Notre Dame Invites Five Canadians to Irish Invasion Camp


Notre Dame Invites Five Canadians to Irish Invasion Camp

When you’re trying to recruit high school football players in the college football world, each opportunity to interact with the athletes is crucial. Every detail matters, every word counts, and every impression must enhance the coach-player relationship.

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Back in 2005, then Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer changed the recruiting landscape when he created Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp. Before, coaches would invite players to come workout on campus in front of the coaching staff to possibly earn a scholarship offer, but coach Meyer bigger idea with his event. He had a vision of literally engulfing the recruiting world by inviting not just a few top prospects, but every possible one he could literally get to come to Gainseville for that weekend.

From that night on, a paradigm shift took place in college football and events like the Friday Night Lights Camp are considered the “norm” across Division-I FBS football.

With just about every blue blood program hosting these camps now, one of the “must-attend” camps of the summer is the University of Notre Dame’s “Irish Invasion”. The second annual Irish Invasion camp will take place later next month in South Bend, IN when approximately 60 of the best prospects in the 2016 and 2017 class will take to Notre Dame’s campus and perform a number of drills under the watchful eye of head coach Brian Kelly and of course, Touchdown Jesus.

For fans north of the border, this years Irish Invasion could feature as many as five Canadians, as Notre Dame has extended invites to Chase Claypool (Abbotsford, BC), Daniel Joseph (Brampton, ON), Joshua Palmer (Brampton, ON), Jonathan Sutherland (Ottawa, ON) and Patrice Rene (Ottawa, ON).

The five Canadian players invited is further proof of a growing talent pool in Canada says recruiting consultant Simon Lazanja.

“We’ve all seen the growth of basketball in Canada, where the talent has just exploded,” said Lazanja. “We’re hoping football can grow like that too. Having multiple players invited to a camp like this is definitely a step in the right direction that we hope will continue.”

One region in particular that has generated a number of athletes recently is Brampton, ON. The Flower City will send two players to Notre Dame next month, as both Daniel Joseph and Joshua Palmer hail from the Peel Region suburb.

The younger brother of Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie, Joseph is hoping to follow in his big brother’s foot steps and land himself a Division-I scholarship next season. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, Joseph has received offers from Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford and Syracuse. Currently attending Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, IL, Joseph has received over 15 offers.

The other Brampton native, Joshua Palmer, received an offer from the University of Michigan this week. The buzz on Palmer should continue to grow as the class of 2017 wide receiver will play his junior and senior seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas high school in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Another Canadian wide receiver drawing a ton of interest is Abbotsford, BC native Chase Claypool. Also receiving an offer from the University of Michigan this week, Claypool is now up to 12 offers in total.

Meanwhile, back on the east coast, the Ottawa duo of wide receiver Jonathan Sutherland and cornerback Patrice Rene continue to draw interest from a number of Division-I programs, including: Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Miami (FL), Rutgers and Notre Dame.

“Both players are fielding interest from a number of schools,” said Gridiron Academy coach Victor Tedondo. “It’s an exciting time for them and this camp will be a great experience.”

In total, Sutherland has fielded interest from 18 schools, including nine scholarship offers, while Rene has fielded interest from over 30 schools and is now up to 20 scholarship offers.

When the Irish Invasion camp kicks off next month, players will go through a series of drills before being shown the glitz and glamour Notre Dame has to offer them. For these five Canadian players, the Irish Invasion camp is just another step in the right direction for what looks to be a very promising fall.

Next: Michigan Wolverines Offer Canadians Josh Palmer, Chase Claypool