Master List: Offense

Notre Dame landed five-star tight end Alize Jones just last week. Did they take a big step forward at running back during the mid-January official visit weekend? Irish Illustrated updates the Master List.

Quarterback Offer Visit Our Take

6-1, 212
Jersey City, N.J.
Yes Yes Outlook: The Under Armour All-American proved himself on a national stage in January, wrapping a senior season that included a title and Gatorade Player of the Year in New Jersey. Perhaps the biggest get in the class.
Notes: When Notre Dame made its big push for Brandon Wimbush it did it thinking Everett Golson could leave after the season for the NFL. Golson might still leave, but the destination could be another college program as a fifth-year senior. That would make Wimbush third-string at worst from the moment he stepped on campus. Brian Kelly would prefer the tandem of Golson and Malik Zaire back while Wimbush learns on the scout team. But if Golson departs it would open the door for Wimbush to battle DeShone Kizer for the backup spot. Considering the four-star prospect’s senior season at St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if he moved into the two-deep. Wimbush is a natural fit for Kelly’s offense as both a passer and quarterback who can run the read option. The Gatorade Player of the Year in New Jersey went 192-of-265 passing for 3,187 yards, 37 touchdowns and five interceptions to go with 723 yards rushing and nine scores last fall. The played in the Under Armour All-American Game to close out his prep career.
Running Back Offer Visit Our Take

6-3, 215
Warrington, Pa.
Yes Yes Outlook: Adams got a bump to four stars in the final Scout rankings and checks in at No. 199 overall. As a senior, he rushed 190 times for 1,558 yards and 25 TDs, averaging 8.2 yards per carry and 173.1 yards per game.

6-3, 200
Plano, Texas
Yes Yes Update: Barring a major change of fortune, Notre Dame won’t get Jamabo, with the in-state programs cutting in line between the Irish and perceived leader UCLA. Look out for Texas as a potential comeback winner.

5-11, 195
Winter Garden, Fla.
Yes Yes Update: The Irish are in very strong position with Williams, so much so that after Brian Kelly’s in-home visit the Irish informed other prospects that this Florida prospect was coming and to look elsewhere.
Notes: Notre Dame expects to add Dexter Williams on National Signing Day. In fact, the Irish staff is so confident that it will sign the four-star back from Florida that it’s been telling other prospects at the position that Notre Dame is basically full. When Brian Kelly and Tony Alford visited Williams in late January, later that same night Ke’Shawn Vaughn was told Notre Dame was no longer an option, that coming just days after Williams and Vaughn both took official visits to South Bend. Vaughn and Jordan Cronkrite have since been deleted from the Master List. Soso Jamabo remains, although Notre Dame doesn’t expect the five-star to fall their way. That leaves Williams and commitment Josh Adams, a likely two-back class that meets Notre Dame’s needs. Williams was a former Miami commitment and the Hurricanes continue to poke around, but Notre Dame believes it’s put itself way out front. Adams has been committed since the spring and put together a strong bounce back senior season after tearing his ACL as a junior. Overall, a Williams-Adams combination represents a good haul at a need position. It’s not the Greg Bryant-Tarean Folston pair of two years ago or the Armando Allen-Robert Hughes group, but it stacks up well nationally and replenishes the depth chart. The Irish couldn’t afford to settle for anything less.
Receiver / Tight End Offer Visit Our Take

6-3, 212
New Lennox, Ill.
Yes Yes Outlook: Boykin was selected to the Semper Fi game but sat out due to injury. He won a state championship to close out his high school career and should offer the Irish passing game a muscular target and willing blocker.

6-1, 185
Allen, Texas
Yes Yes Outlook: Few prospects had better senior seasons than Guyton, who finished with 82 catches for 1,770 yards and 22 touchdowns, working with five-star quarterback Kyler Murray to take a state championship.

6-5, 220
Las Vegas, Nev.
Yes Yes Outlook: Notre Dame scored a massive get when it flipped the five-star tight end from UCLA in mid-January, giving the Irish a superior athlete at the position and another take from Bishop Gorman, following Nicco Fertitta and Ronnie Stanley.
St. Brown

6-5, 193
Anaheim, Calif.
Yes Yes Outlook: Is St. Brown a silent commitment to Notre Dame? That’s the expectation considering the Irish moved off Lawrence Cager, who committed to Miami. The Irish loved St. Brown’s size. Academics are key in his race. All signs point up.

5-10, 163
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Yes Yes Outlook: Sanders posted a solid week during Semper Fi practices, although he didn’t do much during the game itself. The Irish believe they have a strong slot receiver who could factor into the depth chart immediately.
Notes: Notre Dame scored its biggest commit in the class when Alize Jones flipped from UCLA in mid-January, following teammate Nicco Fertitta toward South Bend. Both come from the same Bishop Gorman program that produced Ronnie Stanley, which also played a part in these recruitments. The Las Vegas powerhouse has been a program Notre Dame has wanted to crack for years and now it finally has a foothold. Jones should factor into the lineup immediately with athleticism superior to Notre Dame’s current crop of tight ends. Next up is Equanimeous St. Brown, who plans to announce his commitment on National Signing Day. Notre Dame believes the West Coast prospect is basically in the bag, the reason why they cancelled the official visit of Lawrence Cager before the awards show weekend. Getting St. Brown to go with Jones, Miles Boykin, Jalen Guyton and C.J. Sanders would make this a homerun class of talent at the skill positions. While the receivers in this group might not be immediate impact players considering the depth on campus now, they would ramp up the competition in practice immediately.
Offensive Line Offer Visit Our Take

6-4, 285
Pocatello, Idaho
Yes Yes Outlook: Hoge officially joined the program at the start of the spring semester and should slot at center in Notre Dame’s depth chart. The goal here is straight-forward, to be ready to challenge for a starting job in 2016.

6-4, 270
Cary, Ill.
Yes Yes Outlook: The guard figures to be more of a long haul player for the Irish line after a few years in the weight room under Paul Longo. But the attitude is there now, with Ruhland delivering a nasty streak to the position.

6-7, 332
Shreveport, La.
Yes Yes Outlook: Tillery enrolled at Notre Dame as planned for the spring semester, although Notre Dame will start him out on defense. Wherever he slots this year, he’s likely to be a scout team player, which means working both lines.
Notes: With Jerry Tillery slated to open his career on the defensive line, Notre Dame was in the market for another prospect at the position. No longer. The coaching staff made the decision in mid-January to forgo another offensive line target, which nixes recent Master List addition Patrick Allen. The Irish had also reached out to Mirko Jurkovic late in the process but the traction with the Irish legacy was minimal. Ohio State did a strong job flipping the one-time Nebraska commitment and Urban Meyer was dead set on not letting him get away. The perspective on this haul may hinge on where things stand with the sophomore class of Steve Elmer, Mike McGlinchey, Colin McGovern, Hunter Bivin and John Montelus. Elmer and McGlinchey are tracked into the starting lineup next year, but it’s not clear how the other three fit. Bivin didn’t dress for the Music City Bowl with an unspecified injury. McGovern has battled persistent knee pain. Montelus has been up and down between the two-deep and the reserves. If the Irish lose a player for medical reasons, that could amplify the need for another lineman in this class. Assuming the Irish are healthy, this three-man group fills Notre Dame’s needs even if Tillery is counted as a swing prospect.
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