Big Board: Defense

Find out where Notre Dame with its top remaining targets on defense three weeks in the 2014 season.

Defensive Back

The scene: Notre Dame could very well be set in the secondary for its 2014 haul. Three cornerbacks, Nick Coleman, Shaun Crawford and Nicco Fertitta, and two safeties, Ashton White and Prentice McKinney, give the Irish the necessary depth in numbers for this cycle. However, that hasn't stopped Notre Dame from actively recruiting elite players at the position.

Ykili Ross (Riverside, Calif., Poly) - Ross visited Notre Dame over the summer and quickly thereafter scheduled a return trip for an official visit (Oct. 11 vs. Stanford). Ross recently took an official to Oklahoma and he'll visit Miami on an official in November. Texas A&M is in the running to receive an official as well, though nothing has been set. The cornerback is also considering the nearby Trojans, who are recruiting him to play both ways, which is something to keep an eye going forward. UCLA in the mix here as well. At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, Ross could potentially play safety at the next level. Notre Dame has a very good chance of landing Ross in the end. His official next month has implications that the Irish could become the leader in his recruitment.

Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif., Poly) - Marshall tweeted Sunday evening that the five schools to receive official visit will be Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. A date has yet to be set for his visit to Notre Dame. USC and UCLA are the favorites here, though Notre Dame has been in the mix of conversation since the beginning of his recruitment.

Calvin Brewton (Miami, Fla., Central) - Brewton, a Florida State commit, still maintains contact with Tony Alford. The safety plans to take officials to Louisville and Notre Dame, and potentially Georgia, this season.

Linebacker

The scene: Notre Dame only has one linebacker commit so far in this class, SAM four-star Josh Barajas. Adding a weak-side player would be ideal, and Notre Dame is on the hunt to land either Te'Von Coney or Asmar Bilal.

Te'Von Coney (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., High) - Coney visited Notre Dame for its game vs. Michigan, and afterwards, he reported to Scout.com that Notre Dame slightly overtook Florida as his leader. However, take that with a grain of salt, Irish fans. For Coney, he must decide if leaving Florida is something he's capable of for the next four years. A decision is expected to be made by the end of this month, though it would not be surprising to see Coney push that date back, especially if he wants to take an official to Florida before making his final decision.

Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, Ind., Ben Davis) - Michigan and Notre Dame the two contenders for Bilal, who will likely visit Notre Dame for the Stanford game on Oct. 4. A date has yet to be set for a Michigan visit. The Irish are the favorite going forward, though it's a tight race that could end up in the Wolverines' favor. Worth reiterating - location, the value of the degree, and Notre Dame's plan for him on the field appeal to Bilal the most. Bilal is now deciphering if the expectations of an Irish student-athlete and the unique atmosphere of the school are something he wants to join.

Defensive Line

The scene: Notre Dame has three commitments along the defensive line, and they're all interior prospects - Micah Dew-Treadway, Elijah Taylor and Brandon Tiassum. A pass-rusher needs to be added in this class, but currently, the pickings are slim.

Bo Wallace (Riverside, La., John Curtis Christian) - A linebacker/defensive end hybrid, Wallace was scheduled to visit Notre Dame on an official visit of the Michigan game, but was forced to reschedule until after his high school season concludes. LSU, Oklahoma, and UCLA are Notre Dame's biggest competition. Wallace is Notre Dame's top target at the position and is the most realistic pass-rushing prospect the Irish have the potential to land.

Joseph Wicker (Long Beach, Calif., Poly) - It's been quiet between Wicker and Notre Dame recently. Wicker once said Notre Dame was the school recruiting him hardest, though that's likely no longer the case, especially with Wicker's projection as an interior prospect in the long run. Wicker is now primarily looking at staying on the west coast, and Arizona State, UCLA and Washington are the popular destinations.

Neville Gallimore (St. Catharines, Ont., Canada Prep) - Notre Dame is in Gallimore's top seven, though Ohio State and Oklahoma are the favorites right now. Plus, Gallimore plays inside, and what Notre Dame really needs is a defensive end.

Christian Wilkins (Suffield, Conn., Academy) - Notre Dame made Wilkins' top seven, but momentum is trending in favor of Stanford and Penn State. Notre Dame should receive a visit before he makes his decision, however. Wilkins plays end in high school, though he projects as a tackle in college.

Porter Gustin (Salem Hills, Utah, High) - A linebacker/defensive end hybrid, Gustin visited Notre Dame on an official visit for the Michigan game. USC may have a strong hold on him, and it's unclear how well Notre Dame did to improve its chances of landing him after his official.

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