Good news for Notre Dame football could be on its way sooner than expected.
On Tuesday, defensive tackle recruit Ja'mion Franklin announced via Twitter that he would be declaring a verbal commitment June 6. The three-star target had initially planned to share his decision on July 1.
“This was a big decision that took a lot of thought and prayers as well as discussions with my family and coaches,” Franklin wrote as part of his statement on Twitter. “But I feel like I’m ready to make a decision and I’m confident with my timing of this decision.”
Notre Dame should be in a good spot to land Franklin’s commitment. He’s been high on the Irish since receiving a scholarship offer during his visit in March and has been scheduled to return to campus later in June.
“It was definitely a great feeling to get an offer from Notre Dame,” Franklin said a month ago. “It’s a very prestigious institution as far as athletics and academics. The history of Notre Dame is very intriguing with the Four Horsemen and all the stuff like that. It’s incredible. It was really an honor to get that offer. The visit was great to see everything in person and get a feel for the campus, the coaches there and the new staff.”
The 6-foot-2, 306-pound product of Ridgely (Md.) North Caroline could be Notre Dame’s first commitment in the 2018 class since three-star offensive lineman John Dirksen on March 25. The Irish would have to beat out the likes of Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wisconsin and others in Franklin’s recruitment.
Rivals ranks Franklin as the No. 28 defensive tackle in the 2018 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 40 defensive tackle.
Hayes picks Michigan
Harry Hiestand has pulled top offensive line recruits away from in-state powers before, but he was unable to score a victory in the recruitment of Ryan Hayes.
The 6-7, 250-pound Hayes gave his commitment to Michigan on Saturday. He confirmed the news with the Tribune.
Hayes, a senior-to-be at Traverse City (Mich.) West, visited Notre Dame in March, but he followed the trip to South Bend with stops at Michigan and Michigan State.
247Sports slates Hayes as a four-star recruit and the No. 10 offensive tackle in the 2018 class. Rivals ranks him as a three-star recruit and No. 49 at the position.
Irish make top lists
Top list season is in full swing as many recruits in the 2018 class have started to narrow their focus on a number of schools heading into summer.
But the longer the list, the less meaningful it is. Notre Dame will be a contender through the entire recruitment for some of these recruits.
• TE Mustapha Muhammad, 6-4, 231; Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point: The four-star recruit released his top 10 on May 24. The list included Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC.
247Sports slates Muhammad of the No. 4 tight end in the class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 tight end.
• RB Lyn-J Dixon, 5-11, 178; Butler (Ga.) Taylor County: The three-star recruit dropped his top 12 on May 24. The list included Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Louisville, Texas, Notre Dame, Clemson and Auburn.
Rivals ranks Dixon as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 17 running back.
• WR Lawrence Keys, 5-11, 160; New Orleans McDonogh 35: The Irish target shared his top 13 on May 27. The list included Houston, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Arkansas, UTSA, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Auburn and Nebraska.
247Sports slates Keys as a four-star recruit and the No. 29 wide receiver in the class. Rivals ranks him as a three-star recruit and No. 86 at the position.
• RB Lavonte Valentine, 6-0, 190; Melbourne (Fla.) Central Catholic: The three-star running back released his top seven on May 28. The list included LSU, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, South Carolina, USC and Florida.
247Sports slates Valentine as the No. 10 all-purpose running back. Rivals did not rank him among the top 35 running backs in the class.
• DE Jayson Oweh, 6-5, 236; Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy: The fast-rising recruit dropped his top 10 on May 28. The list included Ohio State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Rutgers and Harvard.
247Sports slates him as a four-star recruit and the No. 10 strongside defensive end in the class. Rivals rates him as a three-star recruit.
• WR Bryson Jackson, 5-11, 174; Houston St. Pius X: The three-star recruit shared his top 12 on May 29. The list included Alabama, Texas A&M, Nebraska, TCU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Miami, Arizona, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Ole Miss.
Notre Dame was the first school to offer Jackson in December. 247Sports slates him as the No. 59 wide receiver in the class. Rivals ranks him No. 65 at the position.
• LB Jack Lamb, 6-4, 211; Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak: Lamb made the biggest cuts in revealing a top five on May 29. The list included Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Rivals ranks Lamb as a four-star recruit and the No. 13 inside linebacker in the class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star recruit and No. 14 at the position.
• WR Kamryn Babb, 6-2, 197; St. Louis Christian Brothers: The four-star recruit released a top nine on May 29. The list included LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Ohio State, USC, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska and Notre Dame.
Babb visited Notre Dame in February. 247Sports slates him as the top wide receiver in the class. Rivals ranks Babb No. 14 at the position.