Notre Dame needs to sign an elite defensive end in 2017. That’s obvious.
Perhaps less obvious is Notre Dame’s auspicious chances of flipping UCLA commit and 12th-ranked defensive end Hunter Echols.
The Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral Scout 300 prospect experienced campus for the first time over the weekend for Irish Invasion. Notre Dame made an impression.
“The entire visit was really great,” Echols said. “It was awesome. I’m still solid with UCLA but if I were to change my mind then Notre Dame is the main school I would consider.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end will return to Notre Dame this fall.
“Notre Dame is for sure getting an official visit,” Echols said. “It’s going to be for the Michigan State game or maybe later in the season for the Stanford game.
“I will take official visits to UCLA, Notre Dame and Nebraska and maybe two more,” Echols said. “I will for sure take those three, but I might not take all five.”
Echols worked closely with defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, who offered up both praise and critique for the four-star prospect during matt drills at LaBar practice fields.
“I liked the way he was teaching us stuff and telling us how we could apply it in our seasons this fall,” Echols said.
Echols spent considerable time off the field with Irish commits and targets, including Avery Davis, C.J. Holmes, Jordan Pouncey and Jonathon MacCollister.
“The players are really cool, and the ladies that showed us around were really cool, and I liked the coaches,” Echols said. “There were just a lot of good people around us.