Watch List: Quarterback

With quarterback depth secure, Notre Dame can jump into the next recruiting cycle from a position of strength, able to get choosy at a spot that’s been a must-get virtually every other cycle under Brian Kelly.

Brian Kelly can’t get enough quarterbacks.

Yet for perhaps the first time during his Notre Dame tenure, the Irish can enter a recruiting cycle debating the possibility they’re already set in the shotgun.

With Malik Zaire, DeShone Kizer and Brandon Wimbush having burned a combined one season of eligibility and Notre Dame tight on numbers, the Irish could actually afford to skip this position this cycle. Notre Dame doesn’t plan to and doesn’t want to, but it’s at least a possibility for the first time since Kelly arrived here.

Back then, Notre Dame’s quarterback depth chart was in disrepair, held up by freshmen and walk-ons. Now, Top 50 prospects are nearly surefire red-shirt candidates.

With Junior Day less than two weeks away, here’s a first look at the Master List for quarterback. The program’s three elite targets are already off the board (Shea Patterson, Malik Henry and Jacob Eason), but plenty of talent remains in play.


6-3, 210
Winter Garden, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Clemson
Outlook: Barrett teamed with signee Dexter Williams at West Orange. He’s a raw quarterback but highly athletic based on his offer list.

6-3, 185
Glendora, Calif.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Sanford Top Offers: Washington, Utah, Boise St., Cal
Outlook: There’s familiarity with Mike Sanford after he targeted the California prospect while at Boise. Washington leads but the Irish could make a play.

6-3, 207
Lake Wales, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Auburn, Clemson, FSU, Ohio St.
Outlook: Gaines listed a Top 5 with Notre Dame slotted fourth behind Auburn, FSU and Clemson. But that was last October. On paper, this looks tough.

6-4, 195
Oradell, N.J.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Booker Top Offers: Rutgers, Ohio St., Tennessee, Stanford
Outlook: The Irish trail Rutgers, which has hosted the Bergen Catholic standout multiple times. Signing Brandon Wimbush got Guarantano’s attention.

6-2, 180
Potomac, Md.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Booker Top Offers: Ohio St., Alabama, Maryland, Texas
Outlook: Haskins had called Ohio State his dream school but Maryland has proximity. The Irish need a strong junior day visit in March. He’s a fit.

6-2, 203
Channelview, Tex.
Offer: No Visit: No Recruiter: Sanford Top Offers: Mississippi St., KSU, West Virginia
Outlook: An offer would be required to make a serious play for the Texas athlete. The Irish must reestablish their connection here with a new recruiting staff.

6-5, 190
Columbia, Tenn.
Offer: No Visit: No Recruiter: Elston Top Offers:Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky
Outlook: Oden will hit junior day on March 21. He’s long, lean and athletic with room for development. A dual threat with strong run skills.

6-5, 200
Columbus, Ga.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Booker Top Offers: Alabama, Ohio St., Auburn, Florida
Outlook: Some analysts see the next Cam Newton. Pass visited South Bend last summer but the Irish are fringe players for this off-profile prospect.

6-4, 190
Avon, Ind.
Offer: No Visit: Yes Recruiter: Elston Top Offers: Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, LSU
Outlook: Notre Dame hasn’t offered, but plenty of higher-level Midwest programs have. The Irish will get an in-person evaluation at Junior Day in March.

6-3, 225
De Soto, Texas
Offer: No Visit: No Recruiter: Sanford Top Offers: Texas, TCU, Baylor, UCLA, Nebraska
Outlook: Wallace is as much an athlete as a quarterback, meaning there’s position flexibility. He de-committed from Texas Tech in March. Top Stories