The Irish were very successful in recruiting the state of Pennsylvania last cycle, signing offensive tackle Josh Lugg, linebacker David Adams and defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, plus IMG Academy transplant Robert Hainsey.
Two of Pennsylvania’s best in the current class, quarterback Phil Jurkovec and linebacker Matt “Bo” Bauer, are committed to Notre Dame as well.
Add a new Pennsylvania target for the next recruiting campaign.
The Irish are evaluating ’19 safety Corey Thomas Jr. of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, and the rising junior plans to attend Irish Invasion this weekend. Some contact with head coach Brian Kelly helped make the point of Notre Dame’s interest.
“They’ve come to Central Catholic a few times,” Thomas Jr. said. “I’ve talked to coach Kelly a little bit, here and there.
“I definitely want to get out there to see what it’s like, talk to the coaches a little bit more, stuff like that.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety has heard plenty about the Irish from his two defensive teammates and Irish signees. The chance to play at the college level with Adams and Hinish is intriguing to Thomas Jr.
“It’s definitely a factor,” Thomas Jr. said. “I’m actually really close with Kurt. He’s told me about them a lot this season and speaks highly of Notre Dame. It would be nice to get to play with them.”
The Irish aren’t the only strong program eyeing Thomas Jr., who has plans to check out a few other campuses this summer.
“Talking to me the most right now are probably Pitt, Penn State, I’ve talked briefly with Stanford, Ohio State, West Virginia, stuff like that,” Thomas Jr. said. “I’m (went) to Pitt on Sunday, then Irish Invasion, Ohio State the week after that and Penn State next month.”
After a position change prior to last season, Thomas Jr. put up a strong sophomore year as a defensive back, notching 33 tackles.
“I started playing back in eighth-grade as a receiver,” Thomas Jr. said. “I started playing defensive back about a month before (last) season, I switched over to safety just before the season started. I’ve worked on it a lot this offseason.”
An Irish offer would put them in strong consideration down the road.
“If I were to get an offer from Notre Dame, they’d definitely be in there until the final end,” Thomas Jr. said. “It’s a 40-year decision, their academics, stuff like that, they would definitely play a factor.”