Notre Dame offer grabs safety recruit Kahlil Haughton's attention

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Kahlil Haughton learned earlier in the week that Notre Dame wanted to see his senior film. By Thursday he learned the Irish extended him a scholarship offer.

The senior safety at Waco (Texas) Midway spoke with defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks on Thursday and now has another option to consider.

“It definitely is a big offer,” Haughton said. “They're a very successful program with great academics and a lot of tradition. It's one of those big schools that you have to take notice of."

As seen by a number of offers extended during its bye week, Notre Dame’s coaching staff looks to be targeting another safety to add to its 2015 recruiting class. Four safeties — Hunter Dale, Frank Buncom IV, Tyree Kinnel and Haughton — reported offers from the Irish this week.

Cooks was likely impressed by the numbers put up so far this season by the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder. They include 28 tackles, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. The three-star prospect has emerged as a top target for a number Big 12 and Big Ten schools. Rivals ranks him as the No. 26 safety in the 2015 class. 247Sports slates him No. 65 at the position.

Watch highlights of Haughton here.

“My best asset is probably being able to cover,” Haughton said. “I can cover up the slot, play deep and all the different kinds of coverages. And at the same time, I can be a physical player and lay the wood."

Haughton remains in the midst of an official visit spree during his senior season. He visited Oklahoma last weeked and will visit Nebraska on Saturday. He has plans to visit Arkansas on Oct. 11 and Texas Tech on Nov. 1. With the latest offer, Notre Dame could land a visit as well.

“If there's a possibility that I can, then I definitely will try to,” Haughton said.

Notre Dame’s next big recruiting weekend will come on Oct. 4 for the Stanford game. It’s a date that doesn’t conflict with Haughton’s other scheduled visits. Whether he makes it to town that weekend, Haughton will start giving the Irish more of his time. He doesn’t plan on making a commitment until after making all of his visits.

“I know they've had a lot of successful seasons. I haven't paid a lot of attention to them,” Haughton said. “They've always had a tradition of winning."

New 2015 offers

The bye week offered Notre Dame’s coaching staff an opportunity to regroup and identify remaining needs in the 2015 class. Safety topped the list with another pair of prospects joining Haughton and Dale.

• DB Frank Buncom IV, 6-1, 190; San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine: The four-star prospect received a visit from Irish outside linebackers coach Bob Elliott on Thursday and received an offer. As a result, Buncom has started to make plans to use an official visit to Notre Dame for the Stanford game. The Cardinal may be the toughest competition for the Irish in Buncom’s recruitment.

While the Irish have him pegged as a safety, 247Sports slates Buncom as the No. 11 cornerback in the class and No. 114 regardless of position. Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 cornerback and No. 121 overall. In July, Buncom listed UCLA, Duke, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt and Stanford as his top five schools.

Watch highlights of Buncom here.

• DB Tyree Kinnel, 5-11, 183; Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne: The Michigan commit reportedly received an offer from the Irish on Thursday. Despite Notre Dame’s recent 31-0 drubbing of the Wolverines, the four-star prospect told’s Dave Berk that he was honored by the offer but is sticking to his commitment to Michigan.

Rivals ranks Kinnel as the No. 11 safety in the class and No. 195 regardless of position. 247Sports slates him No. 15 at the position.

Watch highlights of Kinnel here.

Notre Dame also added another running back to its target list on Friday.

• RB Kendall Bussey, 5-8, 198; New Orleans Isidore Newman: The Nebraska commit spoke highly of his Irish offer on Friday when he tweeted, “Blessed to receive an offer from one of the most prestigious universities in the country, the University of Notre Dame #GoIrish.”

Bussey, who has been committed to Nebraska since February, accounted for 342 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a win over Riverdale on Sept. 12. Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect and the No. 3 all-purpose back in the 2015 class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star prospect and the No. 63 athlete.

Watch Bussey's highlights from the Riverdale game here.

Tyler James: 574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Assistant coach Kerry Cooks and Notre Dame extended offers to several safety recruits this week, including Kahlil Haughton of Waco, Texas. (SBT File Photo)