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Recruiting: Five players to visit ND for game

Matt Gamber | Thursday, September 17, 2009

A rebound win against Michigan State would go a long way for Notre Dame, as the Irish fight to remain competitive in the recruiting battles for some of the nation’s top high school seniors.

Notre Dame will host four recruits – including one verbal commitment – on official visits this Saturday, and one of the nation’s top offensive lineman will also make an unofficial visit to campus as the Irish challenge the Spartans.

Free safety prospect David Amerson is one of three defensive players high on the Irish recruiting board that will visit Notre Dame this weekend.

“He’s extremely athletic for a free safety,” said Mike Frank, a Notre Dame recruiting analyst who runs the ESPN-affiliated website irishsportsdaily.com. “A lot of people think he’s good enough to play corner, and yet he has the size of a big safety. He’s a guy that can run and make a whole lot of plays, and he has made a lot of plays already this year.”

At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Amerson has room to bulk up, but has dominated his high school competition after only one full season of competitive football. The Greensboro, N.C., product had nine interceptions in leading his high school to a state title as a junior.

“I’ve long thought Notre Dame has a real chance to land him. His personality should fit in well with everybody that is there and all the players,” Frank said. “A commitment from him would be a big thing. I’m not going to say it’s going to happen, but I think there’s a chance it could happen.”

Monstrous defensive tackle Louis Nix has already made a verbal commitment to play for Miami next season, but the 315-pounder from Jacksonville, Fla., will make an official visit to campus Saturday with the option to potentially reconsider that verbal.

Nix spent three days at a Notre Dame camp this summer and was impressed enough with the program’s facilities to grant the Irish a coveted official visit, Frank said.

“A lot of people think if it isn’t Miami, it’ll be Notre Dame. Miami has the inside track with the verbal, but he does seem to have a keen interest in Notre Dame,” Frank said. “How he fits in with the students and the Notre Dame players will have a lot to do with whether Notre Dame is really in this race.”

Elite corner Toney Hurd is the third defensive standout who will make his official visit to Notre Dame for the Michigan State game. Hurd doesn’t plan to make his final college choice until January’s Under?Armour All-American Game, but Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and?Notre?Dame look to be the Missouri City, Texas, senior’s top three, irishillustrated.com said.

“He’s a very, very good student,” Frank said. “He’s never been to Notre Dame, so it’ll be interesting to see his reaction. I would assume the academic side of things will certainly be impressive to him.”

Wide receiver Bennett Jackson, who has already given the Irish his verbal commitment, will travel to Notre Dame from his hometown of?Hazlett, N.J.

“He’s a wide receiver they like quite a bit, someone who can run really well,”?Frank said. “He’s a faster, stretch the field type of guy.”

Matt James, one of the nation’s top offensive lineman prospects, will take an unofficial visit to campus this weekend.?The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder from Cincinnati,?Ohio, is favoring Notre?Dame, Cincinnati and Ohio?State, Frank said.

For more on Irish recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com. E-mail Mike at mikefrank18@sbcglobal.net and tell him The Observer sent you.