Notre Dame has had a tough time recruiting defensive backs against Washington in recent seasons, and the Fighting Irish are once again going toe-to-toe against the Huskies, this time with Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep cornerback Benjamin Morrison being the target.
Morrison is set to decide between Notre Dame, Washington or Alabama this afternoon at 2:00 PM ET. Although the Crimson Tide are listed as a finalist for Morrison this decision will ultimately come down to the Irish or the Huskies.
The 6-0, 175-pound cornerback visited Notre Dame the weekend of June 11th and the Irish made a strong impression. He visited Oregon the weekend of June 18th and then followed that up with a visit to Washington the weekend of June 25th.
Here's a look at where things stand with the contenders:
Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has produced NFL defensive backs in recent seasons at a rate that can match up with just about any program, and that was impactful in Morrison's recruitment.
The Brophy Prep star also had a sister that attended Washington as a gymnast. Combined with him being a West Coast native and you can see why so many felt the Huskies were the team to beat.
Washington offered Morrison back in May of 2020 and has been recruiting him much longer than Notre Dame. Morrison has also been to the Washington campus on multiple occasions, which makes them very difficult to beat in this particular recruitment.
Notre Dame took some time to work out its cornerback board, but late in the winter the staff began to zero in on Morrison as a must get, offering him a scholarship on February 10th. From that moment the Irish staff made Morrison a priority and quickly rose up his list of top schools.
Notre Dame was the first school to host Morrison and things went extremely well. The Irish put themselves in a strong position with Morrison, but by the time Morrison was ready for his June 25th visit to Seattle the Huskies were widely considered his leader.
The Irish staff used its strong relationship with Morrison to stay in the game and as he sets to make his announcement Notre Dame has to feel very good about where it stands with him.
Alabama offered Morrison in March less than a month after the Irish gave him one. He visited Tuscaloosa unofficially during the first weekend of June and the Crimson Tide became a major player for him. That is why the defending champions are considered a player for the talented cornerback.
Washington has been a pain in Notre Dame's side ever since Jimmy Lake arrived back in 2014, especially for defensive backs. Irish corners coach Mike Mickens got the Irish on the board last year when he beat the Huskies for California cornerback Chance Tucker.
My final prediction is that Mickens will once again beat Lake for another one of the best cover corners out West.
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