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Three-star recruit commits to ND

| Friday, November 20, 2015

Notre Dame picked up commitment No. 18 in the class of 2016 last weekend following the Wake Forest game, but it wasn’t necessarily who everyone expected.

Three-star prospect Deon McIntosh from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, became the second running back to join Notre Dame’s 2016 class, pairing with Tony Jones in the future backfield. Irish recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins said the smaller and speedier McIntosh fits well with the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Jones.

“It sounds ridiculous that a guy can fly under the radar in such a talent hotbed like South Florida, but that’s kind of the case with him,” Ivins, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for Rivals.com’s Blue and Gold Illustrated, said. “Notre Dame has always been really high on him. … They really wanted to have a second running back in the class, and Deon’s a guy who can get to the outside. He’s a speedy guy.

“I’m not saying he’s a C.J. Prosise mold, but he’s a guy who can do that, and maybe pair him with Tony Jones, who’s already committed, it’s kind of a perfect combination.

McIntosh’s verbal, however, left many questioning Notre Dame’s status with two other (higher-rated) recruits in four star prospects Damian Alloway and Melquise Stovall — especially with Alloway having left campus following his official visit this weekend just an hour prior to McIntosh’s commitment, Ivins said.

“That was kind of, not the panic, but the question a lot of Notre Dame fans had asked right away,” Ivins said. “Damian Alloway left campus and then Deon McIntosh was committed to Notre Dame within the hour, so a lot of people thought Notre Dame had moved on, but that’s not the case.”

However, Alloway has always wanted to be a slot receiver, and that is how Notre Dame also sees him in the future, according to Ivins. Coupled with a successful visit this weekend, Alloway and Notre Dame form a pair that is trending upwards, Ivins said.

“Notre Dame really wants to add a slot receiver,” Ivins said. “They view Damian Alloway in that role. Originally a lot of people thought he would get some touches in the backfield, but it looks like right now they are strictly going for a guy who can play in the slot. Whether that’s an Amir Carlisle type or a Torii Hunter type, I think Damian Alloway can do that. That’s what he wants to do.”

The Irish also moved up the list for class of 2017 three-star quarterback prospect Avery Davis following his visit to campus this past weekend. Although listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Ivins mentioned how the 6-foot Cedar Hill, Texas, native has the potential to skyrocket up recruiting boards across the country in the very near future.

“They’ve identified a guy who they think is absolutely going to blow up,” Ivins said. “Right now, he’s ranked on some sites as a three-star prospect … but the new ESPN 300 just came out today and they have him ranked as the No. 75 overall prospect in the country. Notre Dame thinks that this is a guy that has only started nine games — there wasn’t really a lot of film on him — so they think he’s going to be a talent that’s going to blow up and move up the boards for everyone else, and they’re really hoping they can lock him up now.”

Both Davis and class of 2016 three-star quarterback Ian Book have the dual-threat ability that has characterized Irish signal-callers for the last few years, Ivins said.

“You like him because he can make his throws, they aren’t concerned about his height,” Ivins said. “ … He’s a dual-threat guy who can get the first down when you need to, kind of like DeShone Kizer, and he’s got an arm that can make most of the throws, and I think that’s the exact same mold with Book. They’re 6-foot quarterbacks, they can throw on the run, they can run read-option, and it just seems to click, and that’s kind of what Mike Sanford has been looking for.”

The coaching staff will also be paying visits to recruits like Alloway and four-star receiver Javon McKinley on the West Coast over Thanksgiving when the Irish travel to play Stanford, where Ivins said Notre Dame has struggled to finish recruits.

“Notre Dame sells itself,” Ivins said. There’s nothing you can really tell a kid; once you get on campus you either love it or you hate it. I think that’s kind of the situation right now with Damian Alloway and Javon McKinley. They’ve visited multiple times. … I don’t know if it’s them wanting to wait and announce a decision. … Notre Dame, ask any player, ask people who have committed, you just kind of know if that’s the fit for you.”

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About Zach Klonsinski

A History graduate, Zach spent all four of his years on campus as a resident of Knott Hall. Hailing from Belgrade, Montana, he covered a wide variety of sports in his time at Notre Dame, including Football, Hockey, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Fencing, Rowing, Women's Lacrosse and other events around campus. You can contact him in his post-graduation travels and job search at [email protected]

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