Top 5 Defensive Recruits Notre Dame Landed On National Signing Day

By Nick Wilder

Best Defensive Recruits Notre Dame Landed On Signing Day

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

To put it lightly, the defense for Notre Dame struggled for much of last season. Heading into the 2015 campaign, the Fighting Irish were hoping to add more talented prospects to that side of the ball. On National Signing Day, the team was successful in accomplishing that goal and these five players specifically could make an impact as soon as their freshman seasons.

All rankings references are based on information from Rivals.com.

5. DT Elijah Taylor

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive tackle could end up being a sensational run stopper for the Fighting Irish. He was the 39th-ranked player in the nation at his position and had a very accomplished high school career. Taylor was a Cincinnati Enquirer All-Star and first-team AP All-State. He turned down other offers from several impressive schools, such as Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan State.

4. ILB Asmar Bilal

One of two linebackers on this list, Bilal was a U.S. Army All-American, second-team MaxPreps All-American and the All-USA Indiana defensive player of the year. He’s extremely athletic for his position of inside linebacker and was the 17th-ranked player at the position in the country. He also received numerous offers from other top programs, including Michigan, Michigan State and Texas A&M.

3. S Mykelti Williams

Notre Dame’s biggest positional need on Signing Day was safety, and they were able to address that with Williams. He was the Indianapolis Star Player of the Year and named to the All-USA Indiana Football Team, 6A All-State team and Top 50 All-State team in both his junior and senior years. The 16th-ranked safety coming out of high school will likely challenge for playing time immediately upon his arrival to South Bend. He also had other offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Wisconsin.

2. OLB Josh Barajas

The Fighting Irish landed a gem in Barajas on Signing Day. He’s the 13th-ranked linebacker in the nation and 180th-ranked overall player. It’s always important to land the top recruits from a team’s home state. Barajas has numerous accolades, including being named a U.S. Army All-American, All-USA Indiana linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year by Times of Northwest Indiana. He also received offers from Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State.

1. CB Shaun Crawford

The best defensive player who signed with Notre Dame last week was the outstanding cover man. Crawford was an Under Armour All-American and an All-USA Ohio Defensive Back. He was also named to the AP All-State first team and won a state championship. He’s a little short, measuring at just 5-foot-9, but he makes up for it with his athleticism and determination. The No. 7-ranked cornerback in the nation and 82nd-ranked overall player also had offers from Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan.

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