Photo by Matt Freeman
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

December 30, 2019

Written by Joe Bradshaw

Notre Dame’s Camping World Bowl 33-9 pasting of Iowa State finished off an improbable run of six straight victories following the Michigan debacle.  With the exception of Virginia Tech, they were blowout wins against overmatched opponents.  Considering that Iowa State lost to number four Oklahoma by one and number seven Baylor by two, the Irish should jump up nicely in the final poll but that remains to be seen. 

While the polls seem to have failed to notice the Irish late season rise, the recruits didn’t.  Notre Dame signed their Class of 2020 without any defections on the early signing day. 

Unless there’s a late surprise or someone brought in via the transfer portal, Notre Dame can turn its full attention to the Class of 2021.  And with a three year record of 33-6, including two bowl wins, the Irish coaches have much to sell on the recruiting trail.  Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2021 prospects, both with ties to Notre Dame.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Jayden Thomas‍, WR, 6-2, 185, Pace Academy, Atlanta, GA knows it’s now his turn.  With the Class of 2020 mostly in the books, it’s time for his class to take center stage.

“I’m looking forward to it with schools come after me more and more,” Thomas said. 

Thomas recently visited Notre Dame and when he left he took a scholarship offer with him.  Since that time he has stayed in touch with Notre Dame Wide Receivers Coach Del Alexander.

“It’s every now and then on Twitter,” Thomas shared.  “Coach Alexander hits me up.  He says he needs more guys like me and guys like Deion Colzie and Cane (Berrong).  He said he needs those Georgia boys.”

Thomas trains with Colzie at Terrence Edwards Wide Receiver Academy.  He’s close friends with Berrong.

“(Berrong) is just saying, ‘Come on bro,’” Thomas said.  “Also, the lineman Blake Fisher, he’s in my ear too.”

Thomas wants to return to South Bend but doesn’t know when.

“For sure I’m trying to come back up there,” he said.  “I’d like to see more of the school because I’ve seen the athletic part.”

Besides Notre Dame, Thomas holds scholarship offers from Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, South Carolina and many others.  At this point he does not have a timeline for a decision.

Notre Dame is returning to familiar territory to recruit Jakailin Johnson.  Johnson, CB, 6-1, 165 De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis, MO hails from the same school as top Irish signee Jordan Johnson.  Now it’s Jakailin’s, turn to get the attention.

“Yeah, they’re coming after him along with a lot of other premier Power Five schools,” said De Smet Head Coach Robert Steeples. 

Johnson isn’t the only Power Five prospect playing for Steeples’ Spartans.

“We’ve got JK, the running back Taj Butts and (defensive tackle) Mekhi Wingo are guys who are really on their radar.”

Butts holds Power Five offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville and Purdue, Wingo from those same schools plus West Virginia and a couple of others.  Additionally, offensive linemen Brody Wisecarver and Hutson Lillibridge have Power Five offers and have taken visits to South Bend.  For Steeples, it’s a natural fit for his players to be attracted to Notre Dame and vice versa.

“We’re trying to establish a pipeline,” he explained.  “Our culture fits theirs as a blue-collar, high academic institution.”

Steeples understands why the Irish are so interested in Johnson.

“He’s savvy and he’s competitive,” he said.  “You couple that with the elite speed and tackling ability and ball skills, he’s a complete corner.  He can press you up and get physical with you, he can play off and play some zone.”

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

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