Notre Dame will likely take as many as 24 recruits in the 2008 recruiting class, and 18 of those spots have already been spoken for. There will be several players making their college decision in the near future, so Irish fans might not have too long before they learn the names of several more players in this recruiting class.
Linebacker Steve Filer just visited Notre Dame this weekend and it has been speculated that he might be the next player to announce for the Irish as soon as this week. Filer said in an interview this weekend that he would likely announce his decision by Wednesday of this week. Filer named Notre Dame and Ohio State as the two schools he would pick from, but it appears that Notre Dame will be his choice.
Athlete Jeremy Brown will be visiting Notre Dame this coming weekend. In a recent article Brown listed his top five as Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. He has a great relationship with coach Brown and he might be a guy that could pull the trigger for the Irish when he is on campus. If he doesn't make a decision this weekend he will return to Notre Dame for the USC game for an official visit. There have been questions about whether the Irish are going to have room for Brown, but he's just too good of an athlete to pass up. He is being recruited as a cornerback, but he could also play wide receiver for you. If Brown wants to come, you grab him.
Offensive lineman Trevor Robinson is another player that could announce his decision fairly soon. Notre Dame would like to take one more offensive lineman and Robinson is about as good as you can get. Although Trevor de-committed from Nebraska, the Cornhuskers are probably Notre Dame's biggest competitor. There are rumblings that he would like to take a few official visits, but I expect Trevor to have a decision prior to the start of his senior season. Common sense leads one to believe that you don't de-commit from a school just to go ahead and re-commit to them shortly after.
After those top three players, it is more difficult to determine which prospects are the most likely players to become part of the 2008 recruiting class. One thing that we are fairly certain of is that Notre Dame would like to take two more wide receivers and one more linebacker.
Mike Floyd is a name most Notre Dame fans are familiar with. The top wide receiver was one of the first players the Irish staff offered last fall. There are seven schools that are still in the running for Floyd's signature; Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa and Florida. Floyd hasn't decided when he will announce, but he has planned an official visit to Notre Dame when the Irish play USC. That is the only official visit he has scheduled. Ohio State has come on strong for Floyd the past several months and they might be the biggest competitor for the Irish. A lot of Notre Dame fans are concerned that Floyd will select another school, but I expect him to eventually select the Irish.
Wide receiver Brice Butler made a trip to Notre Dame for the spring game. He is going to make his announcement on August 1. The Irish made a strong impression on him, which pushed them into the top tier of schools, but it might not be enough. Florida State and USC are likely the other schools he is strongly considering. The Irish would love to have a playmaker like Butler. I'm guessing the Irish miss the mark here, and Butler plays for the Seminoles. Either way, the Notre Dame coaches will know fairly soon where they stand.
Linebacker Etienne Sabino will be visiting Notre Dame this weekend as well. He will stop by Ohio State when he heads north. Sabino has the top programs in the country chasing him, so the Irish will have to work hard to earn his commitment. The good news is that Sabino talks to coach Brown almost every day. Sabino has also noticed the top players Notre Dame has already landed. Sabino is a kid that would fit in very well at Notre Dame. If his unofficial visit goes well this weekend, the Irish might end up being the team to beat. Sabino will graduate early, so he'll have his decision in early December.
Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin listed Notre Dame among his final six schools along with Florida, Miami, Pitt, Michigan and USC. Baldwin visited Notre Dame in May and walked away impressed with the Irish program. Before his visit, Notre Dame probably had some ground to make up on several schools. Baldwin would like to take his official visits during the season and the Irish are expected to receive one of them. Pitt might be Notre Dame's biggest competition for Baldwin when all is said and done. Don't expect a decision right away from Baldwin. He might wait until January to make his announcement.
Notre Dame may need to look at a few additional wide receivers in order to fill their needs. Notre Dame will have a difficult time landing both Butler and Baldwin. Baldwin might need to do a little work in the classroom and it's entirely possible that they will miss on both players. Jeremy Brown is certainly and option at wide receiver, but he was initially recruited to play cornerback, which means that the Irish staff liked his ability on the defensive side of the ball, not on offense.
Wide receiver Chris Harper is a name that has surfaced recently. Harper recently visited Notre Dame. Harper is a tremendous athlete, but he hasn't played wide receiver in the past, so it's difficult to judge his overall ability. The Irish haven't offered Harper a scholarship, but he might be the next guy that gets his name called.
Other than Harper there aren't a lot of wide receiver names out there. The Notre Dame staff will need to start turning over stones on August 2, if Brice Butler selects another school. I think the biggest problem that the Notre Dame staff will face is that this isn't a class with a lot of talented, elite wide receivers.