So when you look at some of the top names where do the Irish stand? We look in our crystal ball and see what can be made of things prior to the opening of summer camps.
QB: Braxton Miller – Scout.com top quarterback has seen the Irish do everything they can to get him just to visit campus. Miller has only visited a couple of schools over the past few years and the Irish feel if he could get to South Bend they'd have a great chance showing him why his future with the Irish would be something special. Miller is saying all the right things as he's told the Irish staff he'll make a visit, but that has yet to happen. Is an Ohio State commitment close? One would have to start thinking it could be. When do you shut the door on a player who fits an offensive scheme so well? Those are questions the Irish staff must answer in the coming weeks. Final Thought: As each day passes you get the feeling Miller will be a Buckeye. If he doesn't visit Notre Dame by mid or late June, the Irish must look to close down another signal caller.
WR: Kasen Williams – Scout.com top receiver has a very impressive offer list and he's talked about making a visit to South Bend. With good size and speed, Williams knows he'll get plenty of touches in the Irish new offense. Much like Miller, getting Williams on campus is a must. But right now it looks more and more like this west coast product will keep his game closer to home. Final Thought: Irish Eyes knows of 17 offers to this position. In Brian Kelly's offense receivers are the glue that holds everything together. With four of the seventeen having already given verbal pledges to other programs, things need to start shaking out. Williams looks more like a player that will stay close to home when the time comes and not go too far away.
WR: DeAnthony Arnett – The next top ranked wide receiver on the Irish list has them placed high. But while it looked like this could be a battle between the Irish and Notre Dame, a new name is sounding like they may be changing their interest as several sources are hearing Ohio State may be ready to offer the Michigan native. Final Thought: Arnett is a major playmaker and fits the Irish offense like a glove. With his skill set he'd have a chance to post the same type of numbers Kelly saw from Mardy Gilyard at Cincinnati. I still feel Michigan State is the team to beat unless Arnett looks to head off to the west coast.
LB: Trey DePriest – The Ohio product is another player the Irish staff has worked hard on. Like Miller, getting DePriest back on campus and looking at the Irish as a serious team is a must. At this time it looks like Miller will be visiting South Bend for a 7-on-7 event. This will give the Irish coaches one last chance to keep the door open. Final Thought: When does Notre Dame pull out of the Trey DePriest race? Not until you get him on campus and he shows no serious interest. Things still look between Ohio State and Alabama when all is said and done with the Buckeyes holding the home court advantage.
QB: Kiehl Frazier – From all accounts the Irish staff has shown Frazier all the interest you'd expect. This has left an impression on the Arkansas native but may not be enough to push the Irish to the top of his list. Right now Frazier plans look for him to camp on the west coast and down south. Final Thought: With the same type of game as Braxton Miller, Frazier would be a huge get from Kelly and his staff. Great size with a solid arm and the ability to move out of the pocket are the skills that a quarterback needs to have the success Kelly is looking for. Right now it's too early to tell if the Irish can get to the top of the pack. But sources say Notre Dame has done everything they need to do.
QB: Bubba Starling – At this time it looks more and more like the Irish could land Starling when all the dust clears. Another athletic player who can beat you with his arm and feet, Starling is also known for being one of the top baseball players and could be drafted high in the 2011 MLB Draft. Ed Warriner has done a great job of recruiting Starling and sources have said quarterback coach Charley Molnar has also done a good job on the recruiting front. But the dark horse in this race is Oklahoma. If the Sooners offer things could change away from the Irish and more to the Sooners. Final Thought: At the time of writing this Starling had not received an offer from Oklahoma. Because of that the Irish look to be the team to beat when the time comes to give a verbal pledge. If Starling is the one who gives the Irish a pledge than Brian Kelly and his staff may see the need to take another quarterback incase Starling becomes a top baseball draft pick and takes a different road.
DE: Aaron Lynch – Everything I'm hearing about Lynch is that the Irish are the team to beat and a verbal pledge could soon be coming. The Florida native can line up as a defensive end or also as an outside linebacker in the Irish 3-4 defensive scheme. Final Thought: As I've stated, everything I'm hearing is Lynch has the Irish at the top. But keep in mind with spring football in full force right now for high school players in Florida, he's been getting a lot of attention and his offer list could grow and a new program rise from nowhere.
OL: Antonio Richardson – In the heart of SEC country, Richardson has a great offer list and the Irish have made a great impression according to his father Larry Richardson. While the football factories of the SEC may have an early bead on the Tennessee native, his father is pushing for education and knows Notre Dame is like no other school that has offered. A visit to campus may be all that is really needed for Richardson to pull the trigger. Final Thought: Everything I'm hearing has Notre Dame looking really good at this stage. Dad has already shown how serious he's about his son getting a solid education as he moved his son to a position where he could attend Ensworth High School. The Irish are in for a fight but it's a fight they have a chance of winning.
TE: Nick Vannett – Vannett had a chance to give an early pledge but didn't. That has cost him as everything I'm hearing has the Ohio tight end on the outside looking in at Notre Dame. The Irish wanted one tight end and in getting Ben Koyack got one of the best in the country. Final Thought: Something major would have to happen for Vannett to get back in line for an Irish commitment to be accepted. Ohio State is the program with the greatest chance of getting Vannett and he needs to hurry and take that offer before it goes away.
S: Eilar Hardy – This continues to be a two team race as Notre Dame and Michigan State are the two programs slugging things out. Right now Michigan State has the top spot with Eilar as he's got a former high school teammate at MSU, but mom and dad are pushing Notre Dame and could win out when the time comes to make a choice. Final Thought: Talk right now has another team looking to jump into the race as Ohio State is looking at Hardy again. If this happens it could change his whole recruiting. But right now I'd have to give Notre Dame a slight edge as parents and son seem to have solid communication with Eilar's parents winning out in the end.
Notre Dame is at least halfway done with their recruiting class of 2011. In the names listed about there is a very good chance the Irish could pull three of four into the fold. Irish Eyes and Scout.com will continue following the latest and report back to our members on the Irish recruiting successes.