BREAKING: Armstrong Flips To ND
Notre Dame knew if it was going to put together a successful 2017 recruiting class, it would have to flip some targets from other programs down the stretch.
The first successful flip came earlier in the week, when the Irish were able to pluck defensive back Jordan Genmark Heath from California following an official visit to South Bend last weekend.
This weekend’s official visit event has resulted in the second flip in a matter of days as wide receiver Jafar Armstrong has switched his pledge from Missouri to Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from Shawnee Mission, Kan., gives the Irish 17 verbal commitments in the Class of 2017 and joins Louisiana’s Michael Young to give Notre Dame a pair of wide receiver pledges.
Armstrong doesn’t only bring size, he also brings speed having won state titles in the 100-meter dash (10.83 seconds), 200-meter dash (22.13) and 4x100 relay team (42.70) as a junior.
He had been committed to the Tigers since June, but Notre Dame was always a dream school for him and when the Irish offered him a scholarship earlier this month, things began moving quickly. He actually took an official visit to Minnesota last weekend, but Notre Dame was always seen as the premier threat to flip him.
And after seeing South Bend this weekend, that’s exactly what happened.
The work that went into landing Armstrong began much earlier and continued on Wednesday of this week, when a trio of Irish coaches visited Bishop Miege High School.
New wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander was the first to arrive at Armstrong’s school and had a chance to speak with him about how he would fit in Notre Dame’s offense. Irish head coach Brian Kelly and new offensive coordinator Chip Long arrived about a half-hour later to pick up the conversation in advance of this weekend’s visit.
“They kind of see him as an inside guy or as an outside guy,” Bishop Miege head coach Jon Holmes told Irish Sports Daily. “They feel like his tape shows both, which was good. All three coaches mentioned they liked how fast and how physical he was. All three mentioned that at least once or twice each.
“That’s one of his strengths and why he’s so good at routes because he’s able to play both inside and outside. That’s one reason why we did it, for the next level, so guys could see him do that and figure out where he would fit best in an offense.”
That was a key to pulling off the flip, according to Holmes.
“When you’re committed to another school and you’re looking at other places, that’s kind of what you want to hear and why you would be looking, you want to hear how you would fit with that program and see if there’s a way where that would work out,” he said.
Additionally, it was important Armstrong felt comfortable with not only the coaches as people, but also with the university as a whole.
ISD expert Jamie Uyeyama was actually surprised the Irish hadn’t taken notice of Armstrong earlier in the process.
“Regardless of the reasons, I really like what I see out of Armstrong as a prospect,” Uyeyama said. “In fact, I think he is a better one than former commit Jordan Pouncey.
Uyeyama has Armstrong ranked just below four stars.
“I certainly see some 4-star traits from him, though,” he added. “In particular, his long speed and ball skills are impressive. I have some questions about his short-area quickness and that is what kept me from grading him a bit higher.”
Stay tuned to Irish Sports Daily for more on this breaking news.