After a nationwide spring evaluation period, June could be just as busy for Notre Dame.
The Irish will host dozens of athletes for Irish Invasion on June 10, a junior day event on June 11, several positional and evaluation camps as well as several unofficial visits.
Add Jaylan Franklin to that list. Scout’s top-ranked athlete in the state of Michigan for 2018 will head to South Bend later this month, the week after Irish Invasion.
“They visited (my high school) a couple of weeks ago,” Franklin said. “They’ve been contacting me, telling me, ‘We really like you. We’re late in the process but we want to make up for it so we want to tell you that you’re high on the board. We’re in the evaluating process and once we see you move, that’s when we can pull the trigger on you.’
“When I hear something like that, I get excited. I’ve been working and training and ready for some camps. On the 8th and 9th, I’ll be going to Wisconsin. On the 17th, I’ll be at Notre Dame. About a week after that, maybe a little bit less, I’ll probably make a decision.”
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete from Gibraltar, Mich., holds offers from Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Vanderbilt.
The product of Oscar A. Carlson High School is being recruited to play several positions on both sides of the ball. The Irish like the three-star on defense.
“They talked a lot about the hybrid rover position and outside linebacker,” Franklin said. “Depending on how I grow, I could grow into defensive end. Things could go a little different and I could lose some weight and play receiver, even tight end. It’s not really solidified right now.
“Right now, they’re talking about outside linebacker and rover, though.”
The Irish coaching staff has been recruiting Franklin for two years, stopping by his school several times.
“They’ve been (to my school) two times when I was a sophomore and three or four times this year,” Franklin said. “I like them a lot. I like coach (Todd) Lyght a lot. When I get to meet everyone else, I think I’ll start to conform to them.”
Franklin is very intrigued by the persistent interest he’s received from the Irish, a program he admires.
“Everyone knows Notre Dame,” he said. “Notre Dame is a prestigious school. Academics are A-1, sports are A-1, I think it’s humbling to me, coming from a little place that I come from, saying that Notre Dame has come to my school, put in the time to see me, put in the time to check me out. It’s crazy to me.
“It’s almost overwhelming to me, but I worked for this. But, it’s still Notre Dame and I feel like it’s a big thing to me.”
If the Irish want to make a move on Franklin, they may need to make it soon, as Franklin is in the midst of winding down his recruitment.
“My Top 5 is Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Pitt, and Vanderbilt,” Franklin said. “Right now, those are the schools I’m focusing on. Soon it might turn into a Top 3. Michigan State is sure close to my heart. Then, Northwestern and Wisconsin, I’ve been visiting a lot. I’ve visited those three schools probably 20 times now.”
Still, a Notre Dame offer would make a significant impact to his upcoming commitment plans.
“It would definitely be a game changer,” Franklin said. “In a way, it’s equivalent to a Michigan State offer to me. It’s Notre Dame. It’s like a dream school in a way. It’s the school that you always see on TV, it’s the school that you always see achieving, it’s the school that’s on the top-tier of great schools.”
Franklin mentioned that his father is a big fan of Notre Dame and would be ecstatic if his son landed an offer.
“An offer from Notre Dame would be a game changer to me. It would definitely would shake everything up.”