Irish Recruiting Board: Cornerbacks

The big official visit weekend is less than a month away and elite prospects are narrowing their lists. IrishEyes.com continues its "Irish Recruiting Board" series, which offers a look at the prospects, and IrishEyes.com's thoughts on where Notre Dame sits with each prospect. This edition focuses on cornerbacks.

Notre Dame loses cornerbacks Gary Gray and Robert Blanton after the season, and the depth beyond that is a question mark.

Sophomores Bennett Jackson, a converted receiver, and Lo Wood could get pressed into big roles in 2012, but freshmen Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson will also factor into the competition.

It is why Notre Dame went hard for cornerbacks in the 2012 class, a pair of five-stars was a huge coups. However, even with the nation's No. 1 cornerback, Ronald Darby of Oxon Hill High (Potomac, Md.), and the No. 3 cornerback, Tee Shepard of Washington Union High (Fresno, Calif.), the Irish continue to push hard for cornerbacks.

And, there is also the uncertainty of Darby and Shepard, both of whom are solid with the Irish, but both of whom plan on taking official visits to other schools.

With Darby and Shepard in the mix, though, here is a look at the other cornerbacks on Notre Dame's board:

Brian Poole, 5-11, 185, Southeast (Bradenton, Fla.)
The skinny: The Florida commit is talking about taking an official visit for the Oct. 22 game against USC. At this point, it appears to be nothing more than a free trip in which he can check out a very interesting game. However, he has stayed in contact with the Irish staff, and getting him on campus is never a bad thing, especially with it is Notre Dame playing in a marquee game.
The current read: Getting him out of the Sunshine State will be very tough

Yuri Wright, 6-1, 185, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
The skinny: Wright is on the list because his list fluctuates often. Three weeks ago he liked the Irish and wanted to take an official visit, but a week ago he didn't have Notre Dame in his top six. He is talented and long, and one of the best corners in the nation, but he really likes Michigan and Rutgers.
The current read: Notre Dame will have to increase interest before it is serious

Davonte' Neal, 5-9, 175, Chaparral, (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
The skinny: Neal doesn't do many interviews, but his family and coaches talk about him being interested in Notre Dame. That said, Neal hasn't set up any official visits, and doesn't want to do anything until after the season is over. He is a stellar athlete, and can play several positions, but shutdown cornerbacks are hard to come by, and he could be one
The current read: The Irish's changes are lukewarm, at best

Ishmael Adams, 5-10, 180, Oaks Christian (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
The skinny: Schools in Adams' top five rotate often, and right now the Irish aren't in it. He is visiting for the USC game, and also wants to take visits to Colorado and Oregon. He already visited Arizona State, and is listing a top five, in order, of California, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Colorado.
The current read: Pac-12 all the way

Nelson Agholor, 6-1, 175, Berkeley Preparatory School (Tampa, Fla.)
The skinny: Agholor may belong with the safeties or the receivers, but there is a thought he can play cornerback in college by several of Scout.com's folks who have seen him in person. He is visiting Notre Dame for the Oct. 8 game against Air Force, which is actually a good thing. It will allow him to get much more personnel attention during his visit rather than being there with a couple zillion recruits during the USC game.
The current read: Agholor doesn't give much away, but he likes what Notre Dame is about, so there is a real chance.

Donaldven Manning, 5-11, 170, Miami Central
The skinny: The Virginia Tech commit has talked is making an official visit to South Bend, Ind., for the USC game, and has not stopped talking to schools despite his February recruitment. Notre Dame, Nebraska and Texas Tech are among the schools making runs at Manning, but he said there is a 95 percent chance he winds up with the Hokies.
The current read: Something crazy will have to happen for him to go to Notre Dame


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