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Recruiting Week In Review

July 8, 2017
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

Notre Dame’s 2018 recruiting has been surprisingly strong considering the disaster that was last season.  One area, though, where the Irish have lagged behind is cornerback.  Notre Dame failed to sign a single cornerback last year and have none verbally committed this year.  Striking out two years in a row would be borderline disastrous and the Irish coaches appear to be really ramping up their recruiting efforts at the positon. 

Two 2018 cornerback prospects, that recently attended The Opening in Oregon, are very high on Notre Dame’s wish list.  Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on both of these highly regarded recruits.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Anthony Cook, CB, 6-0, 170, Lamar High School, Houston, TX has already locked in two schools that will remain in his recruitment until the end and Notre Dame isn’t one of them.  Home state school the Texas Longhorns appear to have an official visit from the four-star prospect locked up as does Ohio State.  However, the Irish seem to be making a move with him, a move that they hope results in an unofficial visit followed by an official one this fall. 

“I’ve been talking to the DB Coach (Todd) Lyght,” said Cook when ISD interviewed him from The Opening.  “I like the fact that he told me that if I come to Notre Dame, I’ll make an immediate impact so I like that.”

Nearly any player as talented as Cook has NFL aspirations and he appreciates the fact that Lyght, his position coach, spent many years in the League. 

“It’s pretty cool just knowing that your DB coach can put somebody in your position in the League,” he shared.  “That’s always attractive.”

Lyght has been working hard to get Cook on campus and Cook acknowledged that he might well take a visit to South Bend, possibly even an official visit. 

“I just want to see the practice and stuff like that, how the DB’s operate and just the academics and stuff like that,”

He’s made it clear that Texas and Ohio State are the two schools to beat.  He’s visited both campuses and will certainly do so again in the future. 

“Texas, they’ll be in it until the end,” he shared.  “The whole Texas coaching staff has been coming at me hard.”

Cook has said that teams’ performances on the field this year will not be an important factor in his final decision. 

“I would like to see what they do and stuff like that, but it won’t really be a factor because I’m going to be committed by like October, so the season will be going on,” he explained.

When interviewed, it was clear that Cook was really enjoying the experience of The Opening. 

“The atmosphere is very competitive,” he said.  “I love the gear.  They’ve got us geared out.  I just love everything.”

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Notre Dame is in the relationship building phase with Anthony Cook.  While that aspect of recruiting remains important with any recruit, they’ve progressed much further along the spectrum of it with Houston Griffith.  Griffith, DB, 6-0, 185, IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL has been talking with Notre Dame Defensive Backs Coach Todd Lyght since his freshman year in high school and has been in steady communication with Irish Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko since Elko took over that position. 

“I’ve really started to build a good relationship with Coach Elko since he became the coordinator,” Griffith said.  “I’m just building a relationship with him and continuing the relationship I have with Coach Lyght; that I’ve had since my freshman year.  Everything has been going good with the Irish and they’re doing a good job of recruiting me so far.”

Florida State is another program that has really stepped up their recruitment of the Illinois native.  He recently made his another trip to the FSU campus. 

“That was my second time being down there, so it was a good time to just talk with the coaches and learn a lot more about the program and to see the coaches in an environment where they’re coaching,” he explained.  “I was there when they were camping but I didn’t camp so it was good to see those guys.”

Griffith has been on the Notre Dame campus even more than he has Florida State’s but admits that there’s always more to learn about the Irish. 

“There’s always more to know because every time I go there, there’s something new happening there or they’re building something new or they’ve got new plans for the future there,” he said.  “In a way I’ve seen everything, but then again I know there’s going to be something new anytime I step on campus.”

Griffith has made it clear that he wants to play for a winner.  He’s very interested to see how the Irish defense will shape up under first year coordinator Elko. 

“One of the goals of mine is to win a National Championship,” Griffith shared.  “I understand last year, they were a young team, so that record they had last year might occur.  I’m sure they’re going to be able to turn things around with their team this year.  He’s broken (the defense) down to me and I’ve seen film from Wake Forest, but I’m really looking forward to see what he can do with the athletes he has at Notre Dame right now.”

Griffith’s next trip to South Bend will probably be for his official in the fall.  He won’t know for sure when until he checks IMG’s football schedule.  He plans to have a final decision in the next few months. 

“I’m enrolling early so I can’t do it Signing Day, so probably during midseason probably.”

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

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