Friday, November 21, 2014


A player prepares for a linebacker drill during Notre Dame's Irish Invasion invite-only football camp Friday, June 20.

A group of campers run routes during Notre Dame's invite-only Irish Invasion camp Friday, June 20.

Offensive linemen Jerry Tillery (center), a 2015 Notre Dame commit, leaps during warm-ups at the invite-only Irish Invasion camp Friday, June 20.

Approximately 60 high school juniors and seniors stretch in preparation for Notre Dame's invite-only Irish Invasion camp Friday, June 20.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (driving) escorts high profile football recruits Justin Hilliard and Jacques Patrick (seated in the back) to the Irish Invasion camp Friday, June 20. (Buy this photo)
Notre Dame’s first-ever invite-only elite football camp showcases high school talent
Posted on June 21, 2014 at 2:11 p.m.

NOTRE DAME — Two bus loads of top high school football talent poured onto the Notre Dame practice fields while a techno remix of the “Victory March” blared on the speakers.

The “Irish Invasion” had officially landed. 

A D.J. spun tunes under a goal post as approximately 60 juniors and seniors from around the country worked out for Notre Dame’s first-ever invite-only elite football camp Friday night, June 20.

Several Notre Dame commits and targets were peppered throughout the ranks. Among the 2015 commitments, cornerback Shaun Crawford, safety Nicco Fertitta and offensive linemen Tristen Hoge and Jerry Tillery stood out.

Crawford is small in stature, but his make-up speed allowed pretty a come-from-behind interception during one-on-one drills. Fertitta, son of Ultimate Fighting Champion CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, is also undersized but played aggressively on much bigger tight ends and receivers.

Hoge and Tillery primarily worked as a pair under the direction of Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.

Florida running back Jacques Patrick, who is considering Notre Dame against Alabama and Florida State, did not participate but watched from the sidelines.

Per NCAA rules, Notre Dame did not provide a roster to media in attendance, and players did not have their names on the backs of their t-shirts. 

After stretching, the camp broke off into position drills.

The Notre Dame coaching staff drilled campers through two hours of high-intensity workouts. Irish players like linebacker Jaylon Smith, defensive lineman Jarron Jones, tight end Ben Koyack and running backs Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant helped demonstrate drills and mingled with the prospects and recruits.

The evening culminated with an obstacle course relay and a tug-of-war competition.