Big Board: Defensive Tackle

Notre Dame didn’t ink any defensive tackles last cycle, which makes it a position of emphasis in 2017.

CURRENT OUTLOOK

Notre Dame has just one interior defensive lineman entering his final year of eligibility in Jarron Jones, now healthy after missing the entire regular season with a torn MCL suffered in mid-August.

As for the rest, Daniel Cage, Jacob Matuska and John Montelus (projected to switch lines) will all have one year remaining after this season. Jonathan Bonner, Jay Hayes, Pete Mokwuah and Jerry Tillery will have two years left. Last year’s freshman class of Elijah Taylor, Micah Dew-Treadway and Brandon Tiassum all red-shirted, meaning they’ll have three years of remaining eligibility after this season.

From this group, Jones, Cage and Tillery should get the majority of snaps.

WHAT’S NEXT

Notre Dame didn’t sign a true interior defensive lineman last cycle, although Khalid Kareem could grow into a three technique over the long haul. He’ll start off at “big end” behind Isaac Rochell, however.

Expect Notre Dame to sign at least two defensive tackles in 2017.

Here’s a look at the Watch List. 

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss, South Carolina
Outlook: Alabama, Ole Miss and South Carolina offered last week. Interesting to note that Alabama has offered, but in-state Arkansas hasn’t.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Elston
Top Offers: Ohio State, Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky
Outlook: The younger brother of Daniel Cage. Notre Dame offered two months after his commitment to Ohio State, and he’s solid to the Buckeyes right now, but that won’t stop the Irish from working him.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Booker
Top Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Tennessee
Outlook: Notre Dame offered after Crosby had already set a decision date (April 22) and released a top five. He’s expected to head south for college despite growing up an Irish fan.
Arrow: Down

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Booker
Top Offers: Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, LSU
Outlook: Ewell is ranked as an offensive lineman, but Notre Dame likes him on defense. Ohio State leads and a decision could come this spring, so Notre Dame needs to get on campus soon to have a chance.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UCLA
Outlook: Notre Dame’s top prospect at the position committed to Ohio State this month in a surprise. The Irish will stay in touch, but this blow hurt. Garrett had targeted a Junior Day visit.
Arrow: Down

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: N.C. State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech
Outlook: Notre Dame is still in evaluation mode.  The staff made stops at his school in recent contact periods. 
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: LSU, UNC, Penn State, UCLA
Outlook: In-state programs will carry some weight in Gill’s decision-making process. Notre Dame made stops at his school in recent contact periods.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Elston
Top Offers: Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
Outlook: Hansard could be a potential visitor for Notre Dame’s second Junior Day (March 19). He’s been on the Irish radar for a while and could pick up an offer soon.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: BYU, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon
Outlook: Paea visited last week and added an offer while on campus. He plans to return this weekend. He has a top five, and Notre Dame is an early frontrunner.
Arrow: Up

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Denson
Top Offers: Florida State, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State
Outlook: A Baltimore native, the Terps have staying power in this recruitment. Ohio State and Penn State are also in play. He’s an early enrollee candidate and plans to make a decision this summer.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: BYU, Michigan, UCLA, USC
Outlook: If Oregon offers, the Ducks will likely emerge as the favorite. 
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: USC, Oregon, Nebraska, Utah, Washington
Outlook: A combination defensive tackle and heavyweight wrestler, Tuipulotu has all the ingredients to become top prospect. Notre Dame’s offer breaks this recruitment off the West Coast, where the Pac 12 was already all over him.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Booker
Top Offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford
Outlook: Notre Dame could get him on campus for a second time as soon as the next Junior Day. He’s high on the Irish after visiting last fall, and ND should be a legitimate player throughout this recruitment.
Arrow: Up


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