Notebook: Notre Dame football busy with 2019 offers to start the year

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame’s junior day recruiting event provided an added bonus for a pair of visitors on Saturday.

The Irish extended scholarship offers to running back Sampson James and linebacker Keith Maguire.

Saturday’s visit to Notre Dame wasn’t the first for James. The junior from Avon, Ind., attended Notre Dame’s 2017 season opener against Temple. He also took part in the Irish Invasion camp last June.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound James has become a popular commodity and one of the top recruits in the state following a junior season that included 243 carries for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns, 16 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns and seven two-point conversions. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue and Indiana have already claimed spots on his offer list.

Rivals rates James as a four-star recruit and the No. 7 running back in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 22 running back.

Maguire was making his first trip to Notre Dame. That didn’t prevent the Irish from making a move with an offer. Maguire, who plays both linebacker and wide receiver at Malvern (Pa.) Prep, has started to field a number of offers. Since October, Maguire reported offers from Duke, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, West Virginia, Baylor, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Kent State, UConn and Boston College.

Rivals ranks the 6-2, 215-pounder as a three-star recruit and the No. 12 inside linebacker in the class. 247Sports has yet to give Maguire a rating.

January has been a busy month for Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts in the 2019 class. Twenty-five 2019 recruits have reported Irish offers since the start of the year. During that timeframe, the Irish surpassed 100 reported offers in the 2019 class. More than 180 recruits have reported offers in the 2018 class.

Williams to A&M

Notre Dame had always been on the short list of favorites for 2019 safety Brian Williams.

Texas A&M hadn’t. But that changed recently with head coach Jimbo Fisher taking over the program and former Irish defensive coordinator Mike Elko joining him.

Now Williams has verbally committed to the Aggies. The four-star recruit did so on Sunday following a weekend campus visit.

247Sports slates Williams, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound product of Dallas Bishop Dunne, as the No. 1 safety and No. 12 overall in the 2019 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 3 safety.

ND out for Irvin

Any momentum for Notre Dame in the recruitment of 2018 defensive back Julius Irvin has officially evaporated. The four-star recruit will announce his commitment on Wednesday, and the Irish aren’t one of the finalists.

Irvin, a 6-foot-2, 181-pound senior at Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, will commit to either Alabama, Washington or USC.

The Irish appeared to be a good shape with Irvin in December, but he cancelled plans to end his recruitment during the early signing period citing a family emergency. After Elko left the program, Notre Dame wasn’t able to find much traction with Irvin.

Rivals ranks Irvin as the No. 9 safety in the 2018 class. 247Sports slates him 14th at the position.

Palmer out of picture

Cornerback Taiyon Palmer saw a flurry of offers come his way this month, but he’s already narrowed his focus to three schools. The 5-11, 177-pound senior at Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer recently announced he will make his commitment to either N.C. State, Tennessee or Nebraska on National Signing Day (Feb. 7).

Notre Dame, joined by the likes of Alabama and Clemson, was among Palmer’s long list of late offers. But the Irish were unable to secure a visit from Palmer. Instead, Notre Dame has focused its late push on three-star cornerback DJ Brown, who arrived on Sunday for an official visit.

Palmer made official visits to Tennessee and N.C. State the previous two weekends. 247Sports slates Palmer as a four-star recruit and the No. 19 cornerback in the 2018 class. Rivals rates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 54 cornerback.


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly with the team before the Notre Dame at Michigan State NCAA football game Saturday, 23, 2017 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA