Recruiting Week In Review

January 21, 2017

Notre Dame’s coaching staff is up to full strength again and the Irish coaches are out hitting the recruiting trail very hard.  They are working to salvage the 2017 class and from all reports are leaving no stones unturned.  They are not only working hard to develop relationships with uncommitted recruits but also aren’t shying away from reaching out to committed ones as well.  Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two young men that would fill glaring needs in this class.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

When Notre Dame coaches Todd Lyght and Mike Elko visited Tre Norwood, CB, 6-0, 170, Northside High School, Fort Smith, AR Lyght let Elko do the talking.  The Irish Defensive Backs Coach had previously met with the three-star Arkansas cornerback so he let him and his family get to know the new defensive coordinator. 

“Coach Elko was just letting me know how he felt about me and how he’s wanted me since Wake,” Norwood said.  “He was kind of letting my parents get to know him since he’s kind of new to Notre Dame still.  This was Coach Lyght’s second time down, so he was just letting us get a feel for Coach Elko.”

Norwood came away with a very positive impression of Notre Dame’s new defensive leader. 

“I think he’s a real good guy and he’s a great coach and I feel like he has a great plan for the future,” he said.  “I feel like he’s going to put the defensive players in the best position to make plays and be a great defense.  He had a good defense at Wake, so I feel like he can do the same at Notre Dame.”

Norwood also has a very positive impression of Lyght. 

He’s a real cool guy,” he shared.  “I love him as a coach being that he’s been through this process and knows what it takes to succeed.”

Norwood recently decommitted from Louisville and plans to take an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of the 20th.  While he’s fascinated and impressed by the history and tradition, those won’t be the most important things he looks for on the visit.

“My main thing and my parents main thing is academics,” he said.  “It’s a great academic school.  The football program had a down year last year, but they’re going to be back on the rise.” 

In addition to checking out the academics, he wants to get to know the players, the coaches and the overall atmosphere of the school.  After the Notre Dame visit, he plans to take his final one to Oklahoma.  Despite his late busy schedule, the process doesn’t seem to be causing his undue stress.

“It wasn’t too bad,” he said.  “I just talked it over with my family and prayed about it.  I’m just taking the process day by day.” 

While he isn’t ready to name a leader, he’ll need to be coming to a conclusion soon.  He plans to announce his decision either the day before or on Signing Day.  He does know what will drive his decision.

“Great academics, great relationship with the coach and just a great feel for the school overall and a place that feels like home as a family.”

Deontre Thomas, DT, 6-2, 260, Mustang High School, Mustang, OK is currently committed to Nebraska but is listening to Notre Dame.  Though the Irish haven’t offered him yet, he feels certain, after talking to Defensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Mike Elston that one is in the offing. 

“He’s going to offer me ASAP,” Thomas shared.  “He took my picture and stuff and wants to go back and talk it over with Coach (Mike) Elko, the DC and then they’re going to get back with me.  He said he wants me out there.”

Thomas has been committed to Nebraska since April but did admit to enjoying his visit with Elston. 

“We had a pretty good conversation,” he said.  “We hung out for like forty minutes and then he came back and we hung out again.  He talked about the campus and how things are going to be way better this year.  Last year they went 4-8 and he was just talking about how everything is going to be better and how he used to coach linebackers and now is the defensive line coach and he wants men like me.”

Thomas isn’t sure when Elston will reach out to him again, but believes it will be soon. 

“He didn’t give me a time frame but ASAP,” he said.  “It could be tomorrow, it could be the next day.”

While the Irish definitely want to get the three-star defensive tackle on campus, for Thomas it’s not nearly as much about the campus as it is the relationships. 

“It has to do with the coaches,” he explained.  “We have to have a really strong relationship because that’s who I’m going to be with most of the time.”

He has an official visit to Nebraska scheduled the weekend of the 20th so that would leave only the last weekend of January for him to trek to Notre Dame.  If he does take that visit it will be obvious why. 

“Notre Dame is at the top as far as coming at me hard.”

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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