In the film room...Damian Alloway

Notre Dame cast a wider recruiting net at receiver during May. The arrow remains pointing up for four-star Javon McKinley (Corona, Calif.) and three-star (Kevin Stepherson (Jacksonville, Fla.) with Damian Alloway joining the small group of favorites to land with the Irish.


• Stats: Ballpark figures based upon inconsistency of stat totals. Said to have been just shy of 1,300 yards total offense with 18 touchdowns, including four kickoff returns for scores as a junior. Somewhere in the vicinity of 720 yards rushing and a 12.0-yard average with another 150 yards receiving as a sophomore.

• Assets: A productive, resourceful, versatile football player with high marks for footwork and loose hips. Shows quality vision and elusiveness in traffic with a knack for picking the right path to daylight. A seamless change of direction with subtle foot-in-the-ground abilities to alter course.

A relatively effortless running motion with limited head movement. Shows a high back-kick in his running stride, which usually is an indication of athleticism. Has a nice north-south feel for finding daylight, eschewing east-west movement when it’s not necessary. Finds way to extend plays when he looks as if he’s pinned in. Creates additional yardage when it’s not there. Shows quality hands with look-the-ball-in fundamentals.

Offers the versatility of a fairly physical defensive back while adding the dimensions of a kick and punt returner where his vision, elusiveness, north-south tendencies, quick feet and loose hips come into play. Also a jet-sweep threat motioning parallel to the line of scrimmage.

• Room for improvement: Not a blazer. More athletic than he is flat-out fast, although he does show an extra gear when the posse is in pursuit. There’s work to be done in route running, just through inexperience and the way he is used in the Summit High offense. Needs to learn how to get open downfield, although his quick feet usually allow for a good release.

• Top offers: Notre Dame. ACC: Duke. Pac 12: Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington, Washington State; SEC: None; Big 12: Kansas; Big Ten: Indiana, Wisconsin; Interest: Oregon, USC.

• Early line: The predominately-Pac 12 recruit lists Arizona State, which offered the same day as Notre Dame, and UCLA as his top considerations in West Coast-based conference, as well as Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

In mid-May, before Notre Dame had offered, Alloway told Irish Illustrated’s Steve Hare: “(Notre Dame) is one of the biggest ones I really want. That would impact my whole recruiting process. It would honestly change the whole thing. They would shoot right to the top.”

A couple weeks later, the long-awaited offer was placed on the table.

“They finally pulled the trigger,” said Alloway to Hare. “Coach (Mike) Denbrock came by when I was in the weight room and he offered me a scholarship.

“That’s the most excited I’ve been over an offer in a long time, probably since my first one. This one means a lot. I couldn’t stop smiling once I got it. I’m just really enjoying myself right now.”

Claiming that he does not have a “set list” yet, Alloway told Hare that Notre Dame joins Cal, UCLA and Wisconsin as his favorites at the present time.

“I’m not going to do any committing until I get up there on a visit and make sure I see the campus,” Alloway said.

Alloway could visit Notre Dame this summer, or his first look at the Irish up close and personal could come in October when the Irish host USC.

• ND’s 2016 wide receiver recruiting: The Master List at receiver underwent some editing during the May recruiting period with four-stars Austin Mack (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Ahmir Mitchell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) still trending away from the Irish. Four-star Donnie Corley (Detroit, Mich.) appears to be a lean toward Michigan State while three-star Joshua Hammond (Hallandale, Fla.) seems to be favoring Florida.

That prompted additional offers – including Alloway – as well as three-star Kevin Stepherson (Jacksonville, Fla.), who will be attending Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion on June 19. The Irish remain in solid shape with four-star Javon McKinley (Corona, Calif.) while hoping for a fall official visit from Tre Nixon (Viera, Fla.).

• ND’s 2016 wide receiver depth chart: By 2016, Will Fuller could be in his last year, or an early departure for the NFL after ’15. Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle will be gone, and Corey Robinson likely will be in his fourth and final year in the program. Torii Hunter, Jr., will be down to two years. Justin Brent and Corey Holmes will be juniors with two years of eligibility remaining while sophomores Equanimeous St. Brown, Miles Boykin, Jalen Guyton and C.J. Sanders will have three or four years left.

• Summary: Notre Dame, according to Alloway, projects him as a slot receiver, which makes sense considering his elusiveness in traffic. Alloway has great feet/footwork. He has that rat-a-tat running style that gives him the ability to change course, and thus, throw would-be tacklers off their stride.

He won’t run away from the faster players on the field a majority of the time, but every now and then, you see a gear that makes you hesitate and reevaluate just how fast you think he is.

Alloway offers versatility in the return game and as a jet-sweep runner out of motion. He also makes perfect sense as a kick and punt coverage guy with his background as a defensive back, where he clearly shows some aggressiveness, physicality and tackling skills.

There are no sure things in recruiting. But when a recruit reacts to a Notre Dame offer in the manner in which Alloway did, it’s usually a strong indication that the Irish are going to be difficult to beat, particularly when Cal, UCLA and Wisconsin – all strong contenders – were never prohibitive favorites, and even less so once Notre Dame entered the equation with a solid offer.

Until we hear something different, it’s hard to believe that if Notre Dame really wants Alloway that they won’t eventually land the Fontana, Calif., product who was recruited by Mike Denbrock and Mike Stanford in the spring.

He wants to visit Notre Dame for its home tilt against USC on Oct. 17. If that weekend comes off well, you’re likely looking at one of the program’s receivers of the future.



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