Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Premium Sports 7-on-7 "Locked & Loaded" For Tour

February 26, 2020

It’ll be a busy few days for the Premium Sports 7-on-7 program out of Los Angeles as the squad will make stops at North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State before wrapping up the trip with a stop at Notre Dame on Monday.

“We’re locked and loaded,” Premium Sports Founder and CEO Malik “Fig” James told Irish Sports Daily.

James has several players who have received varying degrees of interest from the Irish to this point.

“I think Notre Dame is dabbling with most of the athletes on our team,” said James. “If they haven’t been to their school, they’ve reached out with phone calls. I also understand Notre Dame is a national program and they recruit from every inch of the country.

“A lot of our guys have interest, not many of them have scholarship offers at this point, but I think that can change. We have a full calendar year until they can sign. As long as the kids work hard and take care of their business in the classrooms, things can definitely change.”

2021 cornerback/receiver DJ Harvey‍ is one Premium Sports prospect who does currently have an Irish offer and James says he’s “really, really high on them.”

2021 athlete Jaylin Smith‍ has been in contact with the Irish staff and had planned to visit earlier this month, but had to cancel.

James has a few other players he thinks are worth noting, including 2021 wide receiver Jonah Carnell‍, whose early offer sheet includes Arizona State, and 2021 cornerback Kamren Blanton‍, who has a Utah State offer.

“Jonah Carnell has actually been to South Bend twice and worked out at a camp,” said James. “I believe he’ll have a shot.”

“Kamren Blanton, the cornerback who just transferred from Long Beach Poly to St. John Bosco, he’s been there twice.”

James said he’s “really, really high on” 2021 quarterback Chayden Peery‍ who will be part of the trip as well. Obviously, the Irish have highly-touted quarterback Tyler Buchner as a commit, but James understands this trip could help spur interest from other schools even if there may not be a spot with the Irish.

“They’re a part of an elite team,” James said. “This isn’t a rinky-dink squad that we threw together for a few days. These are the best kids I’ve seen in California, not just ranking, but ability-wise, academics, hard-working, character. These are first-class athletes.

“With a program with rich history and great academics, even if our kids don’t choose Notre Dame, just to be a part of that program and understand the prestige and be on campus to just see what South Bend is about, I think that’s important for us.”

Kamren Blanton camped in South Bend last summer.

James knows the Notre Dame staff very well and sees the coaches in South Bend as first class as well.

“I played for Brian Kelly at UC and Mike Elston,” he explained. “I’ve had a relationship with DelVaughn Alexander since I got into coaching. We’re both from South Central LA and he’s given a lot of mentorship to me when he comes back; ways to carry myself, evaluating prospects, even getting on the board and teaching me things offensively. It makes it a prime target for me to get out there.

“It’s a great staff, first-class staff, hard workers. They’re going to get the most out of you. If you follow just BK’s history from Central Michigan and taking Cincinnati to the Orange Bowl in his second year and the Sugar Bowl in his third year. He’s just a phenomenal person. For me, I have the utmost respect for him because, like I said, I’m born in South Central Los Angeles. For this guy whose philosophy was to win Cincinnati, win Ohio to extend a scholarship to me and actually take his time to visit me, that meant went the world to me. That’s a huge reason why I went to Cincinnati originally. He’s a first-class guy who puts his players first. He’s always going to get the most out of them and do the right thing as far as developing them mentally and physically.”

James believes in the future of the Notre Dame program under Kelly.

“I know what they’re looking to do, which is to win a national championship. I know they’ve been blessed with several opportunities, but I think their time is coming. I’d just love my guys to be a part of those guys’ lives.”

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