Trinity Catholic in St. Louis, Mo., is loaded with talent.
Head coach Cory Patterson and several members of his undefeated team visited Notre Dame on March 26.
Prior to their visit to South Bend, the Irish had offered Trinity’s star quarterback, Isaiah Williams and standout linebacker, Shammond Cooper. Both 2019 recruits boast extensive offer lists.
Williams is outstanding with the ball in his hands, showing elite speed, agility, and other intangibles that have blown away college recruiters. His ability to make tacklers miss, coupled with his knack for making big plays has resulted in him getting looks at several positions at the college level.
Cooper stars at middle linebacker while showing a unique skill set and range, resulting in more than 20 offers to play outside linebacker position at the next level.
The first look was good enough that the group wants to see Notre Dame again, potentially during Irish Invasion next weekend.
“We’re definitely going to get back up (to Notre Dame),” Patterson said. “We’re just trying to figure out when. We’re going to hit up a lot of places. I’ve got a lot of guys that are doing big stuff in the ’19 and ’20 (classes).
“We didn’t get to see everything that we would have liked to because the weather kind of got bad, a little rainy. That’s why we definitely want to go back to get the opportunity to visit and do it the right way.”
With several college destinations on their agenda, Patterson is working out the details for their early-June tour.
“We still have to look at it,” Patterson said. “That’s one of those things that I’m trying to work on. I have a group that I’m supposed to take out in the first week of June.
“We’re talking about doing the Texas-area and the Oklahoma-area on the way back to St. Louis,” Patterson said. “The next trip would be Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, hitting up a couple of those. We’re trying to figure out the weeks we’re going to get them done.”
Patterson stated that their initial visit to Note Dame was a success for both the Trinity staff and recruits.
“Notre Dame was beautiful,” Patterson said. “It was something like I had never seen before. It’s one thing to say something about the tradition of a place, but you can see it there. It’s beautiful. You can’t escape that part. It’s beautiful.
“I think those guys really enjoyed their time there. I think Notre Dame definitely has an opportunity with all of those guys. You can’t not take an interest in Notre Dame. That would be crazy.”
Patterson broke down both his star 2019 recruits who hold Notre Dame offers, starting with his quarterback.
“He’s a different kid,” Patterson said. “He thinks different. He does a lot of things that people don’t event see that’s just crazy. He changes the plays here and there.
“In the district championship, he called timeout. There was four minutes left in the game and we were up by one point. He comes to the sideline, I was ready to reem on him. He said, ‘coach, calm down. We just need to score one more time and let the clock run down. I got it.’ He scored a touchdown and won the game.”
Patterson spoke about Williams’ calm and collected nature on the field, a trait he’s witnessed for nearly 10 years.
“He’s comfortable,” Patterson said. “He’s never high, he’s never low. He’s just the same kid all the time. He’s always been that way. I’ve coached him since he was six-years old. I could send you film from when he was six-years old that would make your head spin.”
Although Williams leads Trinity at quarterback, the ’19 athlete is preparing to play on either side of the ball.
“Right now, he kind of works a little bit on everything,” Patterson said. “From last season until now, his throwing motion has changed so much. From being 14, 15, to now being 16, he’s gotten so much stronger. He works on his quarterback things two or three days a week. Then he gets a couple days working on his receiver stuff and his (defensive back) stuff. So, he never stops his football thing.”
“What I like about Cooper, he just has a nose for the football,” Patterson said. “He understands our defense and our (defensive coordinator) let him call the plays as a sophomore. He has that much trust in him. That kid finds the ball. He doesn’t care how he gets you down, he’s getting you down.”
Although most college coaches are recruiting Cooper to play outside linebacker, Patterson takes advantage of him in a different way.
“We like him in the middle for us,” Patterson said. “We like to send him (on blitzes) a lot. He goes sideline-to-sideline to find the ball. We use him outside if we need to but we like him in the middle. There’s just not many kids who are going to find those gaps and shoot them like he does.
“With all that range, him coming off the edge will be beautiful at the college level.”
Cooper has been putting in extensive work during the spring and now, into the summer. His efforts are paying off.
“The biggest thing with his offseason, he’s gaining so much weight,” Patterson said. “He’s 6-foot-2 now, he went from being 170-pounds to about 195-196 pounds now. His body has changed in the last five, six months. It’s crazy. He’s always working,” Patterson said. “Weight room, all the time. Out running by himself, all the time.”
Another name to keep an eye on is ‘19 wide receiver Marcus Washington. The Irish could make a move soon. Washington was named Fist Team All-State last season.
“Marcus Washington is definitely one of those guys, he’s got about 25 offers now. He doesn’t have a Notre Dame offer yet, but they’ve hit me up recently about him. (He’s a) big 6-foot-2 receiver, goes up and gets the ball. His catch radius is as big as anyone’s I’ve seen.”
The Irish will host many top recruits of all classes during the month of June. Getting the wide array of recruits from Trinity Catholic on campus will certainly help Notre Dame strengthen their relationships with the top talent from the St. Louis area.