Steve Hare / IrishIllustrated.com

Big Board: Safety

Notre Dame has one safety committed in four-star Isaiah Robertson, but what else the Irish add at the position is unknown. Irish Illustrated breaks down Notre Dame’s outlook, both present and future.

CURRENT OUTLOOK

After the dismissal of senior Max Redfield this weekend, Notre Dame enters the season with just three returning safeties: sixth-year graduate transfer Avery Sebastian, junior Drue Tranquill and sophomore Nicco Fertitta.

Sebastian and Tranquill took medical red shirts last season, and the latter is entering 2016 as a starter at strong-side after coming off back-to-back ACL tears in his left knee and right knee, respectively. Fertitta is not expected to contribute more than spot reps in the secondary.

Notre Dame signed four safeties last cycle, but D.J. Morgan and Spencer Perry are strong candidates to make the switch to Sam linebacker and neither should be viewed as ready to contribute meaningful snaps at safety this year, especially not at free-side.

As for the other two freshman safeties, Devin Studstill and Jalen Elliott are expected to be one and two, respectively, on the free safety depth chart when Notre Dame takes the field at Texas. Studstill challenged Redfield in the spring as a mid-year enrollee and received first-team reps, but has missed some of fall camp with a hamstring injury.     

Freshman Donte Vaughn, who’s had an outstanding fall camp for a rookie, has been receiving reps at cornerback but could be moved to safety this season. Freshman Julian Love has been backing up Shaun Crawford at nickel, but he has the skillset to cross train at free safety.

WHAT’S NEXT

Notre Dame picked up a commitment from safety Isaiah Robertson of Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley less than two weeks after the Irish offered in April. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound prospect is ranked as the No. 29 safety in the class. Robertson committed to the Irish over a top six that included Illinois, Iowa, Penn State, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Notre Dame would like to sign at least one more safety in 2017, though two more is the target number.

Here’s a look at the Watch List.

http://www.scout.com/player/186129-salvon-ahmed

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Denbrock
Top Offers: Oregon, Stanford, USC, Washington
Outlook: Notre Dame views Ahmed, who is ranked by Scout as an athlete, as more of a cornerback than a safety, but should Notre Dame land him, he’ll provide coveted versatility in the secondary. Ahmed will take his official visit to Notre Dame for the Michigan State game and is expected to make a decision in October. Washington is Notre Dame’s biggest competition.
Arrow: Horizontal

http://www.scout.com/college/notre-dame/player/185036-chaz-ah-you

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA
Outlook: Ah You has Notre Dame among his top five and will take an official visit this fall, though he hasn’t set a date. Ah You won’t enroll until 2019 after completing his LDS mission, so he wouldn’t count toward Notre Dame’s numbers in this class. Notre Dame will have to beat out schools closer to home to land him. 
Arrow: Horizontal

http://www.scout.com/college/notre-dame/player/199774-amari-carter

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Denson
Top Offers: Clemson, LSU, Miami, Michigan
Outlook: From the same high school as Te’von Coney and Devin Studstill, Notre Dame is expected to host Carter for the Stanford game on an official visit. We view his recruitment as a neck-and-neck battle with Miami entering the season. Carter took his first visit to campus for Irish Invasion.
Arrow: Horizontal

http://www.scout.com/player/202924-jaiden-cole?s=109

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Tennessee
Outlook: Notre Dame offered Cole this month and has some ground to make up, notably on Arkansas. The Irish will push to get him on campus for a visit this fall. 
Arrow: Horizontal

http://www.scout.com/player/194626-isaiah-pola-mao

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Arizona State, Nebraska, USC, Washington
Outlook: Arizona State and Washington are on him hardest, but Notre Dame and USC are in the mix. It’s a smart bet Notre Dame will make his recruitment interesting if he uses one of his five officials to check out South Bend.
Arrow: Horizontal

http://www.scout.com/college/notre-dame/player/195262-jaylen-kelly-powell

Offer: Yes
Visit: Yes
Recruiter: Gilmore
Top Offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford
Outlook:  Notre Dame received multiple visits from Kelly-Powell in the spring, but the Irish trail Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Arrow: Down

http://www.scout.com/player/199307-k-j-jarrell

Offer: Yes
Visit: No
Recruiter: Lyght
Top Offers: Arizona State, Nebraska, USC, Washington
Outlook: Jarrell hasn’t trimmed his list yet but expects to do so next month. Pac-12 programs have the edge, but a Notre Dame visit this fall has potential.
Arrow: Horizontal


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