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An Embarrassment of Riches: 2025 Defensive Recruiting Preview

Written by Connor D'Aquila - Twitter: @ConnorDaquilaIT


Last week, we published a preview of the 2025 offensive recruiting class with some key names to know. With the July cookout fast approaching, it is time to dive into the defense. Just like on the offensive side, this is a very promising group and there are some stars that should be on every Notre Dame fan’s radar.



Photo by ON3


Check out the position-by-position breakdown below!


Defensive Line

Notre Dame is off to a great start here with an early commitment from Davion Dixon. At 6-2, 290 pounds out of Miami Palmetto High School, Dixon projects to be a force on the inside of the line. Beyond him, Coach Washington and staff have cast a wide net of offers. Priorities of the group include Bryce Davis, Isaiah Campbell, Sam Cohen, Jaquez Carter, Joseph Reiff, Brandon Caesar, London Merritt, Jayden Woods, Sharlandiin Strange, Matthew Johnson, Gabe Kaminski, Anthony Williams, Justin Hill, Nathaniel Marshall, Chris Burgess, Landon Rink, and CJ May. We can expect Carter, Burgess, Kaminski, Reiff, and Caesar to be on campus for the cookout. CJ May was also on campus this summer and is an extremely intriguing player for the Irish. Out of Alabama, standing at 6-3, 222 pounds, he possesses impressive size and athleticism to go on the edge at Notre Dame. Bryce Davis, out of North Carolina, is one of the top prospects in the entire country, and Notre Dame will be competing with the top programs, but there appears to be mutual interest, and he would be a huge get. ND fans have been frustrated with Coach Washington given some recent misses, but there are definitely some players on the board that could redeem him.





Linebacker

While there are many talented prospects at this position, perhaps none is more intriguing or important than Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng. Check out our interview and overview of him for more, but the Irish have a real chance at arguably the best backer in the nation. Beyond Nathaniel, the options remain top-notch. Priorities include Noah Mikhail, Gavin Nix, Josiah Kia, Christian Jones, Madden Faraimo, Elijah Barnes, Marco Jones, Brett Clatterbaugh, Abduall Sanders, Landon McComber, Anthony Sacca, and Dominik Hulak. While Hulak will be the only one on campus for the cookout, there are a number of prospects with a lot of interest. Mikhail called Notre Dame his dream school, while Nix, Clatterbaugh, Faraimo, and Sanders have all been to campus or will be soon. Josiah Kia is particularly interesting, as he is the brother of Vyper, and 2021 recruit, Kahanu Kia, who is currently on his LDS mission. Christian Jones is also the high school teammate of 2024 commit Teddy Rezac. Nebraska will be a tough team to beat for Jones, but the Irish have a chance with the talented backer. The depth of options at this position is impressive, so Coach Golden and the staff should be in good shape no matter who they end up with.


Photo by 247





Cornerback

Coach Mickens has solidified himself among the best position coaches on the ND staff, so there is a lot to be excited about here. His ability to identify and recruit talent has been top-notch, and for this cycle, that starts with top-20 player Dorian Brew. Notre Dame is fighting hard with Ohio State for this recruitment, and while they were once the presumed leader, OSU is definitely making moves. The 6-2 cornerback has a ton of speed and athleticism, and he could be a game-changer for the Irish defense. Some other priorities include Mark Zackery, Blake Woodby, Devin Williams, Tariq Hayer, Cree Thomas, Kevyn Humes, Jett White, Dallas Golden, and Jahimr Joseph. Also, keep an eye on the duo out of Mater Dei comprised of Chuck McDonald III and Darius Dixson. Notre Dame has offered both, but the amount of traction they have is unclear currently. A couple of particularly interesting prospects are Devin Williams and Cree Thomas. Williams camped for the Irish and put some really impressive film together, and getting a guy out of Buford, Georgia would be huge. Thomas, on the other hand, is out of Brophy College Preparatory, the school that Benjamin Morrison came out of just a couple years ago. We have no reason to doubt Coach Mickens after everything he’s done at the position so far, and he has a great opportunity to continue success this year.


Photo by 247 Sports


Safety

Notre Dame fans have been understandably frustrated with the safety position in recent years. Coach O’Leary has gotten some high-end prospects in the last couple of classes, but the misses have been concerning. 2025 offers yet another chance for him to prove himself on the recruiting trail. If he could pair some high-end prospects with guys like Brauntae Johnson, Ben Minich, and other players from the last two years, the outlook at the position would look far more positive than it once did. Some names to watch as recruiting heats up are Ivan Taylor, Jadon Blair, Remington Moss, Ethan Long, Jordan Young, Matai Tagoa’i, Kendall Daniels Jr., Tre Harrison, Alex Graham, Bo Jackson, and Trey McNutt. Taylor, Blair, and Long will be on campus for the cookout, which will be a great chance to make a move. Ivan Taylor is a particularly intriguing prospect out of Florida. Ranked as a high four-star, Ivan camped at Notre Dame for the Irish Invasion and flashed impressive athleticism. The son of former NFL cornerback Ike Taylor definitely has interest and would be a huge addition to the 2025 class. The other players have also spoken very positively about ND and their relationship with the coaches so far, creating a lot of hope for the class. Hopefully, we’ll have more clarity on the major priorities coming out of the cookout.




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