Recruiting Week In Review

July 28, 2019
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

No school gets commitments from every prospects at the top of their boards at every position.  Clemson doesn’t, Alabama doesn’t, Ohio State doesn’t.  And lower admission standards typically means that other schools have larger of pools of recruits from which to choose than does Notre Dame.  There’s no question that the Irish have seen some of the defensive backs that they were recruiting heavily make verbal commitments to other schools.  Notre Dame has recently expanded their offers to defensive backs as they have identified more prospects whose athleticism and skillsets they see as fitting in with their defensive scheme.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Ramon Henderson‍, DB, 6-2, 185, Liberty High School, Bakersfield, CA had doubts about how serious Notre Dame was about him.  That perception began to change after a conversation with his coach.

“My head coach (Bryan) Nixon talked to me one day and said, ‘Hey you’re getting some interest from Notre Dame,’” Henderson remembered.  “He said, ‘They’re going to send somebody out here.’”

That “somebody” turned out to be Irish Cornerbacks Coach Todd Lyght.  Even then, Henderson thought it was just the typical quick stop, look him over, perform a quick evaluation and then move on type visit.  His follow up conversation with Lyght made him realize there was more to the visit than he had previously thought.

“He told me some real good things,” Henderson said.  “He seemed kind of serious about me and then four days later I got the offer.  I was really happy.  After talking with Coach Lyght for a while obviously they have a very good school.”

Henderson (pictured above) continued.

“Obviously, they’re good on the field, but they really show off in academics as well as being one of the top ten schools in football and academics.  My mom has always been big on academics so a school like that she would love and I like.”

Henderson’s versatility gives the Irish great flexibility in how they use him.  He can play defensive back or wide receiver, though Notre Dame definitely likes him on the defensive side of the ball.  As a defensive back, he can play either cornerback or safety, a decision that will be made later.

The Notre Dame coaching staff, especially Lyght, has so far made a strong impression on the California standout.

“He came in knowing what he wanted to say to me,” Henderson said of Lyght.  “He showed me the differences from their school to other schools.  They’re on TV every week.  He told me how he got better through there.  He won a college national championship and a Super Bowl.”

Henderson has nothing but respect for Lyght’s resume as a player.

“That’s awesome because you can only really think about how much better you’re going to get if you go there acknowledging the fact that you’re really being coached by someone who was the greatest at what he did and how he did it,” Henderson explained.

Both Notre Dame and Henderson wanted to schedule a summer official visit, but it won’t happen until the fall.

“We’re going to set it up for me to go after one of my football games or me going on our bye week,” Henderson explained.  “Right now we’re looking at the Virginia game, hopefully I can make that one.”

Henderson says he’s looking for “good people, a good place that I wouldn’t mind calling home,” when he visits South Bend.  As of now he doesn’t have any other visits planned, but is pretty definite about Tennessee and Oklahoma.

“I want to make my officials my farthest ones,” he said.

As a Californian, he’s obviously considering a number of Pac-12 schools like UCLA, Cal, Oregon State and Utah.

“I’m going to be going everywhere,” he said.  “I’m really going to try to see every place that has recruited me.”

Even though he’s planning on enrolling early, he’s not planning on announcing his final decision until his birthday on December 23rd.

Like Henderson, Collin Gamble‍, CB, 5-10, 180 Liberty Christian High School, Argyle, TX has also moved up the Irish recruiting board.  On a Monday, he posted a video of him running a sub 4.4 forty and the next day Irish Recruiting Coordinator Brian Polian got in touch with him.

“He was thanking me for being patient because we’d been talking and communicating for a while,” he said.  “After I ran that 4.36 forty, they told me they wanted to extend an offer out to me.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Gamble has also been offered by schools like Texas Tech, Kansas, Duke, Cal, Michigan, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale and many others.

“Any time you get an offer from a big, Power Five school like Notre Dame that is trusting in my abilities and is willing to extend an offer out to me, it shows they have a lot of good thoughts about my abilities,” Gamble explained.  “As a player that just boosts your confidence and lets you know that people are recognizing your talents.”

Gamble knows a little bit about the Irish. 

“I know it’s a really academic school,” he said.  “I know they have one player I used to play against, NaNa Osafo-Mensah, he’s out there.”

Recruiting coordinator, Brian Polian has been pushing Gamble to get to South Bend for an official visit.

“I haven’t been able to get an exact day because I still have to get back with my family to see when would be a good time to get out there on a visit,” he explained.  “I really want to see what the coaches are like, how they hold their practices.  If I can’t see that, I just want to see a game situation, so I can actually get a feel for how I would fit into their defense.”

Last month, Gamble released a top five of Texas Tech, Cal, Duke, Kansas and the University of Texas, San Antonio.  However, Gamble made it clear that his recruiting process is still “completely open.”

Though he’s not got a timetable for a final decision, Gamble does plan to sign on the early signing period.

“I’m just trying to see how everything plays out, so I can make sure whatever decision I make is the only decision I have to make and that I find the school that is correct for me.”

These two summaries are just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

 
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