It’s that time of year. Teams have established themselves as either good or bad, and high school athletes are taking notice. Notre Dame is always a school in the running for these players, and this year is no different. Last recruiting cycle, the Notre Dame coaching staff was fortunate enough to land five players committed elsewhere late in the process. Let’s take a look at the potential candidates for this season:
THE BIG NAMES
Houston Griffith (Florida State) – This is a name Irish fans are very familiar with. Early on in Griffith’s recruitment Notre Dame was the team to beat, but questions about the program’s future made him look elsewhere. Notre Dame is now on the cusp of a college football playoff berth, and Florida State continues their dismal year. According to IrishIllustrated.com, Griffith plans to visit Notre Dame for Thanksgiving weekend, and a flip could be in the works.
Alontae Taylor (Tennessee) – Taylor visited Notre Dame for the North Carolina State game and is a fit in South Bend on and off the field. Although his interested in Notre is genuine, he will be a tough pull from the South. Notre Dame will continue to battle Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama for Taylor’s services. If Taylor wants to play in the defensive backfield, Notre Dame could be his school of choice.
Payton Wilson (North Carolina) – Wilson is a name back on the board for Notre Dame after he scheduled an official visit for next week’s Navy game. The Irish coaching staff would really like to add one more linebacker, and Wilson is the best bet. However, Wilson probably elects to stay closer to home with North Carolina State and Virginia Tech more likely destinations.
Noah Boykin (Maryland) – Boykin was also in attendance for the North Carolina State game. Boykin left South Bend with a lot to think about, and Notre Dame hopes to flip the Washington, D.C. native.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON
These players do not come with the same fanfare as the names mentioned above, but if things go south with a few guys look for Notre Dame to turn up the heat on these prospects.
Luke Jones (Arkansas) – Notre Dame has yet to offer the Arkansas commit, but he was in town for the USC game. Jones would like to make it back to South Bend for the Navy game or Echoes banquet. If Notre Dame cannot land Nicholas Petit-Frere or Cade Mays, Jones is a good bet to finish the OL class.
Kingsley Enagbare (South Carolina) – Enagbare is tentatively scheduled to visit South Bend for Navy weekend. Notre Dame offered back in early October, and Enagbare has expressed high interest in the Irish. It is unknown how hard Notre Dame is pushing for the Atlanta native, but it could get interesting if they miss on Jayson Oweh and Joseph Ossai.
Terell Smith (Minnesota) – Smith is another Georgia high school prospect that Notre Dame is monitoring closely. Smith has been a Minnesota commit since March, but an Irish offer could change that.
DJ Brown (Virginia) – Like Smith, Brown does not hold an offer from Notre Dame, but that could change if current targets trend elsewhere. Brown boasts great size for a corner; something that has been a trend for the Irish coaching staff.