A lot of new names keep popping up which means two things, really. The Irish staff is working very hard to find new names. It also means that some top players look to be out of the picture or unlikely.
At this point, Jerod Arlich, Rod Council, DJ Davis, Phillip Mbakogu, Robert Jordan, Bobby McCoy, and Cortney Grixby look unlikely. Not all have eliminated Notre Dame at this point, but all appear to be unlikely for various reasons.
The Irish can, and likely will try, to get back in the race with some of these top targets. We're just trying to give you an accurate landscape as how things are shaping up now. It's possible the Irish could get back in with some of these names.
The Irish need to continue to find new names to replace those that appear to be sliding. The Notre Dame staff appears to be doing just that.
At quarterback, the Irish have been building a list. Brian Brohm is obviously the top target since he's the only known offer at this point. Rudy Carpenter is on the radar, but we are not certain he can get in at this point. Brent Schaeffer is a guy they really liked early, and are now back in the mix. DiMichele was visited earlier, we haven't heard much since. Darrin Bragg would be interested and would take a visit. It appears the Irish are setting up a visit with Wolke. Reese is the latest name added to the mix and has excellent grades.
The Irish will likely take two. Schaeffer is intriguing because the Irish really liked him, and an error on his transcript appears to make him a target again. The Irish should be able to land two out of this list. They need at least one of their top two at this point. Brohm and Schaeffer would likely be their top two as both had/have offers.
Running BackDarius Walker
Justin Hoskins (Committed)
The Irish appear to be putting all their eggs in one basket with Walker. The good news is that the Irish are the clear leader. Adding him with Taylor would be a good class at running back. Taylor has been visited, and says the Irish will be offering. Anythony Heygood or Gary Green might come into the mix at some point. We think the Irish will get Walker in the end.
Wide ReceiverDevon Lyons
Lyons is critical as the Irish have been all over him since the beginning. The race is too close to call at this point. Creamer liked his visit to Notre Dame. We think the Irish will be the team to beat for him. Johnson has toyed with the idea of visiting. He might visit, but the Irish would be a long-shot at best. Ellis is also a target. He might end up playing safety, however.
Lyons would be ideal because he's been at the top of the board since the beginning. The Irish only need one at this point, but might take two if Creamer or Johnson wants to commit. The Irish like Creamer quite a bit. Ellis hasn't been offered, and no visit has been scheduled yet. We think of him more as a safety prospect.
Tight EndKellen Freeman-Davis
He appears to be the only target at this point. I assume the Irish have been trying to get Zach Miller to visit. It's doubtful he will. Freeman-Davis says he will visit, but the Irish haven't been listed as a leader and might have some ground to make up.
Offensive lineAllen Smith
Chauncey Incarnato (Committed)
John Kadous (Committed)
Brandon Nicloas (Committed)
The three commitments are solid. Incarnato is thought of as a left tackle prospect. Kadous is more of a right tackle prospect. Nicolas could end up along the defense, but most think he'll end up at offensive guard.
The Irish have been high on Smith's list since the beginning. He is another left tackle prospect that is desperately needed. We think the Irish have a good chance to land Thomas as well. All five would be great, and would shore up the problems along the offensive line.
Defensive LineDavid Brown
We believe we will see more names added here when all is said and done. Brown will likely come down to Alabama and Notre Dame. Richard has now added LSU into his list as a possible destination. The Irish have some selling to do for him. Talley loved his visit, and it looks like Notre Dame or Iowa. Baker will decide soon. We have him slotted for defensive line, but could end up moving to another position. Brown is a brand new name, and we'll be checking into that today.
The Irish need to close on either Brown or Richard. They need at least one of them. They also could use some more names for this list. Hopefully more names surface soon.
Anthony Vernaglia (Committed)
Abdel Banda (Committed)
The two commitments were needed. Both are athletic and can run. Thaxton will be a difficult sale, so will Palmer. Toal says it's likely he'll visit, but Miami and Boston College will be difficult to beat. Crum needs to raise his test score.
The Irish need a true middle linebacker to add to this class. Palmer and Thaxton fit that mold, and either would be fantastic. I would guess they'd take both if they could. Toal is another top player the Irish would love to land. He's not your typical middle linebacker, but others could be moved if they land him. Crum is a rangy player that can make things happen. The Irish need to land at least one of Palmer or Thaxton. Both will be difficult, but it can be done.
Defensive BackNate Lyles
Tregg Duerson (Committed)
The Irish really need three corners in this class. Duerson is one already committed. Lyles and Lambert are top names. We hear the Irish really like Jabbie, but he might be a safety prospect as well. Patterson is a safety prospect. Drummer is a very fast player, but needs to add some weight.
The Irish must land three corner prospects that can play corner. Lyles and Lambert would probably be their top targets, although Jabbie is high on their list. The good news is that Notre Dame has a chance to land all three. If they do this could be a solid group of defensive backs.
Right now, the Irish staff appears to be on top of recruiting. They keep adding new names to the mix, and most appear to be solid prospects. The most important thing is to find prospects that can play. There is no point in taking a player that will never see the field. We expect more names to be added at corner, linebacker, defensive line, wide receiver, and running back.
The concern is that Notre Dame looks very solid on the offensive side of the ball. They will have to pull some rabbits out of their hat on the defensive side. They can land an excellent class if they close on their top prospects on the defensive side of the ball. They should be very solid on the offensive side of the ball.
This should be a wild ride from now until signing day.