NCF On The Trail: Notre Dame recruiting

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?

Redfield might've opened floodgates 

January, 4, 2013
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If Notre Dame lands the No. 1 class in 2013, the Fighting Irish might be thanking Max Redfield. It’s not only because of the immense talent Redfield brings -- though it helps -- but because he might have started a slew of decommitments that will end up in the Irish’s favor.


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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.

Scouts: Irish get playmaker in Folston 

January, 3, 2013
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Notre Dame now has another explosive back with return capabilities joining last year's Under Armour All-American Davonte' Neal to provide a significant upgrade in playmaking ability for the Irish offense.

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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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Watch List TE Blazevich talks top six 

December, 20, 2012
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ESPN Watch List tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) named his top six schools on Twitter last week. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior is one of the most coveted targets in the Class of 2014 and that news left 17 programs with lumps of coal in their recruiting stockings.

“It is Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama and Ole Miss,” Blazevich said.

The Rebels would not have made the cut had Blazevich decided to trim the list before the football season.

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Watch List ATH Terry Googer keeps ticking 

November, 8, 2012
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DECATUR, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List wide receiver Terry Googer (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy) will need some heavy-duty bleach to get the grass, dirt and blood stains out of his white uniform after last Friday’s game against Cedar Grove (Ga.) High School. The 6-foot-4, 203-pound junior lined up at quarterback and was hit early and often. Sometime he was greeted in the backfield by a defender, but most often he would collide into a tackler 5 yards downfield on a rushing attempt. Cedar Grove had too many athletes for Woodward, and the ball with Googer seemed to be the only play that worked. So it was called. A lot. And Googer soldiered on.

At one point he was knocked out of the game, but he returned on the next series to run and throw, moving Woodward Academy down the field against one of the best defenses in the Peach State. That grit and tenacity has earned Googer offers from Notre Dame, South Carolina, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Wake Forest and Florida International. More are likely on the way.

When asked who he thought would offer next, Googer said, “Probably Florida, hopefully Georgia and I kind of want a Southern Cal offer. My family really likes Georgia. When I went to visit it seemed like a good place to spend my four years.”

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Laquon TreadwellZach Perry/intersportLaquon Treadwell seems to have added Illinois and Notre Dame to his list of possible destinations.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan will need a big, athletic receiver next season, especially if Devin Gardner winds up at quarterback.

One of the bigger names remaining on Michigan's 2013 recruiting board would fit the bill perfectly.

Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) has kept track of recruiting classes as well as shifts in depth charts. The 6-foot-3 four-star receiver wants to play early, so both will likely affect his decision. He's also looking at how teams are playing, and while the Wolverines are running a quasi-spread offense with Denard Robinson, he's well aware of their plans to move to a pro-style offense, so he has read up on that.

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All bets off for Juwaan Williams 

November, 7, 2012
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CLARKSTON, Ga. -- When the scholarship offers started rolling in for Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) last year, his parents thought they knew where the versatile athlete was going to wind up. They were so confident in their beliefs that they agreed to place a wager on the outcome.

[+] EnlargeJuwaan Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comJuwaan Williams is taking a big-picture approach to his college decision.
“At the beginning they had a bet going on what college I was going to,” Williams said. “But now that we have visited different colleges, they have the same mindset as me that we really don’t know where I am going yet. My dad thought I was going to Florida State and my mom thought I was going to Vanderbilt. I think dinner and chores were on the line. Chores, definitely chores.”

The bet has been called off, but his mother and father had correctly picked two of his finalists out of his 17 offers.

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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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Williams intrigued by FSU's success 

November, 1, 2012
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It's not a surprise that the big boys of college football drop in on Eagle's Landing Christian in McDonough, Georgia.

After all, there are several elite FBS prospects starring there. Andrew Williams, a 2014 Watch List defensive end, is just one of them.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect reports that schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others, have been by this season.

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Watch List QB will visit Irish, Buckeyes 

October, 31, 2012
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Notre Dame has offered only one quarterback in the 2014 class, but an ESPN Watch List member will make it to South Bend in November.

Junior quarterback Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) has been hearing from the Fighting Irish a lot recently, and in turn he will make a Nov. 17 trip to South Bend. The Irish will host Wake Forest in Notre Dame's last home game of the season.

"I thought I'd check it out," said Barker, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal-caller.

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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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