Notre Dame wants a second running back in its recruiting class and may return to the site of the Music City Bowl to land one.
Notre Dame running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Alford reached out to Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn running back Keshawn Vaughn in mid-December to assess interest. The player and coach have been in regular contact since.
“A few weeks ago was the first time that I talked with coach Alford,” Vaughn said. “The first time was just getting to know each other, and then the second time we talked on the phone he offered me. He’s a really cool coach, and he keeps it real.”
Notre Dame did not sign a running back last cycle and has just one in the commitment column in Josh Adams of Pennsylvania. That leaves only Greg Bryant (redshirt sophomore) and Tarean Folston (junior) on the roster heading into the off-season.
“(Alford) told me that Notre Dame only has two running backs returning next year, which is a good thing, and they want to take two running backs in this class,” Vaughn said. “He wants me to be one of them.”
Vaughn is in the process of scheduling an official visit to South Bend.
“I am supposed to talk with coach Alford this week to set it up,” Vaughn said. “It will either be Jan. 16 or Jan. 23. I think he wants to schedule it for the 16th, so I’ll probably visit Illinois the weekend after that.”
The 5-foot-10, 207-pound running back rushed for 2,031 yards and 33 touchdowns on 162 carries last season, earning the distinction of being named Tennessee’s Class AA Mr. Football Back of the Year.
“Notre Dame runs a similar offense to what we run in high school, so it wouldn’t be too much of a change for me, which is good,” Vaughn said.
In addition to Illinois and Notre Dame, Vaughn includes Louisville and Purdue among his favorites. Vaughn officially visited the Boilermakers and Cardinals in October and November, respectively.
“I don’t plan to return to those schools for visits,” Vaughn said. “I already know what I need to know about them. Playing time is important to me and so is finding a family environment. I feel like I can adjust well to any school that I go to, so I want to find one that feels like home.”
Vaughn also boasts offers from California, Duke, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Vaughn is a three-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 1 running back in the state of Tennessee and No. 52 overall back in the class of 2015.