Notre Dame Recruiting: News and Notes

Brian Smith

Notre Dame has gained the attention of the latest defensive back offer back East, while the Fighting Irish coaching staff and recruiting administrators continue to come up with ways to gain the attention of recruits.

The latest news and notes surrounding Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts.

Irish Offer Zakee Wheatley

Notre Dame continues to search for cornerback and safety targets that provide length. The latest defensive back offer went out to Zakee Wheatley, and he’s 6-2, 180-pounds. He’s an extremely gifted athlete capable of playing wide receiver, cornerback or safety. 

Notre Dame likes the Severn (Md.) Archbishop Spalding prospect best at safety, according to him, but it’s a mixed bag amongst the programs that offered Wheatley thus far. Wheatley explained how teams offered him thus far.

“Yes, I think I have 24 offers and I would say six or seven are for wide receiver, eight or so for defensive back, and the others are for athlete,” he explained.

Amongst Wheatley’s offers would be Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin, Louisville, Maryland, Duke, Indiana, Boston College, Northwestern, Minnesota, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, Temple and Cincinnati.

Wheatley also went on to describe himself as a player, as well as what areas he needs to concentrate towards making better.

“My biggest strengths I believe are my ball skills, football IQ, and length. Areas to improve are getting stronger and more explosive!” Here’s a look at Wheatley’s junior film.

Wheatley said he wasn’t sure which position he prefers.

As for Notre Dame, cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens is recruiting Wheatley for the Irish. Wheatley still was not exactly sure which position he would play. “He (coach Mickens) said defensive back, but said that they like my length at safety. I’m sure it’s a combination (of cornerback and safety).”

Regardless of position, Wheatley is an athlete with exceptional hand-eye coordination and a physical style of play. He will be a player to watch with Notre Dame.

COVID-19 Causing Recruits and College Coaches to Adjust

Alright, just about anyone within the college football landscape possesses more free time than usual. It’s boring. Annoying. How about downright aggravating? One recruit that shall remain nameless so not to irritate any texted a response that summed up how much free time college coaches have.

“Yeah, they really don’t have anything else to do so they’re either texting or watching film.”

That same recruit responded, “About 25-35,” when asked just how many college coaches contacted in just one day. Okay, that is a bunch of texting, especially when it’s a 2021 recruit looking at fewer than 20 schools. This particular recruit put it another way.

“It’s getting old.”

A second recruit initially replied, “Not as much as normal, but still a lot.” When informed of how many messages the other recruit previously mentioned above received, he then replied, “That’s what I had today.”

Yes, college coaches are bored, so they text recruits like crazy. Then again, what else could they really be doing? It’s a difficult situation for coaches and recruits.

Well, that’s where social media comes into play. The best recruiting departments find ways to entertain and intrigue even the most highly rated recruits.

Team history posts via Twitter and head coach Brian Kelly discussing what the Notre Dame football program is doing are all a part of the draw, and Notre Dame did it quite well during the past few days.

There’s no question that Notre Dame’s illustrious history attracts recruits. Part of selling a college football program like Notre Dame can also be about the NFL.

Notre Dame sends numerous players to the professional ranks, and that’s why posts by the one by Notre Dame Director of Recruiting Aaryn Kearney make an impact. Notre Dame had 504 NFL draft choices to date, and the Jaylon Smith photograph helps to promote the Irish football program a little bit, too.

As for Kelly, must give him credit. Most coaches would not be able to communicate their messages as well. It’s a cool video discussing the Irish football program, and it also possesses true meaning because he discussed this terrible virus the world is dealing with.

Notre Dame must continue to recruit the best players, and it’s apparent that the social media aspect of the recruiting department continues to be well represented.

You can find me on Twitter @fbscout_florida

Comments (2)
thomasna33
thomasna33

I would like to see ND try some new social media avenues. Twitter is a good start but they could do more. Les Miles had a Tik Tok challenge virtual recruiting day last week. I think a Twitch stream would be an awesome idea for Kelly & staff to connect with some recruits.

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Irish For Life
Irish For Life

Does ND study and learn from what other teams are doing during this shutdown? Why not copy LSU in the virtual visit idea? Notre Dame needs to be creatively promoting the school and the football program. I don't care where a good idea comes from. Happily steal a good idea another school has done.


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