Recruiting Week In Review
The 2018 offers just keep coming. The Irish coaching staff has been very busy evaluating players and sending out offers in bunches. They’re hoping this hard work will pay off and the players they’re targeting have almost unanimously been returning the affection.
If Notre Dame is going to put last season’s debacle behind them, the best way to do that now is to continue to land big time recruits that show that last season’s setback was just that, a setback and not a program killing season. Of course, they’re also going to have to produce on the field but with that chore still more than six months away, the coaching staff is doing all they can do at the moment to rebuild the Notre Dame brand.
Last week, Irish Sports Daily reported on two highly coveted recruits from opposite ends of the nation. Both recruits responded very positively to Notre Dame’s interest, showing that the Irish name still possesses enough cachet to recruit at a high level nationally. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Dax Hollifield, LB, 6-1, 220, Shelby High School, Shelby, NC felt the need to start narrowing down his extensive list of scholarship offers to a more manageable number and came up with nine. Notre Dame made his list along with North Carolina, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford.
“By doing that it’s going to help me to narrow it down and make the decision a whole lot easier as time goes on,” he explained. “These people have been texting me the most, staying in contact with me the most. Most of them have been recruiting me my whole high school career, since I was a freshman or sophomore.”
Though Hollifield has long been interested in Notre Dame, the hiring of Mike Elko and Clark Lea brought a measure of familiarity to the Irish that was previously lacking.
“I always liked Notre Dame, that was probably one of my dream offers, if not the dream offer,” he shared. “I was very excited because I really knew somebody who would be coaching there. I’d talked to Coach (Mike) Elston but I didn’t know him that well like I knew Coach Lea and Coach Elko.”
“I like the tradition there of Notre Dame Football, their fan base; I loved the game day atmosphere. I want to go to a school that loves football and will care about you after you graduate.”
While he was at Wake Forest, Elko was recruiting Hollifield for the Rover position. Now that Elko is at Notre Dame he sees a different role for him.
“At Wake Forest they thought that I was going to be more of an athletic guy who can cover,” he explained. “He said I’d probably be playing that, but now that he can recruit like he is, I’d probably play the Mike position, that middle linebacker.”
Hollifield plans to travel extensively this summer. He hopes to hit many, if not all, of his nine favorites.
“I don’t know if I can hit them all, but I really want to try to,” he said. “Then I’m going to try to narrow it down to the five where I’ll take my five official visits.”
Hollifield says that’s there’s only one real criteria for him in choosing a school.
“I just want to play,” he stated. “I want to play. That’s
really it. I’m going to go somewhere I feel like I can play.”
Notre Dame coaches looked to the other side of the country for another early scholarship offer. Isaah Crocker, WR, 6-1, 170, Inderkum High School, Sacramento, CA just recently received his Irish scholarship offer and while the four-star receiver had been anxiously awaiting Notre Dame to come calling, in the end it was well worth it when Irish special teams coordinator Brian Polian gave him the good news.
“We’d been talking about it for a couple weeks,” Crocker told ISD. “He was saying they were supposed to offer me earlier. The wide receiver coach and the staff liked my film. They were going to offer me earlier but the wide receiver coach had something going on. I was excited. This is one of my biggest offers.”
Crocker’s 4.5-speed in the 40 has prompted offers from a number of Pac-12 schools, but Notre Dame is his first offer from a school east of the Mississippi River.
“I watch a lot of Pac-12, but I know Notre Dame is a very good school,” he offered. “I know Aaron Banks goes there now. Me and him have a good connection, so I’m going to have to hit him up again about it. I’ve watched Notre Dame since I was a little kid too.”
Crocker’s next opportunity to speak to Banks could be in person. He hopes to take an unofficial visit to South Bend sooner rather than later.
“I’m trying to get out there,” he said. “Coach Polian was telling me that they wanted me to get out there if I was serious. I told him I was serious about it. I wanted to see if I could go out there when I have spring break and they have spring practice to go watch and see how it is.”
Crocker recently shone at an adidas 7-on-7 tournament held in Los Angeles. His performance caught the attention of Polian and the other coaches in attendance.
“They like my size and the way I play, my athleticism,” he shared. “My grades are very good too. I was killing it at the Adidas Tournament this past weekend.”
Crocker used his time in Los Angeles to visit USC and UCLA and might do so again when he returns for the next tournament, also held in L.A. He’s also considering a separate trip to Eugene, Oregon to visit the Ducks. Despite his ambitious travel schedule, he insists he’s in no hurry to make a decision.
“I’m just taking my time, leaving my options open,” he
explained. “Notre Dame is a big offer for me. I’m not really committing early.”
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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