Five to Steal
1. Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio) – No. 7 ranked outside linebacker Booker has liked Ohio State since early in his recruitment, and since last summer he has visited the Buckeyes multiple times. He talked about being the "Big Three" with linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Clifton Garrett. McMillan still figures to pledge Ohio State, but Garrett is favoring LSU now. Notre Dame offered Booker in February, and shortly after, he visited campus. Booker also returned to Notre Dame for the spring game, making the Irish the only school other than Ohio State he has seen multiple times. He called Notre Dame "different," and pointed to academics and the size difference as something noticeable. Even though he's a big-time player, if he was completely sold on Ohio State, he would have already committed. Something is holding him back, and as I've said earlier, the longer he holds out, the better that is for Notre Dame. Booker can play inside or outside, something the Irish find favorable, especially in this recruiting class. Safe to say, the staff would be thrilled if they could steal this one right from underneath the Buckeyes. 2. Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Arizona) – No. 1 ranked quarterback The reason Allen would be a steal is not because he's necessarily a heavy lean to another school right now, but because the Irish were late jumping in the game on this one. Allen's first offers came last May and included offers from UCLA, Oklahoma State, and Arizona State – all major schools still in contention to land him and schools he's already visited. He's teammates with Irish wide receiver target Mark Andrews, who visited earlier this spring and gave his visit a great review. Shortly after Notre Dame offered last week, Ohio State extended one as well, signaling Allen is also their priority for quarterback since Deshaun Watson has solidified his commitment to Clemson. Allen has said he will visit Notre Dame in June, and he plans on deciding before his senior season starts. Allen was easily the most talented quarterback at Elite 11 tryouts last weekend in Chicago, earning himself an invite from Trent Dilfer to real thing this summer. 3. Nyles Morgan (Crete, Illinois) – No. 4 ranked middle linebacker Morgan had Notre Dame on his radar since he was first offered by the Irish last June, his very second offer that he received, now among a very lengthy and impressive list. Morgan had the Irish in his top four (Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Ole Miss) in Jan-Feb., but it was thought interest had dropped off heading into March and April as he received many new offers and took unofficial visits to a lot of schools, none being to Notre Dame. He told Scout that he was using the spring to travel to further places, however, and it is worth noting that he's been to Notre Dame at least three times. Morgan insists that he's completely open despite rumblings he's favoring Ole Miss. Irish have plenty of time here; Morgan plans on taking official visits and deciding after his season. 4. Josh Frazier (Springdale, Arizona) – No. 4 ranked defensive tackle A sure sign you know the Irish haven't given up on Frazier is the contact Elijah Hood has had with him on Twitter, trying to get him to release his top five. Frazier was set to release a top five last month, but decided to hold out until the end of spring ball per advice from his head coach. Notre Dame coaches were in Arkansas to visit the 6'2", 320 tackle last week. It's safe to assume the Irish will make his top five, but the distance between the Irish and his top two – Arkansas and Alabama – may be considerable at this point. He's one that figures to be a hard pull out of SEC country, but he plans on taking all of his visits, and the Irish could very well land an official visit in the fall. 5. Budda Baker (Bellvuve, Washington) – No. 5 ranked safety Juju Smith, Kyle Gibson, and Quincy Wilson aren't the only safeties with mutual Irish interest. Baker narrowed his list last week, and it includes Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, Oregon, Notre Dame and Florida State. The Ducks and Bruins seem to be the teams to beat right now with Washington being the dark horse. Baker said he would like to visit Notre Dame in the fall, and he doesn't plan on deciding until after his senior season. The Irish would like one elite safety in the class, and Baker would certainly fall in that category.
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