Shane Simon (photo by Brian Dohn)

Irish quick to impress Shayne Simon

The Irish staff kicked off a nationwide recruiting tour this week. A first stop for defensive coordinator Mike Elko was St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J., home to two commitments and one top target, Shayne Simon. The Rover prospect talked to Irish Illustrated.

Notre Dame told Shayne Simon that he was a priority prospect when he visited South Bend earlier this month. On Tuesday the Irish proved that when defensive coordinator Mike Elko visited St. Peter’s Prep, home to the 6-foot-3, 210-pound athlete, along with Notre Dame commitments Jayson and Justin Ademilola.

Quarterback Brandon Wimbush is a St. Peter’s Prep alumnus.

Considering Simon’s versatility, Notre Dame won’t be the only program to visit during the spring evaluation period, which runs through May 31.

Despite talk of Simon being down to Michigan and Notre Dame, Simon maintains he’s open to all schools he has visited.

“I don’t have a list or anything like that,” Simon said. “Every school that I’ve seen so far, I’ve liked and I’m open to any school that I’ve liked. There’s no top two list or anything like that. I’m just appreciative of what I have so far.”

Notre Dame has made a positive impression.

“Notre Dame has a great balance of academics and athletics and excellence in everything they do,” Simon said. “They have a tradition of excellence in everything they do. That’s something that I enjoy, so I’m interested in Notre Dame a lot.”

The Ademilola twins could play a factor in this decision.

“They obviously feel comfortable going to the school and they’re two guys I talk to quite a bit,” Simon said. “It would be great to play with them.”

Due to Simon’s versatility, several position fits have been discussed during his recruitment.

“Rover is the position they’re recruiting me as,” Simon said.

With several strong programs pushing hard for his commitment, Simon needs time to do his homework before narrowing down his choices.

“There’s no timeline for my decision,” Simon said.

St. Peter’s Prep head coach Rich Hansen weighed in on the headway that Notre Dame has made in their recruitment of Simon.

“I think they had a great visit,” Hansen said. “I had him grade the visits and grade the places. Out of the top-5 schools, they’re very close. Notre Dame is a special place. They’re recruiting him hard, they put on a good show. Obviously, we have good connections there and a relationship with them. I think in Shayne’s mind, he feels really good about Notre Dame specifically, but he had a good visit at Michigan and he had a good stop at Ohio State and Penn State.

“The plan is to see the month through and get to the top three or four and turn the page and refocus.”

Hansen chimed in on Simon’s intriguing versatility.

“I think in this day and age, with all the spread stuff, when you can be multiple and flexible in what you can do and you have the physical ability to do that, it gives the coaching staff some flexibility and I think it’s important,” Hansen said. “I think he can be that guy. He can play the safety spot, he can cover slots, he can line up against tight ends and backs and he can pressure wide (outs). He’s done it here. I think everybody is looking at him at that same kind of spot. It’s relative to how they play it.”

Hansen gave Irish Illustrated his insight on Simon’s approach to his recruitment.

“He’s looking at how he’s going to be used, how does he fit that philosophy, location, the academic part of it, the relationship he has with the coaches, his position coaches, the people recruiting him,” Hansen said. “I think those things are really important to him. When you couple in the fact that you have a revered player at Notre Dame and two of our defensive linemen going to Notre Dame in the next class, that level of comfort is important too. That’s an advantage that Notre Dame has that the other schools don’t have, because of circumstances in recent years.”


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