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irish insider

Irish gain commitment from three-star receiver in Porter

| Friday, November 3, 2017

With the Irish beating their second-straight top-15 opponent by at least 20 points for the first time since 1944, No. 3 Notre Dame is sitting in a great position on the recruiting trail, according to Blue and Gold Illustrated recruiting analyst David McKinney.

“I think anytime you blow out a top-ranked team like that in front of guys, it’s obviously a good thing, and it’s going to keep momentum moving forwards,” McKinney said. “Notre Dame is obviously having a huge turnaround season, so that’s going to catch people’s eyes, and it’s going to catch recruits’ eyes. Big wins like that are only going to help you.”

Chris Collins | The Observer

Irish graduate student tight end Durham Smythe slides into the endzone for a touchdown during Notre Dame’s 35-14 win over North Carolina State on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Irish (7-1) had two recruits on official visits during their 35-14 win over No. 20 North Carolina State: four-star athlete Alontae Taylor and three-star cornerback Noah Boykin. While both players are currently committed to Tennessee and Maryland, respectively, Notre Dame has yet to add a corner recruit to its 2018 class, and McKinney said the program left a great impression on both players.

“They both gave great feedback, really liked what they saw from Notre Dame — both are still committed to the other schools, but Notre Dame should be right there for them the rest of the way,” he said. “I think Notre Dame gave both of them a lot to think about going forwards.”

McKinney also said Notre Dame is right in the mix for other secondary recruits, including four-star cornerback Kyler Gordon, who visited the Irish on Sept. 2 for the Temple game.

“I think Notre Dame is probably in the top two for Kyler Gordon — I don’t want to say they’re the leader, but I think there’s a good chance that they are,” he said. “Julius Irvin, a [defensive back] out there in California — Notre Dame is in the top two for him, so they’re on the cusp of landing some of these guys, they just have to close down the stretch and get the deal done and get the signature in February. But they are really close on a lot of these guys.”

On the offensive side, Notre Dame continues to make moves. On Wednesday, the Irish added a third wide receiver recruit to the 2018 class, as three-star speedster and California native Geordon Porter picked the Irish over several Pac-12 schools, including Arizona State and UCLA.

Besides Taylor, the Irish are also monitoring current Tennessee-commit and five-star offensive tackle Cade Mays, and they may be able to flip the Knoxville, Tennessee, native if the 3-5 Volunteers end up firing head coach Butch Jones.

“Cade Mays is going to be here for an official visit in December, I think for the awards ceremony after the [regular] season,” McKinney said. “I think Notre Dame is in the mix for both of them — right now, I would say Taylor more than Mays just because Mays hasn’t been here yet; he’s also been flirting with Clemson a lot, I believe. Obviously, there’s a lot of unrest at Tennessee, so there’s no reason not to go after elite guys that are committed to Tennessee because who knows what’s going to happen with that program over the next couple weeks and months.”

And what may help the Irish flip some recruits and lock in some others is this year’s playoff push. Notre Dame came in at No. 3 in the first release of the College Football Playoff rankings, and McKinney said that could make a difference.

“I don’t think it’s the deciding factor for most kids, but I do think it has an impact, just like a 4-8 season had an impact last year, and they lost Pete Werner, Donovan Jeter, Elijah Hicks, Paulson Adebo and Jordan Pouncey [and Robert Beal],” McKinney said. “So they both have impacts, and I think you’re seeing renewed interest from Amon-Ra St. Brown [and] from Solomon Tuliaupupu, who was at the USC game. I think Notre Dame was kind of on the back burner for those guys, but now things have changed.

“I think it matters how they finish. I think it’s more so to do with just Notre Dame has shown they have the ability to be where they are and get there on a regular basis. If Notre Dame goes to the playoff, I think they’ll see a significant bump in recruiting momentum going forwards.”

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About Tobias Hoonhout

Toby is a junior PLS/Economics double major from Smithtown, New York.

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