Matt Cashore /

Invasion environment ‘smooth to 4-star DB

Four-star cornerback Ambry Thomas keeps popping in at Notre Dame. He did so again Saturday for some face time with the coaching staff at Irish Invasion while on the way to Arkansas for an unofficial visit.

Stops in South Bend are starting to become routine for Ambry Thomas, a four-star cornerback.

Thomas has visited Notre Dame four times since last fall. Last time around Thomas and four-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, also from Detroit, stopped at Notre Dame on their way to The Opening Regional outside Chicago.

They did so again Saturday on their way to Fayetteville for an unofficial visit to Arkansas. Thomas and Kelly-Powell made their way to campus during the camp portion of Irish Invasion but didn’t work out.

“It was pretty smooth,” Thomas said. “I got to talk to the coaches more again, so it was good.”

Head coach Brian Kelly and other staff members had seen Thomas not long before at Sound Mind, Sound Body outside Detroit. Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore acts as area recruiter while defensive backs coach Todd Lyght is involved as well.

Thomas spent time touching base with all those coaches Saturday night and spoke with defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder as well.

“They said when they came and saw me at Sound Mind, Sound Body I turned up and they liked that,” Thomas said.

Lyght in particular has continued to develop his relationship with the 5-foot-11, 160-pound prospect. Their conversations include lessons in technique and information on where Thomas could fit into the program.

Thomas sees their relationship continue to grow.

“It’s real good and it’s getting better,” Thomas said. “We’ve talked about his (defensive back) depth or whatever. He’s said they keep missing out and they want more DBs like us.”

Arkansas plays host to Thomas and Kelly-Powell to wrap up the weekend. Then both prospects will turn their attention to The Opening Finals as they earned invitations to the event on Nike’s main campus.

Thomas continues to consider offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others.

Notre Dame keeps moving up the list as Thomas grows more familiar.

“I feel like I know a lot about it now,” he said. “That kinda makes them higher up on my list now. Their defense is kinda free, they run a lot of defenses.”

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