Who are Notre Dame’s best bets?

Irish Illustrated reveals 10 prospects we think are most likely to commit to Notre Dame. Another dozen just missed the cut.

Notre Dame sits second in the Scout Team Recruiting Rankings behind only Ohio State. The Irish have 16 commitments (12 four-stars and four three-stars).

Here’s how we see an ideal class breaking down by position on National Signing Day next February, even with numbers tight, at least on the surface.

Quarterback - 1 (Done)
Running Back – 1/2 (1 committed)
Wide Receiver – 4/5 (1 committed)
Tight End - 2 (Done)
Offensive Line – 4/5 (3 committed)
Defensive Line - 5 (3 committed)
Linebacker - 3/4 (3 committed)
Defensive Back – 4/5 (2 committed)

In alphabetical order, our 10 prospects Notre Dame is most likely to land:

While Amari Carter is Notre Dame’s best bet to join Isaiah Robertson and Paulson Adebo as defensive back commitments, Ahmed may make the case for second. Notre Dame recently made the cut for his top five. The Irish are the only program that hasn’t received a visit. An official this fall could make Notre Dame a legitimate threat.
Recruiter: Denbrock
Visit: None

A public decision won’t come until January, but one school has already received his silent verbal. Notre Dame only has one wide out currently listed in its commitment column, but it’s more like two. Black is a prep teammate of running back commitment C.J. Holmes.
Recruiter: Booker
Visits: Junior Day (March 19), June 23-24

Notre Dame and Miami are battling it out for this Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) prospect that is one of the top safety targets on the board. The Hurricanes have gained some recruiting momentum on the trail recently, so it remains to be seen if the Irish can pull Carter out of Miami’s backyard. Notre Dame feels good about its chances.
Recruiter: Denson
Visit: Irish Invasion

Notre Dame and Oklahoma make up his top two. A decision was supposed to come this summer but won’t happen until after a few official visits in the fall. He’s a cousin of Carter.
Recruiter: Denson
Visit: None

The UCLA commitment was blown away by Notre Dame during his Irish Invasion visit. Notre Dame has a terrific shot of flipping one its top pass rush prospects. Echols is the biggest Irish target left on the board, regardless of position. He’ll return this fall for an official.
Recruiter: Denbrock
Visit: Irish Invasion

Stanford is Notre Dame’s biggest competition to land Sarell, though some see it as the other way around. The Irish usually get who they want on the offensive line, but Sarell is Scout’s No. 2 overall prospect regardless of position. The Cardinal is recruiting the five-star just has hard.  
Recruiter: Hiestand
Visit: Irish Invasion

Notre Dame is Whittaker’s leader, though he has yet to see campus. South Carolina is also involved. The Irish need to get Whittaker on campus this fall in order for the two parties to advance this defensive end’s recruitment.
Recruiter: Denson
Visit: None

It’s a toss-up between in-state Kentucky and Notre Dame. A decision is not expected until the fall or winter. Michigan will get him on campus this month.
Recruiter: Hiestand
Visits: Irish Invasion 2015, Junior Day (January 23), June 8

A two-team race between Notre Dame and Stanford, and the Cardinal has made him a top priority. Time will tell if the receiver wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps at Notre Dame.
Recruiter: Denbrock
Visits: Multiple

Young tweeted over the weekend that a decision will come this week. Notre Dame should like its chances to oust other finalists Texas A&M and Oregon in order to land its top slot prospect. But don’t rule out the Aggies just yet.
Recruiter: Denson
Visit: Irish Invasion

Missing The Cut

Here are 12 additional prospects that are worth tracking as potential future Notre Dame commitments.

Chaz Ah You  – Stanford likely leads, but Notre Dame is in the top three. The safety has plans to go on his Mormon mission out of high school, so he’d be a true freshman in 2019.

Cortez Alston – California, Notre Dame and Tennessee make up Alston’s top three, though the Irish have ground to make up after not receiving a visit this summer. He’s likely to return to campus in the fall on an official.

C.J. Avery – The Mississippi defensive back will likely take a visit to campus this fall if he’s still uncommitted. SEC schools consist of his lead pack for now.

Robert Burns – The Miami commitment had a quiet summer and didn’t visit Notre Dame as planned. He’ll take in South Bend on a return visit though this fall when the Irish play Miami. Notre Dame is Miami’s biggest threat to a flip.

Jamire Calvin – He has yet to visit Notre Dame but the wide receiver plans to take an official visit with teammate Echols. The Irish are in his top eight, and will likely move up after his visit to campus, but Nebraska is the No. 1 choice at this point.

Thomas Graham – The cornerback already has an official visit locked in with Notre Dame for the Michigan State game. The former USC commit is also high on Arizona, Oregon and UCLA. The Ducks get the nod, and the Bruins aren’t far behind.

Hezekiah Jones – The former Baylor commit has a top five, but Auburn, Notre Dame and Texas A&M are fighting it out for the top spot. The Aggies likely hold the edge primarily due to proximity and familiarity. Jones plans to return to Notre Dame on an official visit for the Michigan State game.

Joshua Kaindoh – If he elects to take visits in the fall, Notre Dame will receive one from the Maryland commitment. Five-star defensive ends are worth the effort, even if the odds are long. The family prefers the IMG Academy product return to the East Coast for college.

Joshua Paschal – Paschal has some work to do in the classroom but otherwise he’s currently a take for the Irish. How long will that last? Because he wants to take all of his official visits before making a decision, Paschal may lose his spot in South Bend. Maryland is pushing hard to keep him home.

Jacob Phillips – Notre Dame got him on campus for Junior Day, which put the Irish in the mix going forward. Oklahoma and Ole Miss are the main competition for the linebacker. The longer Phillips delays a decision, the better for the Irish, who are working to get him back on campus this fall.

Shaun Wade – The Ohio State commitment visited in the spring and subsequently decided he wants to return to Notre Dame in the fall on an official visit. Game on.

Colin Wilson – Notre Dame and Louisville make up Wilson’s top two. Florida could get back in the race down the road. Wilson has taken summer trips to both Notre Dame and Louisville and will see Florida later this month, but a decision doesn’t seem imminent. Notre Dame might pull back on Wilson depending on how the receiver board shakes out considering C.J. Holmes is already committed.  


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