Notre Dame football recruiting: Morgan fits mold for ND

TYLER JAMES - <a href="http:

Nyles Morgan's talent is unquestioned.

But prod the high school junior for insight on his favorite collegesand the stoic Morgan won't divulge much. Plenty of questions remain inthe recruitment of one of the nation's best linebackers.

Has he narrowed his choice of schools?

"No. I'm probably going to do that midway through my season."

What's his interest in Notre Dame?

"They are a school that I am considering right now. I'll take a lookat them as the season progresses on."

What are the factors that will go into his decision?

"Three things: academics, good hospitality, and also a winningfootball program."

Short and concise, but not a lot left for the recruiting forecastersto pick apart. On Sunday, Morgan held court with media after alinebacker MVP performance at the Nike Football Training Camp and aninvitation to the premier national Nike camp, The Opening.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Morgan excelled in the no pads camp settingdespite his physical strengths being limited in drills that don'tallow tackling. He showed strong instincts in reading running backs inone-on-one drills and covering them on passing routes.

Morgan possesses the size and skills needed to be an inside linebacker-- becoming increasingly tougher to find -- in Notre Dame's 3-4 scheme.That's why he's been told by the Irish coaching staff that he fits theManti Te'o mold.

"They said they just want me to replace Manti Te'o in a sense and belike a marquee linebacker there," Morgan said. has Morgan as the No. 4 inside linebacker in the 2014class and at No. 53 overall. ranks Morgan the sixth-bestplayer at his position at No. 70 overall.

Defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Bob Diaco recently stoppedby Morgan's high school, Crete-Monee in Crete, Ill., and the two havea growing relationship. Morgan likes the enthusiasm of Diaco.

"I need a guy who's kind of exciting, not too low-key or anything,because linebacker is more of an exciting position."

The last two recruiting cycles have seen the Irish recruit Crete-Moneeplayers - wide receiver Laquon Treadwell in 2013, and defensive backAnthony Standifer in 2012 - to no avail. Notre Dame finds itself inanother battle with Morgan's 30-plus offers. Alabama recently joiningthe fray.

It isn't a top list overall, but Morgan did pinpoint Notre Dame as oneof five schools he has the best relationships with. Vanderbilt,Michigan State, Florida and Ole Miss, which landed Treadwell andStandifer, also made the list.

A small victory in what's set to be a long process.

Cornell plans ND return

Jashon Cornell may talk with Irish wide receiver James Onwualu almostevery day, but he's still looking forward to hanging with him on NotreDame's campus this summer.

Cornell, a sophomore defensive end prospect at Cretin-Derham Hall inSt. Paul, Minn., said he relies on his former teammate for advice.With a growing number of offers, the 6-4, 230-pound Cornell will haveplenty sort through.

Cornell has received 14 offers this spring, the latest fromNorthwestern, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Missouri.

The sophomore impressed in pass rush drills at Sunday's Nike FootballTraining Camp. He may have been the best underclassmen at the camp.

"I learned a lot of new moves today," Cornell said. "I thought I wasgoing to get MVP, but that shocked my heart right there. I learned alot of new stuff."

A busy summer awaits Cornell, as he plans to visit a number of schoolsincluding Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

Garrett likes SEC, USC

Notre Dame was one of Clifton Garrett's first offers a year ago, butthe junior linebacker and the coaching staff appear to have driftedapart.

The 6-2, 228-pound prospect from Plainfield (Ill.) South now has hiseyes on a number of SEC schools and USC, with LSU leading at the top.

"I haven't really talked to them too much lately," Garrett said of ND."I'm not really sure at this point what it is with us."

Garrett visited Notre Dame multiple times after being offered. Otherschools trending high on his list include Florida, Tennessee, Ole Missand Alabama. 247Sports ranks Garrett as the top inside linebacker inthe 2014 class and at No. 25 overall. Rivals ranks him as thethird-best inside linebacker and at No. 53 overall. Garrett did notparticipate in the Nike camp Sunday because of a tweaked ankle.

Staff writer Tyler James:

Notre Dame is looking at Crete (Ill.) Monee inside linebacker Nyles Morgan.