The Irish landed two confirmed commitments from players who actually visited Penn State this weekend. Defensive end Justin Brown chose the Irish over Penn State, and corner/athlete Junior Jabbie also chose the Irish over Penn State, Missouri and Boston College.
If all four committed (and we believe they have), that would leave the Irish with 4-5 scholarships left to give this recruiting season.
Let's take a look at those left on the board, and the likelihood that they might end up as Notre Dame commitments.
The Irish also hosted wide receiver Christopher Vaughn this weekend. Vaughn enjoyed his visit to Notre Dame and is said to be deciding between Notre Dame, Iowa, Boston College and UCLA. Vaughn has said that he might wait until signing day. We don't think the Irish can wait that long for his decision.
Allen Smith also visited this weekend on an unofficial visit. Smith is said to be announcing his decision between Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State. Many speculate that this will be a Notre Dame/Stanford battle, but don't count out Arizona State. We believe Smith had a good visit to Notre Dame. Smith also spent two full days at Notre Dame on his unofficial. We think the Irish will finish at least second in this race, but only first matters.
Samson Taylor is said to be deciding between the Irish and Texas A&M. His grandfather told Irish Eyes that he would inform the coaches of his decision either today or tomorrow. He might not announce until signing day, but we should know sooner than later on Taylor. It looks good for the Irish.
Ryan Baker is said to be deciding between Purdue and Notre Dame. We expect that decision to come soon, and we think he'll choose Notre Dame in the end. With the commitment of Justin Brown, Baker will have to decide soon if he wants to play for the Irish.
Terrail Lambert is said to be waiting until signing day to make his decision between the Irish and Florida State. The Irish traditionally don't win many of these battles. We believe his family likes the Irish quite a bit. Why would Lambert wait this long to decide? We don't think this is good news for the Irish.
Darryl Richard was said to be down to Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. But, he took a visit to Colorado this weekend. We haven't been able to reach Richard to get his thoughts on where he is leaning. Richard could wind up anywhere at this point. We also don't know when he plans to decide.
Nate Lyles hasn't spoken to a single reporter that we know of since his visit to Notre Dame on January 16th. The rumors have been that he is trying to decide between Virginia and Notre Dame. Nobody can be certain because Lyles hasn't spoken to anyone we know of. We also don't know when he plans to decide. We hope to have more information on Lyles soon.
Chancellor Young is set to visit Notre Dame this weekend. Many speculate the Irish will land Young in the end. Will the Irish still have a scholarship for Young when he visits? We'll have to wait and see.
Ell Ash has been holding off committing to a school to visit Notre Dame this weekend. North Carolina State and Tennessee are said to be his top schools, but he remains very interested in Notre Dame. We think the Irish will try to bring him in this weekend. Could he be a surprise commitment for the Irish? He must be interested or he wouldn't be waiting.
The Irish still have some great prospects left on the board. They need to land the five best available players they can to finish out this class. How long can the Irish wait for these players to announce their decision? They hope they won't have to wait long, and in some cases, they might have to.