The growing momentum of a 5-0 start and a No. 6 national ranking has cultivated similar momentum on the recruiting trail for Notre Dame, as the Irish landed two commitments during the past week.
Class of 2016 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer offered his verbal commitment to the Irish roughly an hour before kickoff between Notre Dame and Stanford on Saturday. Class of 2015 quarterback Brandon Wimbush then flipped from Penn State to Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon.
Kraemer, the No. 4 offensive tackle and the No. 18 overall player in the class of 2016, per 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, is the first Irish pledge in the class of 2016.
“Things are looking great for Notre Dame to start that class,” said Loy, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for Blue and Gold Illustrated, part of the 247Sports network.
“Then you’re talking about two true-bell cows to start your 2016 class,” Loy said.
Wimbush, meanwhile, gives the Irish a quarterback commitment in the class of 2015, a position that had previously looked as if it would go unfilled in this recruiting cycle after former Irish quarterback pledge Blake Barnett de-committed in June.
“The staff wasn’t necessarily sure that there was an elite quarterback in this class that they were going to seek out,” Loy said.
The No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and No. 70 overall player in the class of 2015, Wimbush joins class of 2015 Irish linebacker commitment Josh Barajas as one-time Penn State pledges that joined the Notre Dame class. Wimbush, who took an official visit to South Bend for the Stanford game, had been committed to the Nittany Lions since May 6.
“Over the last two months there’s been communication between Notre Dame and Wimbush,” Loy said. “There was interest on both sides. … There was an indication that if all goes well [with Wimbush’s visit], Notre Dame was going to be his landing spot.”
Loy said Notre Dame also made favorable impressions on many of the other 21 recruits in town for Notre Dame’s win over the then-No. 14 Cardinal. Class of 2015 receiver target Equanimeous St. Brown, the No. 118 player in the country, was one of the headliners on campus. Loy said the Irish continue to be “in very good shape” for the services of the 6-foot-5, 205-pounder. Loy added that St. Brown and Wimbush were together over the weekend and spent time with Irish quarterbacks coach — and West Coast recruiter — Matt LaFleur before Saturday’s game.
While the list of expected visitors this weekend is far shorter than it was last weekend, Notre Dame still will welcome two class of 2015 prospects in running backs Nick Brossette and Cameron Scarlett.
Brossette, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native and an LSU commit since Aug. 2013, slots as the No. 15 running back and No. 138 overall player in the country. Loy described the four-star back as a tough, physical runner with above-average speed. Loy said Brossette’s brother, who plays an active role in his recruitment, will make the trip as well, indicating Brossette may not view it as merely a “fun trip” to use one of his five official visits.
The three-star Scarlett is the No. 28 running back in the nation. Notre Dame gave the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Portland, Oregon, product an offer in late April.
For more on Notre Dame recruiting, check out BlueAndGold.com. Email Andrew Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him The Observer sent you.