Notre Dame had a memorable recruiting weekend in landing a commitment from the nation’s top-ranked outside linebacker in Jaylon Smith.
A commitment from the country's top-ranked OLB Jaylon Smith could just be the beginning of a potential great summer of recruiting for Notre Dame.
Smith joining the fold moved the Irish up to No. 8 in the 247Sports national class rankings, and Coach Brian Kelly and his program could continue climbing that list as we hit the summer.
Smith was the 13th prospect to give his pledge to Notre Dame in the class of 2013, and many other touted prospects have the Irish among their leaders.
Shaping Up For A Big June & Promising Summer
-Several of Notre Dame’s top targets will be on campus this month, starting with Monday’s visits from Top247 defensive lineman Isaac Rochell and outside linebacker/defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko, who checks in as the No. 2 prospect in New York. The Irish are the clear leader for Rochell, and Ogundeko told BlueandGold.com following his trip that Notre Dame is now No. 1 as well.
-The nation’s No. 7 cornerback and No. 67 prospect overall Cole Luke arrives in South Bend for his first-ever visit on Tuesday. He joins his head coach Steve Belles who played quarterback for the Irish back in the 1980s. Notre Dame is in Luke’s lead group and has a chance to really surge on this visit.
-Top100 linebacker Alex Anzalone returns to Notre Dame’s campus on June 14, where he’ll be surrounded by several Irish commits in Smith, tight end Mike Heuerman, cornerback Rashad Kinlaw, receiver James Onwualu and quarterback Malik Zaire. The former Ohio State commit visited South Bend for a junior day back in March, and this could be an Irish-Florida Gators battle the rest of the way.
-Jumbo athlete Danny Mattingly visits on June 24, where he’ll be greeted by Onwualu and Notre Dame offensive line commits Steven Elmer and Colin McGovern. The Irish are certainly in Mattingly’s top-five and his Indiana ties with having family from Evansville could also help.
-Tashawn Bower is set to visit Notre Dame for the first time on June 27, and the Top247 defensive end will get a chance to hang out with Irish receiver Theo Riddick who hails from the same Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata High School.
The Irish will host the nation's top CB Vernon Hargreaves III in July.
-Others with June visits set are Top247 receiver Alvin Bailey and linebacker Michael Deeb, who will be traveling with his 2014 teammate in five-star running back Sony Michel. The camp of touted safety Leon McQuay III says they’ll be up in June. Four-star receiver Juwaan Williams and highly-regarded running backs Ryan Green, Corey Clement and Tarean Folston are all expected in South Bend at some point before the end of summer. The nation’s top cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III already says he’s coming in July. Notre Dame would like to get Top247 defensive end Jordan Sherit and Top247 linebacker Chans Cox back to town, and are among both of their leaders. Stanford four-star linebacker commit Doug Randolph visited in March and wants to come back in June. They’re working to get a visit from the nation’s No. 4 cornerback MacKensie Alexander. Speedy receiver Demarcus Robinson enjoyed his March visit, and could also return this summer. Notre Dame is in Robinson’s top three. Top247 linebacker Michael Hutchings is also targeting a summer visit, especially following the commitment of Smith.
Notre Dame will likely take seven to nine more in the 2013 class.
“If you look at all the guys they’re in on now, you can clearly see them getting up into the top five,” 247Sports National Recruiting Director J.C. Shurburtt said. “Depending on who they end up with, they could definitely be top five when you look at the numbers and see who they have now.”
Already In The Boat
-Notre Dame has put together one of the nation’s top offensive line classes in future Under Armour All-Americans Hunter Bivin and Colin McGovern, future U.S. Army All-Americans Steven Elmer and John Montelus and four-star Mike McGlinchey.
-Top247 quarterback commit Malik Zaire is perfect for Kelly’s spread offense, and one of the most athletic signal-callers in the country.
-The Irish program has churned out several NFL tight ends as of late, has arguably the best current tight end in college football in Tyler Eifert, and 2013 Top247 commit Mike Heuerman looks like he’ll be able to carry on the recent tradition.
-Top247 jumbo athlete Jacob Matuska is another NFL-type body that will fit into that hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end role Notre Dame has in its 3-4 defense.
-Receiver James Onwualu is the top-ranked player in the state of Minnesota, and receiver Corey Robinson has a ton of physical upside and is the son of former NBA legend David Robinson.
-Shurburtt added that Montelus and Butler are in line for at least a small bump when 247Sports updates its player rankings.
-No surprise that Notre Dame’s home game against Michigan on Sept. 22 is already shaping up to be a big official visit weekend. Five-star cornerback Priest Willis, four-star cornerback L.J. Moore and Rochell are all in line to be on campus.