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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Football Blitzing the Midwest Recruiting Trail | 1.19

January 18, 2024

It’s been a busy week for Notre Dame’s football staff as they’ve gone coast-to-coast all week. 

On Friday, Notre Dame will prioritize the Midwest with a blitz across Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin to make sure its home base feels a strong presence. 

Head Coach Marcus Freeman & Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock 
It’ll be a busy day for Freeman and Denbrock as they’ll hit Chicago before heading up north to Wisconsin. 

We expect both coaches to see 2025 defensive line commits Chris Burgess‍ and Joseph Reiff‍ in Illinois. Burgess and Reiff will return to South Bend on Saturday for Junior Day. 

Another stop will be Mount Carmel, which is the home of 2026 defensive end Braeden Jones‍. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder holds an early offer from Akron. 

Sophomore Highlights

From there, Freeman and Denbrock will joining up with offensive line coach Joe Rudolph to hit Wisconsin and that means a stop by Catholic Memorial to see 2025 offensive line target Owen Strebig‍. The 6-foot-8, 295-pounder will return to Notre Dame for Junior Day on Saturday after making multiple trips to campus in 2023. 

Top 11: Central Flordia, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame, USC, Wisconsin

Junior Highlights

Freeman, Denbrock and Rudolph will also take in a little hockey on Friday as they’ll catch 2025 tight end commit James Flanigan‍ on the ice. 

Quarterbacks Coach Gino Guidugli
We expect Guidugli to head over to Chicagoland on Friday to do some area recruiting. Bolingbrook (Ill.) has been kind to Notre Dame in the past and it’s also the home of 2026 quarterback Jonas Williams‍. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder was on campus in the fall for the Central Michigan game. 

Offers: Arkansas, Illinois, Kent State, Louisville, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt, Purdue and Tennessee 

Sophomore Highlights

Guidugli is likely to stop by Fenwick High School to check on 2025 defensive end Nate Marshall‍, who visited last spring. Nazareth Academy has also turned out several Notre Dame recruits. 2025 athlete Garrett Reese‍ holds a couple Power Five offers from Cal and Cincinnati, while 2025 defensive end Gabe Kaminski‍ holds an offer from the Irish. 

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Guidugli make trips to Loyola Academy and Brother Rice. 

Running Backs Coach Deland McCullough 
We expect McCullough to head to Indianapolis for some area recruiting.

New Palestine High School could see McCullough stop by to check on 2025 defensive lineman Michael Thacker‍. I believe he’s made at least one trip to campus and the Irish checked on him during the spring evaluation period. The three-star defensive lineman holds offers from Ball State,Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Marshall, Tennessee, Toledo, West Virginia and Western Michigan

Another school we expect McCullough to stop by is Hamilton Southeastern, the home of early enrollee offensive lineman Styles Prescod. Hamilton Southeastern also has two 2025 prospects with impressive offer lists in cornerback Mason Alexander‍ and offensive lineman Cameron Gorin‍. 

Gorin visited for the Central Michigan game and Alexander was at Notre Dame for the win over Tennessee State. 

Alexander Offers: Auburn, Austin Peay, Ball State, Cincinnati, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, Purdue, Tennessee, Toledo, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Western Michigan and Wisconsin 

Gorin Offers: Ball State, Boston College, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan 

Alexander Junior Highlights

Gorin Junior Highlights

Receivers Coach Mike Brown 
Brown will make one of the most important stops of the week as he’ll be at Geneva Community High School (Ill.) on Friday to visit with 2025 receiver Talyn Taylor‍. The four-star receiver visited South Bend for the Ohio State game and has Notre Dame high on his list. That said, Notre Dame does have some ground to make up here due to the receiver coach change from Chansi Stuckey to Brown combined with a new offensive coordinator. 

Taylor was looking at getting to Notre Dame on Saturday, but he’ll be at the wedding of a close family friend. 

Offers: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Miami, Miami (OH), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah and Wisconsin 

Look for Brown to make a visit at DeKalb High School (Ill.) to check on 2026 receiver Davon Grant‍. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder was on campus for the Wake Forest game in November. 

Offers: Akron, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin 

Sophomore Highlights

Defensive Coordinator Al Golden
Eastern View High School (Va.) is expected to have Golden drop by to visit with 2025 four-star linebacker Brett Clatterbaugh‍. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder visited Notre Dame twice in 2023 and put the Irish in his top five. Notre Dame will need to get him back on campus this spring to hang in the race. 

Top 5: Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State and Virginia Tech 

Defensive Line Coach Al Washington
Washington will join Freeman and Denbrock at Mount Carmel and to see Burgess and Reiff before heading to Immaculate Conception (Ill.) to see 2025 defensive end/linebacker Dom Hulak‍. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder committed to the Irish in November and will be back on campus this weekend. 

Cornerbacks Coach Mike Mickens
Mickens will make an important stop in Indianapolis to see 2025 Ben Davis (Ind.) cornerback Mark Zackery IV‍. The four-star prospect has been a priority for the Irish staff and will return to South Bend on Saturday. Notre Dame continues to be in a great position for one of the nation’s top cornerbacks. 

Top 10: Cincinnati, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee and USC. 

Junior Highlights

We also believe Mickens will visit Decatur Central (Ind.) to check on 2026 cornerback Kasmir Hicks‍. The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder holds an early offer from Purdue. 2026 quarterback Bo Polston‍ also attends school there and he visited South Bend a couple times in the fall. Polston holds double-digit offers including Cal, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and West Virginia

Hicks Sophomore Highlights

Polston Sophomore Highlights

Safeties Coach Chris O’Leary
O’Leary will be in Fort Wayne, which is a regular are for him. It’s safe to say he’ll be dropping in to see 2024 safety signee Brauntae Johnson‍. 

Special Teams Coordinator Marty Biagi
Biagi will also be hitting Indianapolis hard with stops at some of the top programs in the area. We believe Zionsville High School will host Biagi as its the home of 2025 receiver Eugene Hilton‍ and 2025 safety Max Phenicie‍. Both prospects visited Notre Dame in the fall. 

Hilton Offers: Appalachian State, Austin Peay, Central Michigan, Florida A&M, Florida International, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Missouri, Ole Miss, Pitt, Purdue, Toledo, West Virginia,  Western Michigan and Wisconsin 

Phenicie Offers: Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Maryland, Miami (OH), Michigan State, Ole Miss and Toledo 

Biagi is also expected to make stops at Brownsburg, Cathedral and Noblesville. Carmel will also host Biagi as it’s the home of 2025 defensive end Uchenyo Ojata‍, who camped and visit Notre Dame in fall. 

Ojata Offers: Eastern Michigan, Marshall, Miami (OH), Nebraska, Toledo and West Virginia 

Ojata Junior Highlights

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