Notre Dame football takes advantage of small recruiting visit window to end July

Tyler James
ND Insider
Four-star defensive end Derrick LeBlanc, a 2023 recruit from Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola, competed in the Miami Under Armour All-America Camp on March 2, 2021.

The window for July recruiting visits is small for college football, but Notre Dame refused to let it go to waste. 

The NCAA recruiting calendar shifted into a dead period, which prohibits official and unofficial campus visits, from June 28 through July 24. And it will revert back to a dead period on Aug. 1. 

The seven-day window that started Sunday presented opportunities for the Irish. That’s why they’ll host several recruits this week highlighted by an on-campus event Tuesday designed to attract some of Notre Dame’s top targets in the 2023 class. 

The week won’t be limited to rising juniors. Recently offered 2022 defensive lineman Hero Kanu is also expected on campus Wednesday. 

The 6-foot-5, 293-pound recruit received a Notre Dame offer on July 10. Kanu, a four-star prospect, played his junior season this spring at Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic, but he’s an import from Germany that’s drawn national attention. 

Before Notre Dame offered Kanu, he already identified a top nine from his offer list: Alabama, Clemson, Washington, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, USC and Ohio State. Rivals ranks Kanu as the No. 8 defensive tackle and No. 80 overall in the 2022 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 11 defensive lineman and No. 85 overall. 

Kanu has worked with Brandon Collier of PPI Recruits, a program that works to get international football recruits on the radar in the U.S. Collier, who will bring a larger group of international prospects to Notre Dame this week, also helped Notre Dame sophomore defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger as a prospect out of Germany.  

The Irish will also learn their fate with 2023 tight end target Mac Markway on Tuesday. The four-star recruit will announce his commitment decision from St. Louis DeSmet at 4:30 p.m. CDT. Markway previously named Iowa, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Missouri, Ohio State and Alabama as his top seven schools. 

But even if Markway doesn’t pick Notre Dame, Tuesday will be a big day for the Irish to build momentum in a 2023 class that started with two four-star defensive end commitments in Keon Keeley and Brenan Vernon. 

The following recruits with Notre Dame offers are expected to on campus this week. Most visits will occur on Tuesday. Because the trips are unofficial visits, meaning the recruits must find a way to campus without financial aid from Notre Dame, they may be canceled on short notice. 

2023 LB Drayk Bowen

6-2, 215; Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean 

Rivals: Four stars, No. 1 OLB, No. 16 overall.  

247Sports: Four stars, No. 2 LB, No. 54 overall. 

Of note: Bowen, who also wants to play baseball in college, made a visit to Notre Dame on June 1, the first day the NCAA allowed visits following the COVID-induced dead period. 

2023 WR Raymond Cottrell

6-2, 195; Milton (Fla.) High 

Rivals: Four stars, No. 15 WR, No. 87 overall  

247Sports: Four stars, No. 13 WR, No. 89 overall 

Of note: Cottrell’s offer list includes the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Georgia. 

2023 WR Rodney Gallagher

6-0, 170; Uniontown (Pa.) Laurel Highlands 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 5 ATH, No. 33 overall  

Rivals: Four stars, No. 12 WR, No. 59 overall 

Of note: Gallagher’s offer list includes the likes of Penn State, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech 

2023 DL Kendrick Gilbert

6-5, 260; Indianapolis Cathedral 

247Sports: Three stars, No. 72 DL 

Rivals: Unranked. 

Of note: Gilbert, the younger brother of Notre Dame women’s basketball player Katlyn Gilbert, received an offer from the Irish following his camp performance in June. 

Kendrick Gilbert, a defensive end on the Cathedral football team, learns defensive moves Wednesday, July 14, 2021 during practice at Cathedral High School. Coming off one of its best seasons, winning Class 5A championship, the team hopes to repeat the success this upcoming season.

2023 CB Christian Gray

6-0, 175; St. Louis DeSmet 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 21 CB, No. 206 overall 

Rivals: Four stars, not one of 11 CBs in Top 100. 

Of note: Gray, who received a Notre Dame offer following a June 6 camp, also has offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Iowa, and Iowa State. 

2023 WR Mikal Harrison-Pilot

6-1, 185; Temple (Texas) High 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 18 ATH, No. 176 overall 

Rivals: Four stars, not one of 16 WRs in Top 100. 

Of note: Harrison-Pilot's week includes visits to SMU, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas and Houston. 

2023 DE Derrick LeBlanc

6-5, 240; Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola 

Rivals: Four stars, No. 10 SDE, No. 38 overall 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 16 DL, No. 82 overall 

Of note: LeBlanc, whose offer list includes Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, USC and Texas A&M, will be on campus parts of Monday and Tuesday. 

2023 S King Mack

5-11, 180; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas 

247Sports: Three stars, No. 33 S. 

Rivals: Unranked. 

Of note: Mack, who attends the alma mater of Notre Dame linebacker Drew White, has received offers from the likes of Florida, Miami, Penn State, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. 

2023 QB Dante Moore

6-1, 180; Detroit Martin Luther King 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 3 QB, No. 9 overall 

Rivals: Four stars, No. 3 Pro QB, No. 30 overall 

Of note: Moore became one of the first two 2023 quarterbacks offered by Notre Dame alongside Arch Manning on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this year. Moore previously visited the Irish in June. 

2023 CB Malik Muhammad

6-0, 170; Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 

247Sports: Four stars, No. 5 CB, No. 41 overall. 

Rivals: Four stars, not one of 11 CBs in Top 100. 

Of note: Muhammad, whose offer list includes the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida, Ohio State and Oklahoma, attends the same school that sent senior safety Houston Griffith to Notre Dame. 

2023 S Adon Shuler

6-1, 190; Irvington (N.J.) High 

Of note: Shuler, who has not been ranked by Rivals or 247Sports, sports an offer list that includes the likes of Penn State, Florida, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Cincinnati. 

2023 ATH Micah Tease

5-11, 171; Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington 

247Sports: Three stars, No. 41 WR. 

Rivals: Unranked. 

Of note: Notre Dame became just the second school to offer Tease after he camped with the Irish in June. He’s since added offers from Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Iowa State and more. 

2023 LB Preston Zinter

6-3, 215; Lawrence (Mass.) Central Catholic 

Of note: Zinter, who also plays tight end, has been targeted as a linebacker by the Irish. He previously visited Notre Dame in June. Despite own an offer list that includes LSU, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio State, and USC, Zinter has not yet received a star rating from Rivals or 247Sports. 

2024 ATH Ryan Pellum

5-10, 160; Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan 

Of note: Pellum, who received a Notre Dame offer in June, visited the Irish on Monday. He also has offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, LSU and Miami. Rivals and 247Sports have not yet ranked recruits in the 2024 class. 

2024 LB Anthony Speca

6-3, 217; Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic 

Of note: Speca became the first Notre Dame offer in the 2024 class back in April. He visited the Irish in June and will return to campus alongside Notre Dame defensive tackle commit Donovan Hinish, a 2022 recruit. 

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.