Insider Report: Who’s committing when?

The Insider Report reveals the commitment timelines for Notre Dame’s major targets, hits on Shamrock Series visitors for Fenway Park and adds a new linebacker name to the mix.

With the home schedule complete most of Notre Dame’s on-campus recruiting this cycle is done too.

Three-star running back Deon McIntosh put the Irish at 18 commitments this week with December’s postseason awards show and three weekends in January remaining to host official visitors. And there’s still work to be done.

Notre Dame would like to add at least five or six more prospects, although getting there requires some difficult math. First, there’s the 85-man scholarship limit the Irish are already pushing up against. Irish Illustrated updated its Scholarship Chart to reflect what next year’s roster might look like as things stand currently: LINK

Then there’s the targets. Who can Notre Dame actually land? What are their timelines? The Insider Report takes a closer look at what’s left.

Damian Alloway - Wide Receiver

The latest: Fresh off an official visit to Notre Dame last weekend, Alloway still has plans to visit UCLA before he makes his final decision. Not wanting to leave home is something that could put the Bruins on top in the end. McIntosh’s commitment shrinks Alloway’s window to make a decision if he opts for Notre Dame.
Competition: UCLA
Timeline: Mid-December, following his official visit to UCLA

Oluwole Betiku - Defensive End

The latest: Texas A&M and USC are the teams to beat, but Notre Dame made a strong impression last weekend during his official visit. Betiku could land at Notre Dame, but it would be an upset.
Competition: Florida State, Texas A&M, USC
Timeline: Mid-December (early enrollee)

Brandon Burton - Safety

The latest: Florida State and UCLA are the favorites for Burton, who likely sticks with the local team in the end. Notre Dame is still in the mix.
Competition: Florida State, UCLA
Timeline: January

Donnie Corley - Wide Receiver

The latest: Corley visited for the Texas game but hasn’t returned to campus since. Others have clearly emerged as more realistic destinations, most notably Michigan State and Tennessee. Both have hosted Corley on official visits.
Competition: Michigan State, Tennessee
Timeline: Dec. 8 announcement date

Eric Cuffee - Cornerback

The latest: Cuffee has been slipping off the board for awhile despite making a pair of visits to Notre Dame, including for the Texas game. He insists the Irish are still a player despite going with a current top five that doesn’t include Notre Dame.
Competition: Auburn, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M
Timeline: Under Armour All-America Game

Brendan Ferns – Linebacker

The latest: Ferns had narrowed his list to West Virginia and Penn State but Notre Dame worked its way back into the picture and could land an official visit on Dec. 11. Ferns had eliminated Notre Dame due to the school not offering his preferred major — petroleum engineering — but it seems Ferns is open to other options.
Competition: West Virginia, Penn State
Timeline: January

Jordan Fuller – Cornerback

The latest: Fuller scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame for Dec. 11. He’ll add several more officials in the near future. He previously visited South Bend but friends Andrew Trumbetti and Brandon Wimbush weren’t on campus at the time.
Competition: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, UCLA (his brother plays there), TCU (his dad played there)
Timeline: Late January/National Signing Day

Damar Hamlin – Defensive Back

The latest: Hamlin has visited all of his favorites, including Notre Dame, and will schedule a couple more visits once his team completes its season. The experts believe Penn State and Pittsburgh lead and Hamlin isn’t tipping his hand.
Competition: Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio State, UCLA
Timeline: January/National Signing Day

Aaron Hansford - linebacker

The latest: Hansford has visited Notre Dame, Oregon and Michigan State and is scheduled to see UCLA and Florida in the near future. He had rave reviews for Notre Dame following his visit and the Irish continue to be among his favorites. UCLA is the only school to offer Hansford as a wide receiver.
Competition: UCLA, Duke, Michigan State, Florida, UCLA
Timeline: January/National Signing Day

Daelin Hayes - Linebacker

The latest: Hayes trimmed to a top three of Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. He’s visited all three for games and will make return trips to Michigan State and Ohio State in the coming weeks. Notre Dame would like to get Hayes on campus for the postseason awards show, but nothing is set at this point.
Competition: Michigan State, Ohio State
Timeline: Early December, perhaps the first week

Jonathan Jones - Linebacker

The latest: Notre Dame pulled even with Michigan following his Irish official visit in September, but the Wolverines have been recruiting him longer and will receive his last official visit. Jim Harbaugh even wished Jones a happy birthday via Twitter.
Competition: Michigan
Timeline - Mid-December, following his official visit to Michigan

Caleb Kelly - Linebacker

The latest: Kelly plans to take his official visit to Notre Dame for the awards show weekend on Dec. 11. Oklahoma is the favorite followed by Michigan. There are too many Fresno connections in Norman to feel good about Notre Dame’s position right now.
Competition: Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon
Timeline: National Signing Day

Jeffrey McCulloch  - Linebacker

The latest: Notre Dame established itself as legitimate contender following his official visit for the USC game. Texas and Texas A&M are still considered the favorites, although the Irish have made inroads with the family.
Competition: Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M
Timeline: Under Armour All-America Game

Javon McKinley - Wide Receiver

The latest: Notre Dame has been the favorite for the longest, but UCLA has the advantage of being close to home.
Competition: UCLA
Timeline: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Ikenna Okeke – Safety

The latest: Okeke nearly committed to Notre Dame after a summer visit then returned to South Bend this fall. At one point, Stanford was considered the leading competition but Texas A&M and Penn State both have surged in recent weeks. Look for a decision to come soon after his visit to Happy Valley this weekend.
Competition: Texas A&M, Penn State
Timeline: Late November/early December

Troy Pride Jr. – Cornerback

The latest: Clemson is now considering offering the local prospect, and Ole Miss offered on Wednesday. Pride Jr. is unsure if either of those programs will receive visits. Notre Dame leads.
Competition: Clemson, Virginia Tech
Timeline: A commitment could come at any time.

Demetris Robertson – Athlete

The latest: Notre Dame is optimistic Robertson makes a return visit for the awards show weekend (Dec. 11). Stanford leads, Alabama is still a plausible destination, and Notre Dame will try to jockey for pole position down the homestretch. Robertson has cancelled Irish visits before, although he got to campus in September
Competition: Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Stanford
Timeline: Late January/National Signing Day

Melquise Stovall - Wide Receiver

The latest: With Notre Dame’s addition of McIntosh and continual pursuit of Alloway, Stovall is likely on the outside looking in.
Competition: Arizona, Arizona State, Utah
Timeline: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Devin Studstill - Safety

The latest: Studstill took an official visit to West Virginia last weekend, and he visited Miami for the Clemson game. Notre Dame is confident it leads.
Competition: Miami, West Virginia
Timeline: A commitment could come at any time.

Denson impresses Auburn commit

Alaric Williams liked enough about Auburn last summer to make a commitment.

But that hasn’t kept the four-star junior running back from exploring other options. Williams visited Notre Dame last month and scored an offer. He plans to see the Irish again this weekend at Fenway Park, alongside his guardian.

Why would an Auburn commitment from Alabama drive all the way to the Northeast for another look at Notre Dame in a neutral site game? Credit running backs coach Autry Denson. Coaches are important to Williams as he considers other options.

“Coaches, that means a lot,” Williams said. “Then just the atmosphere of the place. But mainly the coaches, how they are. Me and coach Denson have built a relationship since I was up there. He’s a real cool guy.”

Williams also wants to visit Florida and Ole Miss during the offseason. He’s planning to be in Auburn again for the Iron Bowl later this month.

Couple notable Fenway visitors

Four-star junior wide receiver Tarik Black headlines a few other notable prospects expected to watch the Irish on Saturday at Fenway Park.

Black attends Cheshire Academy in Connecticut and is already a national target. Alabama, Arizona State, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Wisconsin and several programs in the Northeast have already offered.

Junior running back A.J. Dillon, a Notre Dame legacy, will be in attendance. He holds offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Syracuse and Virginia, among others.

Sophomore offensive guard Finn Dirstine, who teams with Dillon, will attend as well. Boston College, Miami and Massachusetts have already offered.

Ohio linebacker to visit next month

Three-star linebacker Jonah Morris plans to visit Notre Dame for the postseason awards show on Dec. 11.  Morris recently de-committed from Michigan State and has been talking with the Irish staff since about setting up a trip to campus.

Notre Dame offered Morris back in the spring. Ohio State has also been involved, but has yet to offer.


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