Notebook: Will in-state wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer land at Notre Dame?
If Notre Dame is going to add several commitments to its football recruiting class in the finals weeks of the 2017 recruiting cycle, the Irish will likely have to rely on some thievery.
The coaching staff extended a slew of scholarship offers in the last week and many went to recruits already committed to other schools.
Notre Dame’s best chance at flipping one of the new recruiting targets may have surfaced Sunday when in-state wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer reported an offer from the Irish.
The 6-foot, 170-pound senior at Fort Wayne Snider has been committed to Penn State since August, but he’s no stranger to South Bend. Hippenhammer returned to Notre Dame’s campus on Monday for his first trip to campus as a coveted target.
Hippenhammer, a three-star recruit, previously visited Notre Dame several times as a prospect without an Irish offer. His most recent trip came in September for Notre Dame’s game against Michigan State. He also attended the Irish Invasion in June and at least two games in the 2015 season.
Signs of Hippenhammer’s appreciation for Notre Dame have started to seep into his social media accounts. He hasn’t tweeted since announcing the Notre Dame scholarship offer. The rest has come on his Instagram account. On Sunday, he posted an edited image of him in front of a wide view of Notre Dame Stadium. The post was captioned with “Reality is wrong…Dreams are For real #LordKnows.”
On Monday, Hippenhammer posted an image of him posing in a Notre Dame jersey while spreading an Indiana state flag behind him during a photoshoot on campus. With only two weeks until signing day, Hippenhammer won’t have long to decide if he wants to stay close to home.
As a senior, Hippenhammer scored 18 touchdowns for the 12-1 Panthers. He caught 46 passes for 611 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed 46 times for 350 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned three kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns.
Rivals ranks Hippenhammer, whose offer list also includes Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota, as the No. 59 wide receiver in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him No. 69 at the position.
New homes for old commits
Last week brought news of cornerbacks Paulson Adebo and Elijah Hicks exiting the Notre Dame recruiting class. This week, both appear to have found their new homes.
Adebo, according to a report from Mike Roach of HornSports.com, gave his commitment to Stanford following a weekend visit. Adebo hasn’t commented publicly about the report, but he did update his Twitter bio to include “Stanford University ’21.”
Rivals ranks the product of Mansfield (Texas) High as the No. 30 cornerback in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him No. 27 at the position. Both rate him as a four-star recruit.
Hicks has reportedly enrolled at California and appears to be listed in the online student directory. Greg Biggins of Scout first indicated Hicks was headed to Cal after he and the Irish parted ways. Hicks made a previously unreported visit to Cal while committed to Notre Dame.
Rivals ranks Hicks, a graduate of La Mirada (Calif.) High, as a four-star recruit and the No. 19 athlete in the class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 50 cornerback.
Pinnock to Pitt
Another potential cornerback candidate is off the board for Notre Dame.
A 6-foot, 180-pound corner from Windsor, Conn., Jason Pinnock was slated to take a visit to South Bend later this month and potentially earn a scholarship offer from Notre Dame.
Instead, the former Boston College commit gave his pledge to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
"I will be canceling all future visits I have scheduled to other universities," Pinnock tweeted on Tuesday. "I would like to thank all of the schools that have recruited me through this entire process, but I felt at HOME last weekend with my brothers ... With that being said I will be furthering my academic & athletic career for the next 4-5 years at the University of Pittsburgh!"
Pinnock is ranked as a three-star recruit by both Rivals and 247Sports.
Notre Dame currently has just one defensive back in its 2017 class, early enrollee safety Isaiah Robertson.