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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

ISD's Full Lid For Tuesday

March 2, 2021


2023 Alabama cornerback AJ Harris‍ was plenty familiar with Notre Dame prior to being offered by the Irish last week. Harris’ father grew up in Gary, Ind., and is a longtime Irish fan, so Harris grew up watching the Irish too.

“I've always really wanted to attend Notre Dame, so it's kind of a blessing to get the offer,” Harris told ISD.

With offers from schools like Georgia, Auburn, Oklagoma, Michigan and Penn State among others, Notre Dame’s competition will be steep, but new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens got the Irish off to a great start.

“I love Coach Freeman's energy off the bat,” Harris said. “He came with a lot of energy when we got on the phone.

“With Coach Mickens, I liked what he told me. He was like, I believe if you go to Notre Dame and you have your head on straight, you get the academics done and you play football at a high level at Notre Dame, you can definitely get drafted.”

Harris will stay in touch with Freeman and Mickens in the meantime, but eventually is looking to schedule a trip to the Midwest to see family and Notre Dame.


Following the offer to  TJ Shanahan‍, we told you we expected the 2023 Florida offensive lineman to return to South Bend for a visit when given the chance. Shanahan has confirmed that news.

“One thousand percent. That's probably one of the first schools I’d visit. So yeah. Without a doubt.”

Shanahan made an informal stop in South Bend a couple summers ago before he was a true national prospect. 

He’s definitely a guy to watch in the Class of 2023.


Kyren Williams’ 65-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage certainly set the tone for the win over Clemson back in November.

Obviously a great individual effort by Williams and great blocking by the Irish, but A LOT went into this call and it had an impact on the game beyond giving the Irish an early 7-0 lead.

Coach Sting will dive into the Irish’s win over the Tigers in-depth tomorrow, but we felt this was a great preview of what to expect from the full piece.

By no means is Javon McKinley’s block on the corner a devastating blow, but it showcases how well coached the Irish wide receiver was and how he was able to apply what he learned in real-time.  We’ll let Coach Sting explain.

Clemson lined up in Quarters (Cover 4) to the field side and Cover 2 to the boundary side, for what is generally referred to as Cover 6 (4+2 = 6). Typically, in Cover 2, it is CB run support to that side and in Cover 4, it is safety run support.

This is why you see the safety to the field for the Tigers play flat-footed and not as deep as the Cover 2 safety and you see the CB to the field “off” the WR. Conversely, you see the CB closer to the WR to the boundary side and the safety deeper and in a back-pedal demeanor, even before the ball is snapped.

You can see McKinley is coached up using the same secondary clues just explained when it comes to who to block. He comes off the ball thinking he has a safety run support secondary to his side (Cover 4), but quickly realizes that the safety is back-pedaling and his CB does not bail. From here, he astutely turns back and gets just enough on the CB for Williams to be one-on-one with the safety at depth, a matchup Williams wins easily.”

Coach Sting points out that showing this coverage so early in the game suggests it was something the Tigers intended to use throughout, but they would go back to it only once the rest of the game.  

Again, check back tomorrow for a complete breakdown through regulation of the Irish’s November win over Clemson. 



Clearly some schools are already preparing for the end of the dead period.


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