Irish look to bolster 2020 class with Shamrock Series game
Tobias Hoonhout | Friday, November 16, 2018
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame received a big boost on the recruiting front before another installment of the Shamrock Series on Wednesday, as three-star linebacker Marist Liufau committed to the Irish to push the 2019 class closer to completion.
“He’s a linebacker, probably will start out as a buck, adds value, just a guy that will probably get after the passer for them,” Blue and Gold Illustrated recruiting analyst David McKinney said. “It’s a good pickup, it continues that Hawaii pipeline that Brian Polian has built, there are already two Hawaiian guys on the roster, so there’ll be a third when he gets here. Went to the same high school as Manti Te’o, so yeah keeping to that Hawaiian tradition at Notre Dame and gives them another defensive player in this 2019 class.”
Liufau was on campus this past weekend for Notre Dame’s win over Florida State on Senior Night, and while the matchup was not exactly what was hoped for, McKinney said the win still had value for recruits.
“They responded well, Notre Dame did what they were supposed to do against a Florida State team that hasn’t been very good, they went out and blew them out. It made an impression on the recruits, a night game, under the lights, so they obviously liked that,” McKinney said. “Marist was in town, so obviously caught his attention to where he committed after he got his offer. A few offers on the board, and [the game] definitely made an impression on those guys for sure.”
With Notre Dame now having 20 commits for next year’s incoming class, McKinney said the Irish are still working to finish strong, particularly out in California, another Notre Dame pipeline in recent years, before turning to the 2020 class, where the Irish will look to add to their three commits.
“I think there’s one or two spots left, I think they’re prioritizing those spots for California defensive end Isaiah Foskey, and California linebacker/safety Asa Turner, who is committed to Washington,” McKinney said. “I think those are the two guys they are going to be pushing for moving forwards.”
“There’s obviously a lot of guys in 2020, and the season Notre Dame is having is going to pay off there. I don’t see anybody close to committing right now, just because it is so early in that cycle, but I think it will pay off for sure down the road,” McKinney said. “There were 2020 guys on campus this weekend in Braiden McGregor, who’s one of the top defensive end targets, Jalen Logan-Redding is one of their top defensive end targets, so the work they are doing on the field right now is definitely resonating with a lot of guys in 2020.”
As the Irish head to New York to play Syracuse, McKinney said the buzz surrounding the Shamrock Series will certainly not be lost on the recruiting end.
“They’ve obviously done well in New Jersey the last couple of classes, with three guys from Saint Peter’s Prep in the 2018 class. There will be a couple guys at the game, Kalel Mullings, he’d be the one to focus on. He’s a four-star linebacker in 2020, he’ll be there, he’s got an offer and he’s one of their top targets at linebacker, so just a chance to get out in that area and put a game in front of some guys from that area and make another impression,” McKinney said.