Photo by Tristian Leigh
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

April 5, 2020

Written by Joe Bradshaw

The mantra, “the show must go on” is currently applying to college football recruiting. Though the NCAA has put a freeze on all visits, campus or otherwise, there’s still communication between coaches and recruits. And while coaches are obviously not happy with the situation, the suspension of spring football has obviously given them more time to spend recruiting prospects, albeit from a distance. Notre Dame isn’t wasting this time. New offers are going out and relationships are being formed in anticipation of the day when recruits can once again return to campus.

Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2021 prospects, one of whom only recently received a Notre Dame offer. The Notre Dame coaches are staying in contact and trying to make the best of a bad situation. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Tristan Leigh‍, OL, 6-6, 275, Robinson Secondary School, Fairfax, VA planned to spend the spring working in the weight room with his teammates and taking unofficial visits in order to narrow his extensive list of scholarship offers to a workable number. Those plans have been changed because of the impact of COVID-19.

“It kind of messed up by workout schedule because I was getting after it, but I still have some at my house, so it’s pretty good,” he explained. “With recruiting I was trying to get to a couple places and try to find out where I was taking my officials, so this kind of set that back. But I think it’s kind of good because I can sit down and figure things out, so it’s not too bad.”

Leigh holds scholarship offers from nearly every top program in the nation including the last three winners of the BCS National Championship, LSU, Clemson and Alabama. Notre Dame is also on that list of schools to offer the four-star lineman.

“I was going to try to get to Oklahoma and some Florida schools like UCF, Florida, Miami, Florida State,” he said. “I was going to try to get to maybe Notre Dame and some schools I’ve already been to.”

Leigh plans to shift as many of his visits as possible to the summer and fall. Notre Dame would like to get a visit from him. Irish Offensive Line Coach Jeff Quinn has stayed in regular contact with him in hopes of accomplishing just that.

“He just tells me you can’t ignore the development and production of their offensive linemen who have gone to the NFL along with the academics at Notre Dame,” Leigh said of his conversations with Quinn. “He seems like a great guy, old school, balls to wall dude. I like him.”

He is hoping to work South Bend into his limited time for visits.

“I’d like to see practice, just to see how he coaches and stuff and maybe a campus tour to see what they’re talking about,” Leigh said of what he’d be looking at on a Notre Dame visit. “I hear it’s a great place.”

Leigh plans to use the break to trim his list, at least in his head. He already knows what his priorities will be in choosing a school.

“If the school feels like home and the best opportunity for me and my family for the aspirations I have for the NFL if that’s my path and having good opportunities in life in the work place and relationships with the coaches.”

Like Leigh, Terrion Arnold‍, CB, 6-2, 185, St. John Paul II Catholic School, Tallahassee, FL holds offers from nearly every major program in the nation. Notre Dame only recently joined that list, surprising Arnold.

“I was shocked,” he said. “Their process is a very long, thorough process. They’ve been evaluating me and my character. He finally had a meeting with the head coach and I checked all of the boxes.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Arnold has been offered by Florida, Miami, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, USC and many others. There is one aspect to Notre Dame that is different from the others.

“What really stands out to me is that Notre Dame is similar to the school I’m at right now as a Catholic school.”

new Irish defensive backs coach Mike Mickens has already made a positive impression on Arnold. There’s also a connection between the two.

“He’s a good dude,” Arnold said. “He played college football with my uncle. My uncle thinks he’s a great dude too. I like him, I think he really knows the game of football and I look forward to building a relationship with him.”

With the Irish offer in hand, Arnold is now looking for a time to get to South Bend for a visit. The virus restrictions will tighten the window for that and other visits.

“I definitely want to get out there for a visit to check out the staff and see the campus and seeing if it is the right fit for me,” he explained. “I’m going to sit down with my family and my coaches and pick the right fits for me. Obviously I have five officials to take so I’m going to take all of them and I’ll still take a couple unofficials.”

Arnold isn’t claiming any leaders, nor is any school guaranteed an official visit. He does know what he will be looking for when he does check out a university.

“I definitely want to look at the depth chart,” he shared. “Number two, look at the head coach’s job security. I’m definitely looking at my major. I don’t want to come out with an average degree in Communications or something like that. I want to come out with a degree in Business. I’m definitely looking to further my education when I’m picking a school.”

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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