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Irish await decision by Trice, look to capitalize on momentum for 2020 class

| Friday, October 5, 2018

With the two biggest homes games in the past, the Irish will now shift their focus to solidifying those commitments of upcoming classes.

David McKinney, recruiting analyst for Blue and Gold Illustrated, said Notre Dame (5-0) hosted around 40 recruits this past weekend during its 38-17 win over Stanford.

Ann Curtis | The Observer
Irish senior wide receiver Chris Finke lunges for more yards after breaking a defender’s ankles during Notre Dame’s 38-17 win over Stanford on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. 

“The two official visitors were Genson Hooper, a wide receiver from Texas, and Isaiah Foskey, a tight end,” he said. “Both those guys are kinda top targets for [the Irish].”

McKinney said both recruits from the class of 2019 have been relatively quiet throughout the process with little information being released. However, both players give reason to believe they won’t end up in South Bend.

“I think of those two, Notre Dame probably has the best chance with Genson Hooper but I wouldn’t be surprised to see neither of those guys end up in the class,” he said. “Isaiah [is] from California, so I think distance could play a factor in that. He might end up at a place like Washington or Cal. With Genson Hooper, they’ve got two receivers in the class so right now I think they’re trying to figure out if there’s room for him in this class that’s gonna be a little bit smaller.”

As things start to come together for the class of 2019 with 18 commitments, Irish head coach Brian Kelly’s staff will shift its focus to the class of 2020 as it hopes its continued success this season will help Notre Dame make its mark on the recruiting trail.

“There’s something to be said for how solid all the 2019 commits are, they haven’t lost a guy in this class yet,” McKinney said.

However, one big target remains for the Irish in the class of 2019 — weak-side defensive end Bralen Trice, a native of Glendale, Arizona, who’s likely torn between the Irish and Washington and scheduled to announce his decision Saturday.

Meanwhile, several key recruits in the class of 2020 are expected to be in attendance this weekend when the Irish take on No. 24 Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium, including offensive lineman Bryn Tucker and defensive tackle Coziah Izzard. Tucker was at Notre Dame Stadium during the season opener against Michigan.

“Notre Dame has picked up recruiting efforts in that area of Virginia over the past couple years so I’m sure that’ll be a little bit of crossover there this weekend,” McKinney said.

Notre Dame’s win over Stanford, the first over a top-10 team at home since 2005, has sparked the Irish on the field and on the recruiting trail, especially for running back Reggie Love, one of the top overall running backs in the class of 2020.

“He was only in town for a little bit.,” McKinney said. “He was really impressed, really liked getting to watch [senior running back] Dexter Williams play. [It] made an impression on him.

“Any time you can get a top-10 win over a program like Stanford at home in front of 40-50 recruits, that’s obviously gonna make an impression on those guys, but also all the commits are watching, a bunch of other recruits all over the country are watching.”

McKinney said if the Irish continue to win and get playoff hype, players will start to take notice, particularly in the class of 2020, where Notre Dame still hopes to pick up many key additions to the program.

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