Recruiting Week In Review

December 15, 2018
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

Recruiting pipelines are valuable to any football program but for a national recruiter like Notre Dame, they hold special significance.  Unlike schools in many other parts of the nation, Notre Dame can’t retrieve sizeable portions of their recruiting classes within just a few hundred miles so they must build strong rapports with coaches of top high school programs across the nation.  One such school is St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, New Jersey.  They currently have four players on their roster from there, Shayne Simon, Justin and Jayson Ademilola and Brandon Wimbush.  They would like to add even more in the coming years and specifically have their eye on prospects in both the 2020 and 2021 classes.  Irish Sports Daily reported on both.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Cody Simon‍, LB, 6-0, 190, St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, NJ is the brother of Irish linebacker Shayne Simon but more importantly he’s an outstanding football player in his own right.

“He’s a stud,” St. Peter’s Head Coach Rich Hansen emphatically stated.  “Cody Simon has tremendous football instincts, unbelievable work ethic and attitude.  He’s got outstanding speed and quickness.  He’s going to play next year at about 220 inside for us and play some wideout.  That gives you an idea the kind of athleticism he has.  He’s a legit top tier player in the country at his position.”

Notre Dame has already extended a scholarship offer to the three star defensive player.  They have been joined in that by schools like Penn State, Stanford, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and others.  With a brother on the Notre Dame roster, he’s familiar with what the Irish have to offer.

“Obviously he knows quite a bit about Notre Dame,” Hansen said.  “But he doesn’t know quite a bit about Notre Dame relative to his situation there.  He’s been there a bunch of times.  It’s Shayne’s school, it’s the twins’ school, it’s Brandon Wimbush.  I think Notre Dame, and they’ve articulated this very well, their charge right now is to make Cody understand they want him to see Notre Dame through Cody Simon’s lens and nobody else’s.  As a person, as a player, as a student, as a leader, there aren’t better people out there than Cody Simon.”

The Irish coaches recently visited Simon’s school, an indication that his recruitment is about to kick into high gear. 

“We want to try to get him out there (Notre Dame) this spring and take a couple of days where it’s just his perspective on their plan for him, where he sees himself being for the next four, five years,” Hansen explained.  “They want him to see it through the eyes of Cody Simon and not Shayne Simon or the twins or anybody else.  That’s going to happen and it’s going to happen within the next couple months for sure.”

The Notre Dame coaches needed to look no farther than one class down at the same school for another big time recruit.  George Rooks‍, DE, 6-4, 250, St. Peter’s Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ is a highly prized recruit in the Class of 2021 and a teammate of Cody Simon.  And like Simon he also holds a Notre Dame scholarship offer.

“Jayson, Justin and Shayne, they’re such leaders and used to be leaders of my team so it means a lot to get a Notre Dame offer since they’re there,” he shared.  “I heard a lot from Cody.  He was telling me it was a brotherhood there and a big family atmosphere.”

Rooks isn’t ruling out a visit to South Bend but he’s not certain when.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do this offseason in terms of going to see colleges and visits yet,” he said. 

If he does visit, he knows what things he will be looking at in the school, the football program and the surrounding community.

“I want to see the players and how they react in the community, how the community reacts to the players,” he said.  “I want to see if the whole town supports the team.  I want to see how the players interact with the students, how it’s all family there.  I want to have a family feel when I get there if I go there.”

Rooks started his sophomore season at offensive tackle but was soon moved to the defensive line, a move that he enjoyed.

“I’ve always had a passion for defense,” he explained.  “In the beginning they didn’t really know where I fit, but I proved I could be a really good defensive lineman.  I don’t know where Notre Dame wants me at, but I’ve proven I’m very versatile and can play anywhere across the defensive line so Coach Hansen put me there and I showed out this year.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Rooks currently holds offers from Michigan, Penn State, Auburn and Rutgers.  He doesn’t currently have a list of any favorites.

“I’m just trying to see which schools love me the most.”

His father played defensive line at Syracuse and has been a valuable source of information for him.

“My dad always tells me to use my hands and how I can use them to maneuver people and use their weaknesses against them,” he said.  “That helps me a lot, having an experienced guy help me out.”

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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