Recruiting Week In Review

March 2, 2019
2,143

Written by Joe Bradshaw

By all accounts, Notre Dame’s 2020 recruiting is really hitting its stride. They had a very successful Junior Day the weekend of February 22-23 and have reached out to and made positive impressions on a number of rising juniors, both those at the day and those that weren’t. The Irish coaching staff seems very aware that last year’s appearance in the College Football Playoff should boost recruiting and they are striking while the iron is hot.

Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2020 defensive back recruits that would be strong additions to an already excellent Notre Dame defensive backfield.

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Even the most casual fan of Notre Dame football recruiting knows that Lathan Ransom‍, S, 6-1, 185, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson, AZ is at or near the top of Notre Dame’s wish list. The four-star prospect recently attended Notre Dame’s Junior Day and was, by his own admission, overwhelmed by the experience.

“It blew past my expectations,” Ransom said. “They showed me the most love. I talked to all the coaches and all the coaches knew my name and family. I talked to Coach (Brian) Kelly multiple times and had long conversations with Coach (Clark) Lea. They treated me so well.”

Notre Dame not only made certain that Ransom knew he was a top priority while he was on campus, they actually began showing him that before he arrived.

“There were like 20 Notre Dame coaches texting me this week because they were excited I was coming,” Ransom shared. “When I got here I didn’t know what to expect. When we landed it was definitely different from Arizona and the West Coast. Notre Dame was high on my radar. I’m only taking so many unofficial visits because it’s not cheap. The time I had here, Notre Dame is staying high on my list. I really bonded with Coach (Terry) Joseph and I spent a lot of time with him.”

Joseph has developed a strong relationship with Joseph over the past few months and when Ransom had a chance to talk to the Irish players, he knew that Joseph hadn’t been selling him a line.

“I talked to all the players (Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott) and I watched their film,” he said. “They are ballers. They told me how much they liked Notre Dame and about their experience at Notre Dame. They said the coaches aren’t lying about Notre Dame and the high standards you have to meet.”

Defensive Coordinator Lea made sure to spend plenty of time with Ransom.

“He spoke about how he cares for the players,” Ransom said. “I spoke to the players and they said the exact same thing but to a higher standard.”

The time that Ransom spent with Notre Dame Director of Athletic Performance Matt Balis may have been his most eye opening.

“The strength program is legit,” Ransom offered. “I heard a lot of great things about Coach Balis and I talked to him for an hour.”

One of the things that impressed Ransom was the diversity of the Irish roster.

“It’s cool when you see all the players,” Ransom said. “They only have one player from Notre Dame on the depth chart. When you see players coming from different places, they are all going through the same things you’re going through when you show up. It’s easy to connect. They are all looking for the same goal, to be successful academically and on the football field, to try to win a National Championship.”

College football recruiting is, of course, about building relationships with prospects. But it’s also about developing rapport with the men that coach them at the high school level. High schools that perennially produce Power Five Conference talent, become frequent stopovers for college coaches looking for that next great star. When certain universities recruit and sign numerous players from the same school, many refer to that school as a pipeline for that program. First, though, before a school can become that kind of consistent producer for a college program, the college staff must first develop a strong rapport with the high school head coach. That’s exactly what Notre Dame Cornerbacks Coach Todd Lyght has been doing for the last several months with Broken Arrow High School Head Coach David Alexander. That relationship recently paid off for both schools when Lyght and Notre Dame offered Alexander’s star defensive back Myles Slusher‍ a scholarship. Slusher, DB, 5-11, 170, Broken Arrow High School, Broken Arrow, OK is not just a football star according to his head coach.

“First off, as a young man he’s fantastic,” explained Alexander. “He loves football. He makes great grades. He’s just as good in the classroom as he is at football. The teachers all love him. He’s in all honors classes.”

Of course Slusher is an outstanding football player too.

“Football-wise the sky’s the limit for a guy like Myles because he can play so many different positions,” Alexander said. “He can go out and maybe play corner at the college level. He can play safety. He loves to tackle and be in the run fits. Safety is probably where I see him, but he’s long and he’s lean. Being a senior next year and being really confident, we’ll probably play him a little bit on offense.”

Notre Dame wasn’t the first to the table with a scholarship. By the time the Irish stepped up, he had already been offered by schools like Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska and numerous others. Still, his coach said he was elated about the Notre Dame offer.

“He sent me a text in all caps that he’d gotten the offer,” Alexander said. “He was pretty excited.”

His head coach said he will absolutely take the offer seriously.

“He’s a very mature young man,” the coach said. “Obviously the weight of a Notre Dame offer is big time.”

Alexander expects Slusher to visit South Bend at some point in the future.

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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