The Opening: Irish headlines

Plenty of headlines surrounding Notre Dame recruiting will develop this week in Oregon at The Opening. Inside is a complete breakdown of Irish commits and targets in attendance as well as a preview of key storylines to keep an eye on as they relate to Notre Dame recruiting this week in Beaverton.

This year marks Nike’s fourth annual hosting of The Opening, five days of competition held at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon featuring many of the nation’s elite players in the 2015 class.

Notre Dame commits in attendance

Four-star OG Tristen Hoge

Four-star OT Jerry Tillery

Four-star CB Shaun Crawford (Team Mach Speed)

Four-star WR C.J. Sanders (Team Mach Speed)

Of note --

Notre Dame hosted Tillery for a much-needed visit for Irish Invasion on June 20. Tillery is maintaining that he’s solid to the Irish, but LSU is still recruiting him and his family hard. Tillery had some solid one-on-one battles with Irish defensive end target Austin Bryant at Irish Invasion, and Tillery should be one of the top offensive linemen performers this week in Oregon.

Notre Dame’s four commits in attendance ties Clemson and Penn State for 5th place among teams with the most commitments at The Opening. Alabama has 10, Texas A&M has seven, and Georgia and Florida State each have five.

Recruits recruiting will undoubtedly be a popular theme this week in Oregon. Look for the four Irish commits in attendance to put in their fair share of work with other Irish prospects. They have a list of guys from the Notre Dame coaching staff to “recruit.” Irish assistant Scott Booker’s parting words with Crawford at Irish Invasion were to make sure Crawford recruited on behalf of Notre Dame at The Opening.

Francois a factor?

The Elite 11 quarterback competition wrapped up day two of drills on Monday, July 7. The biggest storyline to come out of day two as it related to Notre Dame was certainly four-star quarterback Deondre Francois’ declaration that Notre Dame has jumped back in the picture in his recruitment. After the Irish jumped in his top six last month, he dropped them a couple of weeks ago, citing his lack of relationship with the staff. However, Notre Dame has put in the necessary work to open that door once again. He talks about his top four and new decision timeline here.

Prospects in attendance

Notre Dame has 17 commits on board so far in 2015. Obviously, June and the beginning of July saw a flurry of recruiting activity for the Irish. Notre Dame added 9 commitments in the past month. Discounting any new developments, Notre Dame isn’t expecting to add any more until the end of this month at the earliest. Names to keep an eye on as August inches closer – linebacker Asmar Bilal, quarterback Deondre Francois, and running back Ty’Son Williams.

To fill out the remainder of this class, positions of emphasis will be running back (one), linebacker (two or three), wide receiver (one or two) and defensive end (two). Then, depending on how the dominoes fall, Notre Dame has the potential to add at quarterback, defensive tackle or defensive back. Tight end is not a true position of need in this class, and currently the Irish are not in hot pursuit of a tight end target.

Back to The Opening, however - players arrived in Oregon yesterday (Monday), and competition will begin today.

Breaking down Irish targets --

Running back

Sotonye Jamabo, Jacques Patrick, Dexter Williams, Ray Ray McCloud, Mike Weber (no offer)

*** Of note -- Jamabo is expected to return to Notre Dame for an official visit this fall after Notre Dame thoroughly impressed him on his visit this summer… Patrick visited Notre Dame twice this summer, though Alabama and Florida State are the frontrunners… Williams (Miami commit) will likely take an official visit to Notre Dame in the fall… Notre Dame appears to be losing ground with McCloud, though a visit to Notre Dame this month is still possible

Wide receiver

Ryan Newsome, Cordell Broadus, Equanimeous St. Brown, K.J. Hill, Tyron Johnson

*** Of note -- Expect Broadus to get on campus this fall for an official visit after not being able to make it for Irish Invasion… St. Brown has already scheduled his official to Notre Dame for the Stanford game… Newsome will also take an official to Notre Dame for the Michigan game after naming the Irish to his top five

Linebacker

Te'Von Coney, Osa Masina, Porter Gustin, John Houston, Arthur McGinnis, Adonis Thomas

*** Of note -- Coney named Notre Dame a co-leader with Florida after his Irish Invasion experience... Masina has the Irish in his top eight... Gustin will visit Notre Dame for an official visit for the Stanford game... Thomas appears to be primarily focused on Alabama and Florida

Defensive line

DE Austin Bryant, DE Keisean Lucier-South, DE Rasheem Green, DE Byron Cowart, DT Neville Gallimore

*** Of note -- Bryant visited Notre Dame for Irish Invasion, though he could commit to Clemson or Florida in the near future… Lucier-South will visit Notre Dame for an official for the Stanford game… Green has Notre Dame in his top 10 and the Irish are in hot pursuit to land an official… Cowart will likely take an official to Notre Dame after visiting in June... Gallimore is another Notre Dame is pressing hard to secure a visit from

Defensive back

CB Iman Marshall, CB Mook Reynolds, S Kendall Sheffield

*** Of note -- Expect elite five-star Marshall to visit Notre Dame for an official visit this fall

TV schedule and more

Tuesday, July 8: SPARQ championship, ESPNU 8 p.m. EST

Wednesday, July 9: Seven-on-seven competition, ESPNU 8 p.m. EST

Thursday, July 10: Seven-on-seven semifinals and championship and Lineman Challenge finals, ESPNU 8 p.m. EST

Stay up to date on all national developments occurring at The Opening here.

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