Five days after the conclusion of Notre Dame’s spring football practices, the Fighting Irish staff hit the road for the spring evaluation period. Blue & Gold recruiting insider Mike Singer has various news and notes to report from the staff’s first seven days on the road for this week’s Gold Standard article.
*** On May 3, Notre Dame defensive line coach Al Washington made a trip out to the Sunshine State and checked in on Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International’s Sean Sevillano, the No. 864 overall prospect and No. 82 defensive lineman per the 2024 On3 Industry Ranking. My mantra of “follow the visits” doesn’t just apply to recruits visiting colleges; it also works for where coaches are headed on the road. I haven’t gotten the sense that Sevillano is at the very top of the interior defensive line board, as Justin Scott surely occupies that spot, but Sevillano remains a name to watch. Washington wouldn’t visit Sevillano’s high school for no reason.
In fact, a source tells Blue & Gold that Sevillano has scheduled two official visits for June. He’ll be at Ohio State on the 2nd and Notre Dame on the 16th. Sevillano isn’t a highly-ranked prospect, but he has an impressive offer sheet, and from what I’ve been told for the past couple months, the Irish and Buckeyes are at the top of his list.
*** Another prospect out of the Clearwater, Fla. area to watch for Notre Dame is Central Catholic’s Andy Jaffe, the No. 1,121 overall prospect and No. 93 safety per the 2024 On3 Industry Ranking. Again, not a highly ranked prospect, but Jaffe has been committed to Wake Forest since earlier this year and would be much more on the public radar if he was posting about the new offers he’s picked up recently. He hasn’t out of respect to Wake Forest, but there are big-time schools after him, and the Irish are interested.
Washington stopped by Jaffe’s school while in town to see Sevillano to learn more about him, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if safeties coach Chris O’Leary heads down there to see Jaffee himself this month. Notre Dame hasn’t offered Jaffe; whether they do will depend on how the safety board progresses in the next couple months.
*** From everything I’ve gathered in talking to recruits, high school coaches and various sources, I am very impressed with new quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli‘s work on the recruiting trail. I’m not trying to throw shade at Tommy Rees, but Guidugli’s work on the recruiting trail is a different level. And from what I hear, the guy lives for recruiting.
He’s the perfect quarterbacks coach for Marcus Freeman, who puts such a high emphasis on recruiting. Guidugli wants to be out on the road and see as many quarterbacks as he can in the 2025 and 2026 classes, and he’s been doing just that. The Irish offered their first two quarterbacks in the 2026 class last week (Julian Lewis and Jared Curtis). The only time I can remember the Irish offering a freshman quarterback under Rees (since I’ve been covering ND) was Bryce Underwood in the 2025 class. Guidugli’s evaluation and coaching skills remain to be seen, but I can already tell that he’s one heck of a recruiter and works hard at it.
*** Lucedale (Miss.) George County’s Deuce Knight, the No. 119 overall prospect and No. 9 signal-caller per the On3 Industry Ranking, is a huge quarterback target for Notre Dame in the 2025 class. Guidugli was at Knight’s school April 28, and I’m told that went well. Guidugli was able to see Knight throw, and Knight was really happy to have him at practice. Interestingly enough, Knight doesn’t seem too far off from making a decision, and Notre Dame is very much in the mix. He may pop at the end of the month. Notre Dame, Auburn, Ole Miss and Tennessee are the main contenders to watch.
*** To wrap up last week, Guidugli and offensive coordinator Gerad Parker were in Kentucky (and also were at the Kentucky Derby Saturday) to watch 2025 quarterback target Cutter Boley out of Lexington (Ky.) Christian Academy. In all honesty, I don’t see Notre Dame landing Boley. He’s already considered a Kentucky lean, and Boley is very much considering reclassifying to the 2024 class. If that is the case, then it’s pretty unlikely he’d commit to Notre Dame considering the Irish have CJ Carr locked in. This recruitment is an interesting one, and I’ll continue to track it, but again, I don’t see him ending up at Notre Dame at this time.
*** I’m not 100 percent sure if this is correct, but it’s my understanding that Irish offensive line coach Joe Rudolph spent two days last week in Iowa to check in on 2024 offensive line target Grant Brix out of Logan (Iowa) Magnolia. I talked to a source about Brix, and I’m told that the Irish see the 6-6, 277-pounder as an offensive tackle. Notre Dame has a spot or two open on its 2024 offensive line board, and Brix is a candidate along with Guerby Lambert, Styles Prescod and Kevin Heywood.
*** Notre Dame defensive coordinator Al Golden checked in at Omaha (Neb.) Westside to inquire about 2024 linebacker Teddy Rezac, and it’s our understanding a second Irish staffer evaluated Rezac later in the week as well. Rezac is more of an under the radar prospect, but an offer from Notre Dame often times will change that, and Missouri came in with an offer over the weekend.
Rezac is currently at Notre Dame for a visit and arrived on campus Sunday. The Rezac family had dinner with several Irish staffers that evening and also got to tour a bit of campus. Today is more of a full visit day. If all goes well, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rezac commit to the Irish fairly soon.
*** Notre Dame defensive coordinator Al Washington was in the Atlanta area Thursday and got a chance to evaluate Atlanta Woodward Academy’s London Merritt, the No. 75 player and No. 9 defensive lineman per the 2025 On3 Industry Ranking. Washington extended an offer to Merritt, and this was actually something we expected to occur on Pot of Gold day. But for whatever reason, the Irish waited a few weeks later to offer the top-100 recruit, who is a teammate of 2025 receiver target Jerome Bettis Jr.
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