Irish look to invade SEC country

Can Notre Dame pull top talent out of the SEC’s backyard? Get insight from two Scout analysts on the Irish Invasion visitors from Florida, Georgia and Louisiana that hold Notre Dame offers.

This is what Notre Dame’s version of a satellite camp in SEC country looks like.

On Saturday night the Irish will host approximately nine targets with offers from the three-state group of Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. What kind of talent is Notre Dame getting to campus? Irish Illustrated polled national Scout analysts Chad Simmons (South) and Corey Bender (Florida) for their takes on the best SEC-region talent headed to South Bend.

Get better insight into Notre Dame’s position in these recruitments.

Not too much going on with Alston right now. He is not sure if he will be able to make it to Notre Dame this weekend or not yet.  He hopes he will.  Notre Dame is one of the many schools in the mix.  California, UCLA and USC among others are still being considered by Alston.  He has yet to visit any schools this summer and he is not close to a decision. – Simmons

Beal was once committed to Notre Dame, then it appeared the Irish were out, but now they are back in it.  This visit could go a long way determining just how in it the Irish really are.  Alabama and Georgia have solidified themselves on Beal's list and FSU is not too far from those two SEC programs.  A decision is likely to come later this summer.  One as early as mid-July is what is going around. That’s when he leaves his home in Norcross (Ga.) for Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. – Simmons

The lanky defensive back out of South Florida is fresh off a trip to Georgia, and currently has the Bulldogs atop his list of suitors as well. The nearby Miami Hurricanes are slightly behind and holding down the No. 2 spot, so you can never count them out. He's also visited Miami a handful of times over the past couple of months, but Florida, Notre Dame, Florida State and Auburn are some of the additional schools in the picture. – Bender

Miami, Notre Dame, Clemson and North Carolina have been the most consistent in Carter's recruitment dating back to last year. The 6-foot-2 safety told me Miami was No. 1, but with former high school teammates Devin Studstill and Te’von Coney currently strapping on the pads for the Fighting Irish, some are optimistic Carter will eventually pattern after them and choose ND.

North Carolina was also the top school in his recruitment at one time, but Carter hasn't traveled to many schools, so this trip should tell a lot. Miami is less than two hours away, so they've had him on campus more than anyone.

This is the one visitor that Irish fans certainly need to keep an eye on. The jumbo athlete out of Orlando, who's mostly being recruited to play defensive end and tight end, is looking to wrap up his recruitment before the end of the month, but if this weekend's trip to South Bend checks off all of the boxes, don't be surprised if he makes a pledge while on campus.

MacCollister's close friend and former high school teammate, Parker Boudreaux, recently kicked off his collegiate career and arrived on Notre Dame's campus, so that makes their chances to land MacCollister even greater. Ohio State and Tennessee are in the picture as well.

It's difficult to locate another receiver across the Sunshine State that's put together the type of offseason like Jordan Pouncey. Notre Dame, Florida and Tennessee are schools starting to trend in Pouncey's recruitment, while Alabama remains more of a long shot at this point. Pouncey is also a cousin of Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, who played their college football for the Gators. 

The wide receiver out of Central Florida is visiting nearly 15 schools in 10 days, but Notre Dame will receive his final visit of the road trip. Notre Dame is heavily in play here, but that recent offer from Florida certainly has his full attention.

At one time, it looked like Thomas would be committed by now.  There is still a chance he makes a decision this summer, but he is leaning towards taking official visits first.  If he does follow through with official visits, then Notre Dame is in a good place to receive one.  All are trailing in-state Georgia and Clemson is No. 2 on his list.  The parents are very intrigued by Notre Dame, so the Irish are very much in play here. – Simmons

Young is thinking a summer decision right now and the Irish are very much in this race.  At the least, Notre Dame is in his top three — they could even be in his top two or on top.  Oregon and Texas A&M are Notre Dame's biggest threats for Young at this time.  This visit could be very big with a decision by Young likely looming. – Simmons

South Carolina, Notre Dame, Louisville and North Carolina are heavily in play for this big-bodied tailback and Scout 300 prospect. Notre Dame is the lone school out of the group that has yet to host him on campus, but coach Autry Denson has done a great job of gaining the trust of Wilson, who doesn't show a whole lot of emotion when chopping it up about the recruiting process.

I'd give the edge to Louisville if today was National Signing Day, but this weekend's trip to South Bend could really provide him with that wow factor. Wilson is hoping to make a decision before the end of the summer, so this visit will be huge. – Bender

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