Staff Predictions 2.0

After being hit with disappointment a year ago on National Signing Day, Notre Dame is now primed to lock up a couple top offensive athletes with the potential to add a safety too. The Irish Illustrated staff delivers another round of commitment predictions.

Notre Dame won’t be hoping on National Signing Day this year. It will be expecting.

With one week to go until the end of another recruiting cycle, the Irish are primed to finish the campaign with promise instead of prayer. Running back Dexter Williams, receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and safety Arrington Farrar are all possibilities for Notre Dame, with Irish confidence rock solid on the first two.

So where will all the targets left on the board ultimately sign? Our recruiting staff of Pete Sampson, Jake Brown, Steve Hare and Anna Hickey runs down the entire list, offering up predictions and confidence levels for every prospect still in play, even if the Irish are no longer players for most.

Frank Buncom
Pete: A week ago it felt like Notre Dame had an outside shot. It doesn’t. All Stanford. Jake: Notre Dame not making an in-home visit before today’s announcement is all people need to know. Steve:With Buncom expected to announce his decision on Wednesday it looks more and more like the Irish are the bridesmaid. Anna: No in-home means he’s off the board.

Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
High

Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
High
Jordan Cronkrite
Pete: Florida has been trending upward here for weeks and he should be a Gator next week. Jake: Cronkrite seems inclined to stay in state if there is a legitimate option. Florida is one under the new staff. Steve: The Irish are in good shape with Dexter Williams, which means Cronkrite’s Notre Dame option never materialized. Anna: Down to Florida and West Virginia, this one looks like a win for the home team.
Pick:
Florida
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Florida
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Florida
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Florida
Confidence:
High
Arrington Farrar
Pete: Somebody’s got to commit at safety, right? There’s too much playing time for this not to work out. Jake: Notre Dame gets Farrar on campus this weekend. Wouldn’t be the first time the Irish landed a former Stanford commit. Steve: Landing an official visit from Farrar certainly helps the Irish in securing a safety on signing day. Anna: ND secured the last visit and the Irish have a lot to sell points in this case. Logic suggests he’ll choose ND.
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
Medium
Soso Jamabo
Pete: Let’s switch this to a mild upset, with Texas beating out long-time frontrunner UCLA at the final gun. Jake: In-state schools are gunning for the five-star back late, but UCLA has been the front runner since fall. Steve: Jamabo’s favorites seem to change with the daily temperature. Now it looks like he may be a Longhorn. Anna: Texas gained momentum when Jamabo took an official visit last weekend. Tough call between the Longhorns and Bruins.
Pick:
Texas
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
Texas
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
Low
Gary Jennings
Pete: Virginia has seen a couple other programs get visits this month, but the Cavs continue to look good. Jake: Home state Virginia has surged since Notre Dame hosted for an official visit. Legit shot at playing receiver at UVA. Steve: A visit to North Carolina this weekend could shake things up with Jennings but staying home is still an option. Anna: Nothing new here. Jennings wants to play offense. Virginia will give him that opportunity.
Pick:
Virginia
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Virginia
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Virginia
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Virginia
Confidence:
High
Iman Marshall
Pete: USC doesn’t let Marshall get away. He’s too good and five-star talent gravitates to the Trojans. Jake: Even with Marshall making the most of official visits it’s difficult to see him landing anywhere other than USC. Steve: Michigan is making a push for Marshall but it’s still tough to pull one of SoCal’s best players from the Trojans. Anna: This feels like one Jim Harbaugh could pull off, but that would be going out on a limb. USC remains the pick.
Pick:
USC
Confidence:
High
Pick:
USC
Confidence:
High
Pick:
USC
Confidence:
High
Pick:
USC
Confidence:
Low
Nate Meadors
Pete: t’s all UCLA despite Notre Dame making a push. The Bruins hold a major familiarity edge. Jake: Notre Dame had pulled even but UCLA, which had been leading outright, gets to host right before signing day. Steve: Farrar might be the Irish’s top choice at safety but Meadors isn’t far behind. This could get interesting after this weekend. Anna: UCLA has this one locked up barring the unexpected.
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
High
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
High
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
UCLA
Confidence:
High
Justin Reid
Pete: The family connections around the Bay Area tripped up Notre Dame despite a good official visit. Jake: Playing safety roulette down the stretch left Notre Dame with options. Farrar picks the Irish, Reid ends up in Palo Alto. Steve: Stanford becoming more of a safe pick for Reid, whose brother plays for the 49ers. Anna: Notre Dame gave him all he could think about during his official visit last weekend, but it’s not enough to turn the tide.
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
Stanford
Confidence:
Medium
Equanimous St. Brown
Pete: Notre Dame offered St. Brown’s younger brother during Brian Kelly’s in-home visit. Lock status. Jake: Hard to argue with speculation St. Brown has been on board since Notre Dame scratched Lawrence Cager’s visit. Steve: The Irish quickly changed their recruiting strategy after ESB’s visit. Hint, hint. Anna: Notre Dame is the big-time favorite here. Should be a nice splash on signing day.
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Pete: Purdue has been coming after Vaughn hard, although West Virginia makes a lot more sense on paper. Jake: Running back musical chairs late in the process leaves Vaughn at West Virginia, especially since it gets last visit. Steve: Vaughn enjoyed his trip to Notre Dame but limited numbers will force him to pick another school. Anna: West Virginia holds the edge, but Illinois made a push. But the Mountaineers get his last visit.
Pick:
Purdue
Confidence:
Low
Pick:
West Virginia
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Louisville
Confidence:
Medium
Pick:
West Virginia
Confidence:
Medium
Dexter Williams
Pete: If Notre Dame loses Williams it will be a bad misread by the Irish staff. All signs point to a silent commit. Jake: Williams has been trending Notre Dame since his official. All that seems left is the formality of going public. Steve: Notre Dame is all in on Williams, so either they have a silent commitment or misread this one. Anna: If tweets from Louis Nix and Cierre Wood congratulating this commitment aren’t a dead give away, I’m not sure what is.
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High
Pick:
Notre Dame
Confidence:
High

Predictions: January 23


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