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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 Offensive Outlook

October 19, 2018
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Notre Dame’s 2019 recruiting class is almost complete. Isaiah Rutherford’s pledge last weekend gave the Irish 19 verbal commitments in the class with only a few spots left.

While the Irish are certainly going to focus on filling those remaining spots and hanging onto the recruits already in the fold, recruiting for the Class of 2020 is well underway.

Notre Dame already has three verbal commits for 2020, quarterback Drew Pyne‍ and tight ends Michael Mayer‍ and Kevin Bauman‍. The Irish have already established traction with several other junior prospects. Here are some of the top offensive prospects in the Class of 2020 for the Irish.

Click here to see some of the top defensive targets Notre Dame is in on

RUNNING BACK

Reggie Love‍: Autry Denson has made a huge impression on the St. Louis native and the two have been in regular communication. The St. Louis native (pictured above) had the chance to reconnect with Denson in person when he visited Notre Dame for the Stanford game and also had a positive meeting with Brian Kelly while in town. The Trinity Catholic standout was impressed with Notre Dame’s offense in person as well. As long as former Trinity Catholic head coach Cory Patterson is on staff at Illinois, the Illini will be a real factor with Trinity Catholic prospects. Wisconsin and TCU are also schools that have Love’s attention.

Chris Tyree‍: Notre Dame may not be among the very top choices for the elite Virginia back right now, but that could change if the Irish are able to get Tyree and his family on campus at some point. It’s a trip Tyree has talked about wanting to make, but hasn’t done so yet. He won't be able to make it this fall, but we're told it's a trip he fully intends to make. Tyree seems like the kind of kid who would be impressed by Notre Dame in person, but the Irish have to get him there first. Virginia Tech is one of the top schools at this point and he was in Blacksburg for the Irish’s win over the Hokies. He’s also made unofficial visits to Penn State, Mississippi State and Stanford this fall.

WIDE RECEIVER

AJ Henning with Brian Kelly

DJ Graham‍: The Texas native didn’t know much about Notre Dame, but he knew he wanted to learn more, so he took a trip up to South Bend in June. He left with an offer and a great appreciation for the school and the program. Wide receivers coach Del Alexander and offensive coordinator Chip Long made tremendous impressions and he’s looking forward to getting back to Notre Dame in the future. He’s also seriously considering schools like LSU, who actually may be the leader right now, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

AJ Henning‍: One of Notre Dame’s top targets for a long time now, the Irish have seemed to be inching toward landing him for almost as long. He was back in South Bend for the opener against Michigan, a visit he described to Irish Sports Daily afterward as “amazing.” 2020 quarterback commit Drew Pyne has been after Henning since his own commitment and the Illinois guys on the roster like Julian Love, Miles Boykin, Isaiah Robertson and Houston Griffith have been encouraging him to follow their lead. Ohio State appears to be Notre Dame’s biggest competition at this point, although a visit to Miami over the summer caught his attention. He doesn’t have a timeline for a decision, but said he’ll definitely trim his list after his junior season.

Daniel Jackson‍: The Kansas wideout has made multiple visits to South Bend over the last year and hasn’t shied away from saying how high the Irish sit on his list. Notre Dame wide receivers coach Del Alexander has made a strong impression on Jackson. Pyne has also reached out to Jackson to recruit hm. Jackson is the cousin of current Irish running back Jafar Arrmstrong and was in the stadium to see Armstrong have success in the opener against Michigan. Jackson suffered a season-ending knee injury, but was assured by Kelly that his scholarship was still good, something that meant a lot to him. He also has offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Texas A&M among others, but the Irish are the clear favorites at this point.

Jordan Johnson‍: The St. Louis wideout made a pair of trips to South Bend in January and March and was impressed each time, as was his mother, who joined him on one of the visits. The blend of athletics and academics at Notre Dame is most appealing to him. He also made offseason visits to Ohio State and Florida. Arkansas is another school that Johnson has long maintained an interest in, but he’s told ISD he doesn’t plan on releasing an official list of favorites prior to making his commitment.

Gee Scott‍: The Washington wide receiver landed an offer from the Irish during a trip to South Bend early in his sophomore season and has been a top target ever since. Notre Dame’s football program is impressive to Scott and his family, but what Notre Dame can offer after football is even more impressive, especially to Scott’s father, who has deep connections to the Seattle Seahawks. Former Irish star receiver Golden Tate is a family friend and Scott’s father has crossed paths with several former Notre Dame players and all have impressed him. Scott wants to get back to South Bend again and the relationships he forms with coaches will be crucial to his decision. Washington and Oregon are making strong pitches to stay in the Pacific Northwest, but Scott’s recruitment is truly national and he’s also seriously considering schools like Florida, Florida State and Ohio State. Scott visited Ohio State earlier this month and the Buckeyes may have moved to the top of the list, but the Irish should have a chance to make their own pitch again.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: The Texas wideout has seen his recruitment explode in recent weeks with offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss just this fall. The offer from the Irish was one Smith-Njigba was fired about and one he’s wanted for a while now. The Rockwall standout also has offers from schools like Texas Tech, TCU and Arkansas among many others. He was at Notre Dame’s camp in the summer and expressed interest in returning for a game, but wasn’t sure if he’d be able to. Del Alexander was one of the first receiver coaches to truly start recruiting Smith-Njigba and that hasn’t been forgotten.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Walker Parks

Turner Corcoran‍: Notre Dame has had the Kansas native’s attention since extending an offer to him days after he visited for the Blue-Gold Game in April, but the Irish have never seemed to be able to cement a spot the top of his list. Offensive line coach Jeff Quinn has certainly made a positive impression, but getting back to South Bend doesn’t seem to be as big of a priority as getting to other schools. Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Kansas and Kansas State could all be better positioned than Notre Dame at this point.

Geirean Hatchett‍: The Washington native has plenty of opportunities to stay out West with offers from the in-state Huskies along with Oregon and Stanford, but he seems intent on closely evaluating all of his options. That is why he used the only available weekend in July for visits to make trips to Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State. He enjoyed his first stop in South Bend and has expressed an interest in returning, but knew it might not be this fall. He’s also made previous trips to Oklahoma, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M. This is a tight race and the Irish will need to get him back to stay in it.

Walker Parks‍: We should know one way or the other on this one pretty soon. It seems to be coming down to Notre Dame or Clemson for the Kentucky native. He’s set to visit Clemson this weekend after a trip to South Bend a few weeks ago. He told ISD he expects to have a decision shortly afterward. Parks made a few trips to Notre Dame this year and each was special in its own way. He also had a chance to see the Irish in action on the road as he was in Blacksburg for their win over Virginia Tech. His father played for Kentucky and the in-state school is also in the mix, but this looks like the Irish vs. the Tigers going into the final stretch.

Kevin Pyne‍: When looking at how active Irish quarterback commit Drew Pyne is in recruiting prospects across the country, one can only imagine how persistent he is when talking to his cousin, who would be in charge of protecting him on the field. The Pynes have always maintained they each need to make the decision that is best for them, but they also understand they could add a unique chapter to a football family that has already seen three generations play professionally. The Massachusetts offensive lineman made a round of visits in the spring, including a stop at Notre Dame. Pyne said he liked the intensity and directness he saw from Irish offensive line coach Jeff Quinn. He’ll make another round of visits after his season and where he heads may be the best indication we get of what schools stand out to him. At this point, we’re keeping an eye on Michigan and Ohio State along with North Carolina, Duke and UCLA.

Andrew Raym‍: The Oklahoma native took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame last fall and it seemed to make a strong impression until Raym committed to the in-state Sooners a month later. But Raym re-opened his process, backing off that verbal pledge, this spring and Notre Dame offered the very next day. It almost seemed like the Irish offer might have been one of the reasons for his decommitment. Either way, Oklahoma is still firmly in the mix and he told us the Irish and Sooners were “probably” his top two schools. He’s talked about wanting to get back to South Bend while he was able to get to Norman for a visit last fall and is expected to be at LSU this weekend. Michigan and Oklahoma State have also been considered possible contenders.

Peter Skoronski‍: It’s tough to get a read on this one and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The Illinois native is a mature young man and one who has politely made it clear he isn’t interested about drawing a lot of attention to himself or his recruiting process and he’s definitely not looking to do that in the midst of his junior season. Skoronski was at Notre Dame for the spring game and the opener against Michigan. He told us he really enjoyed the time he spent with Jeff Quinn and called the campus one of the nicest he’s ever seen. He’s also got offers from schools like Penn State, Illinois and Iowa among others. Skoronski’s grandfather, Bob Skoronski, was a captain and left tackle under Vince Lombardi and was a member of five Green Bay Packer championship teams.

Bryn Tucker‍: Over the summer, the Tennessee native released a top five that included Notre Dame along with Tennessee, Auburn, Virginia Tech and LSU. Tennessee is the perceived leader at this point, but the Knoxville native says he’s always been a fan of Notre Dame because of the school’s offensive line history and academics. He made trips to Notre Dame, Auburn and Tennessee this fall and was also at Virginia Tech for their loss to the Irish. He seems focused on his five favorites, so everybody knows the competition. He isn’t expected to make any more visits until his season is finished.

 
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