2015 prospects: linebackers

Notre Dame has offered nine outside outside linebackers and three inside linebackers thus far in the class of 2015. In part III of this series, 2015 linebacker prospects are broken down in regards to where they stand on Notre Dame's board and how many are expected to join Notre Dame's 2015 recruiting class.

Outside linebackers

Numbers (O'Malley): Well-stocked through 2016 with four 2014 pledges, sophomore Jaylon Smith and potentially Doug Randolph, a natural pass-rusher who was evaluated inside due to need before shoulder surgery last August.

If sophomore Isaac Rochell and true freshmen Andrew Trumbetti are considered true defensive ends in the new scheme, the immediate need is lessened further. Look for the Irish to target 1-2 defensive ends and an outside linebacker in this class. More is superfluous (barring the unlikely event an assembly line of top talent asks to join).

Prospects (Hickey):

Notre Dame has offered nine outside linebackers thus far in the 2015 class. (Prospects with stars before their names on ones that could very plausibly end up at Notre Dame, as things stand today with their recruitments.)

***Jashon Cornell (6'3.5", 245) From Cretin Derham Hall, Minn., Cornell visited Notre Dame last season for the USC game. Cornell has been high on Notre Dame since on the beginning of his recruitment, and he has a great relationship with Tony Alford. Notre Dame will be in the running for Cornell all the way to the end.

***Justin Hilliard (6'2", 210): From Cincinnati, Ohio, Hilliard visited Notre Dame twice in the past year, once last summer and once during the season. Hilliard visited Oklahoma for junior day, and he's headed to Alabama this weekend. He hasn't publicly named favorites, but Notre Dame is running well with the pack along with Michigan and Ohio State.

Jeffery Holland (6'2", 230): From Jacksonville, Fla., Holland has a top five of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio State.

John Houston (6'3", 197): From Gardena, Calif., Houston was offered by Notre Dame in October. Houston is ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker in this class, and USC is going to go pedal to the metal to keep him in California.

Malik Jefferson (6'3", 220): From Mesquite, Texas, Jefferson will likely stay in-state for school.

***Osa Masina (6'4", 205) From Salt Lake City, Utah, Masina has been rather quiet on the recruiting trail. Nothing buzzing currently in favor of the Irish, but something could develop later in the year.

***Cassius Peat (6'4", 235) From Tempe, Ariz., Peat is visiting Notre Dame for junior day and has scheduled an official to Notre Dame for the Stanford game next season. Irish are running No. 1 here right now.

Adonis Thomas (6'4", 210) From Lawrenceville, Ga., Thomas is favoring Florida and Miami at this point.

***Bo Wallace (6'4", 205) From River Ridge, La., Wallace was offered by Notre Dame on Tuesday. He also holds offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and recruitment is just starting to pick up for him. No doubt the Irish like targeting John Curtis, and Wallace is a name worth remembering.

Inside linebackers

Numbers (O'Malley):A continued area of need, though the addition of Nyles Morgan and Nile Sikes in this cycle helps. Two more is the minimum number for 2015 lest the Irish staff find itself scrambling again in 2016.

Six current Irish inside 'backers are eligible through 2015. Bringing two aboard in 2015, then following two this year and 1-2 in 2013 (Michael Deeb plus possibly the aforementioned Randolph) re-stocks the cupboard.

Prospects (Hickey):

Notre Dame has offered three inside linebackers thus far in the 2015 class.

Cecil Cherry (6'1", 224): From Frostproof, Fla., Cherry is a Tennessee commit.

Leo Lewis (6'2", 220): From Brookhaven, Miss., Lewis maintains that he's staying open with the process. He's visited Alabama and Mississippi thus far this spring.

De'Amontae Jackson (6'0", 235) From Citra, Fla., Jackson has a top three of Alabama, Auburn and Florida State.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories