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irish insider

Notre Dame extends two offers leading up to major recruiting weekend in USC

| Friday, October 6, 2017

For many people, Notre Dame’s 52-17 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday did not do much to move the needle of Notre Dame’s season.

On the recruiting trail, however, the win did move the needle for several of the high school athletes the Irish (4-1) had on campus this weekend.

Irish sophomore running back Deon McIntosh slips past a defender during a 26-yard touchdown run in Notre Dame's 52-17 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish sophomore running back Deon McIntosh slips past a defender during a 26-yard touchdown run in Notre Dame’s 52-17 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday.

Although Notre Dame had fewer recruits on campus for its contest with Miami (OH) than it did in its previous home game against Georgia, it was still able to impress several of the recruits who did make the trip to South Bend this past weekend, according to Blue and Gold recruiting analyst David McKinney.

One such recruit who enjoyed his visit was Rivals 2019 three-star safety Litchfield Ajavon, who has been in contact with both linebackers coach Clark Lea and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght, McKinney said.

“I think the visit went really well,” he said. “I think Notre Dame is a place where Litchfield could see himself playing in the future. [The Irish] are definitely among his top group. … He’s visited twice now and has a good feel for what Notre Dame is, the campus and what Notre Dame has to offer.”

Notre Dame also made two scholarship offers this weekend, one to 2020 wide receiver prospect Gee Scott and another to three-star athlete Trent McDuffie, McKinney said.

“I spoke with Gee Scott — obviously a 2020 kid, so very young and early in the recruiting process. … I talked to his dad as well, and they were both really excited and really enjoyed the game,” he said. “So a very long way to go, but I would expect Notre Dame to be a school that he keeps his eye on throughout his recruiting process the next three years.

“ … [McDuffie] was really excited about the visit. He’s got a couple early offers. … He got an offer from Notre Dame, was really impressed with [Irish recruiting coordinator] Brian Polian.”

With the Miami (OH) game in the rearview mirror, Notre Dame will now turn its attention on the recruiting front to No. 14 USC, who it is scheduled to play at Notre Dame Stadium on Oct. 21 after a road game at North Carolina and a bye week. Over the next two weeks, Irish coaches will turn their attention to getting as many of its top-targets on campus as it possibly can.

“They’re still getting guys signed up to come, and then during the bye week, I imagine the coaches will hit the road recruiting and get out to schools and go see guys — whether they’re commits or targets, go see them at school and see them play their games on Friday night,” McKinney said.

While this past Saturday’s game only saw a few prospects on campus, the Irish expect their game with the Trojans (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) to potentially be their biggest recruiting weekend of the season, according to McKinney. Given the atmosphere a matchup with a historic rival such as USC that Notre Dame Stadium offers, those types of weekends resonate strongly with recruits, which is why the Irish make it a priority to get targets on campus if they can, he said.

“If there’s a situation where there was a five-star, top-100 player who wanted to come in for a game and the only game he could get to would be Miami (OH) or a lesser game like that, they certainly wouldn’t turn him away,” McKinney said. “But they want to bring guys in for these bigger games, getting them in these bigger atmospheres. If you can make it work for their schedules, you want to get them in for these big games.”

And so far, the list of targets and commits Notre Dame expects to be on campus appears to be substantial, McKinney said. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown — the Rivals’ fourth-ranked prospect overall for the class of 2018 and younger brother of current Irish junior wideout Equanimeous St. Brown — is expected to be on campus, and Notre Dame hopes to get more 2018 recruits on campus for the weekend. McKinney said the group of 2019 prospects expected to be on campus is also significant, which could make Oct. 21 an important weekend for several future Irish recruiting classes.

“There’s a good list of 2019 guys scheduled to be in town,” McKinney said. “Cade McNamara, the quarterback commit, [will be there]. And then Quinn Carroll, the four-star offensive lineman from Minnesota, and then Hunter Spears, a four-star defensive end from Texas, are both going to be in town, so it’s an impressive 2019 list.”

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About Benjamin Padanilam

As The Observer's Editor-in-Chief, Ben is a senior in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) who is pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics as well. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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