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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

National Signing Day Eve: Final Predictions

February 6, 2018

We’re now inside of 24 hours before college football’s traditional National Signing Day.

Notre Dame has seven targets remaining on its 2018 recruiting board and clarity seems to be coming by the hour.

The staff here at Irish Sports Daily is almost in complete lockstep with regard to where the Irish’s final seven targets sign tomorrow.


Flemister has been committed to Georgia Tech since the start of December, but took official visits to Tennessee and Notre Dame last month and will choose between the three schools on Wednesday. The Irish definitely seem to have wrestled control of this recruitment in the last week and neither the Yellow Jackets nor the Volunteers conducted in-home visits during the final contact week.

Mike Frank: Notre Dame. The Irish need a back. The opportunity is too great for Flemister to pass up.

Christian McCollum: Notre Dame. This one may have been done as soon as Autry Denson narrowed his focus on Flemister.

Matt Freeman: Notre Dame. The chance to play early in his career is tough to turn down, but when you factor in the kid cares about academics, it becomes a no-brainer. Georgia Tech and Tennessee made it tough choice but I believe the Irish win out.

Jamie Uyeyama: Notre Dame. I'm not sure if scheme played a big part in it, but Flemister will get to grow his game more at Notre Dame. The Irish should land a back with outstanding traits.


Many once ticketed the four-star Louisiana native to LSU, but Keys had other plans. A late playoff run prevented him from taking official visits during the fall, but he did make it to South Bend, Texas and SMU for officials in January. The Irish have felt good about this one for a long time.

Mike Frank: Notre Dame. Education was important here, and the fact that Notre Dame doesn’t have an elite talent at slot receiver. He’s a good fit personality-wise.

Christian McCollum: Notre Dame. At one point, I wondered if the Irish were a tad too comfortable with this one, but looks like they had it analyzed correctly the entire time.

Matt Freeman: Notre Dame. The Irish set the bar high on his official visit and a comfort level was there following the visit. Keys immediately brings a skillset Notre Dame doesn’t have on the roster and it was clear the Irish wanted him and showed they wanted him.

Jamie Uyeyama: Matt Freeman has been all over this recruitment since day one. He's always felt confident Keys would be Irish so there's no reason for me not to feel the same. 


The elite Tampa offensive lineman has kept things extremely close to the vest throughout. With dozens of scholarship offers from just about every major program in the country, Petit-Frere wasn’t ready to publicly trim his list at all even last month. Alabama and Michigan landed official visits, but in the end, this one is coming down to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Florida.

Mike Frank: Ohio State. Losing your O-line coach is too hard to overcome when you have so much to risk like Petit-Frere.

Christian McCollum: Ohio State. He would be a fit in South Bend on and off the field, there’s no doubt. The initial attraction to the Buckeyes had a lot to do with Greg Schiano and despite reports that Schiano is off to the New England Patriots, the buzz came swift on Tuesday that he’s headed to Columbus.

Matt Freeman: Ohio State. What a ride. The chance to get the NFL is always going to be a big selling point and few can top the success Urban Meyer has had over the years. I think the Buckeyes win out.

Jamie Uyeyama: Ohio State. He would have been the best O-line prospect for the Irish since they signed Quenton Nelson. A tough break for someone that would have made a big impact.


The California native was committed to Arizona State until December, when he turned his focus to Notre Dame, UCLA and Michigan. He took official visits to all three and has since narrowed it down to the Irish and the Bruins.

Mike Frank: UCLA. This one could still swing ND’s way, but, distance, and lack of familiarity with ND’s O-line coach will hurt. UCLA has a more experience O-line coach, and all the comforts of home are close by at UCLA.

Christian McCollum: UCLA. I’m just not sure the Irish got involved early enough for Patterson and his support system to wrap their heads around him heading to South Bend.

Matt Freeman: Notre Dame. The four-star prospect wanted to find a place he fit in and felt comfortable. Notre Dame’s offensive line showed him the brotherhood within the unit and that’s going to be tough to turn down.

Jamie Uyeyama: UCLA. In the end, Patterson goes with the more comfortable choice of staying close to home. 


Eason committed to NC State back in July and remains a Wolf Pack pledge today, at least publicly. Notre Dame extended a scholarship offer a few weeks ago and was able to get him on campus for an official visit a week later. Ever since, things seem to have been seriously trending toward the Irish.

Mike Frank: Notre Dame. Surprised Notre Dame was able to pull his one out. They don’t have a lot of connections to him, but I think the idea of playing for the Irish and their tradition won out in the end.

Christian McCollum: Notre Dame. When Eason elected to take that official visit to Notre Dame after brushing off requests from other schools, it was clear his interest in the Irish was different. We’ve been told NC State has essentially conceded him to Notre Dame.

Matt Freeman: Notre Dame. Mike Elston is on a roll and I believe he lands his guy. NC State has turned out some good defensive line in recent years but the tradition of Notre Dame is tough to pass on.

Jamie Uyeyama: Notre Dame. The writing has been on the wall for a while. The Irish steal a player away from NC State and their recent track record on the D-line.


This has been a strange one. Back in the fall and into December, it looked like Notre Dame was poised to flip the Washington, D.C., native from Maryland. But when the early signing period came and went without that happening, it was obvious this one wasn’t over. He took an official visit to Florida in January and then publicly decommitted from the Terps, leaving many to believe the Gators had taken over the lead. That remains the perception heading into National Signing Day.

Mike Frank: Florida. I think Boykin knows his best bet for his entire future is at ND, but the opportunity to be assured he will get the chance to play on Saturdays is greater at UF than ND.

Christian McCollum: Florida. This one may be hard for the Irish to get over as they’ve been convinced Notre Dame is the best spot for him and believe he feels the same way. Sometimes it’s difficult for a kid to turn down the easier path.

Matt Freeman: Florida. Florida has done a great job with defensive backs from the DMV and Boykin can be the next. The light cornerback class also is a nice bonus for Boykin.

Jamie Uyeyama: Florida. The lack of corners in their class and history of defensive backs in the NFL helps the Gators win this race.


Brown’s interest in the Irish has been obvious since the Irish first came after him back in December, when he was still a Virginia commit. The Washington, D.C. native even scheduled an official visit to South Bend that month, but the Irish later scratched the trip as they felt they were full at the position. When January came around, Notre Dame decided to circle back to Brown. To his credit, he understood the business aspect of the process and didn’t hold it against the Irish. He added a stop in South Bend to an official to Northwestern late in January. When he returned, he publicly decommitted from the Cavaliers and announced a top three of Notre Dame, Northwestern and Cal, where he also took an official last month.

Mike Frank: Notre Dame. A guy who was serious about academics. Anyone who shows up on a Monday night at Notre Dame in terrible weather and still chooses ND is serious about his education.

Christian McCollum: Notre Dame. Many recruits talk about academics being the number one factor in their decision, but few leave schools like Ohio State and Clemson outside the final three in favor of Northwestern and Cal.

Matt Freeman: Notre Dame. The Irish were always high on Brown’s list and I think the green light is all he needed in the end.

Jamie Uyeyama: Notre Dame. The Irish could have landed him in December if they allowed him to visit. Nice job of recovering to bring him into the class in January.

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