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The Final Countdown to National Signing Day

This class has been very unusual, to say the least, for a Notre Dame football team, but after a 4-8 season, it is almost to be expected. Given that the Irish have added six new coaches to the staff, no one should be surprised at all. It’s been a rough month, though, with a total of six de-commits throughout this class, more than Kelly has had over his first six years as the Irish Head Coach. First came four-star DEs Robert Beal and Donovan Jeter, then LB Pete Werner and WR Jordan Pouncey, and the two latest over the past week in CBs Paulson Adebo and Elijah Hicks. But now that the new staff is complete there has been a ton of activity on the recruiting trail. Tons of offers have been going out and visits are beginning to get in place.

With just over two weeks left until National Signing Day I’ll give you a look at who to keep an eye on that could eventually end up Irish.

Defense:

3-star DB Evan Fields. ND, Arizona State, UCLA, Baylor, Oregon and Kansas State are his top schools. Once he gets to campus for his official on January 20, I feel very good about Notre Dame here, but right now I would say Arizona State leads. His speed could be the difference maker among some of the other targets.

3-star DE Jalen Harris. Harris is an Arizona commit and just recently got offered by DC Mike Elko. According to Irish247, he plans on making his way to Notre Dame on January 27 with his family. He should be a big priority for the new staff seeing how much need there is along the defensive line. Being 6’4 210, he has great length and I could see him making a quick impact in Elko’s defense.

4-star CB Terrell Bailey. Bailey is committed to Tennessee but was just offered on Wednesday by Notre Dame. According the Irish247, Bailey plans on visiting January 27, which could be a huge visit for the staff. I think he’s one of the best cornerbacks on the board as of today. This would be a big time pick up, but it will take a lot of work to flip him.

3-star CB Jason Pinnock. Just a few weeks ago, Pinnock was committed to Boston College but backed off of his commitment. The Irish have yet to offer, but there’s been a ton of buzz about a possible offer coming, especially with all the activity he’s had on social media. If that happens, I don’t think anyone will beat out the Irish. The biggest threat here is Pitt.

4-star DB Connor Wedington. Stanford seems to be the leader here with Wedington saying UCLA, Baylor, and Washington are also in the mix. I think if he makes it to Notre Dame we could have a good shot but until then I personally think he winds up at Stanford.

3-star DL Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. He has offers from USC, Oregon, Oregon State and others. Notre Dame definitely has a chance here, but I think it’ll be tough to pull him away from the west coast. If he makes the trip to South Bend and is blown away then the staff should be able to make a big move with landing him.

4-star DE Joshua Paschal. If you think this name sounds familiar you aren’t crazy. Paschal had Notre Dame is his top 2 before committing to Kentucky a few weeks ago but the staff is still making him a priority. I still believe Paschal will end up Irish when it’s all said and done. Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part, but he’s been on my radar for awhile and I could see the new staff push hard for him.

4-star Safety Jordan Genmark-Heath. Notre Dame offered Heath, who’s committed to Cal, Wednesday night. With Cal firing their Head Coach I was waiting for this offer to go out. I think we have a real shot with him and I think Elko will be making him a big priority going forward. He’s an athlete that can move well and has great speed. Look out here.

3-star DB Tre Norwood. Norwood took to Twitter Wednesday night to announce Notre Dame extended an offer. Norwood has been a Louisville commit for quite awhile but with Louisville DC taking the same job at Mississippi State, I think Notre Dame has a great shot. Keep an eye out for a possible visit coming in the next few weeks.

Offense:

Unranked WR Michael Smith. Notre Dame extended an offer a few weeks ago and in all honesty he’s one of my favorite dark horses on the recruiting scene. The 6’2 200 pound receiver has a ton of upside, with great range when the ball is in the air. With a visit likely happening in the next few weeks, I’m hoping the staff gives him the green light to join the class.

3-star WR Gavin Holmes. Arizona State, Baylor, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA and Utah round out his top 7. Holmes plans on visiting South Bend January 27, first reported by Irish247. We will have to see how this visit goes before I can say Notre Dame has the upper hand. I think Nebraska is the team to beat at the moment but that could change soon.

4-star WR Oliver Martin. The Army All-American has been a big Notre Dame priority for quite awhile now. Michigan State and Iowa are the teams we’re up against and I don’t think that will change, even though he mentioned a visit to Auburn could happen in the coming weeks. My gut says ND but this seems to change daily.

3-star WR Jafar Armstrong. Armstrong is a Missouri commit and the Irish just extended an offer a few days ago. With a former Notre Dame lineman as his coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if Armstrong eventually flipped to Notre Dame. The 6’0 receiver is very shifty, has great speed and I think that goes a long way in the Irish offense, even more so now, with new uptempo OC Chip Long.

I think Notre Dame can really finish strong for National Signing Day after the crazy month of recruiting and revamping of the staff. With the new coaches, I think they will go all out on the recruiting front to make a mark on this class. It also doesn’t hurt that majority of the new staff is well known for being great recruiters which will benefit the Irish tremendously in the long run. With 15 commits in the fold right now, the staff will obviously have a ton of work to do and they seem to be up for the challenge.

With the coaches still evaluating targets, there could be a lot more offers going out in the days to come and the coaches will also be on the road the next few weeks with the recruiting contact period now officially open. It should be a very exciting few weeks for Irish fans, so make sure to follow the Golden Domer Daily (@NDDomerDaily) twitter account, along with Fighting Irish Daily (@IrishDaily10) for recruiting information and more.