NCF On The Trail: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has one ESPN Jr. 300 prospect committed in the 2016 class -- offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer -- but the Irish are hoping to change that this weekend. Coach Brian Kelly and his staff are set to host a huge weekend with more than 20 visitors from the 2016 class alone. Here is a look at some of the bigger names expected on campus.
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- JuJu, Biggie and now Jack Jack.

Over the past 20 years, Long Beach (California) Poly has a tradition of producing some of the best skill position players in Southern California. But recently that run has included talent recruited on such a national scale that fans and college coaches simply know the players by their nicknames.

In the 2014 class, John "JuJu" Smith was the nation's No. 24 player and a household name out of Poly. He had his pick of schools but eventually signed with USC and had 754 yards receiving as a true freshman for the Trojans. Then in Poly's 2015 class, Iman Marshall, better known as "Biggie," was the fourth-best player in the country before he inked with USC, too. Next in line at Poly is 2016 two-way star Jackie Jones, who goes by the nickname "Jack Jack."

Jack Jack proved at Sunday's The Opening regional at Redondo Union High School that he, too, is ready for the national stage. After a strong performance in the testing phase of the camp and an even better showing during drills and one-on-ones, Jones was one of six players that earned an invitation to The Opening finals on Nike's campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

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The linebacker position doesn't often receive much attention during 7-on-7 events, where quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs dominate headlines. But with hundreds of players descending upon Las Vegas for the Pylon Elite 7v7 event this weekend, Caleb Kelly and Lokeni Toailoa -- the top outside and inside linebackers in the West region -- were among several must-see prospects on hand.

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Quarterback Kyler Murray grabbed all of the headlines at Allen (Texas) High School over the past few seasons, but it’s actually junior offensive tackle Greg Little who is a higher-ranked prospect.

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Best recruiting classes of independents

February, 4, 2015
Feb 4
Here's how Notre Dame and BYU fared in the final ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings:


Notre Dame Fighting Irish

National rank: 13

Notre Dame attacked the offensive line for 2015, reeling in No. 131 and top-ranked center Tristen Hoge, No. 280 Jerry Tillery, No. 288 Trevor Ruhland and three-star Brandon Tiassum. ESPN 300 WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Jalen Guyton and ultra-quick four-star C.J. Sanders will give quarterback and No. 45 overall Brandon Wimbush plenty of options to throw to. Wimbush and Alize Jones (No. 52 overall and No. 1 TE) flipped from Penn State and UCLA, respectively. Dexter Williams, a top-five back, should provide ND with dynamic presence in the backfield. Versatile four-star outside linebacker Bo Wallace out of Louisiana power John Curtis Christian is a key get. Four-star linebacker Te'Von Coney is a key pledge out of South Florida.


BYU Cougars

National rank: 50
ESPN 300 defensive end Mika Tafua is the jewel of a Cougars' class that includes three-star signal-callers Beau Hoge and Kody Wilstead. Offensive tackle Kieffer Longson has a high upside. Three-star defensive end David Lui is physically ready to pay from Day 1. Outside linebacker Devin Kaufusi is another prospect with a high ceiling. A trio of three-star recruits from Texas add depth to the class, led by speedy playmaker Charles West.

Completed class: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

February, 4, 2015
Feb 4
Notre Dame has announced its 2015 class:

ESPN 300
Brandon Wimbush, QB-DT -- Saint Peter's Prep, New Jersey
Alize Jones, TE-Y -- Bishop Gorman High School, Nevada
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR -- Servite High School, California
Dexter Williams, RB -- West Orange High School, Florida
Tristen Hoge, OC -- Highland High School, Idaho
Shaun Crawford, ATH -- Saint Edward High School, Ohio
Jerry Tillery, OT -- Evangel Christian Academy, Louisiana
Trevor Ruhland, OG -- Cary-Grove High School, Illinois
Te'Von Coney, OLB -- Palm Beach Gardens High School, Florida

Josh Barajas, IllinoisB -- Andrean High School, Indiana
Miles Boykin, WR -- Providence Catholic High School, Illinois
Asmar Bilal, OLB -- Ben Davis High School, Indiana
Bo Wallace, OLB -- John Curtis Christian High School, Louisiana
C.J. Sanders, WR -- Notre Dame High School, California
Jalen Guyton, WR -- Allen High School, Texas

Elijah Taylor, DT -- Moeller High School, Ohio
Ashton White, CB -- Bishop McNamara High School, Maryland
Micah Dew-Treadway, DE -- Bolingbrook High School, Illinois
Justin Yoon, K -- Milton Academy, Massachusetts
Brandon Tiassum, OG -- Park Tudor School, Indiana
Nick Coleman, ATH -- Archbishop Alter High School, Ohio
Josh Adams, RB -- Central Bucks South High School, Pennsylvania
Mykelti Williams, S -- Warren Central High School, Indiana
Nicco Fertitta, S -- Bishop Gorman High School, Nevada
Dexter Williams, Ezekiel ElliottStudent Sports, Icon SportswireRunning back Dexter Williams has a similar size-to-speed ratio as Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott.
Dexter Williams, No. 78 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 5-ranked running back prospect, committed to Notre Dame over Miami and Louisville on Wednesday. The Orlando-area running back and onetime Hurricanes commitment is another big win in Florida for Notre Dame’s Tony Alford, who has recruited Sunshine State prospects Louis Nix III, Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston to South Bend in classes past.

What he brings:

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Watch: Brian Kelly discusses Notre Dame signing day approach

February, 4, 2015
Feb 4
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly joins ESPN's Paul Carcaterra to explain the approach to signing day for the Fighting Irish. Kelly says the staff focuses on depth.
It’s always fun to look into the history books to see how certain players lived up to their rankings. With signing day fewer than 24 hours away, here’s a look at the last five No. 1 and where I think they would rank stacked up against each other.

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It's tough to imagine a more exhausting and stressful conclusion to a recruiting process than the one Iman Marshall orchestrated. Over the past 10 days, Marshall has taken official visits to Florida State, LSU and Michigan, as well as hosted several coaches at his home and school. But just like on the football field, the nation's No. 4 overall prospect doesn't appear to be fazed at all by what's being thrown at him.

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Notre Dame has lured the nation's top tight end Alize Jones from UCLA. Let's check out how he impacts the Irish class:

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Few recruiting battles are more intriguing than the ones going on in Texas for high-profile players such as Daylon Mack, Soso Jamabo and Chris Warren III. What schools they pick could tilt recruiting supremacy in the Lone Star State moving forward

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Midyear additions: Notre Dame

January, 15, 2015
Jan 15
Four recruits have signed scholarship agreements with Notre Dame, according to the program's official website,

Te'Von Coney, OLB
HT: 6-1 WT: 222
Positional Rank: No. 20 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300: No. 295
Under Armour All-American

Micah Dew-Treadway, DE
HT: 6-4 WT: 269
Positional Rank: No. 37 DE
Stars: 3

Tristen Hoge, OC
HT: 6-5 WT: 291
Positional Rank: No. 1 OC
Stars: 4
ESPN 300: No. 131

Jerry Tillery, OT
HT: 6-6 WT: 317
Positional Rank: No. 30 OT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300: No. 280
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Most coaches at AFCA agree an early signing period is a good thing, but when to have it will be a hot topic at Tuesday’s NCAA recruiting seminar.

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After taking just one official visit before the dead period began, it looked as though it would be difficult for No. 7 overall prospect Iman Marshall to take all five of his official visits before signing day. But the 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback revealed his plan Friday morning to fit four official visits into a three-week span.

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