Slew of California talent to visit Notre Dame on Monday

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The unofficial visit has never meant more than it does now in the college football recruiting world.

With the process starting earlier in high school and official visits — paid for by colleges — reserved only for seniors, football programs are forced to host more players as juniors, sophomores and even freshmen. An unofficial visit includes no financial help from the NCAA institution.

At a program like Notre Dame, which recruits nationally from a state light on top talent, the coaching staffs are required to take advantage of any opportunities to have prospects spend time on campus. And nothing helps sell Notre Dame more than a visit to the university.

The Irish have pushed for more recruits to travel to Notre Dame since assistant coach Mike Elston took over the recruiting coordinator role last year. The results are already showing in the 2017 class. Nearly 60 recruits who claim Irish offers in the 2017 class have already spent time on campus. That has led to Notre Dame landing 10 verbal commitments and a class ranked No. 4 in the country according to Rivals and 247Sports.

The parade of visitors will continue Monday. B2G Sports, a training group from California, will bring more than 40 recruits to South Bend. The group participated in the IMG 7V7 Midwest Regional in Rockford, Ill., on Saturday and Sunday and made sure to schedule a quick trip to Notre Dame before returning home. B2G Sports also visited Michigan on Friday.

The same training group visited Notre Dame last April, which helped the Irish eventually sign wide receiver Javon McKinley and safety D.J. Morgan in the 2016 recruiting class. Both made their first visits to Notre Dame with B2G Sports.

This year’s B2G Sports roster includes six recruits who have already been offered by Notre Dame: wide receivers Joseph Lewis, Taariq Johnson and Jalen Hall, cornerback Marcus Johnson, athlete Greg Johnson and quarterback JT Daniels.

Lewis, Hall, Marcus Johnson and Greg Johnson also team together at Los Angeles Hawkins High School. Taariq Johnson plays at Buena Park (Calif.) High, and Daniels attends Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, the same high school as former Irish linebacker Joe Schmidt.

The 6-foot-2, 197-pound Lewis has earned the standing of one of the nation’s top wide receiver recruits. Rivals ranks him as a five-star recruit and the No. 4 wide receiver in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him as a four-star recruit and No. 7 at his position.

The U.S. Army All-American received a Notre Dame offer more than a year ago. The Irish are up against USC, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and others in his recruitment.

Hall became an Irish recruiting target when the coaching staff extended him an offer on last year’s visit. The 6-3, 182-pound Hall emerged as one of the top recruits in the 2018 class early in his high school career. He has reported more than 20 offers including USC, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and UCLA.

247Sports pegs Hall as a four-star recruit and the top receiver in the class. Rivals rates him as a five-star prospect.

Taariq Johnson, a 6-3, 205-pound junior, and Greg Johnson, a 5-11, 183-pound junior, both received Irish offers within a month of their visit to Notre Dame last year. Both have already given early verbal commitments to different schools. Greg Johnson pledged to Arizona in March, and Taariq Johnson chose California earlier this month. Both are rated four-star recruits by Rivals and 247Sports.

Marcus Johnson became the latest B2G Sports member to collect a Notre Dame offer last month. The Irish identified the 5-10, 165-pounder as an early 2018 target in the secondary. His nine scholarship offers include USC, Tennessee, Arizona and Arizona State.

247Sports slates Johnson as a four-star prospect and the No. 23 cornerback in the 2018 class.

Notre Dame amplified the hype for Daniels with an offer in January. The 6-1, 195-pound signal caller completed 174 of his 313 passes for 3,042 yards and 33 touchdowns with four interceptions in his freshman season last fall. Daniels only claimed a single offer from California before Notre Dame made him its first quarterback target in the 2019 class.

The stay on campus will be short for B2G Sports, but the Irish will have a chance to impress a slew of talented recruits. Much like it did with McKinley and Morgan last year, Notre Dame may be able to start gaining traction to bring more players from the Golden State to the Golden Dome.

VISITORS LIST

The following recruits are expected to visit Notre Dame's campus Monday with the B2G Sports training group from California.

2017 TARGETS

WR Taariq Johnson

WR Joseph Lewis

ATH Greg Johnson

2018 TARGETS

WR Jalen Hall

CB Marcus Johnson

2019 TARGET

QB JT Daniels

2017 PROSPECTS

S Chase Ault

WR Victor Bates

DB Dallas Branch

QB Kevin Brown

DB Charles Christopher

ATH David Farmer

LB Jordan Fischer

ATH EJ Ginnis

LB Blake Hehl

WR Jacob Huff

TE Jimmy Jaggers

LB Justin Johnson

DB Wayne Johnson

ATH Dylan Lemle

WR Austin Liles

S Brandon McKinney

ATH Kyle Moses

LB Michael Noble

LB Angelo Pacheco

WR Rafferty Stenwall

TE Powers Warren

ATH Antwone Williams

S Scotty Young

2018 PROSPECTS

WR Steven Ashby

DB Joseph Branch

ATH Jonathan Branch

S Aashari Crosswell

S Elyjah Doyle

LB Jack Genova

WR Nikko Hall

DB Noah Lopez

DB Shane Morton

WR Kyle Philips

WR Nikko Remigio

WR Charles Ross

LB Victor Terry

QB Brevin White

2019 PROSPECTS

ATH Horace McCoy

DB KJ Trujillo

DB Max Williams

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

Wide receiver Joseph Lewis, a five-star recruit according to Rivals, will visit Notre Dame on Monday with his B2G Sports seven-on-seven team. (Photo courtesy of Student Sport)
Wide receiver Jalen Hall, a 2018 recruit, received a Notre Dame offer when he visited campus last April. A year later, he will return Monday for another unofficial visit. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)
JT Daniels, Notre Dame's first quarterback target in the 2019 recruiting class, will visit the Irish on Monday with his B2G Sports seven-on-seven team. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)