Commits work on expanding Irish class

Ian Book and Tony Jones Jr. give their predictions for who Notre Dame will get among last weekend’s official visitors. Tommy Kraemer and John Shannon talk about their playoff preparation.

Ian Book Ian Book committed to Notre Dame last summer following a short visit to campus on the heels of a vacation. He got the full experience last weekend.

“It was a really fun game atmosphere,” Book said. “It was ridiculous. I had high expectations but it caught me off guard. Everything about it was incredible. Being in the locker room and seeing how happy the players were to beat USC and the walk before the game just really stood out.”

Book also spent time with the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, his lead recruiter.

“(Sanford) was curious of what I thought of the game and he told me time is going to fly by and I’ll be at Notre Dame in no time,” Book said. “The coaches told who they are going after hard in the 2016 class and want me to come back in December for another visit.”

California wide receiver Javon McKinley and Michigan linebacker Daelin Hayes received extra attention from the future Irish quarterback.

“Javon McKinley and Daelin Hayes were the main guys I talked to and I sat next to both at the game,” Book said. “I think we’re really close to getting them. I talked to Javon about all of the perks of Notre Dame and he seemed to really like it.

“This game was huge for Daelin because he used to be committed to USC. It was kind of awkward and funny during warm-ups when the USC coaches were looking for him and trying to get his attention almost.”

Before flying to South Bend, Book helped Oak Ridge improve to 8-0 after defeating Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro, 24-21.  Book was 20-of-30 for 210 yards and a 30-yard touchdown. He rushed for 50 yards and another score. 

Jones Jr. soaks up Irish atmosphere

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back Tony Jones Jr. joined teammate and fellow Irish commit safety Spencer Perry on an official visit to Notre Dame this weekend.

“The game was great and the atmosphere was beautiful,” Jones Jr. said. “It was crazy, I loved it.”

Jones Jr., Notre Dame’s lone running back commit, paid special attention to C.J. Prosise.

“I loved watching him,” Jones Jr. said. “He’s a great player, and to only be playing one year at running back is crazy.”

Jones Jr. spent most of his time with official visitors Brandon Burton, Damar Hamlin, Daelin Hayes and Jeffrey McCulloch.

“I think we end up getting all of them except Jeff,” Jones Jr. said. “I don’t know where he’s going to go.”

IMG Academy (6-0) had a bye on Friday. Brian Kelly is expected to visit the school this week.

Kraemer, Elder take one on the chin

Winton Woods handed Tommy Kraemer and the Elder Panthers their first regular season shutout in eight years on Friday.
 
The Panthers managed just 161 yards of offense and 11 first downs in the 14-0 loss.
 
“Man, it was embarrassing,” Kraemer said. “Everyone came out flat and we couldn’t get anything going. I think we had like three long drives the entire game. We couldn’t score. We couldn’t get anything going. We just got in the hole and they kept beating us. It was bad. We’ve got to pick up this week for sure.”
 
With the loss, the Panthers dropped to 5-3 on the year and they have some work to do to lock up a spot in Ohio’s Division I playoffs.
 
The team currently holds down the No. 8 spot in the 16-team bracket but there are 31 teams still alive and another loss could hurt Elder’s chances of playing in Week 11.
 
“If we don’t win these last two we might struggle getting in,” Kraemer said. “It’s now or never for us.”
 
Elder hosts DePaul Catholic of Wayne, N.J., on Friday then travels to Cincinnati LaSalle in Week 10.

Shannon gets a visit in

It’s been awhile since John Shannonreturned to Notre Dame.

Shannon, a long snapper from Wilmette, Ill., planned to catch the season opener but suffered a shoulder injury the night before and had to scratch the trip. Saturday prep games have kept him from returning to South Bend until last weekend.

One of several commitments on hand, Shannon got back to campus for the USC game after playing the previous night.

“It kinda stinks,” Shannon said. “Obviously, I wish we played on Friday nights. But we don’t. It’s definitely good to get down there for the first time this year and see a game. I might be able to get back for the Wake Forest game.”

Shannon reconnected with the other commitments and met with some prospects considering Notre Dame among their options. He also soaked in the environment a little more given it was his first game trip of the season.

“It was really awesome,” Shannon said. “I think awesome is an understatement. It was really cool. It was my first game going to since I was supposed to go to the Texas game and I got hurt. It was just cool to see all the other commits and the guys that Notre Dame is recruiting. Night game, it was awesome seeing all the players and some of the guys on the team. It was a really good experience.”

The night before Shannon helped Loyola Academy (8-0) to a 56-14 win at St. Rita. One regular season game remains before the playoffs get started. Shannon is getting back into the mix at linebacker after missing games with a shoulder injury.

“It feels great,” he said. “It’s just a bad feeling sitting on the sideline watching someone else call the checks and stuff. I’m kind of a control freak in that sense. It’s just good to get back out there.”


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