The latest edition of the Big Board focuses on the top offensive prospects the Irish are in best position to land; plus, with Elijah Hood no longer an Irish commit, we look at the likely prospects the Irish will pursue at the running back position.
Today's review is of the program's top targets on offense:
Hickey's Top TE Targets
-- 4-star Tyler Luatua
(La Mirada, California): Luatua has set two official visits: Notre Dame
the weekend of Oct. 17 and Alabama the weekend of Oct. 9. He's also planning on taking official visits to Ohio State and Texas. Notre Dame is recruiting him the hardest, and the Irish are in best position to land him.
-- 4-star Dalton Schultz
(South Jordan, Utah): Has a top five of Notre Dame, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah and Washington. He has visited every school in his top five except for Notre Dame, though he will give the Irish an official visit. Stanford has long been the team to beat for Schultz, and the Irish need to make up some ground during his visit if they want to land him.
Hickey's Top OL Targets
-- 5-star OT/OG Damien Mama
(Bellflower, California): Mama recently narrowed his list to eight, and it includes Notre Dame. Right now, he has one official visit scheduled and that's to Alabama. Mama has said he must consider if he can see himself living in South Bend for four years, which is why it's important the Irish secure an official visit if they are to have a shot at landing him. He's seriously considering visiting for the USC game. Other schools in contention are Alabama, BYU, Florida, Ohio State, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin.
-- 5-star OT Braden Smith
(Olathe, Kansas): Primarily considering Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and TCU at this point. His only visit this summer was to Alabama, but he plans on taking at least a couple of visits this fall, though the only one he has set up so far is to Texas A&M for the Alabama game in September. The Irish need to get him back on campus sooner than later to have a real shot.
Hickey's Top WR Targets
-- 4-star Erik Brown
(Fontana, California): A Washington State commit, Brown will take an official visit to Notre Dame for the USC game. He's also taking officials to Nebraska and Oregon State.
-- 5-star Malachi Dupre
(New Orleans, Louisiana): Favors LSU, but has told IrishEyes.com he plans on giving Notre Dame an official visit. He's also high on Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State and UCLA.
-- 5-star Adoree' Jackson
(Gardena, California): Has a top 10 of Florida, Florida State, Illinois, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, UCLA and USC. He can play both sides of the ball, but wants to play receiver in college. He has yet to name official visit destinations, though I'm hearing he could visit Notre Dame for the USC game.
-- 4-star Allen Lazard
(Urbandale, Iowa): This Iowa State commit will take an official visit to Notre Dame for either the Oklahoma or USC game, and he's also considering officials to Oregon and Stanford. Lazard said he'll know after his Notre Dame visit if he's going to make the switch.
-- 2-star Isaiah McKenzie
(Plantation, Florida): Notre Dame is the leader for McKenzie, who will visit the Irish for the USC game. He most likely doesn't have the go-ahead to commit to Notre Dame right now, especially as long as Quick is largely on the radar. He's also considering Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia.
-- 5-star Michiah Quick
(Fresno, California): His top schools are Alabama, California Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Washington. Quick will take an official to Notre Dame for the USC game. He also has officials lined up to Alabama and Oklahoma. Quick plans on taking all of his officials and announcing on National Signing Day. He hasn't let on publicly if he's favoring a particular school out of his handful of favorites, but the feeling is the Irish are at least among his top three.
Hickey's Top RB Targets
Having added freshmen running backs Greg Bryant
and Tarean Folston
in last year's cycle, and with Will Mahone having four years remaining, Amir Carlisle
having three, Cam McDaniel
having two and this year's presumed starter, George Atkinson
III, having two, Elijah Hood
's de-commitment isn't a deadly blow to the depth chart. The Irish would like to take an elite running back in this class if they can, and though options look bleak at the moment, the 2013 season has yet to begin. Like the Irish lost Hood, other programs will lose as well, and players will be back on the market. But, right now, here's what the Irish are dealing with in the backfield for the 2014 class. (I wrote yesterday that Hood is still an option, and until more time passes with indications otherwise, I still believe that door isn't completely closed).
-- 5-star Joe Mixon
(Oakley, California): He has scheduled offical visits to Texas A&M and Oklahoma and has said Georgia will also receive and official. Mixon doesn't plan to decide until next January, but the Irish's chances of securing an official visit are slim at this point.
-- 4-star Donte Thomas-Williams
(Durham, North Carolina) – Has Notre Dame in his top three, but Clemson and West Virginia have the edge over the Irish. Williams says he will give Notre Dame an official visit, and if the Irish are serious about wanting Thomas-Williams, they will up the heat on his recruitment in the near future.
-- 4-star Nathan Starks
(Las Vegas, Nevada) - Until Notre Dame shows a significant effort to bring Starks back in the picture, not too much should be read into adding this once Notre Dame lean back on the list. However, it's something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
The Irish will also pursue Georgia commitment Sony Michel
and Florida State commitment Johnathan Vickers
Where Will the Irish Add?
Total commitments: 16
Offense commitments: 8 (1 QB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 4 OL)
Need (-ish): 1 RB, 1 WR
Luxury: 5th OL, 2nd TE, 4th WR