Notebook: Notre Dame football starts June with recruiting visitors

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Most months on the calendar are important for Notre Dame recruiting. But June tends to have an even greater importance with summer visits starting to the fill the agenda.

Notre Dame’s recruiting schedule will look a little different this June with the opportunity to host official visits for rising seniors. Camp season won’t be highlighted by the Irish Invasion, but Notre Dame will still host camps for prospects. The biggest visit weekend will start June 15 when several targets are expected on campus.

The Irish will start another big recruiting month with a trio of visitors Saturday: 2020 tight end target Kevin Bauman, 2019 wide receiver prospect Cam Hart and 2020 wide receiver DJ Graham.

Bauman, a 6-5, 226-pound product of Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic, will make the trip a little more than a week after receiving a Notre Dame offer. As a sophomore, Bauman caught 19 passes for 380 yards and five touchdowns for the same program that sent former Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame joined an offer list for Bauman that also includes Michigan, Boston College, Nebraska, Northwestern and West Virginia. 247Sports slates him as a four-star recruit and the No. 2 tight end in the 2020 class.

The Irish have missed out on multiple tight end targets in the 2019 class after signing Tommy Tremble and George Takacs at the position in December. Bauman and Michael Mayer, the No. 5 tight end according to 247Sports, have already received offers in the 2020 class.

Notre Dame’s other two visitors have yet to receive an offer from the Irish, but that could change for both by the end of their visits.

Notre Dame’s coaching staff had the chance to evaluate Hart by stopping by Olney (Md.) Good Counsel in the spring. Irish center Sam Mustipher also attended that school.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Hart has played on both sides of the ball, but his highest ceiling may be at wide receiver. He totaled 33 receptions for 540 yards and five touchdowns in addition to 31 tackles.

Rivals ranks Hart as the No. 58 athlete, a designation for recruits who can play multiple positions, in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 99 wide receiver. The three-star recruit has already received offers from Virginia Tech, Michigan State, West Virginia, Maryland, Boston College and others.

Graham, a 6-1, 175-pound product of Keller (Texas) Central, has drawn the attention of SEC programs despite not having offers from some of the powerhouse Texas programs. LSU, Georgia, Missouri, Texas Tech and Baylor are among the schools on Graham’s early offer list.

As a sophomore, the four-star recruit caught 27 passes for 556 yards and six touchdowns. He also recorded 33 tackles and three interceptions. 247Sports slates Graham as the No. 20 athlete in the 2020 class.

Kiser visit

Notre Dame’s latest in-state target made a previously unannounced visit to Notre Dame on Wednesday. Linebacker Jack Kiser, a 2019 recruit from Royal Center (Ind.) Pioneer, made the trip to South Bend less than a month after receiving an offer from the Irish. He confirmed the visit with the Tribune on Friday.

The versatile three-star recruit does a little bit of everything at Pioneer. He led the Panthers to a Class A state championship in football, and he will be throwing at the state finals in the shot put and discus Saturday in Bloomington.

As a quarterback, Kiser threw for 1,193 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 1,964 yards and 38 touchdowns in his junior season. On defense, he tallied 100 tackles, eight interceptions and 7.5 tackles for a loss.

Kiser, who had visited Notre Dame multiple times before receiving an offer, could fit in the Irish defense at rover or linebacker. 247Sports slates Kiser as the No. 37 outside linebacker in the 2019 class.

Top 4 for Sheffield

Notre Dame must have made a lasting impression on wide receiver TJ Sheffield when he visited in January.

That visit helped land the Irish in Sheffield’s top four, which he released last week on Twitter. Notre Dame was listed alongside Ohio State, Purdue and Arkansas.

The 5-10, 170-pound Sheffield received an Irish offer two weeks before his trip to campus. He caught 56 passes for 840 yards and five touchdowns in his junior season at Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence.

247Sports slates Sheffield as a four-star recruit and the No. 38 wide receiver in the 2019 class. Rivals rates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 48 wide receiver.

Top 5 for Trice

Notre Dame already has two defensive ends committed in the 2019 class, but defensive line coach Mike Elston is looking to add more talent to his group.

Bralen Trice, a 6-4, 230-pound defensive end at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, has emerged as one of the top options. He included Notre Dame in his top five on Wednesday with Washington, TCU, UCLA and Oregon also making the list.

Trice, rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, recorded 75 tackles and 14.5 sacks in his junior season. 247Sports slates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 33 weakside defensive end.

Four-star tight end Kevin Bauman, a 2020 recruit, will make an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on Saturday.