Notre Dame has growing recruiting list for Michigan game


South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame won’t wait long this season to host a big recruiting weekend.

The Irish are building an important visitor list for its Sept. 6 game against Michigan, the second home game of the season. The night-game atmosphere of a 7:30 p.m. kickoff has worked for the Irish in the past to attract more visitors and give families more time to travel to campus.

A handful of recruits have already expressed plans to visit South Bend for the game.

In the 2015 class, defensive end/outside linebacker Bo Wallace and wide receiver John Humphrey confirmed plans for official visits to Notre Dame that weekend.

Wallace, a three-star prospect, visited Notre Dame in June. The projected pass rusher also holds offers from Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and UCLA. Rivals ranks the 6-4, 210-pound recruit from River Ridge (La.) John Curtis as the No. 23 outside linebacker in the country. 247Sports slates Wallace No. 29 at the position.

Humphrey, a three-star prospect, withdrew his commitment to Baylor in June. The speedy recruit has Oklahoma and Notre Dame at the top of his list, which also includes offers from Nebraska, Ole Miss and Arkansas. 247Sports slates the 5-10, 160-pound recruit from League City (Texas) Clear Falls as the No. 35 athlete recruit in the 2015 class. Rivals ranks Humphrey as the No. 88 wide receiver.

Malik Henry, one of Notre Dame’s top 2016 quarterback targets, mentioned on Twitter that he plans to attend the Michigan game. The 6-2, 174-pound signal caller participated in Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp in June. Both Rivals and 247Sports rate the quarterback out of Westlake Village, Calif., as a five-star prospect and the No. 2 pro-style quarterback. 247Sports slates him as the No. 4 overall recruit in the 2016 class. Rivals ranks him No. 9. He holds offers from Florida State, Michigan, Texas, USC and UCLA.

Another top 2016 quarterback, Shea Patterson, said he will visit for the Michigan game as well. Patterson ended his commitment with Arizona earlier this week and plans to seriously consider the Irish before making another decision. The 6-2, 195-pound Patterson threw for 2,655 yards and 34 touchdowns as a sophomore. Rivals ranks him as the top dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him No. 4 at the position.

Defensive end/outside linebacker Porter Gustin and running back Soso Jamabo, both four-star prospects, could also be in line to visit that weekend. Wide receiver K.J. Hill, per his coaching staff’s Twitter account at North Little Rock (Ark.) High, will also use an official visit to Notre Dame. The date is uncertain, but the four-star prospect plans to visit the Irish as well as Ohio State, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas for his five allotted official visits. 247Sports slates him as the No. 15 wide receiver in the class. Rivals ranks him No. 32.

QB Francois picks FSU

Four-star quarterback Deondre Francois, who received a June offer from Notre Dame, ended his recruitment Thursday with a verbal commitment to Florida State.

The Irish reached out to Francois following quarterback Blake Barnett’s decommitment, but gained little momentum without a visit from Francois. The 6-1, 192-pound prospect from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy turned his focus to Oregon, Florida State and Auburn before making his decision.

Both Rivals and 247Sports slate Francois as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the 2015 class. He became the third quarterback to pledge to Florida State’s class after De’Andre Johnson and Kai Locksley.

All of Notre Dame’s quarterback offers in the 2015 class have already verbally committed to schools. The Irish could choose to forego adding a quarterback in the class or wait to re-evaluate its options as the prospects finish their senior seasons.

Top LB eyeing Notre Dame

Five-star linebacker John Houston has his eyes on Notre Dame.

The 6-3, 205-pound senior at Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra, named the Irish in his top 13 schools Tuesday on Twitter. The Under Armour All-American listed Alabama, Arizona State, Arizona, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC in his top group.

Rivals ranks Houston as the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker and No. 15 regardless of position. 247Sports slates him No. 3 at the position and No. 12 overall.

Lucier-South scraps Irish

Defensive end Keisean Lucier-South took out the eraser on his planned official to Notre Dame in September. When the 2015 prospect from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran released his top five on Monday, the Irish were nowhere to be found.

When asked if he would still make the trip to Notre Dame for the Stanford game, the 6-6, 215-pounder said no. Instead he’s focusing on Oregon, Florida, UCLA, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Lucier-South had emerged as one of the contenders to help solve Notre Dame’s search for pass rushers in the 2015 class. Only one of Notre Dame’s 17 commitments, Micah Dew-Treadway, projects as a potential defensive end. He may be best suited at defensive tackle if the Irish can grab one or two defensive ends in the class.

Lucier-South rates as a five-star prospect, the No. 2 weakside defensive end in the country and No. 30 regardless of position, according to 247Sports. Rivals rates Lucier-South as a four-star prospect, the No. 2 weakside defensive end and No. 35 overall.

2015 RB action

While the options for another 2015 running back commitment continue to decrease, one Notre Dame target recently named the Irish in his top group.

Cameron Scarlett, a 6-1, 205-pound back from Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic, put the Irish in his top five in a July 21 tweet. Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Washington joined Notre Dame on the list.

Scarlett rushed for 1,640 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior. Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect and the No. 8 all-purpose back in the class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 71 athlete prospect.

A trio of running backs with Notre Dame offers committed elsewhere this week. Aca’cedric Ware, a three-star recruit from Cedar Hill, Texas, committed Monday to USC. Ray-Ray McCloud, a four-star prospect from Tampa, Fla., committed Monday to Clemson. Ty’Son Williams, a three-star prospect from Sumter, S.C., committed to North Carolina. All three had yet to visit Notre Dame.

2016 misses

A talented pair of early 2016 recruiting targets have already committed elsewhere.

Five-star quarterback Jacob Eason, a Notre Dame legacy, committed to Georgia following a visit to Athens on July 19. Eason’s father, Tony, was a wide receiver for the Irish in the 1980s. The two made a visit to South Bend in June for a Notre Dame camp.

Both Rivals and 247Sports slate Eason as the nation’s top pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class and one of the top three prospects regardless of position. The 6-5, 205-pound Eason passed for 2,941 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore at Lake Stevens (Wash.) High.

Four-star linebacker Daelin Hayes committed to USC following a visit Saturday to Los Angeles. The 6-3, 225-pound prospect from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s had been high on Notre Dame before his trip to see the Trojans.

Hayes received an offer from Notre Dame following an impressive performance at the Irish Invasion camp in June.

“When they told me, I was very excited.” Hayes said following his Irish offer. “I was at a loss for words. It was a great feeling. Notre Dame's always been one of my favorite schools.”

Rivals ranks Hayes as the No. 4 outside linebacker and the No. 17 overall prospect in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 6 outside linebacker and No. 53 regardless of position. | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2016 quarterback target Malik Henry during Irish Invasion football camp on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Notre Dame. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN