Notre Dame staff enjoying busy week in California

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

After Saturday’s loss to USC, Notre Dame didn’t pack up and leave California.

The ND coaching staff has stayed busy in the Golden State visiting schools, connecting with 2015 recruits and extending new offers to younger prospects. At least seven Notre Dame coaches have been reported by prospects for making stops at their schools.

Most of the work came earlier in the week with an in-home visit for wide receiver commit C.J. Sanders with head coach Brian Kelly and tight ends coach Scott Booker topping the list. It was the nightcap of an action-filled Monday that included stops to see four-star cornerback Ykili Ross, four-star wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, four-star safety Frank Buncom IV and three-star safety Nate Meadors.

Those four 2015 Irish recruiting targets reported visits from defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder (Ross, Buncom and Meadors), defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks (Ross and Meadors), outside linebackers coach Bob Elliott (Buncom and Meadors) and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock (St. Brown).

The Irish staff also spent plenty of time visiting with coaches at a number of high schools in southern California. Quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur, for instance, visited Junipero Serra High in Gardena. At least six recruits have reported new offers from the Irish since the start of the week. Here’s a rundown of the talented players claiming interest from Notre Dame:

ATH Brandon Burton, 6-1, 187; Gardena Junipero Serra: The 2016 recruit reported an Irish offer Monday. Burton, a four-star prospect, holds offers from 11 schools including USC, UCLA, Florida State and Stanford. He spent most of his junior season playing safety for Serra. He recorded 39 tackles, two tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups. Burton also caught four passes for 129 yards on offense.

Rivals ranks Burton as the No. 7 safety in the class and No. 82 regardless of position. 247Sports slates him as the No. 26 wide receiver and No. 125 overall.

DE Oluwole Betiku, 6-4, 240; Gardena Junipero Serra: Just one season of football has started producing scholarship offers for Betiku. The 2016 recruit who hails from Nigeria moved to California with his legal guardian, former Penn State linebacker Lavar Arrington, before his junior year. Now Betiku has more scholarship offers (13) than high school games he’s played (11). Penn State and Notre Dame joined this week a list that also includes Florida State, Oklahoma and UCLA.

Betiku tallied 59 tackles, 24 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks in his junior season. Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect and the No. 19 strongside defensive end in the class. 247Sports has yet to rate Betiku.

DE Breland Brandt, 6-4, 220; Los Angeles Windward: The UCLA commit reported a Notre Dame offer Monday. The 2016 recruit, who holds 11 offers, has been committed to the Bruins since October. His offer list also includes Alabama, Arizona State, Miami and USC.

Rivals rates Brandt as a five-star prospect, the No. 2 weakside defensive end and No. 16 regardless of position in the class. 247Sports him as a four-star recruit, No. 2 at the position and No. 44 overall.

WR Dylan Crawford, 6-1, 170; La Canada Flintridge St. Francis: The four-star prospect reported an Irish offer Tuesday. The 2016 recruit holds more than a dozen offers including Arizona State, Michigan, UCLA and UCLA. Crawford caught 44 passes for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. He also rushed four times for 114 yards and one touchdown.

247Sports slates Crawford as the No. 6 wide receiver and No. 60 player regardless of position in the class. Rivals slates him as the No. 9 wide receiver and No. 59 overall.

WR Tyler Vaughns, 6-1, 170; La Puente Bishop Amat: The 2016 prospect reported a Notre Dame offer Tuesday. Vaughns, a four-star recruit, already holds offers from USC, UCLA and Washington, among others, as well. As a junior, Vaughns hauled in 74 receptions for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also recorded 23 tackles and four interceptions on defense.

Rivals ranks Vaughns as the No. 11 wide receiver and No. 69 regardless of position in the class. 247Sports slates him as No. 16 at the position and No. 89 overall.

ATH Darnay Holmes, 5-11, 180; Thousand Oaks Newbury Park: The 2017 recruit reported an Irish offer Wednesday. Holmes, only a sophomore, has a jump start on recruiting with more than 15 offers including Clemson, Ohio State, UCLA and USC. His older brother, Darick, holds a commitment to Arizona in the 2015 class.

Holmes caught 87 passes for 1,349 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. He also rushed 11 times for 132 yards and one touchdown. As a defensive back, Holmes totaled 48 tackles, three tackles for a loss and 15 pass breakups. 247Sports slates Holmes as four-star recruit, the No. 5 athlete prospect and No. 31 overall in his class.


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Wide receiver recruit Equanimeous St. Brown would be a big receiver Notre Dame would love to add to its WR haul. (Photo provided/Student Sports)