Speculation ran rampant on Davis for a few days with Mike Sanford leaving Notre Dame and Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire accepting a job at Baylor. Consider it squashed. Davis went to Twitter and put down any notion he’s looking elsewhere.
Notes: : Recruiting is never without twists and turns, as Davis found out in December. Davis visited Notre Dame again for The Echoes only to see offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford accept the head job at Western Kentucky. Baylor offered after Matt Rhule took that job. He then hired Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire as an assistant, upping the stakes. How did the four-star prospect handle it? By saying on Twitter he wasn’t doing interviews because there’s nothing to talk about. Davis said he’s solid in his pledge to the Irish and reiterated his trust in Brian Kelly during registration interviews to start Under Armour All-America Game week. As for his talent, Davis turned in a stellar senior season. Cedar Hill went 11-3 with another deep postseason run behind its star quarterback. Davis posted eye-popping numbers. He threw for 2,876 yards and 37 touchdowns with just five interceptions while completing 69 percent (189-of-272) of his attempts. Davis added another 369 yards and six touchdowns on the ground on 84 carries. And that’s even with missing two games early in the season with an ankle injury and another late while resting ahead of the playoffs. He also went out with a bang, even as Cedar Hill bowed out of the Texas Class 6A Division II playoffs with a 55-41 loss to DeSoto in the quarterfinals. He accounted for 572 total yards (463 passing) and six touchdowns in defeat. That’ll work.
Holmes will bolster the running back corps this spring as an early enrollee, but there’s plenty of competition at the position. Josh Adams, Dexter Williams and Tony Jones all return to the depth chart.
Notes: Notre Dame officially added Holmes in mid-January as an early enrollee. There’s a lot of competition at this position, but he has the skill set to see the field early. Holmes is one of the more explosive athletes among the incoming freshmen and can play some slot receiver along with a traditional running back role. Holmes has been committed since the summer and it appeared the Irish were content with that one pledge before Deon Jackson landed an offer a couple weeks ago. Jackson, a Duke pledge, visited for Irish Invasion and apparently had the green light to see the Irish again before signing day. But he chose to stick with his commitment and cancelled a planned in-home visit with Brian Kelly and staff during the week. The staff would have loved to have added this versatile athlete.
UPDATE: Something most predicted finally happened last weekend as Armstrong visited, de-committed from Missouri and gave Notre Dame a verbal pledge all within a matter of 48 hours. Armstrong is a quality late add to make up for the loss of Jordan Pouncey.
UPDATE: Flipping Hippenhammer from Penn State likely rested on getting him to officially visit before signing day. That didn’t happen. The Nittany Lions seem to have done enough to hold off the Irish, taking him out of Indiana.
Although not targeted during the game, Kmet played well during Army Bowl week and showed improvement as a blocker. He’s been as solid as any prospect in the recruiting haul despite losing both primary recruiter and position coach.
Young is the only wide receiver commitment as things stand, although the expectation is that’ll change. He’s met with new offensive coordinator Chip Long and Brian Kelly recently, solidifying his pledge.
Notes: Receiver recruiting is basically complete. Notre Dame made it so by closing on Jafar Armstrong, a snug fit for the program from the get-go. Armstrong visited last weekend and things went, frankly, how everyone thought they would. He formally de-committed from Missouri shortly after the trip ended and announced a verbal pledge to the Irish later that night. He pairs nicely with Michael Young to form a two-man receiver haul. It probably won’t grow with Mac Hippenhammer likely sticking with Penn State while Oliver Martin is off to Michigan. A late push from Jim Harbaugh and new passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton sealed the deal. Signing just a pair of receivers isn’t ideal, but Notre Dame can overcome this next cycle. Getting two of the nation’s best tight ends helps too.
Banks is a big get both in terms of the recruiting big picture and, well, his actual size. He’s a massive guard prospect that could even be trending toward a future right tackle or nose tackle. Regardless, he’s a quality addition and early enrollee.
Hainsey turned in a notably strong week at the Under Armour Game, playing both guard and tackle. He’s likely destined for guard at the next level and brings not only talent but a mean streak to that position. Next up is early enrollment.
One of the more impressive prospects for the East team, Lugg raised his stock during Army Bowl week. He played mostly right tackle, which might be his best position at the college level too. Lugg has remained steadfast in his commitment.
Notes: Offensive line recruiting is done at four commitments. Credit to Harry Hiestand for piecing together another strong group. Dillan Gibbons, Josh Lugg, Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks are all four-star prospects. Lugg (Army) and Hainsey (Under Armour) both acquitted themselves well at their respective all-star games. Hainsey will be among the early enrollments after his school career at IMG Academy. Banks essentially rounded out the class with his Dec. 9 commitment, giving Hiestand a finishing touch after landing the other three months (or even years0 ago. Hiestand only awaited a decision from five-star offensive tackle Foster Sarell, although he likely knew the answer before the Army Bowl announcement came down. Sarell picked Stanford over Washington and Notre Dame. Frankly, it’s a testament to Hiestand that the Irish hung around so long against the long time favorite and the hometown school. But even without Sarell in the fold, Notre Dame has again brought together one of the most talented offensive line classes in the country.