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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Making 2026 LB Talanoa Ili A Priority

July 2, 2024

Talanoa Ili‍ heard from Notre Dame as soon as the Irish could reach out to the 2026 California linebacker. 

“It was that night,” Ili told Irish Sports Daily. “After midnight for our time. They hit me up pretty early.

“It means a lot. I'm just blessed to be in this position.”

The Orange Lutheran star heard from multiple Irish staffers, including general manager Chad Bowden and head coach Marcus Freeman.

The message was a clear one revolving around how Notre Dame views the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder.

“That I was their number one guy for the linebacker position and that they want me and they're going to try and build this relationship, get me out there and all those type of things,” Ili said of what the coaches told him.

Ili has an impressive offer sheet that includes schools like USC, Stanford, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Miami and Ohio State among several others.

The Notre Dame coaches have caught his attention early.

“I like them,” he said. “I know Coach (Max) Bullough is a good coach, and I've seen a couple videos and Coach Al Golden. I feel like they've got something pretty special over there.”

Ili hasn’t been to South Bend yet, but expects to.

“At some point I will, but as of right now, I don't have anything planned,” he said. 

“I would want to see their practice just to get a feel of how the coaches coach and how the players react and how everything is during practice.”

He made one stop at an in-state school last month.

“I went to the UCLA camp,” he said. “I just wanted to get some work and get a feel for the coaches and how it is over there. I really liked it.”

But he doesn’t know what visits he’ll be making the rest of the year.

“I'm not sure,” he said. “I don't have anything planned.”

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