IrishEyes.com breaks down Notre Dame's top remaining prospects on offense as we turn the page to December, including projections of numbers and names as additions to the 2014 recruiting haul.
for the latest version of the Big Board: Offense.
Top Safety Prospects
-- 5-star Juju Smith (Long Beach, California): Smith is still considering Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC. Irish assistant Mike Denbrock will visit with Smith today (Wednesday). He still has yet to take an official to the favorite to land him, USC, which he has scheduled for Jan. 16. If distance and familiarity don't tilt the scale in USC's favor, Smith would be a huge get for the Irish. He likely doesn't decide until near or on Signing Day. -- 4-star Payton Hendrix (Dallas, Texas): Hendrix plans on taking a couple more official visits before deciding. Texas Tech and Arkansas are most likely the biggest competition, though the Irish appear to be in the driving seat. Hendrix plans to decide before Signing Day approaches.
Top Outside Linebacker Targets
-- 4-star Andrew Williams (McDonough, Georgia): Williams has a top six of Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee, though Auburn is likely his leader with Clemson and Ole Miss falling in line after that. Irish assistant Scott Booker is visiting Williams today (Wednesday) and will push for an official visit. -- Kolin Hill (Schertz, Texas): Hill is taking an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Dec. 13, the banquet weekend. The Irish would love to get him to jump on board then, but he may hold off longer in hopes an offer from Texas comes his way. Should the Longhorns offer, Texas would be the likely favorite to land Hill. If not, the Irish have a great shot.
Top Defensive Line Targets
-- 4-star defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas): Thomas has yet to take any official visits, though Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Stanford are popular choices to receive one in the near future. Solomon is favoring Stanford. -- 4-star nose guard Matthew Elam(Elizabethtown, Kentucky): Has a top three of Alabama, Kentucky, and Notre Dame. Irish assistants will visit Elam at his home today, and Coach Kelly will visit Elam next week, as will Nick Saban and Mark Stoops. Already having taken his official to Notre Dame, Elam will take his official to Kentucky the weekend of Dec. 13. He has visited Alabama unofficially multiple times, though an official visit is not set up at this time. He is set to decide at the Army game on Jan. 4.
Top Middle Linebacker Targets
-- 4-star inside linebacker Nyles Morgan (Crete, Illinois): Morgan has visited Notre Dame three times this season, and Notre Dame has jumped back into the thick of things for his services. Ole Miss, Florida and Vanderbilt are also high on his list, though Ole Miss is likely going to be the team to beat. Morgan plans to announce at the Army Bowl on Jan. 4. -- 3-star inside linebacker Nile Sykes (Lombard, Illinois): It's a good chance that Notre Dame picks up a commitment from Sykes when he officially visits the weekend of Dec. 13.
Where Will the Irish Add? Total Commitments:
19 (20, pending test scores from wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie) Commitments on defense:
10 (3 DE, 2 OLB, 1 DT, 1 ILB, 1 CB, 2 Big Skill (Yeargin, Tranquill) Need:
1 NG/DT, 1 S Luxury:
2nd S, 2nd/3rd ILB, 3rd OLB Likely to add:
1 S, 1 ILB, 1 DT Next addition:
Inside linebacker Nile Sykes Best estimation of who jumps on board:
Sykes, Hendrix, Elam (Juju Smith & Nyles Morgan are just tough calls either way right now.) Commitments on offense:
8 (1 QB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 4 OL) Need:
1 RB Luxury:
5th OL, 2nd TE, 3rd/4th WR Likely to add:
2 WR, 1 TE Next addition:
Tight end Tyler Luatua Best estimation of who else jumps on board:
Luatua, McKenzie and/or Nelson