Standing in third

Four-star defensive end Dre'Mont Jones of Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius explains how the Irish can make a run at his top spot even though the clock is ticking on his timeline.

Four-star defensive end Dre'Mont Jones of Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius has named a top three (in order) of Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.

The Irish are still in the race due to a number of factors.

"I really like talking with the coaches at Notre Dame," Jones said. "Everything I've heard is that it's a great place to be. It's well-known and they have a great football team. Of course the academics are really good, too. Michigan and Notre Dame have great academics. Ohio State does too, but just not on that level."

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound lineman primarily keeps in touch with Irish defensive graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy.

"I've been talking to Coach McCarthy mainly for a while, and he's a really good guy," Jones said. "Coach (Mike) Elston is, too. They don't make me nervous or anything when we talk."

With a summer decision on tap for Jones, he is eyeing a June visit to Notre Dame.

"I don't have anything set up yet, but I plan on getting out there," Jones said.

He has visited both Michigan and Ohio State before, and with Jones' recruitment timeline not necessarily playing into Notre Dame's favor, do the Irish have a shot at overtaking the Wolverines and Buckeyes?

"Yeah, for sure," Jones said. "It's all about me in this decision. I'm making my own choices. It's going to be about how I feel when I'm on campus and what the overall feeling is like."

Jones is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 23 defensive end the class of 2015. Top Stories