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Another Irish Spring?

Notre Dame went into spring football in 2012 with just two commitments. However, by the end of the Blue-Gold game a little over a month later, head coach Brian Kelly and company had nine verbals in the boat and the foundation for what ended up becoming the nation’s No. 3 ranked recruiting class according to the 247Composite.

Notre Dame is battling Miami for 247Composite five-star OT K.C. McDermott.

With this year’s spring practice beginning on Wednesday, Notre Dame has four in the fold and is in a position to perhaps have the same kind of recruiting run.

Last Year’s Timeline

-Receiver James Onwualu became commit No. 3 on March 14, joining offensive tackle Steven Elmer and defensive end Jacob Matuska.

-Notre Dame’s only junior day of the year on March 24 landed touted offensive tackles Hunter Bivin and Colin McGovern that evening, and then another highly-sought after offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey and four-star quarterback Malik Zaire the next day. Top247 athlete Rashad Kinlaw needed two days to decide, and receiver Corey Robinson made the call on March 27. Only Bivin was expected to commit heading into that junior day.

-After a several spring visits around the Midwest, four-star cornerback Devin Butler committed to Notre Dame on April 4.

-Shorly after naming Florida his leader, four-star offensive lineman John Montelus pulled the trigger for the Irish on April 21 while in town for the Blue-Gold game.

-Others that eventually committed to Notre Dame that took trips during the spring were five-star linebacker Jaylon Smith, four-star tight end Mike Heuerman and four-star linebacker Doug Randolph.

Blue-Chippers Coming To Visit South Bend

Notre Dame leads for 247Composite Top50 prospect Elijah Hood, with North Carolina rounding out the RB's top two.

-Olathe (Kan.) South five-star Braden Smith, the nation’s top offensive guard according to the 247Composite, will be the first visitor to hit Notre Dame’s campus for spring football, arriving on Thursday night and staying through Saturday morning. An early decision is not expected from the 6-foot-6, 282-pound Smith, but the Irish could solidify an official visit for down the road. Earlier in the week, Smith will have taken visits to Ohio State and Michigan, and other schools he’s currently high on includes Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and TCU.

-Notre Dame will host its big junior day on March 23. Some of the top visitors expected to attend includes Top247 offensive tackle Alex Bars, an Irish legacy who Notre Dame is in good early shape with. …Top247 tight end Jeb Blazevich is coming but he’s expected to say somewhere in the South when he ultimately makes his final decision. …Notre Dame is in a great spot to possibly land 247Composite Top100 defensive end Andrew Trumbetti, and are battling Florida for his signature. …Three of Notre Dame’s commits in receiver Justin Brent, linebacker Greer Martini and defensive lineman Jay Hayes will also be in town.

-On March 26, Notre Dame hosts one of its top targets in 247Composite five-star K.C. McDermott. The West Palm Beach (Fla.) Central standout has the Irish in his top two along with Miami. He could decide shortly after the trip. McDermott’s middle brother Shane is an offensive lineman for the Hurricanes while his older brother Tyler is a graduate assistant for the Irish.

-In early April, the Irish host two more of their top offensive line targets in Top50 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones and Top247 offensive guard Sam Mustipher. The Irish are one of 11 schools still in the mix for Jones while they may even lead for Mustipher at this point.

-On April 6, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Corey Holmes comes back to Notre Dame and has the Irish in his top three along with Miami and Michigan. Holmes’s parents are especially high on the Irish. Also coming that day are highly-recruited prospects in Dylan Thompson of Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic and offensive lineman Quenton Nelson of Red Bank (N.J.) High. Neither have an offer from Notre Dame but one from the Irish could put them right in the game.

-A pair of Top100 prospects in 247Composite five-star athlete Nathan Starks of Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman and receiver Michiah Quick of Fresno (Calif.) Central East each have Notre Dame among their early leaders, and while neither are expected to decide in the spring, the Irish could solidify themselves as the front-runner for both with a great trip.

-Offered tight ends Ian Bunting and Nic Weishar, both from the Chicago area will attend spring practice on April 13, and both four-stars have the Irish near the top of their lists. Weishar may be closer to deciding than Bunting. He is also giving a good look to Michigan and Northwestern.

-Two big targets set for the Blue-Gold game are 247Composite Top100 playmakers in running back Elijah Hood and receiver Mark Andrews. The Irish lead for Hood but in-state North Carolina is coming on strong. Notre Dame and Oklahoma are recruiting Andrews the hardest, but the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain standout is looking at several other schools as well.

Look for Notre Dame’s list of spring visitors to continue to grow as practice gets underway. Crete (Ill.) Monee Top100 linebacker Nyles Morgan is a prospect targeting a trip.

For more coverage of Notre Dame football and recruiting, be sure to visit 247Sports affiliate Blue Gold Illustrated.

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