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irish insider

Irish await several announcements amid quiet weekend on campus

| Friday, September 7, 2018

After arguably the biggest weekend of the season for Notre Dame on the recruiting trail, the Irish are set for a much quieter weekend against Ball State. With over a dozen recruits attending the opener against Michigan, Notre Dame is not currently hosting any official visits come Saturday.

“Maybe they’ll bring in some local recruits from [the class of] 2020 or 2021, [it will be an] assessment weekend to look at some guys they haven’t offered yet,” David McKinney, a recruiting analyst for Blue and Gold Illustrated said. “But of course, anybody can show up.”

Anna Mason | The Observer
Irish graduate student center Sam Mustipher (center) and the rest of the offensive line prepare to start the play during Notre Dame’s 24-17 win over Michigan on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

McKinney said the win over the Wolverines put the Irish in good position to close in on two major recruits of the class of 2019 — offensive tackle Walter Rouse and athlete Kendall Abdur-Rahman.

Those three-star recruits were on campus last Saturday and are expected to announce their commitment soon. 

From Edwardsville, Illinois, Abdur-Rahman has attracted attention from several Big Ten programs but is expected to sign with the Irish, McKinney said. 

McKinney said Rouse, a product of the prestigious Washington D.C. prep school, Sidwell Friends School, is an aspiring surgeon and enjoyed spending time with the team medical staff this weekend. McKinney also said team orthopedic surgeon, Brian Ratigan — a former Indianapolis Colt and Irish linebacker — connected well with Rouse.

“He hasn’t officially announced but he’s likely down to Stanford and Notre Dame,” McKinney said.

Rouse wasn’t planning on announcing his decision until later this fall. However, he recently announced he was moving that timeline up and the Irish will be eagerly waiting to round out their recruiting class.

“To finish out the 2019 class, they’ve already got four offensive and defensive lines committed,” McKinney said. “They really want to add a new defensive lineman, possibly one more wide receiver, one new quarterback and maybe one more offensive lineman.”

The incoming freshman class, made up of 17 firm commitments so far, is currently ranked No. 14. Without any five star commits, the Irish are still looking to add depth to the class.

McKinney also said that their likely first priority is recruiting a defensive end. 

“They really want and need more at the defensive end to this class for sure,” he said.

McKinney said Brian Kelly’s staff has taken a more personable approach in recruiting this season that has proven successful so far.

“This year was the first year of the early official visit period so that was different for,” he said. “One thing they did a lot of the summer … [was get] them in a relaxed environment with the coaching staff, the parents … That was a really good opportunity for parents and recruits to see Brian Kelly in a more relaxed setting.”

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