Big Board: Cornerback

Notre Dame is targeting California, the South and the Midwest in its pursuit of cornerbacks. At least two are slated to be first-time visitors for Junior Day this month.

CURRENT OUTLOOK

Notre Dame will lose at least one starting cornerback after this season and could be down both depending on how the competition between Devin Butler and Nick Watkins shakes out.

Senior Cole Luke is certain to keep his starting job on one side of the field while Butler and Watkins will compete opposite him. Butler is down to his final season of eligibility while Watkins is entering his junior season.

Sophomore Nick Coleman should fit into that mix somewhere after he got reserve work as a true freshman.

Where Shaun Crawford slots is less certain following a medical red-shirt after suffering an ACL tear in August. Crawford is the leading candidate to start at the nickel. Like Crawford, Ashton White also has four years of eligibility remaining after his own red-shirt season.

Troy Pride Jr., Donte Vaughn and Julian Love could sit next season, but the coaching staff expects most, if not all, of them to play as true freshmen.

WHAT’S NEXT

Notre Dame signed seven defensive backs in 2016, but D.J. Morgan has promising potential to transition to linebacker early in his career.

Pride Jr. projects as a true cornerback, Vaughn has safety attributes at 6-foot-3, and Love could receive reps at nickel.

Jalen Elliott could see time at cornerback, though he’ll likely start out at safety.

Notre Dame would like to sign two or three cornerbacks in 2017.

Here’s a look at the Watch List at cornerback.

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas
Outlook: Notre Dame has been recruiting Calloway for more than a year. The Irish hope that pays off in the form of a spring or summer visit. Bishop Dunne also produced Nick Watkins.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Denbrock
Top Offers: California, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA
Outlook: Notre Dame immediately jumped to his top group after offering last month. USC could be close to offering and would become a player.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State
Outlook: Gibbs will have his pick of schools, but Notre Dame should be optimistic about its chances of getting Gibbs on campus.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Sanford
Top Offers: Arizona, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC
Outlook: Graham is expected at Notre Dame for the first time on March 19 for Junior Day. Notre Dame could pick up some momentum for this soft USC pledge. Oklahoma is pushing for a spring visit as well.
Arrow: USC commitment

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Sanford
Top Offers: Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA
Outlook: Holmes recently listed Nebraska, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington as the schools sticking out the most. Notre Dame is still a contender and could get a summer visit.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: No
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Stanford
Outlook: Molden could be closing in on an Irish offer. USC is also expressing interest. His father, Alex Molden, played at Oregon and spent eight years in the NFL as a defensive back.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan
Outlook: Poole could be nearing a decision and all signs point to him staying in the South.
Arrow: Down

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Elston
Top Offers: Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Outlook: Notre Dame offered Riep last month, and he’ll visit for Junior Day. Michigan State and Ohio State also offered in February, and Notre Dame will have to fend off those Big Ten programs in the end.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Denson
Top Offers: Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan
Outlook: A Florida State legacy, it’ll be an upset if anyone other than the Seminoles land him.
Arrow: Down

Offer: No
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Elston
Top Offers: Michigan, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia
Outlook: A native of Ontario, Sutherland has been on Notre Dame’s radar since last spring, but he has yet to add an offer. He visited last June with his teammates.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Booker
Top Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee
Outlook: Terrell has kept his cards close to the vest, but an SEC battle appears to be brewing. Notre Dame offered last month.
Arrow: Horizontal  

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Outlook: Thomas already took in Notre Dame’s Junior Day. He trimmed his list to 13 last week, and his process is likely to go into the fall.
Arrow: Horizontal

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State
Outlook: Notre Dame received a Junior Day visit in January, but Williams recently left the Irish off his top five.
Arrow: Down


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