Big Board: Running back

The stage is set for this weekend to play a hefty indicator in how Notre Dame finishes out its 2015 running back class. With four key targets at the position on the board, find out where Notre Dame stands with each.

Prospects on the board

Jordan Cronkrite – Three-star, Miami (Fla.) Westminister Christian

Jan. 16 – Louisville
Jan. 23 – Florida

Notes: Cronkrite will visit Louisville this upcoming weekend, though the Cardinals are slowly losing ground in this race. Vicinity to home and fresh faces in the Swamp put the Gators in prime position to emerge as the team to beat for now.

Sotonye Jamabo – Five-star, Plano (Texas) West

Notes: Notre Dame and UCLA have been sturdy fixtures in Jamabo’s recruitment since the beginning, but Baylor and Texas have emerged as contenders in recent weeks. Texas is pushing to get him on campus, but for now, the safe bet would be on Jamabo becoming a Bruin.  

Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Three-star, Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn

Jan. 16 – Notre Dame
Jan. 23 - Illinois

Notes: On paper, it’s difficult to project Vaughn anywhere but Notre Dame. Other teams in play are Illinois, Purdue and West Virginia. The Mountaineers could extend an offer this week in hopes to get him on campus before he makes a decision. Vaughn visits Notre Dame on an official visit this weekend with his parents.

Dexter Williams – Four-star, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange

Jan. 16 – Notre Dame
Jan. 23 – Texas A&M

Notes: Texas A&M is the most recent program to gain traction with Williams, and Louisville and Florida are also in the mix. Depending on how events unfold this weekend at Notre Dame and elsewhere, Notre Dame has the chance to emerge as Williams’ favorite heading into the homestretch.

Name to know

Three-star running back Rocky Reid of Concord (N.C.) High. Reid, a former Tennessee commit, will visit Louisville this weekend and is expected to visit West Virginia the following weekend. With the recruiting efforts of Florida, Louisville, Notre Dame and West Virginia intertwined at the running back position, Bobby Petrino’s approach with Reid could impact the tipping point of the running back dominoes primed to fall sooner than later.

Situation to monitor

Notre Dame fans will recognize this name, and it’s a name that could play a role in what running back lands in South Bend. Ohio State commit Mike Weber of Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech is being heavily pursued by Michigan, and that pursuit will only increase once the dead period concludes. With Ohio State gaining a commitment Monday night from 2016 five-star Kareem Walker coupled with the fact Ezekiel Elliott is just a just a sophomore, the increasingly crowded backfield in Columbus could impact Weber’s decision to stay in-state. Why it matters to Notre Dame -should Weber decide to switch his pledge to Harbaugh and staff, Ohio State could come after Keshawn Vaughn, who was pursued by the Buckeyes up until Weber committed in December. Vaughn was scheduled to visit Ohio State on Dec. 13, but that visit never occurred. 

Important dates

Thursday, Jan. 15: Contact period begins
Sunday, Feb. 1: Quiet period
Monday, Feb. 2 - Thurs, Feb. 5: Dead period
Wednesday, Feb. 4: National Signing Day Top Stories