NCF On The Trail: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

CommitCast: Tevon Coney

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
Four-star linebacker Tevon Coney picked Notre Dame over Florida and Miami on Thursday.

ESPN 300: Five who could flip 

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
The Class of 2015 has seen more than 35 prospects in the ESPN 300 flip or decommit during the cycle. As many as 30 more prospects in the ESPN 300 could flip between now and national signing day. With that possibility in mind, here are five to keep tabs on less than four months away from national signing day.

A lot of talent has already come off the board, but there’s still quality at the top of the ESPN 300 that could give at least 10 teams a shot at the second-best class. Plus, Penn State's James Franklin continues to be the most talked about coach in the Washington D.C. metro area.

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The Big 12 was turned upside down by West Virginia and Kansas State, and both are being led by former juco recruits. Plus, it was no surprise that many of the nation's best recruits walked away impressed with Florida State following Saturday's victory over Notre Dame.

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UA jersey tour: Iman Marshall

October, 17, 2014
Oct 17
Cornerback Iman Marshall was the center of attention at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly on Friday morning, as he received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey. It's the second consecutive year a Jackrabbits standout will take part in the game, as Marshall follows Juju Smith, from the 2014 class.

Marshall will follow Smith's lead in another aspect as well, as the five-star cornerback and nation's No. 8 overall prospect will keep recruiting fans guessing as to his ultimate destination all the way to signing day.

While Marshall announced earlier this fall that he would take official visits to Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, those have yet to be scheduled.

"Everything is still the same," Marshall said of his recruiting plan. "I'm just enjoying the process and the season. I'm excited for my five officials."

Although, everything might not be the same for long, as Marshall added that those might not actually be the five schools he visits.

"I have a feeling I might switch one, but I'm still debating," Marshall said, declining to state what school might not actually receive a trip.

SATs have prevented Marshall from taking official visits to this point, and he said he hopes to eventually take some during the end of the season so there isn't a rush to take them all after the season ends. One thing that isn't likely to change between now and the end of the year is that the three California schools involved -- Stanford, UCLA and USC -- will all be in the race until the end.

Six questions with Iman Marshall

Who are you most looking forward to playing with at the Under Armour All-America Game?

Marshall: "First off I would love to play with Josh Rosen, Christian Kirk and Cordell Broadus. There are a lot of guys on the East Coast as well, but those are the three that come to my mind right now."

If you could start your team with any player from the 2015 recruiting class, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd have Rosen at quarterback, Broadus on one side and Kirk on the other, with Calvin Ridley in there also. Me at cornerback, Derwin James at safety and Kevin Tolliver on the other side of me. John Houston and Jeffery Holland at linebacker."

What is your earliest football memory?

Marshall: "In my first game, I went 85 yards for a touchdown on my first carry."

What football player did you idolize growing up?

Marshall: "As a defensive back, of course, I wanted to be like Deion Sanders. Every DB wants to be like him."

If you could take on any professional at their sport, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd take on LeBron or Kobe at basketball. You can't miss that."

Why do you wear your number (8)?

Marshall: "Nobody knows this but the reason I got eight was that in Pop Warner, my number was zero. They didn't have zero in high school, so the closest number that looks like zero is eight."
The DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) has developed into one of the most competitive areas in the country, so what recruiters do the best job in Washington D.C.? Plus, can Minnesota keep one of the top juniors in the country at home?

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ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey on Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony in front of friends and family.

"I'm really blessed and happy for this moment," St. Brown said. "I never really had my eye on an all-star game. I was just looking forward to going to college. But this is just another blessing on top of it and an opportunity to play with some of the top players in the country."

St. Brown, the nation's No. 51 overall prospect and No. 7 wide receiver, is a hot commodity on the recruiting trail. He holds offers from nearly the entire Pac-12 as well as LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, and others. The Fighting Irish earned the first opportunity to make an impression, as St. Brown took an official visit to South Bend in early October.

"It was a different feeling, getting treated like a VIP," St. Brown said. "It was a fun time."

The next program up on St. Brown's visit schedule is Utah, as the Utes will host the 6-foot-5, 205-pound receiver in early November for their game against Oregon.

"They were one of my first offers and have been recruiting me ever since," St. Brown said of the Utes. "They've been doing good lately, so I'm going to go up there."

After that, it could be anybody's guess. St. Brown said he doesn't have a top group of schools and doesn't know which ones will receive his final three visits. St. Brown is likely to wait until signing day to announce his decision, which will give the in-state programs extended opportunities to make impressions. Stanford, UCLA and USC all remain involved, though there's no guarantee he'll take an official visit to any of them.

"They said it's okay if I take an unofficial visit," St. Brown said of local programs UCLA and USC. "Of course they want me to take officials, but they're okay if I go unofficially."

Seven questions with Equanimeous St. Brown

Who is one player you are looking forward to playing for or against at the Under Armour All-America Game?

"I'm looking forward to playing with Blake Barnett again. He was my quarterback up at The Opening."

If you could start a team with any 2015 recruit, who would it be?

"Travis Waller (St. Brown's high school quarterback)."

What is your earliest football memory?

"Playing flag football with Travis [Waller]. We were about seven."

What football player did you idolize while growing up?

"Growing up I usually played football. I didn't watch much, so I didn't really idolize anybody. Now, I try to play like Calvin Johnson. I think he's my kind of body type, so I try to see what he does."

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

"Richard Sherman."

Why do you wear your number (6)?

"As a junior, all the seniors got to pick first and there were only a few single digits left, so I just took it. I feel like single digits stand out more during games."

What is one thing people might not know about you?

"I like to play a lot of video games."

UA jersey tour: Cordell Broadus

October, 13, 2014
Oct 13
Cordell Broadus was presented with his Under Armour All America jersey on Monday afternoon, in a ceremony attended by friends and family. Of course, one attendee was just a bit easier to recognize than others, as Broadus is the son of Calvin Broadus, better known to most as Snoop Dogg.

But Broadus made it known early on in his recruiting process that if programs and coaches are merely looking to make a splash by landing the son of the legendary rapper, they shouldn't waste their time.

"They should know from the jump that if you're recruiting somebody it should be for who they are," Broadus said, adding that so far, coaches have been good about that angle. "It hasn't come up yet, but I would stay away from a college that did that. It'd feel like it's fake, and that it wasn't for me and my athletic ability."

After making the move from Diamond Bar (Calif.) High School to Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman this past offseason, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound wide receiver finds himself a significant member of a nationally-ranked program that finished its nonconference schedule with wins over powers from Arizona and Utah, as well as four wins over top California programs. All the Gaels have done in two conference games is post a combined 130-0 score line as Bishop Gorman seeks yet another state title. Broadus ranks second on the team with 22 receptions for 297 yards and five touchdowns.

While Broadus, the nation's No. 133 recruit and No. 14 wide receiver, sports an impressive offer sheet, he said his focus has been on his senior season rather than recruiting. As a result, he has yet to truly begin narrowing down his finalists and said he would like to see as many of the schools that have extended scholarships as possible.

Broadus said Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Notre Dame and Washington will eventually receive official visits, while he was at the Rose Bowl on an unofficial visit to UCLA this past weekend.

"I want to see if I can fit in comfortably and if they need me at the wide receiver position," Broadus said of what he'll be looking for during his visits.

Seven questions with Cordell Broadus

What players are you looking forward to competing with or against at the UA All America Game?

"A lot of my friends that I grew up with will be at the game. Iman Marshall, Josh Rosen, John Houston. Those guys."

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

"Iman Marshall at the cornerback position. He's such a big corner. He can contribute and shut down a whole side of the field. He has a great head on his shoulders."

What was your earliest football memory?

"My dad forcing me to play football because I didn't want to play football right away. I didn't really start liking football until seventh or eighth grade. In eighth grade I started officially working out, doing cone work and running routes. When you start working on your craft, the more time you put in, the better you get."

Which football player did you watch as a kid?

"I liked to watch Jerry Rice, Keenan Allen, Kez Bryant, Terrell Owens, A.J. Green. Guys like that."

If you could take on any pro in their sport, who would it be?

"I'd take on Alex Morgan in soccer. Just for a chance to hang out with her and get her number."

Why do you wear your number (21)?

"My mom had me at the age of 21, so I really represent that. And my dad is from 21st Street as well."

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

"I like reading. I read a lot of books on a wide variety of topics. Also, I want to be a director and direct their favorite movie."
Mississippi State's fast rise to No. 1 in the country will open even more doors for the Bulldogs in recruiting. Plus, even with all of Kentucky's success in Ohio, it couldn't stop the Buckeyes from taking away one of its commitments this weekend.

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Help is on the way: ACC 

October, 8, 2014
Oct 8
Each year on the recruiting trail, schools are met with needs that need to be addressed to shore up depth issues both immediately and down the line. With four months until national signing day for the class of 2015, many teams have addressed and met needs.

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Want to impress a star recruit? Make an entrance at his game like Kevin Sumlin does in the Swagcopter or James Franklin in The Flyin' Lion. Plus, this year’s Red River Rivalry has lost some of its luster with recruits.

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Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wimbush switched his commitment Tuesday from Penn State to Notre Dame. Continue reading to see what Wimbush, now the Irish's top-rated pledge, brings to South Bend:

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Notre Dame got the Class of 2016 started Saturday afternoon with a loud bang picking up a commitment from ESPN Jr300 offensive tackle prospect Tommy Kraemer. If there was a perfect way to begin the class for Brian Kelly and staff, it was this head-to-head win over Ohio State.

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Notre Dame has a big visitor list for its game against Stanford on Saturday, and that list contains a few Big Ten commitments.

Penn State quarterback Brandon Wimbush and Michigan linebacker commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. are both taking the trip to see the Fighting Irish on Saturday.

Both are ESPN 300 prospects and big pieces to their respective classes.

Wimbush has taken other visits, and coincidentally he has taken one to Stanford, Notre Dame’s opponent this weekend. Wimbush is committed to Penn State, but is making sure he’s made the right choice.

"It’s not a Penn State negative, it’s a Notre Dame positive. I’m seeing the positives of Notre Dame and what it could play in my life," Wimbush said. "The roles it could play in my life over the next four years. It’s not something down on Penn State, it’s that Notre Dame could give me opportunities."

Kirkland finds himself in a completely different situation with rumors and uncertainty surrounding Michigan.

Off to a 2-3 start, Michigan has had problems this season that have caused some of its commitments to keep their options open in case coach Brady Hoke is fired at the end of the season.

That is the position Kirkland has taken as he heads to Notre Dame this weekend. In the past, the Michigan coaches have held a no-visit policy, but Kirkland had a different conversation when he told the staff of his intentions.

"They said take the time that you need to make the best decision," he said.

That is a departure from previous situations when commitments have wanted to take visits. Potentially a situational move by the staff to help keep this class together.

Kirkland says there are a lot of other schools that he is considering taking visits to, but hasn’t scheduled any others. He plans on sitting down with his family to figure out which five visits would be the best for his process.
Big Ten teams need to find a way to increase athleticism through recruiting and Wisconsin is working hard in Florida to make that happen. Plus, UCLA quarterback commit Josh Rosen continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Bruins on the recruiting trail.

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