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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

May 19, 2019

Written by Joe Bradshaw

Until National Signing Day no recruit is ever truly committed. That’s been proven far too many times. However, it’s also true that most prospects sign with the team with whom they make their verbal commitment. With early official visits and the early signing period, recruits are making decisions sooner than in the past. For some it’s getting the decision behind them so they can concentrate on their last year of high school football. Others simply dislike the process and some want to secure their place in their chosen’s school’s class. Regardless of why, college football programs need to be quick with their scholarship offers and stay on top of their recruits if they hope to land their top picks.

Last week, Irish Sports Daily reported on two Class of 2020 prospects that are at very different stages in their relationship with Notre Dame. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Kenny Mestidor‍, DE, 6-2.5, 242, St. Thomas More School, Oakdale, CT has just begun hearing from Notre Dame, but he likes what he’s been hearing. The three-star prospect demonstrated his skills at the St. Thomas More Showcase in front of college coaches, including some from Power Five programs. While the Irish weren’t there, they have been communicating with him.

“They told me they’d be on campus in the next ten days,” he said. “I’m not sure when that will be, but they said they definitely love what I do and want to check me out and see what I look like in person.”

If Notre Dame does offer, they will be going up against some formidable competition. Mestidor currently holds offers from Michigan, USC, UCLA, Iowa, Kentucky, Syracuse, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Vanderbilt and others. He would love to add the Irish to that list.

“That would be great,” he said of a Notre Dame offer. “Obviously academics is very valuable to me. I know what they bring to the table with that alone. Obviously they have a great football program and had a great season last year.”

If the Irish do offer, Mestidor wants to get to South Bend.

“I’d definitely like to visit Notre Dame and get a chance to see the campus,” he shared. “I’m a Canadian native so I’m just looking for a place that is like a second home, a home away from home. Then just the athletes themselves, the football players themselves, how they group together; what type of energy they have? How the coaching staff coaches their players, how they communicate to their players, stuff like that.”

The native of Ottawa has already visited, Michigan, USC, UCLA, Boston College and Rutgers.

“Michigan and the West Coast schools, those were great visits, especially the West Coast because I didn’t really get a chance to see that before,” he explained. “Michigan, BC, those are all great schools.”

Mestidor is looking to narrow his list down to a more manageable number, somewhere between five and eight. He hopes to make a decision before his senior year.

“That’s my goal,” he said. “It could change at any point but that’s my goal right now.”

Clark Phillips‍, CB, 5-10, 178, La Habra High School, La Habra, CA has already visited the Notre Dame campus and just recently, Notre Dame Cornerbacks Coach, Todd Lyght, visited his high school. While NCAA rules limit the amount of contact that the two could have during Lyght’s visit, he has remained in good communication with the four-star defensive back and his family.

“Restating what we already know, what we’ve already discussed about playing, about the guys who are there, about the incoming guys like myself,” Phillips said of his recent talks with Lyght. “I was really excited and it was good to hear from him again.”

Lyght has not limited his conversations to just Clark, but has talked with other members of his family as well. A constant theme of Lyght’s conversations is how much he and the Irish coaching staff want Clark in South Bend.

“It’s an honor honestly to hear that from a prestigious university like that and from a coach who graduated from there and played there,” he said. “It’s an honor.”

Phillips recently announced a top five and it included Notre Dame. Ohio State, UCLA, Cal and Oregon made up the other four. Ohio State was the only other Midwest program to make the cut.

“I love the cohesiveness of Coach Ryan Day and Coach Jeff Hafley,” he said. “They’re super cohesive from the head coach to the d-coordinator/DB coach. I love the relationship I’m building with those guys.”

Phillips also speaks highly of UCLA defensive backs coach, Paul Rhoads.

“Coach Rhoads is pretty cool,” he shared. “I feel really comfortable with the campus. Of course, it’s my home town. I feel like there’s an opportunity to play early there.”

Phillips sees Cal defensive backs coach as a rising star.

“Me and Coach Gerald (Alexander) go way back,” he said. “We have a pretty good relationship. I feel that he’s going to be the next guy that they’re talking about in the next couple of years as great DB coaches.”

Phillips also had very positive things to say about the Oregon coaching staff.

“I have a great relationship with the coaches there, Coach (Keith) Heyward and a lot of the coaching staff with Coach (Mario) Cristobal, of course,” he stated. “They’re going to be good the next couple of years.”

The next step with the Irish will be an official visit.

“That’ll probably the next thing that takes place,” he said. “After that I’ll be looking to make a decision after my five officials.”

Phillips has yet to lock in his Notre Dame official visit but appears to be getting closer.

“I just want to continue to learn about everything I learned on the first visit,” he said of his official visit plans. “I just want to continue to feel comfortable and learn a little more about the staff in general and the guys and the cohesiveness of the team and what it’s going to take to get on the field early and get it done in the classroom.”

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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