Notre Dame set to host pair of talented California recruits

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame’s next big recruiting event won’t come until the season starts, but that hasn’t stopped the Irish coaching staff from trying to get more recruits on campus this summer.

The end of July typically brings few visitors to campus, but the Irish will host a pair of talented recruits from California this week: five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes and four-star running back T.J. Pledger. The duo will visit Notre Dame on Thursday before heading to Ohio State for the weekend.

The Irish haven’t been considered a major player for Holmes, who released a top list of schools that didn’t include Notre Dame back in February. But getting the 5-foot-10, 195-pound product from Calabasas High School will be the first step in trying to turn around his Irish recruitment.

“He'd be a major catch,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He's a super player. He's a five-star ball player.”

Alabama, Nebraska, UCLA, Washington, Ohio State, Stanford and Arizona made Holmes’ top list earlier in the year. He continued his ascent as one of the top players in the country last year after transferring from Newbury Park to play for head coach Casey Clausen, the older brother of former Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen, at Calabasas.

Holmes caught 55 passes for 886 yards and 10 touchdowns last season in addition to recording 31 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. 247Sports slates Holmes as the No. 1 cornerback in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him third at the position.

Pledger, who will be a junior this fall at West Hills Chaminade, has yet to receive a Notre Dame offer. But the Irish could join a list that already includes USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia and Oklahoma. Pledger rushed for 1,331 yards and 26 touchdowns on 191 carries last season.

247Sports pegs the 5-9, 185-pound recruit as the No. 12 running back in the 2018 class.

Below are highlights of Holmes and Pledger via Hudl.

CB DARNAY HOLMES

RB T.J. PLEDGER

Five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes (left) is expected to visit Notre Dame on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)