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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

ISD Intel | Blue-Gold Weekend Preview Edition

April 21, 2023

Notre Dame will host several important recruits for this weekend’s spring game and 2024 Utah defender Davis Andrews‍ is one near the top of the list.

Andrews was offered by the Irish back in January and immediately locked in the visit for Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game.

The American Fork standout also has offers from schools like Utah, BYU, UCLA, Stanford, Colorado, Arizona and Tennessee among others, but the offer from the Irish immediately caught his attention.

“The biggest thing that grabbed him is just how buttoned up the headman there is,” says Will Snowden.

“Anyone who meets Coach (Marcus) Freeman can identify quickly that this guy is on a different level, and Davis was able to identify extremely quickly that Marcus is on a different level as far as his ability to communicate and his ability to really connect with young athletes. He's been super impressed with Coach Freeman and the whole staff. So, number one, it was Coach Freeman.”

As the owner of Alpha Recruits, Snowden serves as a trainer, 7-on-7 coach and advisor for players like Andrews.

“Number two, it's the Irish,” Snowden continues. “It's the most storied football program in the country. He's super excited about that opportunity. He can't wait to get there this weekend.”

This weekend’s visit will be a great opportunity for Andrews to see how well he fits with Notre Dame as a program and school.

“He wants to make sure it's not only a fit with the coaches, because the coaches are one thing, coaches come and go, but really what he's looking for is what is the culture?” says Snowden. “What does that culture look like as far as that locker room? What are the guys he's going to go to war with like? Can he be comfortable there in that in that setting?

“I'm pretty confident, and he's pretty confident that he's going to be very comfortable with the locker room, very comfortable with the facilities.”

Snowden is familiar with Notre Dame as he served a similar role for 2022 Utah athlete Carson Tabaracci‍, who was also recruited by the Irish.

“There's no question about what he's going to see,” says Snowden. “He is also going to get a real good look the defensive scheme. How do I fit into this scheme?”

Snowden is convinced Andrews has the potential to be a star in virtually any scheme.

“Davis is a super special talent,” he says. “When you look at him, what makes him super dangerous is he can play so many different positions. Tall, super long, moves really well side to side. He's physical, plays downhill, really has exceptional ball skills and a great understanding for the game.

“What's going to be exciting is to see what Notre Dame or whoever he ends up signing with, what position he plays because he can play free, he can play strong, and he also could get pushed down to an outside backer and be exceptional as far as just covering and never having to come off the field.”

Andrews possesses cornerback skills because that’s the position he trained at growing up and combines that with size, football IQ and a willingness to be physical.

“He really is a guy who can do it all,” Snowden says. “Davis is a trained corner who hits like a backer and runs the lane like a safety. That's hard to find.”

From his point of view, Snowden believes Andrews’ greatest potential could be at outside linebacker.

“I think he's just too fluid, too athletic and he's not gun shy at all,” Snowden says. “I think he can develop into an All-Conference, All-American-type outside backer just on his movement skills alone.

“I believe he could do it at any position, but at backer, I think he's a rare backer. I think he's what every college coach is looking for. You always want a safety who you can push down in the box, who's willing to be physical, but who can cover and cover a lot of ground. And that's what Davis is able to do.”

Andrews doesn’t have a strong preference, according to Snowden.

“That's what's so nice about Davis, he's a football guy,” says Snowden. “He's going to play wherever you need him to play, and he'll be highly effective wherever you put him.”

The Irish couldn’t be in a much stronger position than they are coming into the visit.

“I can't speak for Davis, but obviously in my mentorship with him, there's no question that Notre Dame is for sure in the top four of his schools that are recruiting him,” says Snowden, who notes other schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern are showing serious interest as well as all the schools that have already offered.

“Whoever signs him is going to be super happy and I think Notre Dame has an exceptional chance to do it, so this weekend's going to be big.”

This is just the first visit for Andrews to South Bend. He’s already decided to get back for an official visit.

The plan is to take as many official visits in June as possible.

“In a perfect world, he would like to be committed this summer, but you know how that goes.”

IT STARTS UP FRONT: Marcus Freeman has made it clear that the foundation of Notre Dame’s success starts with the offensive and defensive line. The staff will be hosting plenty of important recruits this weekend, but none are as important as the 2024 prospects who play on both sides of the line.

How many offensive linemen Notre Dame decides to take in the 2024 class may be up for debate, but we don’t see any way they would turn down a commitment from Styles Prescod‍, Grant Brix‍ or Guerby Lambert‍.

Prescod and Brix are visiting this weekend while Lambert had to cancel, but is expected to reschedule.

It says a lot about Prescod as a prospect that Harry Hiestand, who was as patient and particular as an evaluator as any offensive line coach in the country, saw Prescod as someone worth offering before many others who had a higher consensus ranking than him.

It's also no coincidence that once Notre Dame offered, several other top programs offered shortly after. In a cycle with a lack of elite tackle prospects, Prescod has the tools to develop into a future pro as a left tackle. He has the frame, the feet, and the arm length at the position as well as the mentality as a run blocker that many who can move like him don't have. He's going to take some time to develop technically, but the traits are there for him to become a starter at left tackle for the Irish. With that being a critical position of need in this class, landing a commitment from him would be a significant development.

Brix doesn’t play top competition, but the traits are undeniable with him much like they were with Billy Schrauth. He has an edge as a run blocker and though he is relatively inexperienced in pass protection, his flexibility and mobility project well for him in that department.

Lambert is arguably the most important uncommitted recruit on offense for the Irish. He has all the tools to develop into a high-level tackle and could even kick inside to guard. He’s a beast as a run blocker and has a massive frame. Elite tackle prospects in this class are few and far between. Lambert is one of the few and that makes him a priority.

Notre Dame has had a number of 2024 offensive line targets take visits in recent weeks. These three are the best of that group.

TJ Lindsey‍ is a 3-tech prospect who is much better than his consensus ranking would suggest. He has a relentless motor and should thrive once he moves to the interior.

A projected Vyper, Mylachi Williams‍ has as high of a ceiling as any Notre Dame target with his length, twitch, and outstanding reactive athleticism. He has special pass rush potential and he’s a member of Jamie Uyeyama’s Fab 50 here on ISD.

Bryce Young‍ is much more than a legacy recruit. He’s someone who is just scratching the surface with his game and once he learns to use his length, his game will go to another level. He has a pretty good teacher at home and when you combine that with all of the physical traits he inherited from his father, I could see him rising to a top-100 prospect before this cycle is finished. He’s only played one year on the defensive line.

Benedict Umeh‍ had to scratch a scheduled visit this weekend because of lack of transportation, but sources say he will “definitely” get to South Bend at some point. He is one of the more intriguing targets up front with only one full season of playing football under his belt, but the kind of size and lateral twitch that SEC programs would covet. He’s likely going to be a 3-technique defensive tackle in college and when his hands catch up to his feet with his development, he could end up as one of the better defensive line prospects in this cycle.

If Notre Dame ultimately landed two of these four, it would be significant for their class. If they land more than two in addition to already committed Owen Wafle‍, then we would immediately place this above the strong group they signed in the previous cycle.

COMMIT WATCH?: If we had to put one prospect on Commit Watch for the weekend, it would be Styles Prescod‍.

In fact, even if we didn’t have to put a prospect on Commit Watch, we would still do so with the 2024 Indiana offensive lineman.

We asked one trusted source if we should read into the fact that Prescod was returning to South Bend this weekend after just being there last weekend.

“I would.”

The same source said they weren’t “100 percent” sure that an announcement would be coming soon, but that they anticipated something.

BRIX EXCITED FOR FIRST ND TRIP: 2024 Iowa offensive lineman Grant Brix‍ has seen a boost in his recruitment by the Irish over the past couple months.

“Ever since Coach (Joe) Rudolph came in, I've been talking to him probably once a week,” Brix says. “He just likes how I play football and thinks I'd be a great fit Notre Dame.

“He's a great guy. He's very honest about everything, down to earth, which I can relate to.”

He’s looking forward to meeting the entire coaching staff, especially Rudolph this weekend.

Brix’s offer sheet includes schools like Notre Dame, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, Oregon, Miami, Stanford, Wisconsin and Tennessee among others.

He’s been busy recently with trips to Iowa, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kansas State, Nebraska, Pitt, Penn State, Tennessee and could schedule a few more after this weekend.

He’ll then take official visits, which will serve as a de facto narrowing of his list.

LINDSEY READY FOR ND RETURN: A top target for the Irish for over a year now, 2024 Arkansas defensive lineman TJ Lindsey‍ attended Notre Dame BBQ event last summer.

He’ll make his return for this weekend’s Blue-Gold Game.

“Just seeing kind of a game day, what it's like for the players and then a sort of game day environment,” says Lindsey, who understands it won’t be exactly like a Saturday in the fall.

The Notre Dame coaching staff, led by Al Washington and Al Golden, have remained in heavy contact with Lindsey.

“I talk to everybody,” the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder says. “We really just talked casually, just building relationships. We talked (Monday) and they were just excited to get me back up there.”

Lindsey has had a busy spring, including stops at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss.

Look for Lindsey to announce a Top 10 later this spring and to take his recruitment into the fall.

He will be able to reconnect with a fellow Arkansas defender this weekend in South Bend with 2024 linebacker Brian Huff‍.

“That's my guy.”

HUFF “CAN’T WAIT” TO SEE ND: Brian Huff‍ is also excited that Lindsey will be in South Bend this weekend.

“We talk pretty often,” he says of himself and Lindsey.

He’ll make his own decision – and with offers from schools like Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, he has plenty of options – but Huff wouldn’t mind ending up at the same school as Lindsey.

“It would be cool to go play with a guy from Arkansas that I know,” he says. “If it came down to it, it would really be a pretty cool opportunity.”

Apparently, Lindsey can be a bit more understated when speaking with reporters than his friends.

“He told me it was the best place he's ever been to and it was a great experience,” Huff said back in February of Lindsey’s thoughts on Notre Dame.

Huff was initially supposed to visit South Bend last month, but the 2024 Arkansas linebacker rescheduled for this weekend.

“I can't wait,” he says. “I'm ready to see the facilities and meet the coaches.

“They want to show me their defensive stuff, show me around the campus, just let me see their environment, how they practice and how they play.”

Irish defensive coordinator Al Golden has been a constant in Huff’s recruitment.

“We talk every day,” Huff says of himself and Golden. “He sends me quotes and stuff all the time. We talk on the phone about how my day was.

“He's real cool. We talk a lot. He's a cool, cool guy. I love his personality.”

Another source points to Golden and his resume as a central reason why Huff made sure to take a closer look at the Irish in the first place.

“Of course, Notre Dame is a national brand, so it is always going to grab your eye,” the source says. “But Golden is a good defense coordinator, NFL guy, college guy….This guy been around. This is a guy that we need to talk to and try to see if that's going to fit.”

Huff has the versatility to play inside and out, but has made it clear he prefers to get on the edge, although he also says, “I’ll play wherever.”

“I think the biggest thing, of course, is his size,” the source says. “He's 6-3, 225. I think before basketball season, he was 6-3, like 230, 235. He's a big kid, athletic and once the lights comes on, he really takes over. He can take over a football game, man. I think just his size and his speed and just his overall ability to play different linebacker spots are key to me.”

Huff had a busy spring with visits to UCF, Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Arkansas and Arkansas State. He still wants to get to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

“We've been moving him around the country, trying to get him out to see everything he can,” the source says. “He only gets this one chance to be recruited and we want to make it right and make sure he makes the best decision for him and his family.”

This will be the first of at least two Notre Dame visits as he’s already locked in an official for the weekend of June 9th. He’s set to be at UCF for an official the weekend before and Missouri the final weekend of June.

He’s planning to make a commitment toward the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall.

NEW ND STAFFER WILL MAKE IMPACT: Lindsey is quite familiar with Notre Dame’s new Director of Player Personnel Butler Benton.

Benton had served as Arkansas’ General Manager prior to being announced by the Irish earlier this week.

“I used to talk to Butler all the time,” Lindsey says.

“He's a cool person. He is real down to earth, always solid dude. You can always talk to him. He is just a nice person.”

Does Benton’s presence in South Bend help the Irish’s chances at landing Lindsey?

“It definitely doesn't hurt them.”

MYLACHI WILLIAMS WILL HAVE EXTRA TOUR GUIDE: Jack Muldoon couldn’t hide it if he tried, so he doesn’t bother.

The head coach at Monsignor Bonner Catholic High School is a huge Notre Dame fan.

Muldoon isn’t going to do anything to push 2024 Pennsylvania defensive end Mylachi Williams‍ toward the Irish, but he’ll be a helpful resource this weekend in South Bend.

“He's excited,” Muldoon says. “I'm excited to show him around. I haven't been out there in a while, so I'm looking forward to it.”

Williams will fly in on Friday while Muldoon will drive out with a couple younger Power 5 prospects – 2025 receiver Jalil Hall and 2026 defensive back Dylan Abram.

Williams, who has stayed in constant contact with Al Golden, has been busy this spring with trips to Texas A&M, West Virginia, Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Rutgers.

He hasn’t talked about a firm timeline or any favorites just yet.

“He's kind of open right now. He hasn't narrowed it down to anything. He's just going to go visit by visit and make his choice when he is ready.”

IRISH GOT ON 2024 S DENSON EARLY: 2024 Rhode Island safety Justin Denson‍ hasn’t received a ton of attention from Irish fans just yet, but has received plenty of attention from colleges across the country with offers from schools like Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma and Penn State.

Notre Dame is excited about hosting the La Salle Academy standout this weekend to get to know him better personally.

From Denson’s point of view, the decision to visit South Bend was a simple one.

“They asked me if I could come and I said, 'Yeah, I'll come,’” he says.

But he was fired up about being offered by the Irish, an offer he announced on St. Patrick’s Day.

“I was really happy because me and the coaches at Notre Dame have a really good relationship,” he says. “They showed a lot of love and they'd been recruiting me before I blew up.”

Defensive coordinator Al Golden and safeties coach Chris O’Leary have left strong early impressions.

Denson is excited to see how the Irish defensive backs play, how they’re coached, what their intensity level is and the culture of Notre Dame in general.  

The 6-foot-2, 184-pounder has a clear idea of what he’s looking for in a college.

“I want to play early. I want to be developed both as a person and as a football player and I want a chance to make it to the NFL.”

TALENTED 2025 TEXAS RECEIVER COMING: Taz Williams‍ has 30 offers from some of the top programs in the country, including Notre Dame, Texas A&M, TCU, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Oregon among others.

The Red Oak High School standout has been talking with Irish receivers coach Chansi Stuckey on a weekly basis.

“I like him a lot,” Williams says of Stuckey. “We talk a lot and he also talks about stuff outside of football. It's not all about football. It's about my daily life, school, how our family's doing, all of that stuff. It really means a lot asking those kind of questions and just really get to know me outside of football.”

The academics at Notre Dame are what first drew Williams to the Irish.

“That really caught my eye, that and they're a very good football program,” he said. “I know the area that it's in is a very good area to be in. I just want to meet the coaching staff and build a relationship with them.

“I want to see how they operate, during practice, how the coaches coach up their players and see how they do.”

Williams has a pretty good idea of what he’ll be looking at when evaluating coaching staffs.

“I know some coaches just coach up their best players and then when they get to the bottom of the death chart, they're like, 'Oh, OK. Oh, he messed up. I'm not going to correct him,'” Williams says. “I want to see if they're going to do that or if they're going to coach up every single player.”

He also has a very good idea of what he’ll be looking for in a college in general.

“It will most definitely be the academics of course and life after football,” he said. “Football, it can take you a long way, but having that degree, it could take you way further than football because football is not forever.

“So just making sure that I'm set, they teach me right about life after football and they help me to get in the right position to succeed when I'm older.”

Williams will also hit up Ohio State and Michigan while in the Midwest.

BIG-TIME 2025 TEXAS LB VISITING: What makes Kelvion Riggins‍ special?

It’s pretty simple if you ask Michael Traylor.

“I think it's because he's bigger, stronger and faster than anybody his age,” the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at South Oak Cliff High School says of the 2025 Texas linebacker.

“He bench presses over 400 pounds, squats over 600 pounds, probably runs a 4.5 40. And then he looks like He-Man. He looks like an action figure.”

Riggins, who visits Notre Dame this weekend, checks the boxes off the field as well, according to Traylor.

“Very, very intelligent,” the coach continues. “Very vocal leader. Extremely hard worker, very driven, goal-orientated. He knows what he wants to do, knows what he wants to be. Overall, just a great kid.”

Riggins’ offer sheet includes the likes of Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan and Oregon among others.

Riggins’ father played linebacker at South Carolina, so the family understands the tradition of Notre Dame and academics is very important to them as well.

He doesn’t have any leaders at the moment and doesn’t seem to be in a major rush, but he could come out with a Top 10 or Top 15 sometime after the spring.

He’s been to Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Cincinnati among others already, but hasn’t hinted much at favorites.

2025 NC D-END FIRED UP TO RETURN: Gus Ritchey‍ has been quite busy since his visit to South Bend last month.

Since that trip, the 2025 North Carolina defensive end has been to Miami, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Duke, NC State and North Carolina.

But, he sounds just as excited about returning to South Bend this weekend as he did when he picked up an offer from the Irish at the end of his previous visit.

“I'm really, really looking forward to it,” he says. “I haven't been to a game or a game-like event in such a long time. I'm really, really pumped to see how everything goes and how the team does.”

Notre Dame is recruiting the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder as a Vyper and Ritchey says he’s remained in contact with Irish defensive line coach Al Washington since the offer.

“He's really pumped for it,” Ritchey says of Washington. “I know there are a couple other guys who are going to be up there. I'm really looking forward to the spring game and I just can't wait to see the environment and the crowd, the people, also how the players get involved in this situation. I'm really looking forward to it.”

Look for Ritchey to narrow his list of offers at some point this summer.

YOUNG NY CORNERBACK ONE TO WATCH: Demari Clemons visited Notre Dame last summer, between his eighth grade and ninth grade years.

When he left, the 2026 New York cornerback told ISD, “It was amazing. I can’t wait until I call that place home in four years.”

The Buffalo native could end up getting a chance to do just that one day.

He doesn’t have a Notre Dame offer just yet, but the Irish are interested and he does have early offers from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse and Buffalo.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder says it “feels great” to have so much early interest, but is mainly focused on continuing to work hard, staying on top of school and trying to be the best person he can be.

Because of his age, direct communication with Notre Dame has to be limited, but his father has been in touch with some of the staff members.

He’s excited to see the campus and the environment in South Bend again.

Notre Dame can certainly make an argument that it can offer what Clemons, who wants to major in Business, is looking for.

“I look at what I want to major in in college and they've got a lot of things that I look forward to and high academics and also the football program, they put out a lot of DBs.”

2026 MASS D-LINEMAN SEES CONTINUED INTEREST: When Dominic Funke‍ visited South Bend last summer, it was shortly after he picked up his first offer from Boston College.

The 2026 Massachusetts defensive lineman returns this weekend and has picked up offers from Rutgers, Temple and Pitt since his last trip.

“I'm so excited,” he says. “It's going to be great to get back out. I've been talking with Al Washington for a while now. It's just going to be good to get back to campus. I'm really excited.”

Washington has expressed an interest in seeing how Funke continues to develop as a player moving forward.

And Funke has expressed plenty of interest in the Irish.

“It's just the academic and athletic sides of it,” he says. “To get a great degree at Notre Dame while also playing great DI football and having a shot at winning a national championship too. It's a great place to go to school and to play football.”

Over the past couple months, he’s made visits to Rutgers, Miami, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Northwestern.

“It's cool to enjoy my recruitment stage right now, getting to see different places in the country that I've never been to before and see what the schools could be like.”

BEEP BEEP: 2025 Woodward Academy (Ga.) Jerome Bettis Jr.‍ was on campus for the Clemson game in November, but it was hardly his first trip to Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder will experience a first on Saturday as Bettis will return to campus for the first time with an offer. 

Bettis now joins 2024 defensive end Bryce Young and 2025 tight end James Flanigan as legacies with offers. In fact, Bettis and Young are good friends, which probably shouldn’t be a huge shock to anyone, but they haven't spoken about their respective recruitments to this point. 

Notre Dame has been very quick to address being a legacy with all three as the staff has made it perfectly clear they are recruiting each player for their own talents and not their fathers. For Bettis, it’s reassuring as his recruitment is just getting started, but if folks questioned his talent, the Georgia native responded on Sunday as he dominated at the Atlanta Rivals camp. 

LEGENDS RETURNING: Marcus Freeman wasted little time making a positive impression on many in his first year as head coach and that includes former players. It’s not a secret several players felt disconnected from the program over the years and Freeman issued a challenge to Hunter Bivin, who was the Director of Football Player Development at the time and has since moved to be Assistant Athletics Director of Alumni Engagement. 

Bivin responded with 297 former players returning for ‘Legends Weekend’ and this year we’re told that number is even larger. 

A source tells ISD 350 former players have registered to come back to campus this weekend and Notre Dame is planning to host 400. 

It’s clear there was an appetite to be included and Notre Dame is now hitting that mark with its former alum. 

NIL: In February, we told you in this section that The FUND had plans for a major fundraiser and that appears to be off and running. 

Once again, we don’t expect Notre Dame to start paying recruits or engaging in that madness, but the campaign will be focused on raising funds to take care of student-athletes on campus across all sports. 

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