Notre Dame puts Irish eyes upon Texas

Notre Dame football is well known for recruiting coast-to-coast.  It makes sense as the recruiting hotbed in their home state of Indiana struggles in comparison to the Florida, Georgia, California, and Texas-types of the football world.

Now, about that Texas thing.  Notre Dame is doing something in the Longhorn State that they simply haven’t done in a very long time.  They’re establishing roots and making the high school football hot bed a priority.

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Since 2000 and with the recent addition of 2024 recruit Loghan Thomas, 29 players have ultimately signed to play at Notre Dame after playing high school ball in Texas.  I’m no math wizard but that’s just over a player per year on average.

Considering it’s the state that annually puts more talent in the NFL than any of the other 49, it’s a place you’d probably like to get talent from regularly.  That largely didn’t happen for Notre Dame from 2015-2021 when just five players in a seven-year recruiting cycle came from Texas.

It is however changing in large part to the efforts of wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey.  Stuckey was key in landing three receivers alone from Texas in the 2023 class and the Irish already have one commit while they’re working on more for 2024.

Here are Notre Dame’s high school commits from Texas since 2000.  Although the numbers aren’t huge, the percentage of them who turned out to be significant contributors at Notre Dame is impressive.


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Class members from Texas:  Vontez Duff and Carlyle Holiday (above)

Duff was a star defensive back at Notre Dame, earning third-team All-American honors and going on to play in the NFL.  Holiday was Notre Dame’s starting quarterback from parts of 2001 until Brady Quinn took over in the fourth game of the 2003 campaign.


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Class members from Texas:  None


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Class members from Texas:  Bob Morton (above) and Travis Leitko

Morton was a mainstay on Notre Dame’s offensive line during the early Weis years while Leitko went from a special teams contributor to a defensive end and eventually defensive tackle during his Irish tenure.


(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Class members from Texas: Geoff Price

Price held the punter duties at Notre Dame for the 2006 season when he ranked fifth nationally in punting average and was a semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award.



Class members from Texas: None


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Class members from Texas: Kevin Washington (above)

Washington was a reserve during his time at Notre Dame as he was credited with four tackles in his career.


(Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)

Class members from Texas: None


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Class members from Texas: None


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Class members from Texas: Kapron Lewis-Moore (above)

Kapron Lewis-Moore recorded 180 tackles in his four seasons at Notre Dame while sacking the quarterback 12 times.  He was a captain and recorded six sacks during the memorable 2012 season.


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Class members from Texas: Nick Tausch

Tausch was Notre Dame’s primary kicker in 2009, scoring 69 points for the Irish but scored just eight more the three years that followed.


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Class members from Texas: None


Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Class members from Texas: Cam McDaniel (above) and Jalen Brown

McDaniel rushed for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns in his Notre Dame career while Brown struggled to ever see much playing time.


(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Class members from Texas: Nicky Baratti (No. 29 above)

Baratti played in all 13 games in 2012 as a freshman but struggled to get on the field in the years to come.


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Class members from Texas: Durham Smythe (No. 80 above), Torii Hunter Jr., and Corey Robinson

Smythe caught 28 passes in a Notre Dame uniform with 15 of those coming as a senior in 2017 and he has played with the Miami Dolphins since being drafted by them in 2018.  Hunter hauled in 949 career receiving yards and seven touchdowns with the Irish while also doubling up on the Notre Dame baseball team.  Robinson was a solid receiver at Notre Dame before being forced to retire from football due to concussions.  Robinson went on to be the student president at Notre Dame his senior year.


(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Class members from Texas:  Grant Blakenship (above), Nick Watkins, and Kolin Hill

Watkins was primarily a special teams contributor during his time while Hill lasted one season with the Irish before transferring to Texas Tech.  Blankenship ran into trouble off the field and wound up playing in just 14 career games with the Irish.


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Class members from Texas: Jalen Guyton

Guyton never played a down at Notre Dame as he was kicked off the team after redshirting his freshman season. He went on to transfer to Trinity Valley Community College and then North Texas.  He has played receiver on the Chargers since 2019.


Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Class members from Texas: None


(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Class members from Texas: Avery Davis (above) and Brock Wright

Davis was recruited as a star Texas high school quarterback but transitioned to receiver where he’d eventually star for the Irish and be named a captain for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.  Wright saw most of his time as a blocking tight end in college but has had success with the Detroit Lions since joining them in 2021.


Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Class members from Texas: None


Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Class members from Texas: Hunter Spears and Nana Osafo-Mensah (above)

Spears played three games as a freshman in 2019 before an injury sidelined him for 2020 and in turn, he retired before fall camp in 2021.  Osafo-Mensah played in 25 games over the last two years for Notre Dame and recorded 3.5 tackles for loss in that time.  He figures to be a key figure in Notre Dame’s edge defender rotation this fall.


Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Class members from Texas: None


(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Class members from Texas: None


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Class members from Texas: Jadarian Price

Price was injured during the 2022 Blue-Gold game where he performed well.  The injury cost him his 2022 season.  He’s back for 2023 and figures to compete for touches in Notre Dame’s backfield.


247Sports thinks Notre Dame WR Jaden Greathouse created a lot of buzz during the spring


Class members from Texas: Micah Bell, Jaden Greathouse (above), Braylon James, and Kaleb Smith

Of the four commitments from Texas in Notre Dame’s most recently completed cycle three are receivers with Bell being the exception.  Greathouse turned the most heads in spring ball but don’t be surprised to see a good amount of Braylon James in 2023 as well.  Smith appears to have a bit more of a ways to go to find the field.


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Class members from Texas: Leonard Moore and Loghan Thomas

Moore brings a three-star recruiting grade to Notre Dame’s 2024 class as a cornerback.  Thomas committed on May 24, 2023 and upon doing so immediately became Notre Dame’s highest rated defensive commit in the cycle.

Notes since 2000:


  • 29 players have committed to Notre Dame from Texas since 2000
  • Previous to 2023’s class that had four Texas commitments, no class at Notre Dame had more than three commits from Texas since 2000 (2013, 2014)
  • Notre Dame’s six commitments from Texas in the last two classes matches the most in back-to-back classes since those 2013-14 years.  The most in a three year stretch in this window came 2012-14 or 2013-15 as one commit was in both the 2012 and 2015 classes.  Notre Dame has already exceeded that with the 2022-24 classes with the 2024 class obviously still not yet complete.

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