Big Board: Safety

Almost everything remains on the table for Notre Dame at safety this cycle, with the Irish targeting quality and quantity. As for clarity, that might come after the season opener.

While Notre Dame churns through training camp its recruiting department will play the waiting game at safety. The Irish have double-digit targets in play, a couple commitments on board and a handful of prospects targeting preseason decisions.

The Big Board returns to safety, arguably the most important position in Notre Dame’s class.

Current Outlook

Based on Notre Dame’s opening day of training camp, here’s how the safety depth chart stacks up.

Free safety: Max Redfield, Drue Tranquill, Matthias Farley, Nicky Baratti

Strong safety: Elijah Shumate, Avery Sebastian, John Turner

Notre Dame will lose Farley, Sebastian and Shumate after next season as their collective eligibility runs out. Redfield could make an early jump into the NFL draft after his junior year.

Technically, Baratti and Turner will have fifth-year options, but considering how little impact they’ve made through three seasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise if both departed.

If all those scenarios play out it would leave Drue Tranquill, coming off an ACL repair, as Notre Dame’s only upperclassman safety in 2016.

It will be interesting to see how Notre Dame approaches the redshirt option for freshmen safeties Nicco Fertitta or Mykelti Williams this fall.

What’s Next

Notre Dame will ideally sign at least three safeties. Combo safety/cornerback types are being targeted as part of this secondary class. If the Irish can find the right mix of prospects, taking four won’t be out of the question.

Notre Dame has commitments from a pair of safeties already, Jalen Elliott and Spencer Perry. Elliott committed to Notre Dame during the Irish Invasion and Perry followed shortly thereafter. Perry, however, wants to take official visits this fall, which should put Notre Dame on edge. Programs in contention include Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson, Oregon and Ohio State.

Notre Dame is among the top two or three for targets Ikenna Okeke, Andrew Pryts, Devin Studstill and Chase Ulloa.

Early fall decisions are likely to come from Pryts (Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State) and Devin Studstill (Miami, Notre Dame and West Virginia). Thomas Jones Jr., who had Notre Dame listed as a co-leader following a July visit to South Bend, committed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday morning.

Targets Lamar Jackson (Sept. 5), Chanse Sylvie (Sept. 5) and Chacho Ulloa (Oct. 17) have locked in official visits.

Here’s a look at the updated Master List at safety.

Safety
Jalen Elliott
6-1, 185
Chesterfield, Va
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Booker Committed on June 19
Elliott committed during the Irish Invasion over ACC/SEC offers. He also has corner potential and a prep resume at quarterback.
Jordan Fuller
6-1, 197
Old Tappan, N.J.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Booker Top Offers: Alabama, Ohio St., UCLA, Stanford, FSU
UpdateNotre Dame hosted Fuller on July 30 for a quick visit. The Irish are now hopeful of an official this fall.
Lamar Jackson
6-2, 210
Elk Grove, Calif.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Sanford Top Offers: ASU, Oregon, USC, Oklahoma, UCLA
New Jackson announced he will officially visit Notre Dame for the opener against Texas with all five visits set.
Ikenna Okeke
6-2, 189
Smyrna, Tenn.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Elston Top Offers: Stanford, Tennessee, Penn St.
UpdateOkeke talked about a summer decision after the Irish Invasion. He wants to see Stanford (September) and Penn State (November) first.
Spencer Perry
6-3, 195
Bradenton, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Lyght Committed on June 29
UpdateNot considered a rock solid verbal to the Irish, Perry plans to take official visits this fall.
Devin Studstill
6-0, 183
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Denson Top Offers: Louisville, Miami, Wisconsin, Michigan St.
Notre Dame likely leads, although Studstill has said he won’t rush a decision. Studstill is a combination defensive back.
Chase Sylvie
6-0, 175
Shreveport, La.
Offer: Yes Visit: No Recruiter: Lyght Top Offers: Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee
UpdateSylvie committed to Oklahoma in July but said he still wants to official for the Texas weekend. He’s cousins with Tarean Folston.
Chacho Ulloa
6-0, 190
Corona, Calif.
Offer: Yes Visit: Yes Recruiter: Sanford Top Offers: ASU, Stanford
Update Notre Dame sits in the top three and will get an official on Oct. 17. Will the Irish still have room for Javon McKinley’s prep teammate?


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