The following is an evaluation/rating of most of the prospects with which Notre Dame still has a fighting chance to land over the final 10 days of the 2017 recruiting campaign.
1. A shorter but well-built running back on the prep level with breakaway speed and cutback vision. Ideal jet sweep candidate. A threat to go the distance every time he touches the football. Not afraid to lower pads and take on physically. Also could play receiver, but would that get him the touches he deserves/needs? Effortlessly snags the football out of the air. Has major-college hands right now. A brilliant athlete. Notre Dame likes him as a cornerback, but this is a special player with the football tucked under his arm. Committed to Louisville after initial pledge to Kentucky. Visited Notre Dame this weekend.
2. Fast twitch defensive end with quick, powerful get-off and rip moves. Big wideout on prep level; tight end in college, although his greatest assets best utilized on the defensive side of the ball. A weakside end on college level. Point A to Point B quickness. Plays bigger than weight indicates. Long-armed defensive end. Doesn’t give in to ball carriers jukes. Menacing off the edge. Good recovery quickness when rushes wide and then must converge to the front of the pocket. Early-December commit to Arizona and a tough get since his father was a Wildcat. Visited Notre Dame this weekend.
3. To list this kid as a three-star prospect is outrageous. This is a man among boys. Explosive, disruptive defensive football player with outstanding instincts and the physicality/athleticism to back it up. Big-time hitter. Sees things happen before they materialize. Spirited, physical nature. Plays with an attitude. A hands-down immediate contributor on special teams and perhaps beyond. Projected Jan. 27 visitor to Notre Dame.
4. Listed as a defensive end by Scout, but an impactful defensive tackle/three-technique on the next level. Motors don’t run faster than Tagovailoa-Amosa’s. A non-stop player who has the gap-creasing ability with size/length on the interior. Tremendous improvement over the course of his high school career. Showed a tendency to start low and then stand straight up out of stance, but those days are over. Said to be leaning toward USC . The trick for Notre Dame is to get him on campus.
5. Physically mature, versatile athlete who could play on either side of the football, but could be a real difference-maker at strong safety. In-the-box type safety or rover who drives through tackles. Very impressive as a prep wideout who can win virtually any jump-ball scenario. Visited Notre Dame this weekend, but a Cal commit.
6. High-level speed with the ability to go from catch-to-yards after catch in a heartbeat. Sharp route-runner, particularly out-cuts, with stop-on-a-dime skills. Tracks ball very well with the ability to make the difficult catch. Must show ability to high-point passes against bigger defensive backs. Michigan is the team to beat, but Ohio State is a player, too.
7. An outstanding open-field tackler with top-notch pad level and quality change of direction. Stays square/sturdy setting up for tackle. Wired for contact. Plays physically and drives through ball carrier. A real burst out of backpedal. Plays with a flair; carries himself like a big-timer. Has to be careful about playing too low and over-committing to tackle. A bit on the short side for a safety. Has the build of a free safety but hits like a strong safety. Arizona State and UCLA were the teams to beat heading into the weekend. Visited Notre Dame this weekend.
8. Instinctive cornerback with quality anticipation and diagnostic skills. Has the feet to jump routes. Needs to get a lot stronger to play effectively on the next level. Needs to come to balance better when defending jump balls. Good hips and quickness. Showed his athletic versatility doubling as a quarterback. De-committed from Louisville upon Notre Dame scholarship offer. Visited Notre Dame this weekend; odds increasing for Irish.
9. Hard-charging, long and raw defensive end prospect with just two years of football under his belt. Long arms, frame allow him to cover width. Because of his inexperience in the game, a developmental prospect with upside. A Maryland verbal commit.
10. Smaller than listed height and slightly-built, but has breakaway quickness and downfield capabilities. A darting runner with jab-and-go quickness. Also a punt return candidate. Has shown the ability to make twisting off-stride catch. Short on size, but his high kick-back stride is a sign of maneuverability and athleticism. A Penn State commitment who visited Notre Dame mid-last week.
11. Powerful, explosive athlete. Not a prototypically-built wideout. Looks more like a tight end without today’s tight end height. Nice get-off at the line of scrimmage with forward lean and good pad level. Swallows the football with his hands. Forces undersized defensive backs to out-physical him. Needs to high-point football to maximize strength advantage. Can run by some DBs; will run over the rest. Difficult to assess because of his size/skills don’t fit a particular position. Committed to Missouri, but the Irish have a shot, although he’s yet to visit.