Notre Dame Weekend Recruiting Preview

Mid-week musings include: In-depth preview of the weekend in recruiting, plus notable comments from Stanford head coach David Shaw, who previews this weekend's top 15 match-up in South Bend

Weekend in Recruiting Preview

Notre Dame is set to host three (confirmed) uncommitted targets in the 2015 class this weekend.

- Four-star slot wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (Servite, Calif., Anaheim) – This will be St. Brown’s second visit to campus. St. Brown, who is Notre Dame’s No. 1 target at the position, first visited for Irish Invasion in June. Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and USC are the primary schools in contention, but Notre Dame holds the edge out. A commitment this weekend is possible but is not the expectation.

Earlier this month, St. Brown told Scout.com: “I’m still going to take my Notre Dame official, I think. I don’t know if I’m going to take any officials to USC or Stanford because they’re the local schools. I’m still going to think about it. I might take them depending on what time I commit.”

You still expect St. Brown to visit UCLA before he makes his decision final, but if he were to pull the trigger this weekend or shortly thereafter, it would not surprise.

- Four-star wide receiver Calvin Brewton (Miami, Fla., Central) – A Florida State commit, Brewton has held interest in Notre Dame, and vice-versa, for quite some time. Irish recruiting coordinator Tony Alford headlined the scheduling of his trip, and Notre Dame could impress enough to make things interesting in the long haul. However, do not expect a hasty decision one way or the other following his visit.

- Four-star safety Frank Buncom (San Diego, Calif., St. Augustine) – Buncom quickly scheduled an official visit to South Bend after picking up an offer in September. Stanford leads for the two-way athlete, but Notre Dame could tighten the race with a win over the Cardinal this weekend.

Along with the three confirmed uncommitted class of 2015 visitors, there are two 2015 targets whose statuses are questionable in regards to their attendance in South Bend on Saturday.

- Four-star linebacker Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, Ind., Ben Davis) – Not much to be said about the in-state product that hasn’t been reitereated here in the past… Notre Dame/Michigan battle… Notre Dame has quietly held the lead since the very beginning, and that continues to be the case as the season marches onward. Bilal has stated that he will visit both Notre Dame and Michigan this season before making a decision.

- Four-star defensive end Mekhi Brown (Columbus, Ga., Carver) – Brown is committed to Alabama, and though Notre Dame stands in a distant second place right now, the Irish are nonetheless on Brown’s radar. This will be Brown’s second trip to Notre Dame after he visited in a team setting over the summer.

*** 2015 commitments that will be in attendance include safety Nicco Fertitta, cornerback Shaun Crawford, cornerback Nick Coleman and running back Josh Adams.

Juniors slated to be in attendance include:

Offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer of Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder (*Tentative)
Tight end Jake Hausmann of Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller
Wide receiver Austin Mack of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers
Defensive end Auston Robertson of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne
Defensive end Jonathon Cooper of Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln
Defensive end Tony Poljan of Lansing (Mich.) Catholic
Defensive tackle Bo Peek of Tampa (Fla.) Berkley Prep
Defenisve end Khalid Kareem of Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison

Note: The aforementioned visitors in the 2016 class will be discussed at greater length in an upcoming podcast.

Shaw previews Saturday

To listen to Stanford head coach David Shaw’s press conference in its entirety, click here.

On if Stanford’s defense is better this year than it was last year:

“It’s possible. But I think you need a full season before you really make that assessment. We are playing at a really high level. But we played at a really high level last year, also. We haven't given up that long touchdown run or that long touchdown pass. Our guys try to take away the big plays to make people go the long way down the field and they haven't been able to do it. That's a debate that will continue and I'm sure a lot of our former players, a couple of them have (contacted me) saying, 'Hey, they're not better than we were.' I think that's great. The bottom line is they're playing really well right now." – Shaw

On Everett Golson:

"Watching him, it's a difference of confidence, honestly. I think he was really good two years ago. He's very athletic, very accurate. Hard to pin down, hard to catch in the backfield. This year it's the same but he almost just seems composed, whereas before it seemed a little frantic. Now, he knows you can't catch him. I'm not putting him on this pedestal just yet, (but) I heard someone say this the other day and I believe they're right: He reminds you of Russell Wilson. You watch him run around, but he never seems panicked, he never seems to throw the ball into triple coverage. If he can get away, he gets away, if he can throw it away he throws it away. If he can scramble for four yards, he scrambles for four yards, protects himself and gets down. He's been a handful for everyone that they play." – Shaw

On Notre Dame’s defense:

"As soon as I put the film on it was like being back in the NFL and seeing the variety of blitzes, the variety of fronts. They know how to attack your protections and get after your quarterback. They have good personnel. They have good pass rushers. They're good against the run. You walk into the game and it's just like playing against Vic Fangio or Rex Ryan or all those guys that everybody on the defense is a viable blitzer, so they need to be accounted for and they're going to give you a bunch of different looks. Thankfully in our history we've played against guys like this. It's an impressive group to watch." – Shaw

How They Fared

Rice defeated Southern Miss 41-23
Michigan lost to Minnesota 30-14
Purdue lost to Iowa 24-10
No. 14 Stanford defeated Washington 20-13
North Carolina lost to Clemson 50-35
No. 1 Florida State defeated N.C. State 56-41
Navy lost to Western Kentucky 36-27
Arizona State lost to UCLA 62-27
Northwestern defeated Penn State 29-6
Louisville defeated Wake Forest 20-10
No. 16 USC defeated Oregon State 35-10


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