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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Final 2018 ISD Fab 50

January 9, 2018

After another epic finish, the college football season is over. Georgia blew a 13-0 halftime lead and in a stadium that had a majority of red in it, a lot of people went home unhappy.

I don’t imagine they’ll be hanging their heads for too long, though. Georgia will likely be back in the Playoff in the near future and this class they are bringing in right now should be the foundation for a championship team. They have six players in the final edition of the ISD Fab 50. Three of them in the top 11!

It’s even scarier that I had linebacker Channing Tindall just miss the cut at #51 or they would have had seven. They are bringing in another 5 star quarterback in Justin Fields (#2). I think he’s a better prospect than Jake Fromm and Jacob Eason were. And in a weak year for the offensive line, they have three O-linemen in the Fab 50 with Jamaree Salyer (#5), Cade Mays (#26), and Trey Hill (#50).

Notre Dame is going to have play all of these guys as sophomores when they travel to Athens in 2019. There is a good chance that team will be more talented than any other that Brian Kelly has coached against aside from 2012 Alabama. So, I guess good luck with that? It’s going to be a tremendous challenge.

It’s not all Georgia in there, though. Here’s a look at the rest of the ISD Fab 50 from a Notre Dame perspective and with some other notes on individuals who rose up.

- The Irish have three in final 50 and they are the same three who I originally had in the 50 on signing day of last year. I’m out on a limb having Phil Jurkovec (#15) ranked higher than anyone else in the country. Perhaps I would have slid him down further if I saw him struggle in person during Army bowl week, but I didn’t.

I’m sticking with my ranking of him because I’m a believer that he is a winner as a multi-sport athlete and has the raw tools to be special. He’s not going to be ready right away, but his ceiling is sky high.

Houston Griffith is at 29 and Derrik Allen is at 31. These are the kind of pieces Notre Dame needs on defense if they are going to win games in January. They are two versatile athletes that can match up with different body types in coverage. I’m excited to see them in blue and gold.

- Two Notre Dame signees just missed the cut. I had wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. and defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola ranked in the 60s. 

- 31 players had Notre Dame offers. The only uncommitted/unsigned one that they are still pursuing is offensive tackle Nicholas Petite-Frere (#16). The other prospects they offered on the list are not players the Irish were really ever in the mix for.

The one exception would be Amon-ra St. Brown (#6) and we know that in the end Notre Dame finished a distant second at best for him. That’s why it was so critical that they landed the three that they did. It was a small margin for error.

- In addition to the six Georgia signees, Texas and Ohio State also have six each in the 50. Three programs have 18 players represented, which goes to show how impressive each of those classes are.

- The only Notre Dame rival that is represented in the 50 is USC, which has St. Brown, new addition JT Daniels (#13) and safety Talanoa Hufanga (#34). Notre Dame’s future opponents aren’t represented nearly as well as Georgia on this list.

Michigan has zero and none of their commits even came close to making it. Ditto for Stanford or Michigan State.

Florida State (traveling to South Bend this November) has safety Jaiden Woodbey (#49).

Clemson (they visit Notre Dame in 2020) has top ranked defensive Xavier Thomas, second ranked quarterback Trevor Lawrence (#7), and second ranked offensive tackle Jackson Carman (#18). Those dudes will be scary to see in a couple of years from now.

- I didn’t give out many high grades for defensive line or offensive lineman. There are only six D-linemen that are on the list and only five O-lineman. Defensive backs are another story. I have seventeen defensive backs in the Fab 50. I could have sneaked in a couple of more too. It was that close.

Five of those defensive backs are committed to Texas. Two of those players may grow into linebackers like Allen and Demarvion Overshown (#28), but that still would make this an absolutely loaded DB class.

- Everyone of the new players on this list I liked before as a prospect, but I felt they took a significant jump as a senior. In JT Daniels’ case, it would have been as a junior. His mobility was like night and day. He showed he is a much better athlete than I thought he was, His arm strength went up a couple of notches as well. He is an elite deep ball thrower.

The other new additions are cornerback Tyson Campbell (#20), Mays, Overshown, cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart (#32), Hufanga, safety Caden Sterns (#41), linebacker Quay Walker (#44), edge rushers Eyabi Onama (#46), and offensive tackle Nana Asiedu (#47).

Woodbey and cornerback Olaijah Griffin (#47) were in the original Fab 50 and ended up making it back in it for the final version.

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