Notre Dame Football: A decommitment, Dante Moore and key crystal balls

It was a busy day for Notre Dame football on the recruiting trail with a decommitment and key crystal ball predictions. Plus the latest on Dante Moore. 

Things have been going pretty well for Notre Dame football on the recruiting trail recently. But not everything can be perfect on Saturday, the Irish lost the pledge of one of their top 2023 recruits in four-star cornerback Justyn Rhett.

Rhett is ranked 105th overall in the 247 sports composite rankings and the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder is already being projected to wind up at Georgia.

The Irish still have the top-ranked recruiting class in 2023 according to the 247 sports composite rankings, but as their only cornerback in 2023, it’s still a blow.

Yet, the news wasn’t all bad. While crystal ball projections aren’t commitments, Notre Dame football landed a significant one as offensive tackle Sam Pendleton was projected to the Irish by lead 247 sports analyst Steve Wiltfong and others on Saturday.

Pendleton is a four-star prospect and he’s outside the top 300 (barely) but Clemson was projected to get him before and Michigan really wanted him too, so if he commits, that’s a win.

Notre Dame football has also started trending with top-200 defensive lineman Devan Houstan as Wiltfong and Tom Loy of 247 sports both see him landing with the Irish, in what would be another win over Michigan, as the Wolverines are heavily in the mix for the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman out of Maryland.

The Irish also got a crystal ball prediction from Loy for Micah Bell, the No. 143 overall player in the 2023 class and the 16th-ranked corner, which would ease the loss of Rhett.

Notre Dame has been trending with as many expert predictions as any team in college football recently. Yet, those aren’t the same as a commitment, and the Irish need to convert these leads into public commitments sooner rather than later.

Dante Moore visit updates

One of those leads is with five-star quarterback Dante Moore, at least according to the On3.com prediction machine, which gives the Irish an 88-percent chance to win this recruiting battle.

Yet, Moore didn’t commit on his recent visit to Notre Dame and spent the weekend visiting Miami, which has former Michigan OC Josh Gattis on staff now, a coach Moore is very familiar with.

Moore is also going to take an official visit to LSU later this month. Brian Kelly has a relationship with Moore from when he was at Notre Dame and the Tigers have a shot too.

For now, the Irish still feel like the leader but the sooner they can close the better, although it sounds like Moore wants to take all of his visits before making a decision.