Notre Dame football cancels summer camps

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame football’s summer camp series has been canceled for this year, the program announced Monday.

The eight scheduled camps became the latest of the football program’s events to be wiped out in response to the coronavirus pandemic and another sign that the impact will be felt beyond this spring. How the rest of the summer shakes out will become clearer by May 15 when the university rules if on-campus summer courses can resume in July.

Notre Dame’s football camp series includes a number of camps for recruited athletes and high school programs, a youth camp and a fantasy camp. The Notre Dame Summer Sports Camps will soon begin processing base tuition refunds for the football camps in a process that could take up to three weeks, a release from the football program said. Questions can be directed to ndcamps@nd.edu.

The loss of its summer camps is another blow to Notre Dame’s football recruiting efforts. In previous years, the camp circuit has given the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate and teach prospects in person. It has also been a time earmarked to get top targets on campus.

In Notre Dame’s 2020 recruiting class of 17 scholarship players, four of them attended a Notre Dame camp: tight end Michael Mayer, quarterback Drew Pyne, offensive lineman Michael Carmody and wide receiver Jay Brunelle. Brunelle received a scholarship offer following his performance at last year’s Irish Invasion.

Notre Dame’s scheduled camps designed for top prospects this year included Sunday Night Football (May 31), Irish Invasion (June 6), QB Academy (June 6) and Lineman Challenge (June 13). In its first iteration last year, Notre Dame’s Sunday Night Football camp included 191 recruits.

The Irish Invasion became a staple of Notre Dame’s camp series in 2014. It was held every year except for 2018 and its past participants include Jerry Tillery, Chase Claypool, Robert Hainsey, Jalen Elliott, Daelin Hayes and Shaun Crawford. Current 2021 tight end commit Cane Berrong competed in last year’s Irish Invasion.

When the NCAA instituted a dead period through May 31, it completely wiped out the spring evaluation period. That meant senior seasons were going to become more important for recruits trying to impress coaches. Now with summer camps being eliminated, the fall will become even busier.

“We could see a second wave of prospects being offered in the Power Five in the first month of their senior year,” “ Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Brian Polian told the Tribune last week. “And frankly, that’s what it was like 10 years ago. I think senior film is going to become a little more important in this cycle.”

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly won’t be able to evaluate recruits at on-campus summer camps like he did at last year’s Irish Invasion. The football program announced Monday it has canceled all its summer camps this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.