The recruitment of Ohio State graduate transfer Isaiah Pryor may come to an end next weekend.
Pryor, a former four-star safety out of the 2017 recruiting class, will come to South Bend for Notre Dame’s Nov. 2 game against Virginia Tech. Richard Pryor, Isaiah’s father, confirmed the news to the Tribune.
The Irish expect to land Pryor, who holds two more years of eligibility and would join the team in January. Pryor’s only visit since putting his name in the transfer portal last month came to Notre Dame. He took an Oct. 11-13 official visit to South Bend for the USC game.
Not having his mother, Lillian, with him on that visit kept Pryor from announcing a commitment. She will accompany him next weekend.
“They have delivered on everything,” Pryor told the Tribune about Notre Dame last week. “So I’m confident with them. I feel like we just have to keep building this relationship. I’m excited to get back up there.”
Landing Pryor would narrow the amount of scholarships available for Notre Dame’s 2020 recruiting class, which holds 17 commitments and is already tight on numbers. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Pryor would become the fourth defensive back added this cycle.
That scenario likely leaves one spot remaining for another 2020 defensive back. The Irish have been looking to secure the pledge of Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty High cornerback Ramon Henderson. Special teams coordinator Brian Polian visited Henderson’s school last Tuesday.
Henderson told the Tribune that he may give a silent commitment to a school before announcing his decision in December. The Tribune has received no indication that Henderson made a non-public pledge to Polian and Notre Dame last week. Oklahoma, UCLA and California are among schools still vying for him.
Notre Dame has been looking into other 2020 defensive backs in the meantime. The Irish reached out to Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic’s Jalen Harrell, a four-star cornerback, after he decommitted from Florida State’s recruiting class last week. Harrell indicated to the Tribune that he likely wouldn’t meet Notre Dame’s academic standards, however.
That leaves Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora High’s Jordan Addison as another defensive back option beyond Henderson. Addison committed to Pittsburgh’s recruiting class in June — one month after landing an Irish scholarship offer. It will be worth monitoring if Addison visits for one of Notre Dame’s final three home games.
Donovan Edwards saw a familiar face after helping West Bloomfield (Mich.) High to a 48-0 victory over Oxford last Friday.
Before the four-star running back left the field, he caught up with Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem. Kareem attended West Bloomfield High before transferring to Harrison High in Farmington, Mich.
“They went to the same elementary school and middle school,” said Ronald Bellamy, West Bloomfield’s head football coach. “Khalid has known Donovan since he was a little boy.”
Edwards is one of four Michigan recruits out of the 2021 class with scholarship offers from the Irish and Wolverines. Clarkston High offensive linemen Rocco Spindler and Garrett Dellinger and East Lansing High wide receiver Andrel Anthony Jr. also received offers from both schools.
Irish cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght visited West Bloomfield last week as well. Edwards is looking to make his second visit to Notre Dame’s campus this season. He first trekked to South Bend in January.
“He loves Notre Dame,” Bellamy said. “Notre Dame is one of the premier college programs and universities in America. He’s definitely taking notice to it. It’s one of those schools where he’s definitely going to do more homework on.”
247Sports ranks Edwards as its No. 4 running back and No. 60 overall player, while Rivals pegs him No. 4 at the position and No. 89 overall. The 5-11, 190-pound Edwards brings an all-purpose style with his ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
That’s also what Notre Dame’s other top running back target in Will Shipley brings. The four-star recruit took his first trip to Notre Dame for its Oct. 12 home game against USC. Running backs coach Lance Taylor visited Matthews (N.C.) Weddington High last Thursday to see Shipley.
Notre Dame took one running back in the 2019 recruiting class in Kyren Williams and plans to do the same this cycle with pledge Chris Tyree. How many 2021 running backs the Irish take remains uncertain at this stage.
Both Shipley and Edwards appear far from a commitment. Bellamy said he expects Edwards to announce his pledge next summer.
“He knows that he’s a top priority for Notre Dame,” Bellamy said. “They are going to recruit him hard. They want the opportunity to get him on campus. He was on campus in the middle of his sophomore year, so he has not been out there in about a year.”
Before returning to the University of Cincinnati this past Saturday to be honored for the 2009 team, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly hit the recruiting trail.
The Tribune confirmed the following schools with Notre Dame pledges received visits from Kelly: Burke High in Omaha, Neb. (2020 wide receiver Xavier Watts), Boyle County High in Danville, Ky. (2020 cornerback Landen Bartleson), Thomas Dale High in Chester, Va. (2020 running back Chris Tyree) and Pickerington (Ohio) Central for 2021 wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. Taylor joined Kelly to see Tyree.
Buchner magic continues
Notre Dame pledge Tyler Buchner now leads all high school players in total yardage (3,634) this season, per MaxPreps.
Buchner, a four-star quarterback out of the 2021 recruiting class, has 50 total touchdowns through eight games for The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif. He ranks No. 2 in yards per game (454.3), No. 12 in total passing yards (2,746) and No. 14 in passing touchdowns (14).