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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

February 10, 2019

Written by Joe Bradshaw

There’s no question that the game of college football has changed significantly over the last thirty years.  The offense that powered the Irish under Lou Holtz is now relegated to a handful of programs like Georgia Tech and Navy.  The much greater reliance on the passing game has created a demand for not only better defensive backs, but also more of them.  In 2018 Notre Dame’s defensive backfield was a strength of the team.  In fact, cornerback Julian Love could well be a first round draft pick.  If the Irish are going to continue to be final four contenders, they will need to recruit and develop top defensive backs.  Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two prospects that Notre Dame hopes will contribute to the continuation their back four excellence.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

T Lee‍, DB, 6-0, 172, Buford High School, Buford, GA makes it clear that he’s still committed to Arizona State.  He verbally committed to the Sun Devils on Thanksgiving 2018, but he’s still keeping his options open because of the uncertainty inherent in modern college football.

“I’m still committed to them, but I know that back in the day coaches would go to a college and they’d be there for (a long time), but now it changes with coaches moving around every year, every two years,” Lee explained.  “I’m committed but I want to keep my recruiting open because you never know.”

Notre Dame recently increased his list of options when they offered the three-star defensive back a scholarship.  Defensive Backs Coach Todd Lyght gave Lee the news.

“He just told me how he liked my game and that he’s been watching me for a while,” he shared.  “It was very exciting.”

Lee has already visited South Bend and has kept in touch with Lyght ever since.

“He’s a great coach,” he said of Lyght.  “He’s got great DB’s at Notre Dame and playing in the NFL himself, he knows the game really well and he knows how to get guys to The League.”

Lee is looking for an opportunity to get back to Notre Dame.

“I’ll probably go out there and check out a game,” he said.  “I’ll probably take an OV out there.  I definitely want to get back on campus.”

Lee has an agenda for his return trip to South Bend.

“Just trying to get to know the coaches, learning the schemes they run and the players they’re building, just trying to see what they’re like and if it’s the best fit for me,” he said of what he will be looking for on his return trip.

Again, Lee emphasized that he’s a Sun Devil commit.

“Obviously everyone knows Herm Edwards is a great guy and a great coach,” he said of ASU’s head coach.  “Also, with him being a DB in The League, he knows the game really well.  Arizona State is in the Pac 12, they throw the ball a lot so that’s great.”

In addition to Notre Dame and the Sun Devils, among the schools Lee’s still considering are Alabama, Texas and Oregon.

Like Lee, Dontae Manning‍, DB, 6-0, 175, Raytown High School, Kansas City, MO is also a defensive back that Notre Dame has offered and is recruiting.  Unlike Lee, Manning is still wide open having made no commitment yet.  Notre Dame only recently offered him, Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea delivering the good news.

“Coach Lea and I chatted on the phone for about an hour,” he remembered.  “We talked about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to get out of college.”

After the hour long conversation, Lea had one more bit of news for Manning.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.  “A big name school like Notre Dame with a winning background, I couldn’t believe they offered me.”

In addition to Notre Dame, he currently holds offers from Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and numerous others.

“(Lea) found out real fast about my speed and that I can make plays on the ball in the air, just being a lockdown corner,” Manning shared.  “He also loved how I’m a good person in the classroom.  The classroom always comes first.”

Manning has never been to South Bend but hopes to schedule a trip soon.

“I’m just looking for a time to get down there and to see everything, to take it all in,” he said.  “Seeing the coaches interact with the players and seeing the players, developing a relationship with them or at least getting to meet some of the players and DB’s, maybe spend time in one of the position coach’s rooms to go over film.”

Finding the right fit is very important to Manning.

“Honestly, just having that relationship with the players and the coaches when I continue my career and also getting my degree at the highest academic level I could,” he said of his college goals.

Lea and Manning have gotten off to a very good start.

“We were just talking today and it’s like I’ve known him for a minute,” he said.  “We really did talk about a lot of stuff.”

Manning’s genuinely grateful for the opportunities football has given him.

“Honestly, it’s just a blessing,” he said.  “It’s kind of difficult because I know other colleges will come and make the decision even harder because every college will want to make it seem like a home away from home.”

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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