Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

March 15, 2020

Written by Joe Bradshaw

As usual Notre Dame’s recruiting reach extends from coast to coast, north to south and even overseas to Hawaii and Europe. Though the Midwest if the hearth area of Irish recruiting, the current roster features players from as far away as Dusseldorf in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to Hawaii and from Minnesota to Florida. It’s no surprise that recently Irish Sports Daily reported on recruits from Maryland and California. Both bring athleticism and versatility and would look good in Blue and Gold. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Ryan Barnes‍, DB, 6-2, 175, Quince Orchard High School, Gaithersburg, MD has been receiving considerable attention from Notre Dame Associate Head Coach and Defensive Line Coach Mike Elston and Director of Football Recruiting Aaryn Kearney as of late and he seems to be returning their interest.

“Coach Elston and Coach AK have been in constant contact with me for the past few months,” he shared. “Coach AK usually talks about my film and just asking how my day is going. He says they love my film and that they want me to get there for a visit.”

Apparently, Kearney’s invitation resonated with Barnes as he planned to South Bend to visit Notre Dame on April 7th before the NCAA instituted the current dead period in response to Covid-19 concerns.

“Ever since I was young, just watching Notre Dame, I’ve been a Notre Dame fan,” he said. “I’ve been to the school and seen the campus right before the spring game when I was younger. It’s definitely an opportunity I would love to have.”

Barnes’ connection to Indiana goes deeper than just seeing Notre Dame play on television. The three-star prospect’s grandparents live in Indiana and he’s been by the campus numerous times in his youth. Now he will have the opportunity to see it in much greater detail and not just as a visitor but as a recruit.

“The facilities, just being able to see those in person, the chance to interact with the coaches and players,” he said of his visit priorities. “It’s been a while but I’d like to see the campus and how it really flows and what life is like on a day to day basis.”

Though Notre Dame has yet to offer, several top football programs have already thrown their hats in the ring. He currently has received scholarship offers from Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Penn State and numerous others. And Barnes has already taken several unofficial visits as he examines his options for playing at the next level.

Barnes had already taken trips to Clemson, Tennessee, Maryland, Duke and Georgia. In addition to Notre Dame, he was also planning a trip to Virginia Tech, saying he wanted to visit as many places as he could.

The visits help Barnes clarify his thoughts on each of the programs.

“Getting the opportunity to build relationships with these coaches and just being able to get on campus, I think it will definitely be able to help a lot with me making a decision and narrowing down all the opportunities I have,” he explained.

While technically listed as a cornerback, Barnes knows he is more versatile than just that one position.

“I know that I can play any DB position,” he said.

He’s looking for a school that can prepare him for the next level, both academically and athletically.

“My parents always preach academics first, so making sure that university has a major I’m interested in, great campus environment and athletically, having a staff that can develop my skill and talent for the next level.”

On the other side of the country, Brock Bowers‍, TE, 6-4, 220, Napa High School, Napa, CA recently completed a visit to Notre Dame and came away impressed.

“We got in yesterday (March 3rd) afternoon and went around the football facilities and checked everything out,” he recounted. “After that we sat down and had dinner with some of the coaches.”

The coaches at the dinner were Irish Recruiting Coordinator Brian Polian, Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees and new Tight Ends Coach John McNulty.

“It was cool,” Bowers said of the meal and the meeting. “They’re some great guys.”

On Wednesday, the four-star tight end prospect took a tour of the campus and met with the coaches and academic people.

“The campus was super nice,” he said. “Of course the facilities were nice. The new practice facility looks super cool.”

Bowers could play tight end or defensive end at the next level but it’s significant that he met with the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. He came away impressed with McNulty.

“He has a ton of football knowledge,” Bowers shared. “He’s very smart about everything.”

Bowers also met with Head Coach Brian Kelly who reinforced the idea that the Irish want him at tight end.

“We talked for a little bit,” he remembered.  “He made more clear that he wanted me there as a tight end on the offensive side. He said that if it wasn’t working out too well, he said I could try out defense. It’s super cool knowing that I’d have that kind of opportunity there.”

Bowers was impressed by his Notre Dame visit and it’s a good thing because the Irish, who have offered the four-star tight end a scholarship, are facing stiff competition for his signature on letter of intent day. He also holds scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Oregon, Cal, Washington, LSU, Georgia, Penn State, Michigan and many others.

He planned to finish his trip east by making stops at Penn State and Michigan. However, he’s also already planning a return trip to Notre Dame.

“In my mind I want to come back and take another visit if I’m able to and check it out more in-depth,” Bowers said. “I’m not really sure yet, maybe during the summer or the fall for a game.”

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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