Predictions: Strong finish in doubt

Irish Illustrated’s recruiting team of Jake Brown and Steve Hare offers another round of predictions with National Signing Day now one week away. The Irish are scrambling but still have a shot to add quality talent next Wednesday.

http://www.scout.com/player/197316-jafar-armstrong?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Armstrong has been committed to Missouri since June but there are winds of change in the air. Notre Dame should feel optimistic about its chances. There’s a comfortable match between prospect and program. All that’s left is for a visit to happen.

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Notre Dame’s hopes remain tied to Armstrong using an official visit during the last weekend prior to signing day. If that happens, momentum swings to Notre Dame. If it doesn’t, Missouri keeps one of its top commitments.

http://www.scout.com/player/205125-victor-dimukeje?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Duke
Confidence: Medium
Dimukeje doesn’t plan to visit, so that pretty much wraps this up from a Notre Dame point of view. The feeling is Duke wins out over Michigan State and Virginia Tech, among a few others.

Steve

Prediction: Duke
Confidence: Low
This prediction changes in a hurry if Dimukeje makes his way to South Bend before signing day. But that’s not happening, for now. Based on current information, it looks like the Blue Devils are in the lead.

http://www.scout.com/player/191443-evan-fields?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Kansas State        
Confidence: Low
Quietly, it seems Kansas State has been building its case since hosting Fields on a December visit. Recent trips to Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame have all received positive reviews. I’m rolling with the dark horse for now.

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Low
Heading into his official visit at Notre Dame last week, the Irish had to hit a home run to surge to the lead. It sounds like that happened, but Fields has played it close to the vest. This one is tough to call.

http://www.scout.com/player/204070-jordan-genmark-heath?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame 
Confidence: Low
Frankly, this is a hard one to read given Genmark-Heath has been in stealth mode the last few weeks. Notre Dame seems to be grabbing momentum down the stretch with the visit and certainly seems like a strong match.

Steve

Prediction: Cal
Confidence: Low
Genmark-Heath traveled to South Bend last weekend and by most accounts things went well. Did the Irish do enough to land a signature? Probably not.

http://www.scout.com/player/204334-jalen-harris?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Low
Here’s my wild card. One of these days, a pass rusher has to look at the Notre Dame depth chart and get wide eyed with the potential for playing time. Or at least that’s what I’ve been saying for a few years. Maybe a last second visit can bring Harris on board.

Steve

Prediction: Arizona
Confidence: Medium
Harris is scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend and he’s bringing along his parents and brother. That’s a good sign. The Irish have an uphill battle here to beat out Arizona, his father’s alma mater.

http://www.scout.com/player/200928-mac-hippenhammer?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Penn State
Confidence: Low
Totally flip-flopping on this one. Can Notre Dame overcome offering late, plus the push from Penn State during its official visit, to keep Hippenhammer in state? It’s certainly possible, but far from assured. This is one I could see changing again by the next edition.

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Until Hippenhammer softens his pledge to Penn State it’s tough to call this one for Notre Dame but momentum is definitely in the Irish’s favor.

http://www.scout.com/player/193381-greg-johnson?s=109

Jake

Prediction: USC
Confidence: Medium
This boils down to two options: Nebraska and USC. Nebraska has a position coach with which Johnson is very familiar. USC scored a commitment from his younger brother. I’ll give the nod to the hometown program with family already in the fold.

Steve

Prediction: USC
Confidence: Low
A recent visit to Oregon has shaken up Johnson’s leaderboard. The edge still goes to USC but it’s closer than ever heading around the final turn.

http://www.scout.com/player/194556-oliver-martin?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Michigan State
Confidence: Low
Consider it a hunch. Michigan State has been bullish on its chances for awhile. Plus Spartan quarterback commitment Rocky Lombardi is also an Iowa native, not to mention a close friend. That could help tip the scales. Michigan could be making things interesting.

Steve

Prediction: MSU
Confidence: Low
Martin’s ties to Michigan State’s quarterback commitment keep momentum in the Spartans’ favor, but look out for Michigan. The Irish are holding on, but it isn’t looking good.

http://www.scout.com/player/207662-jeremiah-owusu-koramoah?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Let’s piece this together: Owusu-Koramoah is a high academic prospect that committed to Virginia in the first place at least in part for that reason. Now he’s working with a final two of Michigan State and Notre Dame with a trip to South Bend on deck. Which one makes more sense given the first sentence?

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Owusu-Koramoah decommitted from Virginia on Monday, hours after an in-school visit from Irish head coach Brian Kelly. Do the math.

http://www.scout.com/player/187828-jordan-pouncey?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Miami
Confidence: High
This has been the most likely landing spot from the instant Pouncey de-committed. Seems like he has Notre Dame among his top four in name only. It’s highly doubtful he ends up anywhere other than Coral Gables.

Steve

Prediction: Miami
Confidence: High
Not much has changed here. Miami is the likely destination for the one time Irish commitment.

http://www.scout.com/player/205553-myron-tagovailoa-amosa?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Low
Not much to go on here other than it just making sense. Tagovailoa plans to visit this week and Notre Dame could very well surge into the lead. Is USC a real player? Not sure. That would be a good thing for the Irish, which would be his best offer.

Steve

Prediction: USC
Confidence: Low
This week’s official visit could go a long way in landing the Hawaiian defensive lineman, who also will see Navy and Vanderbilt this week. Notre Dame is sure to push the success of another Islander, Manti Te’o.

http://www.scout.com/player/208891-kofi-wardlow?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Maryland
Confidence: Low
Still not feeling as if I can pull the trigger on Wardlow flipping. Not sure exactly why and wouldn’t be surprised at all if I ended up being wrong. Notre Dame certainly made a strong impression with its official visit. Stay tuned.

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Wardlow hasn’t said much since his official visit to Notre Dame last weekend but other sources have indicated things went well and the prevailing thought is the Irish did enough to force a flip from Maryland.

http://www.scout.com/player/193614-russ-yeast?s=109

Jake

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Low
Hard to read given how little Yeast and family have said since visiting Notre Dame outside a prepared statement. Seems like it would’ve been a no-brainer had the Irish offered earlier. Now it’s a little more difficult, but totally doable.

Steve

Prediction: Notre Dame
Confidence: Medium
Yeast committed to Louisville in October but likely would have pledged to the Irish earlier this fall if he had landed an offer (he initially committed to Kentucky). Better late than never. In this case a late offer could inspire Yeast to flip once again.


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