Notebook: Notre Dame offers USC commit as coaches hit recruiting trail

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame extended its first new offer of the contact period on Monday to USC wide receiver commit Velus Jones Jr.

The contact period, as mandated by the NCAA, runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 13, and allows Notre Dame’s coaching staff to make in-person, off-campus contact with senior recruits.

Irish running backs coach Autry Denson visited Jones in Saraland, Ala., on Monday and extended an offer, as reported by Jones on Twitter.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Jones has been verbally committed to USC since April but started looking around after the firing of head coach Steve Sarkisian. Oklahoma and Michigan hosted Jones on visits in November following recent offers.

Rivals rates Jones as a four-star recruit and the No. 64 wide receiver in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star prospect and No. 67 at the position.

Jones finished his regular season with 797 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, according to

Recruiting trail stops

Brian Kelly didn’t leave California following Saturday night’s loss to Stanford. The Notre Dame head coach stayed in the state to do some recruiting to start the contact period.

On Monday, Kelly and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford made an in-home visit with 2016 quarterback commit Ian Book. Kelly and the rest of the coaching staff will keep busy with visits this week and next.

A number of recruits already have reported visits from the Irish staff.

• Tight ends coach Scott Booker visited wide receiver commit Chase Claypool (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada) and defensive back target Jordan Fuller (Old Tappan, N.J.) on Sunday and Monday.

• Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore visited defensive end commit Khalid Kareem (Farmington Hills, Mich.) on Monday.

• Recruiting coordinator Mike Elston visited linebacker target Jonah Morris (Akron, Ohio) on Monday.

• Running backs coach Autry Denson visited linebacker target Ben Davis (Gordo, Ala.) on Monday.

• Associate head coach Mike Denbrock visited linebacker target Caleb Kelly (Fresno, Calif.) on Monday.

• Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght visited safety commit D.J. Morgan (Bellflower, Calif.) on Monday.


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Autry Denson, running backs coach, during Notre Dame football media day on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at Notre Dame in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN via FTP