football

Quick Look: 2018 Irish Commits

Don’t miss out on any of our exclusive football, basketball and recruiting coverage. Click here to get your 30-day free trial!

Myzrix6b9p54xmmu3xxv
Rivals100 quarterback Phil Jurkovec is the gem of Notre Dame's 2018 class so far.

For the Irish, National Signing Day 2017 went about as well as one could have hoped for given the circumstances of the 2016 season and the staff turnover.

With the 2017 class ending on Wednesday, the Notre Dame staff now turn its full attention to the 2018 cycle and making early moves with the nation's top juniors.

The new members of the staff will need to work on building relationships with current commits and top targets, and that process has already begun.

Notre Dame is already off to a great start in the class with two Rivals150 prospects and six commitments total. But, there is a long way to go before National Signing Day arrives in 2018. There will be visits, commitments, de-commitments and every other storyline in between, and Blue & Gold will have you covered.

Now that the dotted line has been signed by Notre Dame's 2017 commits, here is a quick look at the players already in the fold in the 2018 class and will be the building blocks for the Irish this upcoming cycle.


In-season visits: Notre Dame — Michigan State (Sept. 17), Miami (Nov.11)
Power Five Offers: Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Kentucky,

Notable: Jurkovec, the No. 4 dual-threat QB in the 2018 class, is a two-sport athlete who has scored more than 1,000 points in his basketball career at Pine Richland. The Pennsylvania product finished his junior football season with 1,673 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in just six games of action after suffering a thumb injury. He also ran for 481 yards and eight more touchdowns. Following the season, Jurkovec was named to the Pennsylvania 6A All-State team for the second consecutive year. He has been committed to Notre Dame since May.

As a sophomore, Jurkovec became just the third player in WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League) history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season.

In-season Visits: Notre Dame — Nevada (Sept. 10), Michigan State (Sept. 17)
Power Five Offers: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Syracuse, Iowa State

Notable: Linebacker Matthew “Bo” Bauer is second-highest ranked commit in the class behind Phil Jurkovec coming in as the No. 5 inside linebacker and the No. 103 player nationally.

Bauer is coming off his second-straight selection to the Pennsylvania Class 4A all-state team after recording 113 tackles and 11.5 sacks leading Cathedral Prep to a state championship victory. He was named as the Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected to the All-USA Pennsylvania first-team defense by USA TODAY. Bauer committed to Notre Dame this past August.

In-season Visits: Notre Dame — Nevada (Sept. 10), Michigan State (Sept. 17), Stanford (Oct. 15), Miami (Oct. 29); Michigan — Wisconsin (Oct. 1)
Power Five Offers: Notre Dame, Michigan, Miami, Georgia, LSU, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Syracuse, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Duke, Louisville, Michigan State, Purdue,

Notable: Running back Markese Stepp is ranked as the No. 12 running back and the No. 200 player in the junior class nationally currently. He is coming off a hamstring injury which forced him to miss almost the entire 2016 season after sustaining the injury on his first carry of the season (46-yard touchdown). Stepp finished the year with five total carries for 81 yards and four touchdowns after playing a limited role in two playoff games.

Stepp committed to Notre Dame this past June and is arguably the most active recruiter the Irish has regardless of class. As a sophomore, Stepp rushed for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns on 155 carries.

In-season visits: None
Power Five offers: Notre Dame, Auburn, Michigan, Miami (FL), Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, UCLA, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Duke

Notable: Ademilola Recorded 86 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles his junior year. The No.18 DT in the class of 2018, Ademilola was named to the USA Today’s All-New Jersey second team. Was also named to NJ.com’s All-New Jersey second team, and top junior recruit in New Jersey, coming in at No. 7 overall. He and his brother Justin have been committed to Notre Dame since June.

Notre Dame continues to push hard on the Ademilola twins stopping by their school three times in the span of 10 days once the contact period resumed in mid-January.

In-season visits: None
Power Five offers: Notre Dame, Auburn, Michigan, Miami (FL), Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, UCLA, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Duke

Notable: The No. 20 strongside defensive end in the class of 2018, Ademilola recorded 10.5 sacks, 85 tackles and 20 QB hurries during his junior year. Following the season, Ademilola was named to NJ.com’s All-New Jersey third team. NJ.com ranks him as the No.5 junior recruit in the state, and No. 19 overall. He has been committed to Notre Dame since June.

Notre Dame continues to push hard on the Ademilola twins stopping by their school three times in the span of 10 days once the contact period resumed in mid-January.

In-season Visits: Notre Dame — Michigan State (Sept. 17), Echoes (Dec. 9)
Power Five offers: Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College, Iowa State, Syracuse, Indiana, Kentucky

Notable: Linebacker Ovie Oghoufo was the last of this six-man group to join the class announcing his pledge in late July after taking an unofficial visit.

During his junior campaign, Oghoufo racked up 56 tackles including 20 for loss and five sacks. He also added 16 catches for 406 yards and five touchdowns as a tight end. Linebackers coach Clark Lea stopped by his school Jan. 13. Former defensive line coach Keith Gilmore headed his recruitment, so the junior will need to build a relationship with the new defensive staff members.

Oghoufo is ranked as the No. 19 outside linebacker nationally and the No. 4 player in Michigan in the junior class.

----

Talk about it inside Rockne’s Roundtable

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes

• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue & Gold Illustrated.

• Follow us on Twitter: @BGINews, @BGI_LouSomogyi, @BGI_CoachD,

@BGI_MattJones, @BGI_DMcKinney and @BGI_CoreyBodden.

• Like us on Facebook.

Edit