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Irish solid in final Scout300

Scout released its final rankings for the Class of 2016 on Friday, revealing a strong group of Notre Dame commitments and targets. Irish Illustrated takes a closer look with insight from the analysts.

One look through the final Scout rankings reveals the star power Notre Dame is poised to sign next month.

Three commitments made the top 100. Another seven fall inside the Scout300. Even more uncommitted targets made the list, including three in five-star territory.

Four-star offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer headlines current commitments at No. 37 overall. He’s followed by wide receiver Javon McKinley (No. 55), who committed at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg (No. 79).

Kraemer also competed at the Army Bowl while Eichenberg played in the Under Armour All-America Game.

“Those guys are who we thought they were,” said Allen Trieu, Scout’s Midwest recruiting manager. “Both went to All-American games and performed well against the best in the country. Some top offensive linemen have a hard time in those games. The format is set up more for the defense to succeed in my opinion, but those guys did very well. Kraemer matched up against some elite speed rushers and was the best offensive lineman on his team.”

Other commitments in the top 300 include cornerback Troy Pride Jr. (No 176), running back Tony Jones (No. 187), outside linebacker Daelin Hayes (No. 240), defensive end Julian Okwara (No. 243), safety Donte Vaughn (No. 245), receiver Chase Claypool (No. 280) and defensive end Khalid Kareem (No. 282).

Hayes and Kareem have already started their careers by enrolling for the spring semester.

Pride shot up the list after going into the postseason as an unranked three-star prospect. Impressive senior film and a strong performance at the Shrine Bowl changed all that.

“After watching his senior tape and getting a live look at him during the Shrine Bowl, you see a corner who can play press or off coverage,” said national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons. “He has good short-space quickness, he is a cornerback with length and he knows how to make a play on the ball.  He is still on the thin side, but that is something Notre Dame will likely change in a hurry. He has good awareness, he plays with a quiet confidence and he has real upside.”

Jones slid to No. 155 overall, dropping 32 spots. Okwara slipped 40 spots. Both, however, maintained their place in the top 300 with four-star status.

Five-star linebacker Ben Davis, who’s taking an official visit to Notre Dame this weekend, headlines the list of uncommitted targets. He checked in at No. 11 overall. Outside linebacker Caleb Kelly (No. 17) and athlete Demetris Robertson (No. 23) follow in the five-star range.

Robertson added a fifth star and moved up the rankings after playing in the Army Bowl. Irish coaches are recruiting him at receiver, but Robertson brings a lot to the table.

“Versatility,” Simmons said. “Will he play corner? Will he play receiver? Will he play safety? He can do them all and do them all quite well. Great ball skills, explosive, talented, great awareness, can make plays at any time from anywhere on the football field. He can just do so many things. A true talent, a true five-star talent on the football field.”

Other targets listed include linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch  (No. 43), cornerback Jordan Fuller (No. 127), athlete Jonah Morris (No. 228) and wide receiver Damian Damian Alloway.

Morris, a one-time Michigan State commitment, is scheduled to visit South Bend next week.

“He had an outstanding senior year of both sides of the ball,” Trieu said. “He’s long, very athletic and could play receiver, safety or linebacker in college. And he played good competition too.”


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