Watch List: Running Back

Notre Dame needs running back help in this class. How much depends on the coming season, although two top targets have the Irish near the top of their boards with Junior Day visits planned.

Notre Dame entered its last recruiting cycle desperate for running back help.

Josh Adams committed over the summer as he finished recovering from a torn ACL. Dexter Williams was on the Master List, but was just a name in the commitment column for Miami. The Irish eventually inked both, offering some stability for a position that enters spring ball with just two scholarship backs: Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston.

Considering one or both could depart after this season, it makes signing at least one more back critical to this class, with positional flexibility a possible key in targeting the position. The good news for Notre Dame, despite changing coaches from ace recruiter Tony Alford to potential ace recruiter Autry Denson, is the Irish could be at least halfway home by month’s end.

Both Tony Jones and Elijah Holyfield are ticketed for Junior Day on March 21, with Jones entering that weekend on commitment watch. Holyfield doesn’t appear to be as close, although he fits profile with Notre Dame, coming from a strong academy prep program at Woodward Academy in Georgia, never mind the run of famous dads to go Irish.

Notre Dame could use the flexibility of time here too, giving Folston and Bryant a chance to show themselves this season and giving the staff a read on their 2016 intentions. If one leans toward an early departure, Notre Dame might need a late audible at the position. If both plan to return for their senior seasons – Bryant actually has two years of eligibility remaining – the Irish could get away with just one back in this class.

Here’s a snapshot of Notre Dame’s running back targets as the next cycle prepares to click into gear.

Running back  
Chris Evans
5-10, 195
Indianapolis, Ind.
Offer: No Visit: No Recruiter: Elston Top Offers: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue
Outlook: Evans teamed with Asmar Bilal at Ben Davis and the Irish have talked about his fit on defense. Michigan State has picked up interest.
Elijah Holyfield
5-11, 189
College Park, Ga.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Booker Top Offers: Georgia, USC, Ohio St., Auburn
Outlook: Holyfield will attend Junior Day on March 21. Considering Notre Dame’s run on famous fathers, the Irish should fare well with Evander Holyfield’s son.
Tony Jones
6-1, 215
Bradenton, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, UNC
Outlook: Jones is ticketed for Junior Day on March 21 and is on Commit Watch. Autry Denson has quickly strengthened the Irish position.
Chase Lucas
6-1, 180
Chandler, Ariz.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Lyght Top Offers: Arizona, ASU, UCLA, Nebraska
Outlook: Lucas was struck by Notre Dame’s early offer and rates the Irish as his top option outside of the regional schools. Lucas is an “athlete” recruit.
Deon McIntosh
5-11, 170
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Miami, Tennessee, Duke, Penn St.
Outlook: Too soon to tell where Notre Dame stands, but McIntosh attends a pro-Irish program at Cardinal Gibbons. Denson should connect here.
Amir Rasul
5-10, 190
Coral Gables, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Miami, South Carolina, FSU, USC
Outlook: Rasul should get to know Denson this spring and the Miami commit lists the Irish and Gamecocks in his lead group with the Hurricanes.
Robert Washington
5-10, 215
Huntersville, N.C.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Gilmore Top Offers: Alabama, Florida, LSU, USC
Outlook: With 40+ offers and Washington happy to keep everyone guessing, this is a tough read. The Alford-Denson switch creates work for the Irish. Top Stories