Recruiting Week In Review
Written by Joe Bradshaw
When there’s a coaching staff overhaul like the one that took place in South Bend after the disastrous 2016 season, fans can react in a number of different ways.
Some take a skeptical wait and see attitude while others view the change as the catalyst that will take the program to previously unachievable heights. The work put in by the Irish coaching staff at the end of the 2017 recruiting season that has obviously carried over to the Class of 2018 has undoubtedly pushed more fans into the latter category.
Not only has Notre Dame already earned the verbal commitments of 11 players in the 2018 class but they have also been evaluating players and sending out large numbers of scholarship offers, at least by Irish standards.
Last week, Irish Sports Daily reported on two of the more recent offers by the Notre Dame coaching staff. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Chase Williams, WR, 6-1, 181, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Corona, CA currently holds fourteen scholarship offers and isn’t taking any of them for granted. Notre Dame stepped up on February 21st and the four-star California receiver acknowledged that there was something especially sentimental about it.
“It was a bigger one for me because it has a lot to do with my family,” he said. “It was really meaningful. It’s very meaningful to me and my family because one of the members of my family who had passed away, it was his favorite school. There was just more meaning to the offer, not that the other ones aren’t.”
Williams does know some things about Notre Dame.
“I just know that they’ve been one of the winningest programs and that they’re great with education and that the tradition of the school has always been good and they’ve been getting people out for a while now,” he said. “I know they’ve been really successful.”
Williams heard of the scholarship offer from Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Polian. He said Polian liked his speed, route running and toughness in going after the football. Williams was obviously impressed with the discussion. He now plans to take an unofficial visit to South Bend.
“I will, but I have to talk to my mom about when,” he shared. “I’d like to see the facilities and campus and outside of the campus, like the city so I know where I’m really at.”
Predictably, Williams has already visited a number of West Coast schools including Washington, USC, UCLA and Cal. Despite his familiarity with them, he doesn’t profess any leaders at this point.
“I don’t have any leaders but the schools that were sticking out the most before Notre Dame were UCLA, Arizona, SC, Washington and Georgia,” he said.
Williams hopes to make a decision before the start of the season. He has a significant list of things for which he’s looking.
“The relationship between me and the coaches, how the team is together as a family, the school itself, how successful they are academically and me knowing what I’m going to be doing there and having an idea of what I’m going to be doing there and having an idea of what I’m going to be doing and where I’m going to be.”
Andrew Chatfield, DE/LB, 6-3, 220, American Heritage School, Fort Lauderdale, FL received his Notre Dame scholarship offer even more recently than Williams. When he received his Irish offer, several schools, including LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Pitt, TCU, West Virginia and Wisconsin had already thrown their hats in the ring for the talented four-star recruit. Still, Notre Dame’s was special.
“I was just blessed, like wow,” he exclaimed. “It’s just a blessing to get that from Notre Dame.”
Chatfield admits he doesn’t know much about the Irish but what he does know is very positive.
“All I know is they have a great education and I know their players go to the Draft easy, like first round,” he said. “I know when I visit them, I’ll know a little bit more.”
Chatfield hopes to make it to South Bend during his Spring Break.
“I want to see how hard they work, see how the campus, how their food is and see how their system is and that’s really it,” he said. I’ve taken a couple visits, but I’m going to take a lot over the summer.”
College coaches have told him they like how disruptive he can be.
“They like me coming off the edge,” he said. “I can play d-end and outside linebacker and just be a beast.”
Like Williams, Chatfield hopes to make his decision by the end of the summer but is willing to wait if he’s not ready.
“I was thinking about committing before the first day of school or something like that,” he explained. “If I don’t commit before the first day of school, it’ll be after the season.”
Chatfield plans to major in Business or Sports Management and how well a school can satisfy those goals will play a key role in his final decision.
“Really, it’s going to be the education, where my playing time stands at and whether I have a great relationship with the coach.”
summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting
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