Rivals / Yahoo Sports

E-Faxes in: Javon McKinley


Corona, California

Measurables: 6’3″, 205 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus 4-star recruit, U.S. Army All-American, LA Times All-Area first-team, 2014 All-Area Back of the Year, 2014 Southern Section 5 Player of the Year.

Impressive Offers: USC, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, Ohio State

Projected Position: Wide Receiver

Quick Take: No receiver in Southern California has been more productive than McKinley, a guy who reminds some people of Notre Dame’s most productive receiver ever, Michael Floyd. That’s lofty praise for McKinley but it also tells you just how good he’s been over the past two seasons.

Big, strong, physical and the best player on a team that could be in the toughest conference in all of America, McKinley enters a receiver depth chart that needs to replace Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle. He’s a big commitment and a cornerstone of this recruiting class.

What he means to the Irish: While we likely won’t know anything about Demetris Robertson for a week or so, McKinley is more than just an understudy or backup plan. He’s a legit option to be a front-line receiver, and he might be an intriguing option as a physical player on the boundary side across from fellow Orange County native Equanimous St. Brown.

What remains to be seen is McKinley’s long speed—he already looks bigger and stronger than most defensive backs. But the question will be if he can get behind teams as well. Either way, he’s got enough savvy to be a productive player.

Obligatory YouTube clip:

E-Faxes in: Donte Vaughn

Rivals / Yahoo Sports

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.


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.

Obligatory YouTube clip:

E-Faxes in: Chase Claypool

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.


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.

Obligatory YouTube clip:


E-Faxes in: Jonathan Jones

Orlando Sentinel

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.


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.

Obligatory YouTube clip:

E-Faxes in: D.J. 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.

Obligatory YouTube clip: