Recruiting: Tevon Coney commits, Aliz’e Jones plans December visit
Mike Monaco | Thursday, October 30, 2014
While campus quieted, classes stopped and the football team headed home for fall break, Notre Dame’s recruiting train kept rolling, adding a commitment from class of 2015 linebacker Tevon Coney on Oct. 23.Coney, the No. 10 inside linebacker and No. 377 overall player in the country, per 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, chose the Irish over Florida and Miami. Coney is Notre Dame’s third linebacker pledge — along with Josh Barajas and Asmar Bilal — in its class of 2015. The four-star Barajas is slotted as the No. 159 player in the country, and Bilal is tight on his heels at No. 180.
“The three of them together, you can make the argument that it’s the best linebacking group in the 2015 class headed to any school,” Irish recruiting analyst Tom Loy said.
Loy, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for Blue and Gold Illustrated, part of the 247Sports network, described the 6-foot-1, 222-pound Coney as a “very physical” “thumper” who loves contact.
The Irish coaching staff hit the road during the bye week to check in on a host of prospects around the country. Five-star class of 2016 quarterback and Louisiana native Shea Patterson received a visit, and Irish head coach Brian Kelly along with recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Tony Alford checked in on class of 2015 running back target Soso Jamabo in Texas, according to Loy.
Notre Dame has “a great chance” to land either Patterson or fellow five-star class of 2016 quarterback Malik Henry, Loy said. Jamabo, meanwhile, remains a top target for the Irish. The No. 2 back and No. 37 overall player in the country took his official visit to Notre Dame for the Michigan game in early September.
“I’d still like Notre Dame’s chances, but the longer he takes to decide, the confidence diminishes a little bit here and there,” Loy said.
Loy said he views Jamabo’s recruitment as a battle between Notre Dame and UCLA, with Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, among others, jockeying for position behind the two leaders.
The Irish will go head-to-head more directly with UCLA for the services of class of 2015 tight end Aliz’e Jones, who has been committed to the Bruins for nearly 11 months. However, Loy said Jones is expected to make his fourth visit — his official visit — to Notre Dame during December for the team’s banquet.Jones is the No. 1 tight end in the country and is ranked 50th overall. Jones’ high-school teammate and class of 2015 safety Nicco Fertitta is an Irish commit, and fellow Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) teammate Cordell Broadus, a class of 2015 receiver, holds a Notre Dame offer.
“I do think [Jones] ends up at Notre Dame when all is said and done,” Loy said.
Coney’s pledge drove Notre Dame’s class to 21 members. Loy has said he thinks the Irish could sign as many as 25 players in this recruiting cycle. With roughly three months to go until National Signing Day, Notre Dame has “so many guys left on the board still,” per Loy.
Loy said he expects Notre Dame’s remaining commitments in this class could come from the likes of Jamabo, Jones, Broadus, receivers Equanimeous St. Brown and Lawrence Cager, defensive backs Frank Buncom, Calvin Brewton, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Iman Marshall and Ykili Ross, or defensive lineman Joseph Wicker, to name a few.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Loy said of the proportion of potentially interested prospects to available spots. “In the end, come signing day, they’re most likely going to have to turn away some big names that want to come if they fill the class the way they are right now.”
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