The Irish Invasion is already in the rearview mirror, but that hasn’t stopped Notre Dame from hosting top football recruits this month.
Stars continued to descend on South Bend as Notre Dame opened its campus up for more visitors in the middle of summer camp season.
The biggest recruit — in mass and in talent — to visit the Irish last week returned to Notre Dame for the third time.
Jamaree Salyer, a 6-foot-4, 342-pound product of Atlanta’s Pace Academy, made the trip with his mother. His previous visits to South Bend came with his teammates in the 2017 class last year. He attended Notre Dame’s junior day in March and the Irish Invasion in June.
Notre Dame failed to sign the two Pace Academy targets in the 2017 class: wide receiver Trey Blount and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.
Both stayed in state to play for Georgia. But Salyer would represent much more than a consolation prize.
Rarely does an offensive guard rank as the top offensive line recruit in the country, yet Salyer may just be that. Rivals ranks him as a five-star recruit and the No. 1 guard in the 2018 class with no offensive linemen ranked above him at No. 11 overall. 247Sports also slates Salyer as the top guard but has only given him four stars. Offensive tackle Brey Walker sits three spots ahead of him with Salyer at No. 12 overall.
Notre Dame’s connection to Pace Academy runs deeper than a few visiting recruits. Sophomore walk-on wide receiver Mick Assaf’s father, Fred, serves as Pace Academy’s Head of School. The more visits Salyer makes to Notre Dame, the more likely it becomes that he could follow Assaf to South Bend.
Pace Academy head coach Chris Slade said the Irish greatly improved their chances with Salyer after last week’s visit. Whether Notre Dame receives an official visit in the fall has yet to be determined.
Salyer, per Slade, recently visited Clemson and hopes to check out Ohio State in July. His offer list includes Alabama, Stanford, Michigan, Oklahoma and more.
Notre Dame also hosted three recruiting targets in the 2019 class last weekend.
• DT Jacob Lacey, 6-2, 290; Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren: The frequent Notre Dame visitor missed the Irish Invasion earlier this month to take the ACT. However, Lacey still made sure to visit Notre Dame in the midst of a regional recruiting swing last week. He made tops at Vanderbilt, Louisville, Notre Dame and Tennessee.
The four-star recruit has continued to see his recruiting stock rise with Clemson becoming the latest major program to offer on June 7 — nearly a year after Notre Dame did the same. Lacey may have been on a short list of recruits who could become the first Irish commitment in the 2019 class, but he has given no indication that he’s ready to end his recruitment.
247Sports slates Lacey as the No. 8 defensive tackle for 2019.
• Grayson Boomer, 6-5, 230; Collinsville (Okla.) High: Boomer isn’t a Sooner — at least for now. When the Oklahoma product made a Midwest swing last week, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame each hosted him for visits.
Both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines extended offers to Boomer during those visits, but he had already received an Irish offer in April. Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M are among the other schools on Boomer’s offer list.
247Sports slates Boomer as a four-star recruit and the No. 1 tight end in the 2019 class.
• ATH Julian Barnett, 6-1, 184; Belleville (Mich.) High: Barnett didn’t have a Notre Dame offer when he arrived on campus Saturday, but he did before he left. The two-way athlete has had a productive offseason following a sophomore season with 25 receptions for 460 yards and six touchdowns as a wide receiver and two interceptions as a cornerback.
Since the start of the year, Barnett has added offers from Michigan State, Auburn, Georgia, Iowa and Oregon, among others. He also received an invitation to Under Armour’s 2019 Future 50 camp.
247Sports slates Barnett as a four-star recruit and the No. 4 cornerback in the class. Rivals rates him as a four-star wide receiver.
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