Cameron McGrone (Matt Cashore / Irish Illustrated)

Recap: Irish Invasion Standouts

Scout attended Saturday night's Irish Invasion at Notre Dame and had a chance to see standouts from nearly every region.

BEST of the BEST

- Jersey defensive end Jayson Oweh is an incredible athlete. In a field of top athletes, he still stood out in testing as being a little more explosive and quick-twitch than most of the group. In 1-on-1s, his speed, but also his ability to change directions with counter-moves made him a tough one to stop. Considering he has only played one year of football, his upside is extremely high. He is set for a big rankings bump and was receiving a lot of attention from the Irish staff. They are battling Ohio StatePenn State and more for him.

- Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn safety Paul Moala was offered by Notre Dame following the event. Moala is a kid who has been adding more offers recently and is an impressive player both on film and now in person as well. He is a good athlete who is technically sound and shows the ability to cover man to man. He is a safety/rover type who could play a couple different roles in a defense. His combination of size, physicality and cover skills allows him to potentially play over a tight end or slot, but he can also play in the deep part of the secondary.

- The linebacker group was a good one. The Irish had commit Matthew Bauer in attendance, as well as targets Shayne Simon and Cameron McGrone. Simon is a very fluid athlete who changes directions very well and displayed top-notch ball skills. McGrone looks fully recovered from his injury. He looked fast and comfortable in space. He was being coached by the Irish staff on playing more under control while playing fast, but he was moving very very well. It was good to see how well he has rehabbed. The Irish continue to be a top choice for McGrone, although he just had a good visit to Wisconsin and the Badgers may now be their top competition.

Jayson Ademilola, an Irish defensive line commit, had a good day in 1-on-1s. He is a strong kid who plays with a motor and does a good job with his hands. 


- At defensive back, there was a good crew. D.J. Johnson holds an Irish offer and had a good day, running 4.58 and battling through injuries to have a couple good 1-on-1 reps. Reese Taylor is a fast, explosive athlete from Ben Davis who continues to show he can be a college corner despite playing quarterback for the Giants. Byron Perkins is a very long corner prospect who has Power 5 offers. The Chicago De La Salle product could also play safety but his size is an asset outside. Fort Wayne Northside's Jalen Lockett was one of the surprises of the event for us. Taj Ward from Solon (Ohio) had a nice day. He is a good-sized kid who produced good results in 1-on-1s.

Isaac Guerendo from Avon (Ind.) is a fast wide receiver who has offers from Ball State and Army and could make more noise this camp season because of that pure speed.

 - Irish running back commit Markese Stepp is another who is coming off an injury but he is very well built, ran well in the 40 and had a good showing in the drills as well.

 - On the offensive line, two Midwestern 2018s who are looking for Irish offers, Nick Marozas and Carlos Vettorello, were two of the top performers in the trenches. While it is not certain if the Irish will offer either of those young men, it is clear they will play a high level of college football as both have a good list of offers.


 - St. Louis (Mo.) Vianney's Kyren Williams and Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne's Craig Young could not be more different in terms of build, Williams being 5-foot-9 and Young being 6-foot-4, but they both stood out as outstanding prospects in the 2019 class. Williams is very skilled. He runs good routes, knows how to create separation and has a sure set of hands. He made a "wow" type catch on the sidelines. He came down out of bounds but it was an acrobatic play nonetheless. Young has an impressive frame. A track kid, he can run for being that big too. Our question was polish and ball skills and while he is young and has some things to work on, he caught the ball fairly consistently and did a nice job in the drills. He has offers from Wisconsin and Indiana and should see more come his way. Williams has a good handful of Power 5 offers himself and is one of the best slots in the Midwest in his class.

 - Treyson Potts from Williamsport (Pa.) and John Branham from Columbus (Ohio) Northland were two of the top underclassman running backs. Both 2019 prospects who hold a couple offers Potts was very quick and has good receiving skills while Branham is more of a thicker kid who shows both explosion and strength. 2020 running back Michael Drennen from Dublin (Ohio) Dublin-Coffman is a quick kid who could be a slot in college because he can run routes and catch the football. He has four offers already.

- A pair of young receivers from LaGrange (Ill.) Nazareth Academy impressed. Michael Love, the younger brother of Irish corner Julian Love, is a smaller, but skilled slot who was rarely stopped in 1-on-1s. Jeremy Puckett is a leaner, longer kid who is smooth and showed a sure set of hands. Ainias Smith from Texas showed ability to create separation and had some good 1-on-1 reps as well. Winnetka (Ill.) New Trier's Duke Olges worked as a wideout but we see him as a future tight end/H-back because of his hands.

- Rising freshman quarterback Ron Powlus Jr. has already been on the radar. The Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn native already has great size for being so young and has a lot of natural arm talent. He will be an exciting prospect to monitor over the next few years. Paul Tyson from Alabama also threw the ball well. He is a 2019 prospect with nice size and a couple early offers including Kentucky.

 - Defensive lineman George Karlaftis has an Irish offer. He is a nice-sized kid with a good motor. An end currently, he continues to fill in. Strongside end looks to be where he is headed, although interior possibilities exist as well.

Corey Thomas Jr., a 2019 safety from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic was a young kid we really liked in the defensive back drills. 

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