A shift in Notre Dame’s recruiting plans has forced four-star defensive end Malik Vann to rethink his own recruitment.
Vann, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound pass rusher from Fairfield, Ohio, had considered the Irish as his leader until a recent discussion with Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Mike Elston.
“They were my leader and I liked everything about them,” Vann said. “I talked to Elston and they said looking at the team, they want to focus on DBs for my class. They said they don't have any more spots for which they were recruiting me for.”
The good news for Vann is he’s not short on options and even landed an offer from Alabama on Saturday.
“At least I was told before I did pull the trigger and not left without one on Signing Day,” he said. “Now it's moved to MSU, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, along with others I still have to visit and re-visit.”
The Irish have a commitment from defensive end Justin Ademilola in the junior class and the 6-foot-2, 245-pound athlete has a similar build and skill set to Vann. Ademilola and his twin brother, four-star defensive tackle Justin Ademilola, committed to Notre Dame last summer. Since then the Irish have changed defensive coordinators from Brian VanGorder to Mike Elko while also facing a scholarship crunch next cycle. Even without adding another defensive end in this class – the Irish have plenty of offers out to more weak side candidates – Notre Dame could enter the 2018 season with as many as 10 at the position.
Notre Dame's recruiting class remains at 11 verbal commitments and ranks No. 2 nationally on Scout.com.
Scout.com ranks Vann as the 298th best prospect and 22nd best defensive end in the nation.