Troy Pride
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E-Faxes in: Troy Pride Jr.

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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.

 

TROY PRIDE JR.
Greer, South Carolina

Measurables: 5’11”, 175 lbs.

Accolades: 4-star prospect, 2016 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, All-USA South Carolina football team, Shrine Bowl, 2015 Region II-AA Player of the Year.

Impressive Offers: South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee

Projected Position: Cornerback

Quick Take: Notre Dame thinks they have a big-time player in Pride, a cover man who could compete to play immediately as the Irish look to rebuild their secondary. He’s a versatile player who did big things on both sides of the football as well as in the return game for one of South Carolina’s best prep programs.

What he means to the Irish: Freshmen cornerbacks Shaun Crawford and Nick Coleman both drew rave reviews in their debut season, with Ashton White also earning kudos. Pride—and another reloaded group of defensive backs—will look to build on that momentum, knowing that there’ll be a lot of turnover in Todd Lyght’s secondary in the next year or two.

Pride is a smooth athlete. He was an early target of Virginia Tech and a commitment before opening things back up and eventually choosing Notre Dame. The staff believes he’s a guy with the ability to play immediately, a high football IQ contributor and a good leader. A nice building block in this class.

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E-Faxes in: John Shannon

John Shannon247
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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.

 

JOHN SHANNON
Lake Forest, Illinois

Measurables: 6’2″, 220 lbs.

Accolades: No. 1 long snapper in country, per multiple services, U.S. Army Bowl All-American, No. 1 long snapper per 247.

Impressive Offers: West Virginia

Projected Position: Long Snapper

Quick Take: You don’t know you need a long snapper until it’s too late. So adding Shannon continues the trend of Notre Dame offering specialists, with the incoming freshman set to take over duties after Scott Daly exits in 2016.

What he means to the Irish: The Irish coaching staff hasn’t missed on their specialist offers, with first-year contributors Justin Yoon and Tyler Newsome stepping in seamlessly this season. That makes you all but forget the hodgepodge of scholarships allocated to getting special teams right by previous regimes. He’s an important piece of the 85-man scholarship roster.

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E-Faxes in: Adetokunbo Ogundeji

Ade Ogundeji
Yahoo Sports / Rivals
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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.

 

ADETOKUNBO OGUNDEJI
West Bloomfield, Michigan

Measurables: 6’5″, 216 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus 3-star prospect, Detroit Free Press All-North Honorable Mention, No. 11 player at position per ESPN.

Impressive Offers: Oregon, Cal, Purdue, Pitt

Projected Position: Weakside defensive end

Quick Take: It’ll take some time to learn how to spell his name, but if Ogundeji can turn into a quality pass rusher, Irish fans will happily add it to the spellcheck-proof list that currently contains brain-busters like Samardzija and Zbikowski. Ogundeji will be just 17 when he gets to college this summer, a likely sign that he’s a redshirt candidate if there ever was one.

A summer camp visit sold Notre Dame on Ade, not to mention size 18 shoes, a wingspan rivaled only by Big Bird, and the possibility to turn into a terror off the edge. A senior season shortened by injury certainly didn’t help his development, but he’s healthy again after a knee injury and on track to play at around 235 to 240 pounds.

What he means to the Irish: Get Ogundeji into Paul Longo’s hands and see what happens. Notre Dame doesn’t have too many bodies like this on campus, even in Mike Brey’s locker room. He’s certainly a developmental prospect, but that’s not a bad thing. Now it’s up to Keith Gilmore to turn him into a pass rusher.

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E-Faxes in: Jamir Jones

Jamir Jones
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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.

 

JAMIR JONES
Rochester, New York

Measurables: 6’3″, 220 lbs.

Accolades: 2016 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, Class AA first-team All-State, 2015 American Family Insurance All-USA New York second-team, 3-star prospect.

Impressive Offers: Boston College, UConn, Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse

Projected Position: Outside Linebacker

Quick Take: Notre Dame didn’t know what to make of Jones when they watched him on tape. A high school quarterback who didn’t have the natural positional fit that his brother has, it took a visit to campus during summer camp to lock in a scholarship offer.

Now that Jones is inked to the class, finding a home on Notre Dame’s defense is the next step. He played linebacker as a senior, where he’ll start his college career. But a growth spurt could push him to the defensive line and he’s another candidate to add pass rush for a unit that needs it.

What he means to the Irish: We’ll find out when he gets to campus. There’s great incentive to play for Jones, who could join big brother Jarron on the field in 2016. But he’ll have to absorb a complex defense and find a fit at either linebacker or defensive end.

Notre Dame has seen the positives of a harder-than-most development process that have resulted in a five-year journey that has Jarron in line to be among the nation’s best defensive tackles. If they can do the same with his little brother it’ll be a victory for all involved.

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E-Faxes in: Julian Okwara

Julian Okwara
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JULIAN OKWARA
Charlotte, North Carolina

Measurables: 6’4″, 216 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus 3-star prospect, first-team All-Observer defensive lineman, NC-SC Shrine Bowl participant.

Impressive Offers: Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee

Projected Position: Weakside defensive end

Quick Take: Not to be confused with his brother who took four seasons to develop into an edge rusher, Julian might be a candidate to play early, especially if he can win off the edge with speed, something he possesses in more abundance than Notre Dame’s leading sacker of 2015.

Still undersized and needing to add bulk, Okwara has a chance to be an edge player and a pass rusher, adding some personnel to a deficiency of the current defense.

What he means to the Irish: A nice marriage of positional need, upside and “RKG-ness.” Okwara knew what Notre Dame was all about, the challenges involved, and jumped in head first.

If there’s a way to save a season of eligibility and redshirt, it’d be a huge help to his physical development. Romeo didn’t have that luxury. Julian likely will, unless he finds a way to contribute for a defense that needs to find a replacement for his brother’s productivity.

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