See who Notre Dame's coaching staff visited, offered in first week of new contact period

ND Insider

Notre Dame’s football coaching staff took to the recruiting trail this week.

With the new contact period, Irish coaches visited a bevy of commits, targets and prospects and offered scholarships to seven recruits. The contact period began Sunday and lasts until Feb. 2, 2019 — with exceptions on certain days.

Each 2019 recruit can now have face-to-face off-campus conversations with coaches. They are permitted six in-person, off-campus contacts but not more than one on any partial or full calendar week. Coaches can go to the schools of 2020 and 2021 recruits but cannot have face-to-face conversations with them.

From Sept. 1 until last Saturday, Division I coaches were bound by the quiet period. Face-to-face conversations — but not conversations over the phone — were prohibited. Recruiters were granted evaluation periods, which translated to one school visit on one calendar day per student-athlete. Face-to-face conversation, however, remained prohibited.

Head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Chip Long, defensive coordinator Clark Lea, offensive line coach Jeff Quinn, wide receiver coach DelVaughn Alexander, quarterback coach Tommy Rees, running back coach Autry Denson, defensive back coaches Terry Joseph and Todd Lyght, defensive line coach Mike Elston and special teams coach Brian Polian were on the recruiting trail this week.

ND Insider confirmed the visits below. Coaches only visited the schools of the 2020 and 2021 recruits listed and did not have prolonged face-to-face conversations with them.



CB Clark Phillips III, La Habra (Calif.) High — Lyght

247Sports: Four stars, No. 4 CB, No. 59 overall | Rivals: Four stars, No. 7 CB, No. 70 overall

S Lathan Ransom, Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic — Joseph

247Sports: Three stars, No. 15 S, No. 295 overall | Rivals: Three stars, No. 18 S.


LB Sav'ell Smalls, Seattle Garfield — Lyght

247Sports: Five stars, No. 1 OLB, No. 2 overall | Rivals: Five stars, No. 1 WDE, No. 5 overall

S Darius Snow, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron — Joseph

247Sports: Four stars, No. 4 S, No. 109 overall | Rivals: Four stars, No. 6 S, No. 120 overall

Wednesday: DE Rylie Mills, Lake Forest (Ill.) High — Rees

247Sports: Four stars, No. 8 SDE, No. 145 overall | Rivals: Four stars, No. 10 SDE, No. 152 overall


OL Kevin Pyne, Millis (Mass.) Milford — Quinn

Rivals: Four stars, No. 3 OT, No. 21 overall | 247Sports: Three stars, No. 33 OT, No. 282 overall

OL Andrew Raym, Broken Arrow (Okla.) High — Lyght

247Sports: Four stars, No. 3 OG, No. 28 overall | Rivals: Four stars, No. 13 OG, No. 115 overall


WR Maliq Carr, Oak Park (Mich.) High — Lyght

247Sports: Three stars, No. 84 WR, No. 442 overall | Rivals: Four stars

ATH Enzo Jennings, Oak Park (Mich.) High — Lyght

Rivals: Four stars, No. 4 CB, No. 53 overall | 247Sports: Four stars, No. 5 ATH, No. 83 overall

DE Braiden McGregor, Port Huron (Mich.) Northern — Elston

247Sports: Three stars, No. 14 SDE, No. 278 overall | Rivals: Three stars, No. 24 OLB



QB Preston Stone, Dallas Parish Episcopal — Denson

247Sports: Four stars, No. 1 DUAL, No. 6 overall

QB Tyler Buchner, La Jolla (Calif.) The Bishop’s School — Long

247Sports: Four stars, No. 2 PRO, No. 49 overall


OL Garrett Dellinger, Clarkston (Mich.) High — Lyght

247Sports: Four stars, No. 1 OT, No. 2 overall

OL Rocco Spindler, Clarkston (Mich.) High — Lyght

247Sports: Four stars, No. 2 DT, No. 10 overall



2020 OT Tosh Baker, Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle — Quinn

247Sports: Three stars, No. 66 OT, No. 616 overall

2021 QB J.J. McCarthy, La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy — Rees

Thursday: 2021 QB Drake Maye, Cornelius (N.C.) Myers Park — Rees

More: The early signing period has allowed the Irish to work ahead. They had 17 2019 players committed before the 2018 season, which has since only elevated to 21 verbal pledges. Since the Oct. 13 Pittsburgh game, a majority of ND’s visitors have been beyond the 2019 class.

• Phillips, Ransom and Smalls are the only aforementioned targets who have not visited ND. Raym planned on attending two games this season but backed out last minute.

• Kevin Pyne, cousin of 2020 quarterback commit Drew Pyne, visited with Drew in April. Kevin’s 247Sports rating plummeted in October, but ND’s staff has remained strong in their interest in him. Rees visited him on Thursday, Oct. 18, during the bye week. On the same day, Lyght visited Braiden McGregor, who has come to ND numerous times, including the Nov. 10 Florida State game.

• High school teammates Enzo Jennings and Maliq Carr visited for the Nov. 10 FSU game and each left with offers. Snow visited over the summer, while Mills attended the Sept. 1 Michigan game.

• Pickerington (Ohio) North’s Jack Sawyer, 247Sports’ No. 1 strong-side defensive end, told ND Insider that he has been invited and plans to attend ND’s Dec. 15 bowl practice.

• J.J. McCarthy is not rated on 247Sports or Rivals, however his recruitment continues to gain steam. He’s the only quarterback Wisconsin has offered in its 2021 class. Illinois, Michigan and Purdue also offered him this week.

McCarthy messaged ND Insider on Sept. 26: “If ND told me that they wanted me there to talk to me about an offer, I would start sprinting there right now …It’s a dream offer.” The Irish have offered two 2021 quarterbacks — Buchner and Dallas Parish Episcopal’s Preston Stone.



CB Isaiah Rutherford, Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit — Kelly, Lea

Great seeing the Irish family ??

— Isaiah Rutherford (@zay_rutherford) November 26, 2018

DT Jacob Lacey, Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren — Elston

We love Our Future DLine coach!!! @CoachMikeElston. Blessed to have him visit our home! We ate good , Laughed and received great information!! It’s getting real!!

— David Lacey (@revmackd10) November 27, 2018


DE NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Fort Worth (Texas) Nolan Catholic — Kelly, Elston

Blessing to have Coach Kelly and Coach Elston stop by the house today. Excited to be apart of the Irish Family!!!??????

— NaNa Osafo-Mensah (@NaNaOsafo2) November 28, 2018

DT Hunter Spears, Sachse (Texas) High — Kelly, Elston

Great having Coach Kelly and Coach Elston stop by today. Can’t wait for what the future has to hold. Go Irish

— Hunter Spears (@Thehunterspears) November 28, 2018

LB Marist Liufau, Honolulu Punahou — Lea


QB Brendon Clark, Midlothian (Va.) Manchester — Rees

S Litchfield Ajavon, Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal — Joseph


DE Howard Cross III, Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional — Elston, Kelly

CB K.J. Wallace, Atlanta Lovett — Joseph

LB JD Bertrand, Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catholic — Joseph

LB Osita Ekwonu, Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day — Rees

WR Kendall Abdur-Rahman, Edwardsville (Ill.) High — Alexander

RB Kyren Williams, Kirkwood (Mo.) St. John Vianney — Alexander, Long


OL Quinn Carroll, Edina (Minn.) High — Quinn

OL Zeke Correll, Cincinnati Anderson — Long

S Kyle Hamilton, Atlanta Marist — Joseph

WR Cam Hart, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel — Alexander


Thursday: TE Kevin Bauman, Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic — Kelly, Quinn, Elston


TE Michael Mayer, Park Hills (Ky.) Covington Catholic — Long

QB Drew Pyne, New Canaan (Conn.) High — Rees

More: The Irish coaching staff checked up with a majority of their 24 commits this week. Lea made the trek to Honolulu to visit the freshly committed Marist Liufau, who could be a pivotal piece to revamping ND’s Hawaiian pipeline.

• Polian, who reportedly had a second interview on Monday for Bowling Green’s now-filled head coach vacancy, plans to visit Jay Bramblett on Friday night. Travel issues might push back Polian’s Alabama visit to next week, though.

• 2019 commits Andrew Kristofic and Osita Ekwonu, as well as walk-on kicker Harrison Leonard, told ND Insider that the Irish staff intends to visit them next week.

• Joseph plans on attending Kyle Hamilton’s GHSA-AAAA semifinal game against Cartersville on Friday night.

Offer spree: ND extended scholarship offers to seven recruits this week. They are listed below, and some were visited by the Irish coaching staff.

WR John Humphreys, 6-5, 205; Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona Del Mar: Alexander and Quinn visited Humphreys’ high school on Tuesday before offering him. To read more on him, click here.

DE Alexander Ehrensberger, 6-7, 238; Germany: Ehrensberger unofficially visited ND on Nov. 20, 2018. To read more on him, click here.

DE Myles Murphy, 6-4, 250; High Point (N.C.) Southwest Guilford: To read more on him, click here.

DE Chantz Williams, 6-4, 212; Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf: To read more on him, click here.

2021 prospects who received offers offers

DE George Rooks, 6-4, 250; Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep: Kelly visited Rooks’ high school this week before offering him. To read more on him, click here.

WR Cristian Dixon, 6-2, 180; Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch: ND coaches visited Dixon’s high school this week before offering him. To read more on him, click here.

WR Beaux Collins, 6-3, 190; Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco: To read more on him, click here.

*This is not a complete list.