National Signing Day is tomorrow, and the Notre Dame coaching staff is expected to be very busy. Notre Dame reaped some rewards recently with the commitment of 2019 Georgia corner, K.J. Wallace. However, the central focus is on the remaining 2018 targets and their college decisions throughout the day tomorrow. Notre Dame remains in tight recruiting battles with seven remaining targets, and Golden Domer Daily brings you the latest on each of these players.
The Big Name
Perhaps the biggest name still unsigned in 2018 is a long time Notre Dame target. Nicholas Petit-Frere is a consensus five-star, and the number one ranked offensive tackle in the class. The Irish have always been a fit for Petit-Frere, due to elite academics and football tradition, but his recruitment has been as close to the vest as any player in recent memory. Ask around, and even the recruiting gurus do not have a good feel for where he will end up. Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State join Notre Dame in his top five, but this will likely come down to Florida, Ohio State or Notre Dame. Ohio State received the last in-person contact, and that will always scare fans of other programs. Regardless, all three of these universities have reason for optimism and will know soon enough.
Prediction: Notre Dame
Noah Boykin and D.J. Brown are two corners that have been on Notre Dame’s radar for awhile. Before the early signing period, Brown was scheduled to visit Notre Dame for the Echoes banquet. At the time, Joe Wilkins Jr. was the only corner committed, and the staff was pushing for several others including current signee Tariq Bracy, Washington signee Kyler Gordon, recent Washington commit Julius Irvin and Noah Boykin. We all know how this story unfolded. Bracy committed shortly after, and the staff felt great about their chances with Boykin, Gordon and Irvin; leaving no room for Brown.
Fast foward to today; Boykin has had many twists and turns in the last month, and Brown has seen his recruitment take off. With only Brown and Boykin left on the board, Brown is a take for Notre Dame. He recently took his official visit to South Bend after canceling his Echoes visit, backed off his Virginia pledge and named a top three of Cal, Northwestern and Notre Dame. The Under Armour All-American will announce his college decision tomorrow.
Prediction: Brown to Notre Dame
Boykin, on the other hand, de-committed from Maryland on January 24th and is down to Florida and Notre Dame. Florida is seemingly the leader, but that doesn’t mean the Irish coaching staff has given up hope. Considering the talent of both Boykin and Brown, Notre Dame would accept both of their signatures.
Prediction: Boykin to Florida
Although Patterson was a late offer, the Notre Dame staff is pushing for his commitment and thinks very highly of the California offensive tackle. Patterson recently eliminated Michigan from his top schools and is focusing on two, Notre Dame and UCLA. Conventional wisdom would suggest he signs with the hometown school, but Notre Dame has obviously given him a lot to think about. We will know of his intentions by the end of the day Wednesday. Solomon Tuliaupupu was once the California target I thought could make the tough decision to leave home for South Bend; Patterson has since taken that spot over.
Prediction: Notre Dame, but UCLA is definitely a distinct possibility
It was recently acknowledged that the Notre Dame staff is willing to go over the 25-man threshold this cycle to obtain their class needs and wants. Louisiana wide receiver and long-time target, Lawrence Keys III, remains very high on the Irish list of targets. He picked up a Texas offer recently, and they quickly received a visit and jumped up into his top group, but Notre Dame is still confident. Keys has not been shy in naming Notre Dame his leader, and as long as the staff accepts his pledge, all signs point to him landing in South Bend.
Prediction: Notre Dame
The last two targets are recent adds, but both are very interested in the Irish. Georgia running back C’Bo Flemister, is a lower rated recruit, but earned an offer after an impressive senior season. The departure of Josh Adams to the NFL draft and the dismissals of C.J. Holmes and Deon McIntosh have made a second running back a must for this class. Although Flemister is committed to Georgia Tech, he will likely sign with either Notre Dame or Tennessee on Wednesday.
Prediction: Notre Dame
Virginia three-star defensive end, Derrick Eason, picked up an Irish offer on January 17th and quickly set up a visit. Considering how late his offer was given and his visit last weekend, the Irish have to be considered strong contenders in this race. Eason has been a NC State commit since July, but Notre Dame is making a strong push to flip him.
Prediction: Flip to Notre Dame
Notre Dame is set up well for a strong finish to the 2018 cycle. With the 21 early signatures, and the staff pushing for several more in the next week, this will end up as one of the best classes in the Brian Kelly era. We will know tomorrow of their intentions, and I expect a strong finish for the Irish. Stay plugged in; it should be fun and busy day for Notre Dame.