Kelly Hoke

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


Amidst the chaos of Signing Day, some huge coaching news has opened more than a few sleepy eyes Wednesday morning. 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


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.


Faxes in: Josh Barajas

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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:


Faxes in: Jalen Guyton

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Allen, TX

Measurables: 6’0″, 180

Accolades: No. 39 on Dallas Morning News Top 100, 3-star prospect, USA Football International Bowl, State Champion (Allen has won last three state titles and 43-straight games).

Other Impressive Offers: Arizona State, Baylor, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M

Projected Position: Wide receiver


Quick Take: If you’re looking for a productive football player, Guyton is your man. He was the most explosive offensive player on the best football team in Texas. Guyton had an astounding senior season, making 82 catches for 1,770 yards and 22 touchdowns. Find better numbers for a high school senior.

A stronger looking player with the ball in his hands than you may expect, Notre Dame got to Guyton early and held off a strong charge of impressive programs to land the Texas native. He might not be on the top of too many recruiting lists, but he should be.


What he means for the Irish: If you’re looking for a position where a 3-star prospect is almost an asset, Brian Kelly has made a living finding rock-solid receivers that appear to be overlooked by the recruiting services. Guyton fits that profile perfectly.

We didn’t see Guyton out on the camp and combine circuit, likely playing into his modest ranking. But starring at Allen is a far better sign than looking good running between cones at a camp, so it’ll be fun to watch him progress at the next level.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s nine minutes of Guyton dominating during the 2014 season. Somebody give coach Eric Taylor a call.


Faxes in: Mykelti Williams

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Indianapolis, IN

Measurables: 6’0″, 198 lbs.

Accolades: Indianapolis Star Player of the Year, All-USA Indiana Football Team, 6A All-State team, Top 50 All-State team per coaches as both junior and senior.

Other Impressive Offers: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Wisconsin

Projected Position:


Quick Take: At a position of need, Williams is a great addition at safety who will be expected to compete nearly immediately. A do-everything athlete who was Indianapolis’ player of the year in one of the more talent-rich seasons, Williams has the ability to drop the hammer in the box or play a more than competent centerfield.

In a defense that needs great football players, that might be the best compliment you can give Williams.


What he means to the Irish: He’s a critical addition to this recruiting class. And while his offer came later in the recruiting cycle than you might expect, he’s another in-state star that will continue Notre Dame’s resurgence in Indiana’s state capital.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s a look at the do-everything player from Warren Central, Sheldon Day’s alma mater.