With several holes left to fill throughout the defensive backfield, Notre Dame has reached out to Justin Birdsong, an intriguing athlete with impressive speed and tackling ability.
The slightly under-the-radar recruit plays free safety at Georgia Class 6A Stephenson High School, but the Irish staff are recruiting him to play cornerback.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior put up 81 total tackles, two interceptions, eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles last year. His strong junior season has landed him seven offers, most notably, Navy and Air Force.
Birdsong’s modest offer list hasn’t scared off Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght, who has been building a strong relationship with the Peach State prospect.
“Coach Lyght said they really liked me on the field, they really liked how I play and they want me to come to the spring game,” Birdsong said. “I feel strongly about coach Lyght. He texts me a lot and then I usually call him. I just called him on Monday and we talked and it’s been pretty consistent since the first time we talked.”
Birdsong, who took an unofficial visit to Stanford recently, has been hearing from a few of Notre Dame’s currently committed recruits and is buying into the hype.
“On the visit, I’m pretty sure and confident that I’ll love it,” Birdsong said. “I’ve heard a lot of great things from Derrik Allen. I just got a DM from someone on Twitter, Braden Lenzy, and he said he’ll be in South Bend also. I’ll talk to him in person, see what they like about it and what they like about the culture. “
Birdsong is anticipating an Irish offer, which would have a significant impact on his recruitment and final decision.
“I’m really looking forward to getting that offer, whether it comes on the visit or not,” Birdsong said. “It will definitely shake things up in my recruitment, as I look to commit around June or July. They will definitely be in my top two once they offer. I definitely want to commit before I go back to school.”
Notre Dame is one of a few strong Power 5 programs that have been recruiting Birdsong, although the Irish have been the most consistent in their approach.
“Vanderbilt, they just got in contact with me yesterday,” Birdsong said. “I haven’t really had a chance to call the coaches yet. We talked a little bit on Twitter and I talked to Florida. Notre Dame has showed the most interest as of right now.”
The Irish have been consistently digging into the hotbed of talent within the top divisions of the Peach State this cycle. With holes remaining in the Irish secondary, the Irish could very well pull the trigger this weekend and offer Birdsong. They clearly like what they see and the feeling is mutual.