After a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the biggest recruiting event of the summer for Notre Dame - the Irish Invasion - was back, and it was a highly successful one for the Fighting Irish staff. Notre Dame had a number of top prospects on campus, and following workouts a number of scholarship offers were handed out to prospects that earned them with their performance on the field.
TOP 2023 STANDOUTS GET OFFERS
I’ll have more on this later, but Notre Dame chose to make the first weekend of June more about the underclasses, and a number of top prospects from that class were on campus. A number of top players worked out at the Irish Invasion and came away with offers.
Kendrick Gilbert, Defensive Tackle — Gilbert is a 6-5, 270-pound defensive lineman and an Indiana native. He’s one of just four defensive tackles in the 2023 class to earn an offer from Notre Dame. Gilbert is a quality athlete for his size and he plays inside and outside for Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral prep. He has a massive frame with excellent length and he was highly productive as a sophomore.
Jaiden Ausberry, Linebacker — Ausberry is ranked as the nation’s No. 24 player in the country by Rivals and he’s a five-star (No. 32 overall) on the 247Sports composite list. At 6-0 and 195 pounds he’s a tad undersized, but Ausberry is extremely athletic, instinctive and he delivers quite a bit of punishment for a player his size. Ausberry shines as a run defender, blitzer and he’s outstanding in coverage.
Justyn Rhett, Cornerback — The Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman cover man was a standout at camp and walked away with an offer. Rhett is ranked as the nation’s No. 137 overall player on the 247Sports composite ranking. We all know Notre Dame likes long cornerbacks, and Rhett certainly fits that mold at 6-1 and 190 pounds with long arms. He’s a smooth and fluid athlete, he’s smart in coverage and he has the size/athleticism/IQ skills to play the boundary position at a high level.
Christian Gray, Cornerback — A 6-0, 175-pound athlete, Gray ranks as the nation’s No. 206 overall player according to 247Sports. He attends DeSmet Jesuit in St. Louis and is a teammate of 2023 tight end Mac Markway, who also holds an early offer from the Fighting Irish. Gray is on the skinny side as a sophomore, but he has good height and very long arms. He also has quick feet and good recovery speed for such a young player.
2022 BOARD EXPANDS
Notre Dame still has a lot of work to do on the 2022 class and there were a number of prospects from that class on campus this weekend hoping to earn offers, and two did just that.
Austin Ausberry, Safety/Cornerback — A cornerback/wide receiver for Baton Rouge (La.) Southern Lab, Ausberry could play big corner or safety at the next level. The nation’s No. 221 player in the country according to Rivals, Ausberry came to Notre Dame looking to earn an offer despite already have offers from LSU, Virginia, Arizona State and Purdue. He’s long and rangy, possessing more of a fluid movement style as opposed to the quick-twitch you often see from corners, which is why safety could be such a great fit for him. He’s a hitter on the perimeter and he shows impressive ball skills.
Elic Ayomanor, Wide Receiver — Notre Dame’s wide receiver board remains a bit of a mystery, and it has grown by one more after Ayomanor earned an offer based on his Irish Invasion performance. Ayomanor is a native of Canada but plays for Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. At 6-3 and 205 pounds he has good size and good vertical speed, and his game is extremely similar to prospects already on the board.
TALENTED 2024 SIGNAL-CALLER GETS AN OFFER
CJ Carr, Quarterback — Notre Dame is still figuring out its board for the 2023 class, but after a strong performance at the Irish Invasion the Irish extended an offer to 2024 quarterback CJ Carr. The Saline (Mich.) High School quarterback is tall and very skinny, but he has a loose arm and can already power the ball down the field. He’s mobile in the pocket, shows good pocket awareness for such a young quarterback and he has a ton of upside.
PLENTY OF TOP 2023 VISITORS WERE ON CAMPUS
There were plenty of top prospects on campus who already have offers.
One of Notre Dame's top overall targets in the 2023 class is Chicago native Carnell Tate, who is now at IMG Academy. He's a must-get for the Irish in the 2023 class, and he was on campus this weekend.
Elite 2023 Minnesota tight end Jaxon Howard was on campus this weekend. He's a big-time target for Notre Dame in that class, ranking No. 55 overall on the 247sports composite ranking.
Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep offensive tackle Chase Bisontis is one of the nation's best offensive linemen in the 2023 class, ranking No. 39 overall on the 247Sports composite list. He was on campus this weekend.
Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph's Prep linebacker Josiah Trotter ranks as the nation's No. 80 overall player according to Rivals. He was on campus this weekend.
Fulton (Miss.) Itawamba safety Isaac Smith, the nation's No. 158 overall player according to 247Sports, was also on campus this weekend.
The nation's No. 125 player on the 247Sports composite list is Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne big man Joshua Padilla. A talented blocker, the 6-4, 265-lineman is a top early target for Notre Dame, and he was on campus this weekend.
Notre Dame will be hosting A LOT of 2023 quarterbacks this month, and one was Colorado Springs (Colo.) Vista Ridge passer Brayden Dorman. He didn't work out this weekend and plans to return later in the month, but he took in the full Notre Dame experience this weekend.
Dacula (Ga.) Hebron Christian safety Jack Luttrell has an offer from Notre Dame and was on campus this weekend. He also worked at out the Irish Invasion.
Notre Dame has thrown out just a few offers in the 2024 class, but one has gone to St. Louis (Mo.) University star Ryan Wingo. He was on campus this weekend.
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