Big Board: Linebacker
Notre Dame plans to take three linebackers in this class. With key in-state target Josh Barajas, who projects as a strong side ‘backer, already on board, Notre Dame is targeting two more, preferably a true middle linebacker and a weak side linebacker. Though adding two who project at the WILL is also foreseeable. The two top targets currently are Te’Von Coney and Asmar Bilal, both who project as WILL linebackers and are listing Notre Dame as one their leaders. Te’Von Coney (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., High) – Coney left Irish Invasion in June with a top two of Notre Dame and Florida, eyeing a commitment date before the start of his senior year. News coming out of The Opening in July was that Coney favored Notre Dame. Coney has taken recent trips to Auburn and Florida, and following his Auburn trip, Coney dished to Scout.com that he plans on narrowing his list to three or four in August and taking official visits to those schools. Georgia, Louisville, Miami and Tennessee are also contenders; however, Notre Dame remains in the best position to land him. Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, Ind., Ben Davis) – Bilal is currently contemplating an August commitment, though waiting until the season is underway seems more likely. Michigan and Notre Dame are the finalists, and the Irish currently hold a very slight edge. The value of a Notre Dame degree in Bilal’s eyes and a legit shot at early playing time for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker could be enough for Notre Dame to oust the Wolverines in this heated recruiting battle. Porter Gustin (Salem Hills, Utah, High) – Gustin, who also projects as a weak side defensive end, put on an absolute show at The Opening, impressing all in attendance with his physicality, size and athleticism. Gustin has already planned an official to Notre Dame for the Michigan game on Sept. 7. USC, UCLA and Arizona State will be tough competition in this battle. Bo Wallace (River Ridge, La., John Christian) – Wallace has scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame for the Michigan game. He’ll be a tough pull away from LSU, Oklahoma and LSU. Dominic Sheppard (Miami, Fla., Gulliver Prep) – Set to release a top five this month, Ohio State and Wisconsin will safely make the cut. Notre Dame has held Sheppard’s interest for quite some time, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Irish make his top five. Arthur McGinnis (New Orleans, La., Warren Easton) – Notre Dame is on the outside looking in here, though the Irish are still in contention to land an official visit. Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and UCLA are favorites to make his top five set to be released prior to the start of the season.
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