Recruiting Week In Review

March 12, 2018

Written by Joe Bradshaw

There are still college football teams that play grind it out football. In fact, for the first half of last season, Notre Dame was one of them. However, as college football becomes more offensively explosive, teams are constantly in search of game-breakers, players that can change the complexion of a game on one play. Notre Dame is no exception. To be sure, they’ve had their fair share of them in the past and Josh Adams showed himself to be one last season. Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2019 prospects that could become two of the next big play game-breakers on the Notre Dame roster. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Julius Davis‍, RB, 5-11, 190, Menomonee Falls High School, Menomonee Falls, WI is currently committed to Wisconsin but that hasn’t stopped other schools from pursuing the talented back. His head coach, Dan Lutz, acknowledged that Davis still has some decisions to make.

“I know he likes Wisconsin, but I think it’s an honor to get these offers from other schools,” he reported. “I told him to just keep your options open and keep an open mind and let the process play out. I think he’s doing that.”

Davis is surrounded by people who care deeply for him and help him stay focused.

“He’s got mom and dad and they’re pretty strict with him and he’s got me and a lot of people in the school,” Lutz said. “We keep him on the straight and narrow and don’t let his head get too big. I don’t care how many schools offer him, he’s still going to be a senior in high school next year so that’s all we’re worried about right now.”

Lutz may have Davis focused on school and his senior season, but he knows exactly why the three-star prospect is so highly coveted.

“He’s just a dynamic kid in between the tackles especially,” he said. “He’s very good at jump cutting and you don’t see that much from backs up here. He’s also very physical so that’s a unique combination. And he also has breakaway speed and finishes stuff, he takes stuff the distance a lot.”

Lutz is certain that Davis still can improve.

“I think he can work on his speed, he can still get faster,” he explained. “He did from one year to the next and I expect him to get faster next year. He’s also been working on his power and explosion with his hips.”

Lutz has nothing but praise for his star’s behavior off the field.

“He’s the type of kid who brings up your whole team when he’s in the weight room working out,” Lutz shared. “I’ve enjoyed coaching him. He’s one of those kids you like.”

Notre Dame is very high on him, a point that Notre Dame Running Backs Coach Autry Denson has expressed to Lutz. For now, though, his head coach says that Davis is still primarily focused on the Badgers.

While Davis’ current verbal commitment is a hurdle the Irish will need to overcome, they face no such difficulties with wide receiver Cornelius Johnson‍. Johnson, WR, 6-3, 195, Brunswick School, Greenwich, CT is currently uncommitted and Notre Dame, who recently offered him a scholarship, seems poised to make a run at the three-star wideout.

“Coming from a school like Brunswick where academics is so strong, we’d love for him to go to another school like Brunswick, where the academics and athletics marry each other very well,” said his head coach Jarrett Shine. “A school like Notre Dame and some of the other schools he’s been offered by are great opportunities and options for him.”

Johnson picked up his Irish offer at the latest Notre Dame Junior Day. He’s also holds scholarship offers from Boston College, Rutgers, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Virginia and others. According to Shine, Johnson isn’t letting the attention distract him from his goal of getting better.

“He’s working hard to this day,” Shine shared. “He’s working hard after school. He’s working out alone getting better. He’s worked on his hands over the last couple years and they’ve gotten tremendously better. He’s a lot faster than I thought he was because he went to a camp and ran his 40 and ran a 4.48 which is a lot faster than I thought he was. He’s deceptively fast. He doesn’t look like it on film but he’s got long legs, long strides and he can really stretch the field and he runs really, really good routes.”

Shine has also been impressed with how much Johnson’s matured over the last couple of years.

“Seeing his evolution the last couple years and his maturity and how he’s a real team player; he knows how good he is, but at the same time he wants to win games as a team,” the coach said. “It’s just having the right people around him. He and his dad talk a lot about being mature and taking everything in stride. We sat down and talked quite a bit about being the right type of football player, a football player people will talk about, not just when you’re on the field, but when you’re off the field as well.”

Johnson has emerged as a leader for the younger players seeking a role model.

“A lot of the kids look up to him in terms of how he runs his routes, how seriously he takes the game,” Shine explained. “There are a lot of guys who think they’re really talented and don’t need to work, but he works, especially on his own and I give him credit for that.”

Notre Dame impressed Johnson when he attended the Junior Day and should be in the running for his signature until the very end. When the end occurs is still anyone’s guess.

“I think he wants to be done before the season starts,” Shine said. “He’s going to take a couple trips to see a couple more schools. I think his thing is he wants to have a good relationship with the coaches.”

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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