The Wire

Mid-week musings include recruiting notes as they relate to Notre Dame's match-up vs. USC this weekend, plus comments from Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian as he previews the rivalry game vs. the Irish.

Recruiting notes related to this week's game vs. USC

- 2015 four-star defensive end Porter Gustin of Pocatello (Idaho) Salem Hills, a week removed from winning the state championship, will be at USC Saturday on an unofficial visit. He will return to take his official visit to USC the following weekend. USC and Arizona State are believed to be his top two with Notre Dame trailing slightly.

- 2015 four-star cornerback Ykili Ross of Riverside (Calif.) Poly will visit USC unofficially as well on Saturday. He took his official visit to Notre Dame last weekend, and he’ll to Oklahoma on Dec. 6 and will head back to USC for an official visit on Dec. 12. Ohio State and Oregon are also in line for potential visits.

- 2015 three-star athlete Nathan Meadors of Bernardino (Calif.) San Gorgonio, who was offered by Notre Dame on Wednesday morning, will visit USC on Saturday on an unofficial visit. Assistants Bob Elliott, Kerry Cooks and Brian VanGorder are expected to make a visit on Monday. More coming within the hour on his reaction to the Irish offer.

- 2016 four-star wide receiver Simi Fehoko of Brighton (Utah) High has been receiving interest from Notre Dame this fall, and he’ll be visiting USC this weekend.

- 2015 four-star running back Mike Weber of Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech may visit USC this weekend, though Ohio State seems like a more likely destination this week due to proximity.

- As noted earlier, the Irish staff is expected to drop in on 2015 four-star safety target Frank Buncom of San Dieg0 (Calif.) St. Augustine on Sunday. Buncom said today, however, that date is likely to be postponed.

- 2015 five-star defensive back Iman Marshall of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly is a tentative visitor for Notre Dame’s banquet weekend kicking off Dec. 12.

"I am going to take my visits as soon as possible," Marshall told Scout’s USC site this week. "Probably most likely I am going to try and take one next week and do what I gotta do. I don't know where. I might hit up Notre Dame but I don't know right now."

Comments from Sarkisian

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian met with the media following his team’s practice on Tuesday:

On the match-up vs. Notre Dame:

“It was good to get with the team yesterday and kind of get some closure on the game – to kind of understand where our downfalls were, areas where we can improve, and put that to bed, move forward and focus on Notre Dame. This is a great matchup for us. It’s a great matchup for them. Two teams that are kind of fighting with their backs against the wall. We’re in very similar situations. I think both teams will be hungry, ready to come out and put on a really good show in the Coliseum on Saturday.”

On Notre Dame’s frequent blitzing packages on defense:

“Every week they’ve got new stuff they present, so we’ve got to make some in-game adjustments. We can’t have Cody (Kessler) back there just standing there. We are going to have to block them, communicate really well, use really good technique and finish, which is ultimately what it’s about up front.”

On the challenges of playing back-to-back rivalry games in UCLA and Notre Dame:

“The emotions are one of those (challenges), you get up again. The reality is I don’t know a game coming out of the UCLA game that would snatch our attention right away. You play UCLA, you don’t play great, but boom, here comes ND at the Coliseum on senior day. I don’t know if there’s a better game for us, honestly.”

On the rivalry game:

“It’s an unbelievable rivalry. It’s one I always cherished as as assistant. It’s very unique – more unique than any rivalry in college football. We’re all humbled and honored to be a part of it. You just cherish the opportunity.”

Notre Dame bowl projections

Scout – Pinstripe Bowl, New York City, N.Y. (vs. Penn State)
ESPN (Mark Schlabach) – Pinstripe Bowl, New York City, N.Y. (vs. Maryland)
ESPN (Brett McMurphy) – Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas (vs. Utah)
CBS – Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (vs. Tennessee)
FOX – Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (vs. Auburn)
Sporting News – Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (vs. Texas A&M)
SB Nation – Pinstripe Bowl, New York City, N.Y. (vs. Penn State)

Here is a refresher of all bowl tie-ins. Top Stories