Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

USC Visit Preview | A Look At The Prospects

October 10, 2019

Notre Dame will be hosting several visitors for its primetime matchup with USC on Saturday night, including many targets with offers and recruits who have already committed to the Irish.

But there will also be loads of legitimate prospects who don’t yet have Notre Dame offers.

Here’s a look at some of the key recruits who could end up with Irish offers at some point down the road. 

This list is likely to grow as more recruits confirm their plans to attend.


The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has emerged early as one of the top targets for Notre Dame at quarterback in the Class of 2022. With Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner already locked in for the 2020 and 2021 classes respectively, the Irish have been able to get ahead. The Fort Branch, Ind., native has already made multiple trips to South Bend, including a stop for Irish Invasion back in June. The Gibson Southern High School standout may not have an Irish offer yet, but does have Indiana, Purdue, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati and is clearly a guy Notre Dame is monitoring closely.


The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder camped at Irish Invasion this summer and running backs coach Lance Taylor took a serious interest in him, even taking out time to give him a personal tour of campus. The Missouri back already has top offers from schools like Michigan State, Nebraska, LSU among several others. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder has already taken several visits. His father, Arlen Harris Sr., played running back for the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions from 2003-2006 and serves as head coach for his son at Lutheran High School.


The 6-foot, 195-pound Pennsylvania back has checked most of the area offers off quickly, reeling in offers from Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Rutgers already. An elite athlete, Singleton registered the highest SPARQ rating of any 2022 prospect in the country. That earned him an invitation to The Opening Finals in Dallas, where he improved on that score to finish with a 121.62.

He will be making the trip with his father and godfather, who is such a big Notre Dame fan that Singleton thought he might cry when he asked him to come with them.

“I’m really excited they would have me out,” Singleton told Irish Sports Daily.

He said he’s looking forward to meeting the Irish coach staff and checking out the atmosphere in South Bend.

“I know this is a big game.”


The Westerville, Ohio prospect just comes across as a Notre Dame-type kid. He took an unofficial to South Bend back in June and was struck by the academics and prestige of the school. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound speedster already has offers from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He’s made trips to West Virginia, Penn State and Indiana already and all three made strong impressions. The Westerville South High School standout heads back to Happy Valley for next weekend’s game against Michigan.

“I want to get a feel for the atmosphere, the style of offense they run and just how much fun the players have,” Saunders told Irish Sports Daily in advance of this weekend’s visit.



The 6-foot-2, 170-pound from Lexington plays for a Frederick Douglass High School the Irish have targeted in both the 2020 and 2021 classes with offensive lineman Walker Parks and receiver Dekel Crowdus. Key already has offers from Kentucky and Louisville among others. He’s visited both in-state schools recently.

“I am recently excited,” Key told ISD. “I’m super excited about seeing the campus and the football facilities.”


The son of the former Notre Dame defensive lineman by the same name has made several trips down to South Bend as a youngster, but has enjoyed his more recent stops as a recruit, including a trip to Irish Invasion back in June. The Illinois prospect has early offers from Illinois, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Missouri and Cincinnati and is receiving significant interest from several other programs. He’s great friends with 2022 Illinois wide receiver Tyler Morris and the two planned out this trip to get back to South Bend together. Given his connection to the school, it would seem likely Notre Dame would be a major player with the Naperville Central target if it wants to be.

“It’ll be fun,” Fleurima told ISD this week. “I went to the ND-USC game two years ago when ND whooped them lol.”


The Kansas receiver has early offers from the in-state Jayhawks, Arizona State and Missouri and has received interest from a host of other schools. He was named top receiver at an Alabama camp this past summer. He knows all about Jafar Armstrong, who graduated from the same Bishop Miege program he plays in now. He visited South Bend when he was a middle-schooler, so he’s excited to see how it’s changed.

He’s also hoping to meet the Irish coaching staff and some of the players.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how fast the tempo is on the field and I’m excited to experience the Notre Dame community and atmosphere,” he added.

“The most important things I’ll be looking for while choosing a school is the school, team and community environment. I want to pick a school that provides a great business and entrepreneurship education. I am most interested in committing to a team that best fits and really needs my play style. I want to go where I feel the most comfortable and where I can make highest impact as a wide receiver.”


The 6-foot-4, 227-pounder has a great appreciation for Notre Dame’s history and was honored to be invited to a game this fall. He’s excited about seeing the campus, atmosphere and establishing a relationship with the coaches. Nickel is a versatile tight end who has enough athleticism that he’s also his team’s placekicker. The Alpharetta, Ga., native wants to major in Business and academics will be key to his decision. His father played tight end for Stanford back in 1990, when the Cardinal pulled off upset in South Bend. The Milton High School standout has early offers from Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and Vanderbilt.

“I’m looking forward to building a relationship with the coaching staff and also seeing the campus,” Nickel told Irish Sports Daily this week.


The 6-foot-7, 295-pounder from Trinity Catholic has an impressive offer sheet that currently includes Florida State, Auburn, Arkansas, Duke, Kentucky, Boston College, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Washington State and Louisville among others. He made a stop in South Bend over the summer and has roots in the state of Indiana, having used to live in Fort Wayne.

Johnson told ISD he hopes to learn more about the program and the school during the trip.


The 6-foot-7, 265-pounder from Detroit Country Day is one of the top junior linemen in the Midwest with offers from Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State among others. The Buckeye and Nittany Lion offers have come within the last month. The in-state Wolverines have already established a strong relationship with Tiernan and he comes from a Michigan family, but the Irish should have a chance to open his eyes this weekend.

2021 OFFENSIVE LINEMAN AARON GUNN calls the 6-foot-4, 305-pounder “the biggest, baddest man in Pennsylvania for this class.” The Union High School standout was at Louisville last weekend and left with an offer. He also holds offers from Michigan State, West Virginia and Kentucky among others. He’s also made trips to West Virginia and Michigan State already this fall.

“I’ve never been down there so I’m just trying to get a feel for the campus and coaches,” Gunn told ISD.


The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder plays on the same Thomas Dale High School squad in Virginia as 2020 Irish running back commit Chris Tyree, who will also be on campus this weekend. Carter has offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. He also shows his athleticism by playing tight end on offense. He was at Virginia last month and left impressed. After spending Saturday in South Bend, he’ll head to East Lansing on Sunday to get a look at Michigan State.

“Bryce is just like Chris,” Thomas Dale head coach Kevin Tucker told ISD. “He’s extremely humble. He works hard, he doesn’t say a whole lot.

“He’s going to play a three-technique more likely when he gets to college because he’ll be in the 270/280-range. He’s very explosive off the ball, has great hands as far as his ability to get blockers off of him.”

How does Tucker think Carter would feel about a Notre Dame offer?

“I think he would be extremely interested in that one.”


The Indianapolis defender has early offers from schools like Indiana, Purdue, Boston College and Cincinnati among others. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder camped at Notre Dame this summer. The Irish would figure to have a legit shot at Strickland, who has already been tagged as one of the state’s top 2022 prospects.


The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder defensive end/linebacker from North Carolina should be a familiar name to Irish fans. Hollifield was in South Bend for a game last fall and his older brother, Dax, was a Notre Dame target in the Class of 2018 before he committed to Virginia Tech. The younger Hollifield already has offers from the Hokies along with North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia among others. He was impressed with Notre Dame’s blowout of Florida State last fall and really took an interest in the academics in South Bend. The Hokies could have an inside track given the family connections, but there’s obviously something about Notre Dame that keeps them coming back as well.


Dynamic Georgia athlete plays a lot of position for his high school squad. He’s already landed offers from Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Rutgers. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder clearly has a serious interest in Notre Dame and has already made a pair of unofficial visits to South Bend for the spring game in April and Irish Invasion in June. He took a trip to Virginia Tech earlier this fall.

“I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to tour the campus, get an opportunity to speak to Coach Lyght and Coach Joseph as well as soak in the game day atmosphere with one of the biggest rivalries in all of College Football,” he told ISD heading into the weekend. 


The North Carolina specialist has already had some contact with Irish special teams coach Brian Polian. The 6-foot-2, 194-pounder is fired up about the chance to get to South Bend.

“I don’t know if words could truly express the excitement of visiting Notre Dame,” he told ISD. “Doing it at a night game vs a rival is an added plus. History, Tradition, coaches.

“Notre Dame has it all.”

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