- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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As you may have noticed, we're wrapping up Notre Dame's spring today. That extends to our recruiting team as well.
Our Jared Shanker takes a look at five recruiting storylines following the Irish this offseason: the cornerback need, the importance of four-star linebacker and ESPN 150 prospect Jaylon Smith (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers), the potential Hawaiian pipeline, the Elite 11 chances of Malik Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) and whether the Irish can finish off the 2013 recruiting season strong.
The biggest storyline, of course, deals with the cornerback situation.
The Irish already have two commitments at the position in Devin Butler (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga), ranked No. 14 among corners, and Rashad Kinlaw (Galloway, N.J./Absegami), ranked No. 29 among athletes. The Irish are hoping they can also enter the sweepstakes for five-star Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, Fla./Wharton), No. 4 in the ESPN 150, as an Irish assistant visited Hargreaves' school for a practice last week. Other potential options are ESPN 150 prospects Kendall Fuller (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), rated as a safety but who has said teams believe he can also be a cornerback.
Two interesting names at corner are Fresno, Calif., products Johnny Johnson Jr. and L.J. Moore. They are teammates at Central East and both have Notre Dame offers. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Notre Dame in the Fresno area last year with Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard both committing to the Irish, but Greenberry decommitted on signing day and a heart issue caused Shepard to move back home. The Irish would love to be able to rekindle that spark in the Fresno area and snag Johnson or Moore.
Here is a list of the cornerbacks Notre Dame has offered.
Also, ESPN 150 four-star running back Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recently visited USC, our Tom VanHaaren reports. It is still likely that Michigan, Notre Dame or the Trojans end up getting Isaac.