More visitors expected at Notre Dame on Thursday

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Another day, another pair of coveted recruits visiting Notre Dame.

A day after hosting a pair of four-star prospects — defensive end Xavier Kelly and offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux — the Irish are set to receive Thursday visits from tight end Luke Farrell and safety Andrew Pryts.

Farrell is scheduled to arrive in South Bend fresh off an offer from the Irish. Tight ends coach Scott Booker extended a scholarship to Farrell on June 2, a week after stopping by Perry (Ohio) High School during the evaluation period.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound rising senior is no stranger to the Irish staff. He visited Notre Dame for last summer’s Irish Invasion camp and returned for its win over North Carolina in October.

Farrell wasted little time in scheduling a visit to South Bend. The four-star recruit will arrive after spending two days at Michigan State. Despite claiming more than a dozen offers, Farrell said Tuesday he’s focusing primarily on five schools: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Boston College and Michigan State.

In his junior season, Farrell caught 44 passes for 760 yards and seven touchdowns. Rivals ranks him as the No. 7 tight end in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him 12th at the position.

“The more I learn about Luke Farrell, the more I like him,” said 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong. “I think we have him underrated. If he lived in Cincinnati or Cleveland instead of Perry, he might be the highest-ranked tight end in the state.”

Both Rivals and 247Sports peg Farrell behind Cincinnati Moeller tight end Jake Hausmann, an Ohio State commit. But the combination of skills Farrell possesses has impressed Wiltfong.

“Luke certainly has a chance to be one of the top tight ends in this recruiting class if you project to the NFL Draft in a few years because he’s such a complete player,” Wiltfong said. “He can block, he can run, he can catch the ball. You can flex him out, you can play him attached. He’s tough. He’s very smart.”

After landing highly-touted tight end Alize Jones in the last recruiting class, the Irish have offered only a few tight ends in the 2016 class. The only other tight end to show serious interest in the Irish has been Cary Angeline (No. 4 by 247Sports, No. 20 by Rivals).

Pryts, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety, could help fill a position of need in the Irish secondary. Notre Dame is in need of multiple safeties after landing just three in the past two recruiting cycles.

“He’s a tough, physical, fast safety that could be a real difference-maker especially at Notre Dame where they kind of struck out at the position last year with the top guys that they wanted,” Wiltfong said. “He’s a top of the board recruit for several schools.”

Pryts accounted for 62 tackles and three interceptions in his junior season at Hermitage (Pa.) Hickory. He also caught 47 passes for 697 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 387 yards and three touchdowns. His athleticism has drawn offers from the likes of Penn State, where his father, Ed, played linebacker, Alabama, Ohio State and Stanford, among others.

247Sports slates Pryts as a four-star prospect and the No. 10 safety in the country. Rivals rates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 43 safety.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2016 tight end recruit Luke Farrell (white helmet) tries to make a catch around 2015 Notre Dame safety signee Nicco Fertitta at last summer's Irish Invasion. Farrell will visit Notre Dame again Thursday. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)