NCF On The Trail: Notre Dame football

Folston stays with Notre Dame 

February, 6, 2013
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Tarean Folston, the No. 6 athlete and No. 66 overall prospect in the ESPN 150, ultimately stuck with his commitment to Notre Dame this afternoon after a late push from Auburn.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder originally pledged to the Irish during the week of the Under Armour All-America Game. Notre Dame now has 12 commits in the ESPN 300, including nine in the ESPN 150.

-- Mitch Sherman

What is the impact of Folston's decision?

ATH Redfield chooses Notre Dame

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notre Dame’s push continues for the No. 1 spot in the ESPN recruiting class rankings.

The Irish added a pledge tonight during the Under Armour All-America Game from Max Redfield of Mission Viejo, Calif., the nation’s No. 4 athlete and No. 36 prospect in the ESPN 150. Redfield again spurned Notre Dame rival USC, from which he decommitted in November, though he continued to consider the Trojans.

Notre Dame appeared in the lead for Redfield after he bolted from the Trojans. He spoke glowingly of the Irish after an October official visit to South Bend, Ind., to watch the Irish defeat Stanford in overtime.

His commitment is the 23rd for Notre Dame, which counts 10 members of the ESPN 150 in its Class of 2013. Redfield, the No. 3 prospect in California, ranks behind linebacker Jaylon Smith of Fort Wayne, Ind., and running back Greg Bryant of Delray Beach, Fla., on the Notre Dame list.

The Irish, after a 12-0 regular season that landed them in the BCS title game against Alabama at 8 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN, have gained momentum in recruiting. Bryant, No. 2 nationally at running back and 27th overall in the ESPN 150, joined the class in December. Tarean Folston, the nation’s No. 9 athlete from Cocoa, Fla., committed this week during practice sessions for the UA Game to vault Notre Dame to No. 2 in the class rankings, behind Alabama.

The 6-foot-2, 181-pound Redfield, who started in Friday's UA game and is projected to play safety in college, also had visited Washington and recently considered Ohio State.

The recruiting score is extra sweet for Notre Dame as it continues to watch the Trojans suffer. Redfield made an official visit to USC, which finished 7-6 this season with three straight losses -- including a 22-13 defeat in Los Angeles to Notre Dame on Nov. 24. He also gave his final home visit to USC coaches about three weeks ago, but it wasn’t enough to swing him back.

The Trojans have also endured the losses of WR commits Sebastian LaRue and Eldridge Massington and defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, sending USC from the top spot to No. 5 in the class rankings.

Meanwile, Notre Dame pushes forward. A win Monday over Alabama would only further aid the Irish’s quest to surpass the Crimson Tide.

DE Ogundeko commits to Clemson

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- ESPN 150 defensive lineman Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) has verbally committed to Clemson. The 6-foot-3, 229-pound end prospect announced his decision during the second quarter of tonight's Under Armour All-America Game.

Ogundeko chose Clemson over Syracuse, Florida and Notre Dame.

With the addition of Ogundeko, the Tigers now have 16 verbal commitments, including four who are ESPN 150 prospects. Ogundeko will join Dane Rogers (Shelby, N.C./Crest), Clemson's other defensive end commitment. Clemson’s recruiting class is ranked No. 14 in the country.

As a senior, Ogundeko totaled an impressive 74 tackles including 17 sacks. He is the nation’s No. 10 defensive end.

Ogundeko also held offers from Alabama, Arizona State and Ole Miss.

Max Redfield reveals final trio 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The verdict is in for Max Redfield. We’ll learn his decision on Friday on ESPN's 5 p.m. ET telecast of the Under Armour All-America Game.


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Irish make national statement with Luke 

November, 1, 2012
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Notre Dame’s addition of cornerback Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) to its 2013 recruiting class this morning made a few statements. The first was simply that the Fighting Irish were able to add another tremendously talented prospect to a formidable class.

Beyond that, it was a big victory for Notre Dame over national programs Oklahoma and Texas. Both programs made hard runs for Luke, but the recruiting pitch and product on the field from the Fighting Irish was too much for the prospect to turn down.

If the commitment sticks, it will give Notre Dame another Arizona prospect on the roster. The Irish made a big splash with their ability to land No. 1 athlete Davonte Neal in the 2012 class. With two big victories in the Grand Canyon State, not only does it keep the Irish relevant out West -- an important and constant battle -- it could give Notre Dame a head start on what is shaping up to be an absolutely loaded group of 2014 recruits from Arizona.

Luke’s position plays a role in the scope of the commitment as well. One of the knocks on Notre Dame recruiting in the past few years has been its inability to consistently land impact cornerbacks. With Luke--as well as ESPN 300 recruit Devin Butler (Washington, DC/Gonzaga College)--the Fighting Irish might have that bookend set of defensive backs.

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Irish offer Ross Pierschbacher on visit 

September, 23, 2012
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This past weekend was the first time Cedar Falls (Iowa) offensive tackle Ross Pierschbacher visited Notre Dame, and he was given a nice reward for showing up.

The junior was offered by recruiting coordinator Tony Alford on Sunday morning before he left South Bend.

"It's obviously a huge offer, a big program," he said. "I'm sure people would die to go there if you're a student, and for a football player it's a big honor."

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Alonzo Saxton high on Notre Dame 

September, 23, 2012
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Alonzo Saxton really likes his high school, and that bodes well for Notre Dame.

The 2014 cornerback from Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley visited Notre Dame for the Michigan game Saturday, and he saw a lot of things that remind him of his high school.

“For some reason Notre Dame seems like it’s similar to the high school I’m at now, and that’s a good thing. I really like the environment at Hartley,” Saxton said. “[Notre Dame] seems like somewhere I would really want to be.”

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ACC exposure can only help Notre Dame 

September, 12, 2012
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From a football recruiting perspective it's hard to determine how much Notre Dame's move to the ACC in other sports will help. But at the very least, it certainly will not hurt the Fighting Irish on the trail.

Notre Dame will play more games in Florida, a state that already provides the Irish with several commitments each recruiting cycle. The move will obviously boost what is an already strong foothold there.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Four-star linebacker Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) remains firm in his commitment to Notre Dame despite his trip to Gainesville for Florida's Friday Night Lights camp.


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