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Last updated: Sun. Aug. 03, 2014 - 06:42 pm EDT

The Wish List - July Notre Dame Recruiting

Defensive prospects dominate top five

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NOTRE DAME CLASS OF 2015 COMMITS

OL Jerry Tillery, Shreveport, La.

OL Tristen Hoge, Pocatello, Idaho

DB Prentice McKinney, Dallas, Texas

WR Jalen Guyton, Allen, Texas

DB Nicco Fertitta, Las Vegas, Nev.

OL Trevor Ruhland, Cary, Ill.

C.J. Sanders, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

LB Josh Barajas, Merrillville

DL Brandon Tiassum, Indianapolis

DT Micah Dew-Treadway, Bolingbrook, Ill.

DB Nick Coleman, Kettering, Ohio

DT Elijah Taylor, Cincinnati, Ohio

DB Shaun Crawford, Lakewood, Ohio

K Justin Yoon, Milton, Mass.

RB Josh Adams, Warrington, Penn.

WR Miles Boykin, New Lenox, Ill.

DB Ashton White, Forestville, Md.

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Periodically throughout the year, The News-Sentinel will take a look at the top priorities for the Notre Dame football program in this recruiting cycle with The Wish List. This will be an objective look based on position need, program fit, current commitments at the same position and overall talent level.

The top five will change as recruits commit to the Fighting Irish or other programs, team attrition due to injury or transfer and other factors.

Keep in mind that this is not simply a list of the five highest-ranked recruits on the board for Notre Dame, but rather who at this point in the cycle are realistic gets at key positions.


July update

Since our last Wish List in June, the Fighting Irish have picked up four commitments, with running back Josh Adams out of Pennsylvania filling a position of need, along with defensive back Ashton White of Maryland and kicker Justin Yoon.

Arguably the biggest get so far this cycle is Miles Boykin, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver out of Illinois that committed on July 2 and is considered one of the top 10 wideouts in the country in the Class of 2015.

CLASS OF 2015

Current commitments: 17

Rivals.com rank: Ninth

Scout.com rank: Ninth

247sports rank: Ninth


1. Porter Gustin, Salem, Utah

One of Notre Dame's top defensive targets still on the board is also one of the most highly ranked. Scout.com rates Gustin as the No. 8 defensive end in the country and one of the more versatile players along the defensive front.

Gustin notched 78 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and four sacks as a junior for Salem Hills High School and has natural pass-rush abilities. His 6-foot-4, 238-pound frame is rock solid as Gustin practically lives in the weight room. He plays with a high motor and can line up at either outside linebacker of defensive end. Notre Dame projects him at defensive end where he can both get to the quarterback and play the run with equal effectiveness.

Gustin is set to visit Notre Dame for Michigan weekend in early September.


2. LB Asmar Bilal, Indianapolis

A decision could come at any time for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Ben Davis product that would be a perfect Sam linebacker in Notre Dame's defensive scheme. The frontrunners appear to be the Fighting Irish and Michigan, with Bilal having taken visits to both in June.

Bilal had flown under the radar until April, when 10 offers came in over the next two months, including scholarships from Oregon, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.

Bilal notched 106 tackles and 4.5 sacks for Ben Davis as a junior and is rated the No. 9 outside linebacker in the country by Scout. He is at his best in the open field when he can track down ball carriers and has a burst of speed that is vital at linebacker.

Overall strength needs to improve, but Bilal is a solid in-state player that the Fighting Irish covet.


3. DT Neville Gallimore, St. Catherines, Ont.

Many could say Notre Dame is full at the defensive tackle position with a trio of commitments in Micah Dew-Treadway, Elijah Taylor and Brandon Tiassum, but room would be found for an elite recruit like Gallimore.

An intriguing prospect out of Canada, the 6-foot-3, 300-plus pound Gallimore is a top 20 defensive tackle according to most recruiting outlets. He is used to playing outside the tackles and performs well in space considering his size, with quick feet and long arms. But his future is likely at the defensive tackle position at the college level.

This is not a space-filling DT in the mold of a Louis Nix, but rather a prospect that can beat offensive linemen off the snap and cause havoc in the backfield.

Gallimore is being recruited nationally but has mentioned his desire to stay close to home, which bodes well for Notre Dame. Ohio State appears to be the leader at this point, but the longer the process plays out for Gallimore, the better the chances get for the Fighting Irish.


4. DE Byron Cowart, Seffner, Fla.

Cowart is the No. 1 overall prospect this cycle according to Rivals.com and still has Notre Dame on the board, making him an easy choice to make the Wish List.

What prevents Cowart from being higher in the top five is just how many national programs are recruiting him. However, Cowart made it on campus in June and is set to make an official visit to South Bend in October.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Cowart is as college ready as any player in this class and will be an immediate-impact player for whoever lands him.

Obviously, the competition is fierce with Cowart, with Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Oregon amongst the frontrunners.

The fact that Notre Dame needs to land two to three defensive ends this cycle and currently has zero commits at the position makes Cowart one to watch entering the fall.


5. RB Soso Jamabo, Plano, Texas

With quarterback looking to be a pass this cycle and wide receiver and offensive line looking solid with current commitments, the focus offensively is on running back. Josh Adams is on board out of Pennsylvania, but with Notre Dame passing at the position last year, at least one more body is needed.

Jamabo is rated the No. 2 running back in the country according to Scout.com and the recent success by Notre Dame in luring Texas talent to Northwest Indiana has the Fighting Irish in the mix.

Jamabo displays the ability to run between the tackles for tough yardage or get to the outside and make highlight reel runs. His 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame is a bit long for a running back, but his technique make him appear more of a compact runner.

The top programs in Texas and Oklahoma are vying for Jamabo, but he will also visit Notre Dame over Michigan weekend in early September. As we have seen countless times before, anything can happen once a prospect sets foot on campus.

jkenny@news-sentinel.com


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