Niklas down to USC and Notre Dame

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While the Irish already have a stockpile of them in this recruiting class, they’re chasing one more defensive end in recruit Troy Niklas, who is down to Notre Dame and USC as his college choices. He’ll make a decision after visiting Notre Dame this weekend.

Niklas, from Southern California powerhouse Servite High, is skipping a high school basketball game on Friday to take his official visit to South Bend, according to the Orange County Register.

While keeping a low profile in the online recruiting world, Niklas has been down to three schools, Stanford, USC, and Notre Dame for quite some time. But Niklas reported that he wasn’t accepted through admissions in Palo Alto, leaving the Trojans and Irish the only teams standing.

Earlier this month, Niklas was named the Los Angeles Times’ Lineman of the Year. Here’s more from the Times, who profiled Niklas:

From the moment Troy Niklas stepped on campus at Anaheim Servite, he had the look of a future All-American. He was physically imposing because of his size and willingness to work hard day and night. In the weight room, people would see him and predict greatness.

In his senior year, everything came together for the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Niklas, who has been chosen The Times’ lineman of the year.

He was a two-way starter, playing offensive guard and defensive tackle, and he was the player opposing teams had to try to neutralize. He came through again and again for Servite, which went 14-1 and won its second consecutive Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship.

The co-lineman of the year in the Trinity League, Niklas has scholarship offers from Stanford, Notre Dame and USC.

“He’s physically a dominant player,” Coach Troy Thomas said. “And I think he’s going to be a great college player.”

If the Irish land Niklas, that’ll make back-to-back L.A. Times linemen of the year, after Irish freshman Justin Utupo won the coveted award last year.