arbor.

He’ll need to add some weight, but Bilal is a physically impressive kid who looks chiseled from granite. And the disposition he has on the football field will make him one of this group’s favorites very quickly.


What he means to the Irish: A key piece to one of the most athletic linebacking corps in this recruiting cycle. With Bilal and early enrollee Tevon Coney, Notre Dame officially adds two athletes that would fit in at any school in America. (Expect another key piece in Josh Barajas.)

Wherever Bilal plays (and his versatility is a nice asset) he’s going to bring speed and violence to the position. As the Irish continue to strengthen their presence in Indianapolis, reeling in Bilal is a very big deal.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Enjoy watching Bilal search and destroy during these senior highlights.


Early Enrollees: Jerry Tillery

247 Sports

Shreveport, LA

Measurables: 6’5″, 315 lbs.

Accolades: US Army All-American, American Family Insurance All-USA, Second-team MaxPreps All-American, No. 3 player on New Orleans Times-Picayune Nifty 50, consensus 4-star recruit

Impressive Offers: LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Dartmouth

Projected Position: Defensive line / offensive tackle


Quick Take: Tillery committed a long ago to Notre Dame, yet the fact he landed on campus is still surprising to those that followed his recruitment closely. Coveted by Les Miles and the hometown Tigers, Tillery made it clear that he followed the beat of his own drummer and his recruitment reflected that.

A legit 6-5, 315, Tillery is a physical specimen, with time in the weight room and a commitment to only football likely to make him even more stout. Originally recruited as a blind side left tackle, Tillery will instead start his career along the defensive line, a place where he’ll be able to find the field much quicker.

His commitment to Notre Dame way back in June of 2013 likely kept him out of the mix for a five-star ranking and dozens of scholarship offers. But make no mistake, Tillery is an elite prospect.


What he means to the Irish: Regardless of where he ends up, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Tillery doesn’t make a significant impact. A true student-athlete who used an official visit to take a look at Dartmouth, Tillery will likely dive into the student experience at Notre Dame this spring while also getting a jump start on his football career.

A key recruiting victory for one of Louisiana’s top prospects is a heckuva feather in the cap of Brian Kelly. If Tillery ends up becoming a front line player for the Irish, that can only help in the future.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a mixed highlight reel of Tillery on both sides of the football:


Get ready, Signing Day is almost here

Fax Machine

Tomorrow is officially Christmas morning for college football junkies. So before the sun rises, we’ll be monitoring the proceedings as we go wall-to-wall on National Signing Day.

Expect real-time updates as the faxes roll into the Gug, with breakdowns on all of Notre Dame’s recruits in the 2015 class. (Expect as many as 25 commitments, including the early enrollees.)

Also expect a reaction to Brian Kelly’s press conference. And a mailbag (now open) that should answer as many of your questions as possible.

We’ll have a non-stop presence both at the blog and also on Twitter, spending roughly 12 straight hours hooked to the laptop (and Keurig) as the fax machine makes its annual presence into our lives.

So with Notre Dame still in the mix for a safety (Arrington Farrar, Justin Reid and Nathan Meadors), along with wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and running back Dexter Williams, there’s plenty of intrigue.

I’ll also be a guest on’s Signing Day show, so if you’re looking to see an even more sleep deprived writer via Skype, tune in from Noon Eastern on over at WatchND.

Rest up.


Early Enrollees: Tristen Hoge

247 Sports

Pocatello, ID

Measurables: 6-5, 287

Accolades: US Army All-American, First team American Family Insurance All-USA, First team MaxPreps All-American, Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year, No. 1 center in country per Rivals and 247 Sports, State Champion

Impressive Offers: Boise State, Florida, LSU, Stanford, UCLA

Projected Position: Center


Quick Take: Notre Dame hasn’t recruited a true center since Brian Kelly arrived in South Bend, but Hoge seems readymade for the position. He spent the week in San Antonio battling some of the top defensive tackle prospects in the country and held his own.

Big, strong, physically imposing and athletic, it’s tough not to think of Braxston Cave when you look at Hoge, though there’s a bit better mobility and athleticism in Hoge’s game already. Watching his tape, he’s a man among boys in Idaho high school football.


What he means to the Irish: With both Nick Martin and Matt Hegarty in their fifth years, the center job is up for grabs come 2016. Coming in early gives Hoge a chance to get an extra semester of work and take advantage of his natural instincts at the position, even if it’s during a redshirt season.

A rare interior offensive lineman that actually played on the inside in high school, it’ll be interesting to see if that helps Hoge thrive once he enters Harry Hiestand’s depth chart.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here are some highlights of Hoge mauling the opponent at the high school level.


Early Enrollees: Micah Dew-Treadway

247 Sports

Bollingbrook, IL

Measurables: 6-5, 275

Accolades: Semper Fidelis All-American, First-team All-State per Champaign News-Gazette, Honorable mention Class 8A All-State per Chicago Tribune, consensus 3-star recruit

Impressive Offers: Mississippi State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, UConn

Projected Position: Defensive line


Quick Take: The prototype developmental defensive lineman. Dew-Treadway was an early target for Notre Dame and an early commitment to the Irish. You can’t teach 6-5, 275, nor the nimble feet Dew-Treadway possesses.

There is room for improvement in the weight room, a nice bonus for an early enrollee. There was also a learning curve that was noticeable at the Semper Fidelis workouts, an a much-needed commitment to technique — and a lot of work with defensive line coach Mike Elston — certainly seems assured.

But if you’re looking for a body type you want to build around, this is it. A typical “power” recruit from the original Kelly recruiting mold.


What he means for the Irish: More bulk. We saw things get mighty thin on the interior of the defensive line last year after both Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones went down and Dew-Treadway is a necessary piece to the depth chart.

At this point, it’s tough to get a grasp on how quickly Dew-Treadway, or any defensive line prospect in this class, can get on the field. (Nobody would’ve thought that Daniel Cage, not even on the radar until last January, would’ve been one of the first freshmen to play.) So the additional semester will be a huge advantage for one of the early pieces to the 2015 puzzle.


Obligatory YouTube Highlight: Here are some highlights from Dew-Treadway’s senior film.