Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Can the Irish finish the 2013 class with a bang?

This upcoming weekend may be the the most important that the Notre Dame football program has had in a very long time.  Not only are the Irish trying to prove that they are back to being a national power house, they are hosting the biggest recruiting weekend of the year with over 30 committed and uncommitted prospects expected to be in attendance.  Currently, the Irish have commitments from 20 players and are hoping to add at least a few more to the class.  With that being said, we are going to take a look at 5 prospects who Irish fans should be hoping to land to close out the 2013 class.

1. CB Mackensie Alexander- This kid is a consensus top 3 cornerback in the country and is probably very close to, if not at the top of the recruiting board for the Irish.  He is the type of player that is going to play as soon as he gets on campus.

[caption id="attachment_348" align="alignright" width="245" caption="Can the Irish coaching staff lure Alexander out of the South? (Photo Credit: Fox Sports)"][/caption]

Mackensie brings incredible tackling skills and is an absolute ball-hawk that should be able to make an immediate impact in the secondary for Notre Dame.  However, because he is from Immokalee, Florida, it is going to be very hard to pull an athlete like this out of SEC country.  This is going to be a battle until signing day, but for now it seems like the Irish are out front against the likes of Clemson, Alabama, and Florida State for the consensus 4 star prospect.

2. S Priest Willis- As of now, the Irish seem to be within his top four, but might be trailing USC and LSU for the lead.  The coaching staff has a lot of work to do here, but this kid is worth it.  The Arizona product is one of the best safeties in America, and is another guy who could step in right away and play for the Irish.  Notre Dame is lacking depth in the secondary, and his strength, speed, and prototypical size give him the opportunity to help add to Notre Dame’s already stout defense.  This is another recruitment that may go all the way to signing day, so the Irish are going to have really impress this young man during his official visit and stay on him hard until February.

3. WR Laquon Treadwell- Michigan is the clear leader for his services at this point, and has been for a while.  But he is holding off on committing for now, and until he does the Irish coaching staff should be blowing up his phone, e-mail, Facebook, or any other means of contact as much as possible.

[caption id="attachment_349" align="alignright" width="195" caption="Can the Irish pull a monster upset to land Treadwell? (Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune)"][/caption]

This kid is the top receiver in the nation and is an absolute stud.  He’s everything you want in a receiver and could be the player that replaces Michael Floyd.  There’s a reason why every major program in America wants him, and he is going to be the number one receiving prospect on Notre Dame’s board until he takes himself off the board.  He possesses excellent size, great hands, and can run routes.  The Irish have a lot of ground to make up here, but they aren’t going to give up on him and they shouldn’t because it will certainly give Everett Golson something to smile about if he chooses to be a Domer.

4. CB L.J. Moore- As you can tell, the Irish need help in the secondary.  If they are able to add this prospect, it would be huge.  He is not quite the prospect that Mackensie Alexander is, but he is very close.  He has a very similar playing style to one time Notre Dame signee Tee Shepard, and just happens to be a good friend of his.  Hopefully that will end up being a positive connection for the Irish, considering unfortunate departure of Shepard.  The Fresno, California product appears to be very high on Notre Dame at this point, but UCLA seems to be right in the thick of things as well.  He is the exact size that Brian Kelly seeks in a cornerback, and has great instincts along with tackling ability.  Along with the other two defensive backs I have mentioned (Priest Willis, Mackensie Alexander), he has instant impact ability.  His official visit this weekend for the Michigan game could be a huge factor in his recruitment, and if the experience can “wow” him enough, it’s possible he may commit.  Stay tuned in the near future.

5. DE Alquadin Muhammad- This defensive end has offers from all of the big boys.  And the Irish have a great connection to him in current Notre Dame player Elijah Shumate, who went the the same high school in New Jersey (Don Bosco Prep).  He is not as highly rated as the other four prospects mentioned but would be a fantastic addition to the Irish defensive line.  He would provide great depth behind an already elite defensive line.  Alquadin is very quick off the snap, and with coach Longos help in the weight room, will become a very strong young man.  Not to mention he has a never-ending motor and is a fantastic athlete.  Rutgers is going to be a major player in his recruitment, as they were with Elijah, but the Irish are going to have a very good shot at getting a commitment at some point if they continue to pursue hard.

With less than 5 months before National Signing Day, the coaching staff has plenty of time to continue to build relationships and make up ground, if needed, with these recruits.  Though it is unlikely that Notre Dame signs all five of these prospects, these are players that all Irish fans should keep an eye on over the coming months.  These players would all make a meaningful impact at Notre Dame, and prove to everyone that Brian Kelly can recruit the nation’s elite talent year in and year out.

So, Irish fans, can Coach Kelly and Co. convince these guys to play under Touchdown Jesus on Saturdays?

Only time will tell....

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