Recruiting: News And Notes

Brian Smith


Next Wednesday will be the first opportunity for Class of 2020 prospects to sign with Notre Dame or any other school. The Irish seem to be set with prospects committed, but more players could eventually join the fold. 

2021 recruiting is also revving up, with a new offer to a New Jersey prospect and new names being added to the Irish prospect list. Finally, a few comments about top 2021 targets from the Southwest.


Besides Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty defensive back Ramon Henderson, there is very little news about 2020 Notre Dame targets. Publicly, yes, Notre Dame appears to be happy to include Henderson and be done, although we are hearing there might be an offensive lineman still on the 2020 radar. That does not mean the Irish are not trying to lure other 2020 prospects. 

As history has shown, Notre Dame rarely shuts down in December. Irish fans should expect a new name or two to emerge. Additionally, there’s the transfer situation to consider.

College football players rarely wait very long to play. The already infamous transfer portal is the first destination before finding a new school. Maybe Notre Dame gains a player besides Ohio State transfer Isaiah Pryor, a safety expected to make an impact in 2020. The Irish could also lose a player. Time will tell, but in the meantime, one should expect the Irish coaching staff to be actively looking at prospects across the country.

While it’s impossible to say what position(s) the Irish will go after for sure, look for the Irish coaching staff to continue the theme of seeking explosive athletes. The 2020 class possesses elite speed, and it also offers that speed for offense and defense. It should be an interesting January.


Notre Dame continues to be aggressive with its pursuit of 2021 targets. The latest offer is to a defensive end from the Garden State. Blairstown (N.J.) Academy end Aaron Armitage just earned an offer from the Fighting Irish. The 6-4, 240-pound Armitage already visited Notre Dame for the Navy game. As for Armitage and his feeling about Notre Dame offering?

“I’m glad it has finally come!” Armitage stated. The talented junior end has quite a few offers, but he's still working on which schools will ultimately be in his final group.

“Not even narrowed down yet,” he said. “I’m going to make a top ten soon! Maybe in about a month. Then it will be narrowed down fast.”

Notre Dame has long since been considered a major contender for Armitage, so his top school list will be quite interesting. Here’s a look at Armitage’s junior film:


Notre Dame recruits far and wide to round out its recruiting classes. Still, it’s not every day that the Irish recruit players from Rhode Island. That has not stopped numerous programs from offering a very talented defensive end.

Warwick (RI) Bishop Hendricken standout Jason Onye fits the mold of a future strong side defensive end. Already 6-5, 245, Onye provided the following as his top five.

“Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.”

According to the 247Sports recruiting data base, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Arizona and Brown made offers, among others. The offer from Brown is a good sign his academics are in order.

Here’s a first look at Onye on the gridiron:

Not a finished product by any means, Onye possesses the frame and on-field tenacity defensive coordinators like. He’s somewhat similar to current Notre Dame defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji. Ogundeji was a little smaller at the same stage, but he also possessed long arms and legs like Onye. 


Notre Dame continues to look to the Lone Star State to add talent. Notre Dame assistant coach Brian Polian will be one of the key members to help the Irish lure top Texas talent to South Bend.

One player that actually came up to Notre Dame last summer for camp was Patrick Turner, a 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Highland Park. Turner and his teammates captured the state title during his sophomore year, but lost in the third round of the playoffs this season. Highland Park is considered one of the better programs in Texas.

Turner took unofficial visits to Virginia, Cal, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech during the fall.

As for upcoming visits, he plans to head to Kansas for its Jan. 25 junior day. What about the Irish?

“I’d love the chance to play at Notre Dame,” Turner admitted. “Coach Polian came to Highland Park last year and they invited me to their junior day. I had a great time in South Bend and hope to take more with Coach (Nick) Lezynski and Coach (Clark) Lea.”

We shall see if Notre Dame goes after Turner. Here’s a look at Turner’s film:


A few more players to keep an eye on. Notre Dame expressed interest with each of these players, and some earned offers. Look for Notre Dame to be more active within this region.

Landyn Watson, DE, 6-3, 230, Hutto (Texas) High School – one of best from Texas, Watson is the coveted edge rusher. His list of offers is quite impressive. LSU, Baylor, Colorado, Notre Dame, Houston, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Purdue, Texas Tech, and Texas Christian make up the majority of his offers.

Watson Junior Highlights

Tavierre Dunlap, RB, 6-0, 200, Del Valle (Texas) High School – One of the best athletes in central Texas, Dunlap earned first team all-district honors this season. His running style could remind one of Julius Jones. Fast and able to cut very well, Dunlap could be a home run hitter at the college level. holds offers from Nebraska, Boston College, Syracuse, Missouri, Arkansas, Duke, Utah, Texas Tech, Houston and Cal among others. Notre Dame has shown interest, but has not yet extended a scholarship.

Dunlap Junior Highlights

AJ Green, RB, 5-11, 185, Tulsa (Okla.) Union  One of Oklahoma’s best players for 2021, Green already earned offers from Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Baylor, Nebraska and Michigan. As for Notre Dame Green said, “I get letters every week.”

Green Junior Highlights

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Coach, do you think ND will hit the grad Transfer route for a wide-out and a corner?