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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Making Moves | Notre Dame Football on the Recruiting Trail 5.2

May 2, 2024

Notre Dame’s coaching staff will make several key stops to see 2025 prospects and check on underclassmen on Thursday. 

Housekeeping Notes for the Spring Evaluation Period
- Head coaches can’t be on the road during this period, which means Marcus Freeman won’t be on the road. 

- Coaches are allowed to talk to 2025 prospects at their schools. 

- Coaches are not allowed to talk to 2026, 2027, etc. prospects in person. 

- Colleges are only allowed one stop at the same high school during this period, which is new as the previous rule had been two visits during the spring. 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock and Receivers Coach Mike Brown 
Denbrock and Brown will be at Cedar Grove High School (Ga.) on Thursday to check on one of the nation’s top players regardless of class in 2026 receiver Devin Carter‍. The Georgia native made a trip to Notre Dame for spring practice and it well by all accounts, but there is some stiff competition for him. 

The Florida State legacy also took spring visits to Alabama, UCF, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M in the spring. 

We also expect Denbrock and Brown to make a stop at Woodward Academy (Ga.) to see 2025 receiver commit Jerome Bettis Jr.‍ The three-star prospect was back at Notre Dame for the spring game and we believe his commitment is firm...shocking, I know. 

Another expected stop for Denbrock will be to Bowdon High School to check on 2026 tight end offer Kaiden Prothro‍. The four-star prospect won MVP at the Under Armour Camp in Atlanta earlier this spring and put up some freaky numbers. 

At 6-foot-6, 206 pounds, Prothro recorded a wingspan of 78.4 inches, 4.72 40, 4.48 shuttle, 29.6 inch vertical and  113.8 inches in the broad jump. 

Carter Offers: Everyone

Prothro Offers: Alabama, Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Auburn, UCF, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M, UAB, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin 

Carter Sophomore Highlights

Prothro Sophomore Highlights

Quarterbacks Coach Gino Guidugli
Guidugli will leave Florida and join the staff in Georgia as he’s expected to watch 2026 Cass (Ga.) quarterback Brodie McWhorter‍ throw on Thursday. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has had a big spring as it relates to earning offers, so it’s not a shock that Guidugli will make a stop. McWhorter camped at Notre Dame last June and took visits this spring to North Carolina and West Virginia. 

Offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, Purdue, South Florida, TCU, Troy, UAB, Vanderbilt and West Virginia

Sophomore Highlights

Running Backs Coach Deland McCullough
McCullough will travel from Texas to Pennsylvania to visit a 2026 Penn State commit. Notre Dame offered running back Messiah Mickens‍ on Pot of Gold Day and will look to get him back to campus this summer. Mickens did visit Notre Dame in the spring of 2023, so he’s familiar with what the program offers. To our knowledge, Mickens took visits to Miami and UCLA with his 7-on-7 team in addition to returning to Happy Valley. 

Offers: Penn State (commit), Alabama, Duke, Georgia, Iowa State, Kent State, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UNLV, USC, Virginia Tech and West Virginia 

Sophomore Highlights

Offensive Line Coach Joe Rudolph
Rudolph will head to Wisconsin to check on a couple of offensive linemen in 2026 and to visit with 2025 commit Owen Strebig‍. Strebig was a frequent visitor in South Bend during spring ball as he showed he was more than firm in his commitment to the Irish. Ohio State is thinking about offering and Ryan Day got an in-person look at Strebig on Sunday’s Under Armour Camp, but Strebig seems very happy with his pledge to Marcus Freeman and company. 

Oak Creek High School (Wis.) is expected to be another stop for Rudolph as he’ll check on 2026 offensive lineman James Thomas‍. The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder was in South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game, so Rudolph is repaying the favor by making his presence felt in Wisconsin. 

It’s not often Notre Dame checks on or visits a prospect without a profile from the national services, but that will happen on Thursday. Rudolph is expected to check on 2026 River Falls (Wis.) offensive lineman Samuel Simpson‍, who checks in at 6-foot-4, 275 pounds. Simpson doesn’t hold an offer, but he’s been invited to camp at Iowa State, Northwestern and Notre Dame this summer. 

Thomas Offers: Arkansas, Illinois and Wisconsin 

Thomas Sophomore Highlights

Simpson Sophomore Highlights

Defensive Coordinator Al Golden
Golden is expected to make a stop at Georgia powerhouse Grayson High School on Thursday. 2026 defensive end Tyler Atkinson‍ and 2026 linebacker Anthony Davis‍ hold offers from Notre Dame. Atkinson holds 48 offers, so that’s pretty self-explanatory as it relates to his recruitment. The composite five-star took spring visits to Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Texas A&M. 

Atkinson also put up some freaky numbers at the Atlanta Under Armour Camp. At 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, he has a 75.1-inch wingspan, but he ran an impressive 4.86 40 with a vertical of 28.4 inches and a broad of 116.9 inches. 

Davis is also a national prospect, so it’ll be interesting to see if either prospect ends up getting to South Bend this summer. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Ohio State hosted him this spring. 

Atkinson Sophomore Highlights

Davis Sophomore Highlights

Linebackers Coach Max Bullough
Bullough will be in Ohio on Thursday and will visit the Cincinnati area, where the GCL (Greater Catholic League) is hosting a showcase. 

We expect Bullough to be paying close attention to in 2026 St. Xavier (Ohio) linebacker Jakobe Clapper‍ and 2027 Anderson (Ohio) linebacker Antwoine Higgins Jr.‍ Clapper holds an offer from Notre Dame and he visited last month. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder also visited Wisconsin. 

Higgins was supposed to visit Notre Dame two different times this spring, but we’re unsure if he ever made it as we weren’t at practice those days. He did make it to Arkansas, Illinois and Purdue.

Clapper Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, UMass, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee, Toledo, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin 

Higgins Offers: Arkansas, Boston College, Bowling Green, EKU, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Purdue, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin 

Clapper Sophomore Highlights

Higgins Freshman Highlights

Defensive Backs Coach Mike Mickens 
Mickens will continue to work his way through Georgia as he’s expected to check on a pair of 2026 defensive backs. Powerhouse Carrollton is one stop we expect him to make on Thursday, as it's the home of safety Zelus Hicks‍. The four-star prospect was recognized as a top performer at the Atlanta Under Armour Camp where he ran 4.69 in the 40, 4.24 in the shuttle and broad jumped 112.6. Hicks didn’t visit Notre Dame this spring, but Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Memphis and Ohio State did host him. 

Another important stop for Mickens will be to Douglas County (Ga.) to check on 2026 athlete Aaron Gregory‍, who is one of the top players in the country. Gregory is listed as a receiver by most services, but the Irish staff likes him at safety with his 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. The four-star prospect has 46 offers, including Notre Dame. 

Gregory took spring visits to UCF, Colorado, LSU, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M

Hicks Offers: Akron, Arkansas, Auburn, UCF, UConn, Florida, FAU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Liberty, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tulane and USC 

Hicks Sophomore Highlights

Gregory Sophomore Highlights

Defensive line coach Al Washington will be off the road on Thursday, while Marty Biagi will wrap things up in Australia. 

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