This past weekend was a terrific three days for Notre Dame’s sports programs. The football program got a commit from Elijah Shumate at the Army All-American Bowl and they also got a transfer Amir Carlisle from hated rival school USC. The mens and womens basketball teams knocked off ranked opponents in impressive fashion as well.
All of that great news came to a crashing halt late Sunday night when rumors circulated that Ronald Darby, a long time Notre Dame commit, had back out of his commitment from the university. All of those rumors have now been confirmed and Darby has been dropped as an Irish commit on every major recruiting site on the web.
One of the top cornerbacks in the country, Darby has been long rumored to be a possible decommit. Darby has been taking official visits to other schools, mostly in the South, and the news became official on Sunday, a few days after the high school senior played in the Under Armour All-American Game.
There is no concrete news on whether Notre Dame remains an option for Darby, but his relationship with the Irish staff has said to have deteriorated in recent weeks. Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks also didn’t have a good meeting with Darby at the UA Game, according to reports.
Taking a quick glance at this news, losing Darby is a tremendous loss. If he would have remained firm in his commitment, he was expected to contribute right away for the Irish in his freshman season. The Irish depth at corner doesn’t have a lot of experience and Darby would have been given the chance to start from day one. He was also expected to play a key role in the return game as well.
If Darby has indeed ruled out going to Notre Dame, the coaching staff does have some options to fall back on with the top one being Yuri Wright. The Don Bosco product is expected to announce where he is going to attend college soon and Notre Dame remains his favorite. Athlete Davonte’ Neal and Anthony Standifer are options as well.
Daje Johnson, a cornerback who is currently a soft verbal to TCU, is said to be another option that has recently came into the picture. Johnson is more raw in coverage compared to Darby, but his elite speed and freakish athleticism would be a great pick up in this late stage of the recruiting game.