Notebook: Junior safety Litchfield Ajavon returning for second Notre Dame visit

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Youth will be emphasized during Notre Dame’s recruiting weekend.

When the Irish host Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, they will also entertain a crowd of visiting recruits mostly in the sophomore and junior classes. Many of those visitors are prospects the coaching staff will keep an eye on, but only one will come to campus with a Notre Dame scholarship offer.

Litchfield Ajavon, a junior safety from Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal, will make his second trip to Notre Dame’s campus. He made an unofficial visit to South Bend in June after receiving a scholarship offer in March.

The Irish haven’t offered many safeties in the 2019 class, but Ajavon was among the first.

“He’s a guy that they definitely would like to have,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He’s a very talented ball player. A good athlete. One of the better players in that area. When I was traveling out there, his was one of the names that kept popping up all the time. A lot of people like him.”

Those people include college football coaches. In addition to Notre Dame, Ajavon has reported offers from Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and others.

247Sports pegs Ajavon as a four-star recruit and the No. 8 athlete in the 2019 class. Rivals rates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 21 safety.

A complete visitors list can be found at the end of this story.

New offers

The Irish continued to expand their offer list this week. Four recruits from Catholic high schools reported offers from Notre Dame this week.

• DE Mase Funa, 6-3, 240; Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei: The four-star recruit claimed an Irish offer Monday night. He teams with several Irish targets at Mater Dei: wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, offensive lineman Chris Murray, linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu and athlete Bru McCoy.

Funa has starred as a pass rusher through five games of his junior season. He’s recorded 20 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception.

247Sports slates Funa as the No. 12 outside linebacker in the 2019 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 20 strongside defensive end.

USC, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma and Utah are among the other schools to have already offered Funa.

• RB Austin Jones, 5-11, 190; Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd: On Tuesday night, Notre Dame entered the race for a prolific running back with a scholarship offer. Jones, a four-star recruit, has already rushed for 417 yards and nine touchdowns on 30 carries in three games as a junior.

Last season, Jones totaled 322 carries for 1,967 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers led to offers from UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Nebraska and more.

Rivals ranks Jones as the No. 6 running back in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him No. 7.

• DE Khris Bogle, 6-4, 207; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons: The four-star pass rusher reported a Notre Dame offer Tuesday night. The Irish joined an offer list that includes the likes of Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Florida and Ohio State.

As a sophomore, Bogle tallied 36 tackles and eight sacks. Through the first three games of his junior season, he’s made 15 tackles, 5.5. tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.

Bogle attends the same school that sent sophomore running back Deon McIntosh to Notre Dame.

Rivals ranks Bogle as the No. 9 weakside defensive end in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him No. 13 at the position.

• OLB/DE Joshua Pakola, 6-3, 230; Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis: The run on edge defenders continued Tuesday night with a Notre Dame offer reported by another four-star recruit from California. The Irish joined a busy recruitment for Pakola that includes Stanford, UCLA, Georgia, Washington and Oregon.

As a sophomore, Pakola notched 57 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Rivals ranks Pakola as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 12 weakside defensive end.

Spotlight on Jurkovec

Before Notre Dame beat Michigan State last weekend, head coach Brian Kelly made a quick trip to Bethel Park, Pa., to watch his future quarterback in action.

Phil Jurkovec, a 2018 Irish commit, excelled with the extra attention on him. Kelly stuck around for only the first half, but he didn’t need to stay any longer. That’s because Jurkovec led his Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland team to 54 points in the first half.

Jurkovec completed 19 of his 23 passes for 353 yards (82.6 percent) and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 23 yards and three touchdowns.

The offensive explosion came against a Bethel Park team that had allowed only 29 points combined in its first three games of the season.

Through five games, Jurkovec has thrown for 12 touchdowns and rushed for 12 touchdowns. He has totaled 1,470 yards on 89-of-121 passing (73.6 percent) with only two interceptions. His 29 carries have resulted in 239 rushing yards.

Army Bowl presentations

Notre Dame should be well represented in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. On Wednesday, a pair of Irish commits, rover Shayne Simon and defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, were presented with jerseys as part of their selection to play in the annual all-star game in San Antonio.

On Thursday, Notre Dame tight end commit George Takacs took part in his own jersey presentation for the Army Bowl. Two more Irish commits have also been selected to play in the game: safety Derrik Allen and quarterback Phil Jurkovec. All five Notre Dame pledges have been picked to represent the East team.


The following recruits are expected to visit Notre Dame for Saturday's game against Miami (Ohio).

2019 target

S Litchfield Ajavon

2018 prospects

S Chris Cavalaris

WR Greg Mailey

2019 prospects

LB Maki Carabin

WR Adrian Compton

WR Mekel Ealy

LB Dewayne Grantham

DE Dontay Hunter II

WR Noah Jones

CB Gyasi Mattison

CB Trent McDuffie

CB Derrick Miller Jr.

OL Elijah Moscinski

TE Duke Olges

DE Reed Ryan

DB Kempton Shine

ROV Chase Triplett

WR Ethon Williams

2020 prospects

RB Kolbe Burrell

S Enzo Jennings

DE Rylie Mills

LB Dean Neeley

LB Camden Rogers

OL Justin Rogers

WR Gee Scott Jr.

DT Sefita Tupe Jr.

2021 prospects

QB Ron Powlus Jr.

QB Maddox Tavernier | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Junior safety Litchfield Ajavon will be making his second recruiting trip to Notre Dame this weekend. (Photo provided)