Notre Dame ended up bridesmaids in their recruitment of Jashon Cornell and Justin Hilliard, two elite defensive prospects in the Midwest. The defensive end and linebacker made joint announcements, both deciding to attend Ohio State and play for Urban Meyer.
While the technology (ESPN.com’s livestream was suffering from technical difficulties as both announcements were made live) didn’t quite live up to the hype of two top prospects deciding at the same time, Meyer and the Buckeyes are getting two players that the Irish coaching staff — not to mention a few dozen others — targeted early and made priorities.
The loss of Cornell was not a surprise. While Notre Dame has done a great job recruiting Cretin-Derham Hall in the past, Cornell’s eyes had wandered to other programs, first to Michigan and Michigan State before a late visit to Ohio State sealed the deal.
Brian Kelly has also had his fair share of success at St. Xavier’s, the Cincinnati high school Hilliard attends, but Hilliard mentioned his life-long Buckeye fandom and the comfort level he felt with both the players and the coaching staff when making a decision.
With Notre Dame’s recruiting class at 16, it’s hardly dire straits for the Irish as they continue to be in on the recruitment of several elite prospects at both linebacker and defensive end.