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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Weekend Notes

August 24, 2019

2022 Florida quarterback Gunnar Smith‍ made a late change to his summer camp plans when he received an invitation to work out at Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion back in June.

Smith (pictured above) was already scheduled to be at Kentucky that weekend and rearranged his schedule to add the stop in South Bend. Having to make the trip up from Lexington resulted in him arriving a little late and with so many quarterbacks at the event, he wasn’t sure if he did enough to fully catch the coaches’ attention.

But the Irish are interested enough to have invited him back for their game against USC in October and Smith remains interested enough that he jumped at the opportunity.

“I am very excited to meet the coaches, players, tour facility and obviously take in the game vibe,” Smith said. “Notre Dame is very high on my list of potential schools. I really enjoyed visiting the campus this summer and the tradition of ND is unmatched.”

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder already has an offer from Kentucky and is also receiving interested from schools like Florida and West Virginia.

Smith doesn’t have any other college visits locked in at this point, but will likely hit some in-state schools.

REMOVING ANOTHER TARGET: Earlier in the week, we heard from 2020 Colorado offensive lineman Andrew Gentry‍, who told us that he was still considering Notre Dame while acknowledging BYU, Michigan, Stanford and Virginia were the schools that were seriously sticking out to him at the moment.

After hearing from other sources later in the week though, we’ve removed Gentry from our Target List. Even though he’ll count as a 2022 recruit scholarship-wise because he’ll take a mission before enrolling at college, we’re told he’s no longer on the Irish’s board.

We expect Gentry to land at BYU, although the fact that he didn’t make a summer decision as he originally planned leaves things open for the other schools. Notre Dame just won’t be one of those schools trying to stay in the race.

MORE PUB FOR PYNE: 2020 Notre Dame quarterback commit Drew Pyne‍ is very comfortable in the spotlight, he just doesn’t seek it out. And trust us, he’s had plenty of chances to do so.

But as one of thousands of quarterbacks looking to be a part of the Elite 11 Finals – and one of 20 to actually be selected – Pyne didn’t really have a choice but to be a part of the show that comes with it.

That show, which used to be broadcast on ESPN years ago, has been packaged as a YouTube series now with the premier episode for this season debuting on Friday night.

Pyne makes a relatively brief appearance during the selection process in the first episode, but we have to imagine there will be plenty more to come from the New Canaan High School star as the series follows the signal-callers down to Dallas for The Opening Finals.

We’ve gotten to know Pyne pretty well over the past year-plus and we’re confident Irish fans will become fans of him as a player and a person the more they get to know him. Just don’t expect Pyne to put himself over his team – New Canaan or Notre Dame – to make that possible.

This series may though.

Follow the link below to watch the episode.

HOOPS PROGRAM EYE IMPORTANT WEEKEND: If all goes to plan, the Irish’s home opener will be a big day for the Notre Dame basketball program as well.

The Irish men’s basketball program are hoping to host a pair of top 2020 targets for the football squad’s Sept. 14th game against New Mexico.

Notre Dame is looking to host 2020 Philiadelphia power forward Elijah Taylor and 2020 Texas power forward JaKobe Coles for official visits that weekend.

We don’t believe both have been “locked in” yet, but that’s the plan. 

Elijah Taylor

SOURCES SAY SCOUTS LIKE BOOK: We’ve heard from multiple sources over the last week or so who have informed us that Irish quarterback Ian Book has impressed NFL personnel people already.

“He’s got some great feedback from some NFL execs,” one source told us. “He’s turned some heads. I’ve talked to a couple of guys from some staffs and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah. This kid is legit.’”

The game of football has changed – first at the college level and inevitably the NFL level – where being 6 feet isn’t nearly as much of a knock on Book’s grade as it would have been a decade or more ago.

“Kyler Murray and all of those dudes are helping things out,” a source said.

Another source that is in the circle of elite quarterbacks, but not Book’s specifically, says many expect Book to leap at the chance to go pro if he has another impressive season in 2019.

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