SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame opened its doors on Friday night to both recruits and media for the first Irish Invasion invite-only camp.
Some of the top prospects in the country in both the Class of 2015 and Class of 2016 took part in drills and interacted with current Fighting Irish players.
Here are five things to take out of the weekend event:
1. Notre Dame in good position with some of the nation's best.
Just because Coach Brian Kelly's program did not pick up a verbal commitment over the weekend does not mean the event was underwhelming. All indications are that inside linebacker Justin Hilliard out of Ohio enjoyed his stay. He will choose between the Fighting Irish and Ohio State on July 2.
One of the top running backs in the country in Jacques Patrick also stood out. It is a national recruitment for Patrick, but getting a player of that caliber on campus on Friday night was a victory in itself.
The coming weeks and months will show just how much Irish Invasion affected Patrick and Hilliard based on which college they choose.
2. The offense line will only get better
Committed prospects Tristen Hoge and Jerry Tillery both worked out at Irish Invasion and showed exceptional physicality while working together. While the nuances of playing along the offensive line at the high Division I level are surely not there yet for the duo, both Hoge and Tillery showed just how impressive they are as highly-lauded offensive line prospects in the Class of 2015.
The crazy thing is both have another year of high school to get better before heading to South Bend.
3. Notre Dame already seeking 2016 QB
With Blake Barnett's de-commitment, the Fighting Irish are once again searching the market for a quarterback in the Class of 2015. But that hasn't stopped the coaching staff from casting its net amongst the junior-to-be prospects.
Tops on the list at this point would appear to be Malik Henry out of California, a 6-foot-1 dual-threat quarterback that fits the Everett Golson mold. With two more years of prep competition to go with Henry, he will continue to develop and, with that, his stock will rise. In addition to Notre Dame, Henry has offers from the likes of Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas A&M and USC.
4. TE Jake Hausmann is a perfect fit for ND
The Fighting Irish have had an embarrassment of riches at the tight end position in recent years, a run that does not seem to going away anytime soon.
One of the top players at the position in the Class of 2016 is Jake Hausmann out of Moeller High School in Cincinnati. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound monster gives Notre Dame fans chills when thinking about how big of a weapon he could be in the mold of Tyler Eifert, Kyle Rudolph and others.
Hausmann is a national recruit with over a dozen offers already and getting him on campus for Irish Invasion was a good first step in a recruitment that will carry well into 2015 at least.
5. Adapt or die
The world of college football, particularly when it comes to recruiting, is all about adapting to changing times. Can you imagine Lou Holtz or Bob Davie hosting an event like Irish Invasion, with a DJ on a turntable on site?
Top-flight facilities and eye-catching uniforms may seem like fickle reasons to choose a school for older generations, but we are dealing with teenagers with impressionable minds here.
Sometimes, events like Irish Invasion make a larger impression on players than if a school has their major or what the grad rate is. It's unfortunate, but true.
Notre Dame continues to refine its recruiting philosophies, with Irish Invasion that next step.