Notre Dame No. 9 in ESPN football recruiting rankings

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

ESPN released its updated rankings for the 2015 football recruiting class on Wednesday, and Notre Dame’s verbally committed group came in at No. 9.

Five of the top 10 classes come from the SEC with Alabama on top. The rest of the top 10 ranked as follows: Texas A&M, Penn State, LSU, Florida State, Tennessee, Clemson, Texas, Notre Dame and Georgia.

Four Irish commits — quarterback Blake Barnett, offensive linemen Tristen Hoge and Jerry Tillery, and wide receiver Jalen Guyton — ranked in ESPN’s Top 300.

Barnett jumped 10 spots in the rankings to No. 54 overall. He is ranked as the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2015 class.

Hoge fell to No. 131 overall after a previous ranking of No. 71. ESPN still pegs him as the No. 1 center prospect in the country.

Tillery’s ranking also dropped from his previous spot at No. 150. He now sits as No. 201 overall and as the No. 18 offensive tackle.

Guyton made his ESPN 300 debut at No. 243 overall. He’s pegged as the No. 30 wide receiver in the class.

Two recruiting targets that visited Notre Dame this past weekend for the Blue-Gold Game also made the list. Linebacker Justin Hilliard, a five-star prospect, jumped to No. 13 overall and the No. 1 outside linebacker recruit. Wide receiver Alex Ofodile earned a ranking of No. 41 overall and the No. 5 wide receiver in the class.

Defensive end Jashon Cornell, who did not make a visit to Notre Dame because of Saturday’s Nike Football Training Camp in Chicago, lost his No. 1 overall ranking in the update. Still a five-star prospect, Cornell sits at No. 16 overall and as the fifth-best defensive end. Cornell ranks as the lowest-rated five-star prospect with the rest of the Top 300 earning four-star ratings.

Wide receiver recruit Jalen Guyton, a junior from Allen, Texas, will visit Notre Dame on March 21. (Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Star-Telegram)