After recording a late sack in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, East defensive end Aaron Lynch knelt to the ground and performed a near-perfect version of the calf-roping sack dance made popular by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jared Allen.
Now, it’s Notre Dame’s turn to try to tie up Lynch, a coveted prospect from Cape Coral, Fla.
Lynch confirmed to the Tribune late Sunday afternoon in a text message that he has decommitted from Florida State and will visit Notre Dame this weekend.
“Yes and yes,” Lynch responded Sunday when asked via text if he had decommitted from FSU and if he would visit ND this weekend.
It’s the latest upward turn for the Irish with Lynch in what can best be described as a roller-coaster recruitment.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Lynch committed to ND in July while on an unofficial visit. He decommitted in late October, the day after the Irish lost to Tulsa. A few weeks later he picked FSU.
Early last week, while in San Antonio for the all-star game, Lynch told reporters that his recruitment was finished and he would head to Florida State. On Friday, he said he was strongly considering a visit to ND after learning that the Seminoles continued to recruit other defensive ends.
He met with coaches from both staffs Saturday night in San Antonio.
“I’m still in love with Florida State,” Lynch said following practice Friday, “but I’m still in love with Notre Dame, too.”
The timing of Lynch’s visit is big in that he plans to enroll at whichever school he picks for the spring semester. FSU began classes last Tuesday, Notre Dame does not until Jan. 18.
One of the key elements in Lynch’s recruitment has been whether he fits better in a 4-3 defense, which FSU employs, or a 3-4, which Notre Dame switched to this season.
In passing situations, Notre Dame often dropped a linebacker down to rush end to make it a four-man rush. During its late-season push, ND at times used a four-man line as its base defense.
“I can be a fit anywhere I go because I’m going to work hard,” said Lynch, whose time in the 40-yard dash is listed at 4.6 seconds. “I think a 4-3 defense is a better fit for me because of my speed from the outside. I’m more of a speed guy than a strength guy.”
In the All-American game, Lynch registered 2½ sacks, displaying a quick first step.
“I just came out here wanting to be the best player out on the field,” he said Saturday. “I think I kind of showed it. I mean, everybody here is great, but I just came out here to be the best.”
Lynch isn’t the only high-profile prospect ND continues to pursue.
Brooklyn, N.Y., defensive end/outside linebacker Ishaq Williams, who backed-up Lynch at defensive end in the All-American game, was scheduled to make his announcement on Saturday but instead held off.
He’s down to ND, Syracuse and Penn State. Williams, another player who plans to enroll for the spring semester, said Saturday he would probably make an announcement some time this week. He’s expected to do so at a press conference at his high school.
Defensive end Brennan Scarlett of Portland, Ore., will announce Thursday. He’s down to ND, USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal.
“I love the tradition and I had a great time on my visit,” Scarlett said from San Antonio, where he had been selected to play in the All-American game but sat out because of an injury. “I loved it.”
Notre Dame also remains heavily involved with Sunnyvale, Calif., running back Amir Carlisle. Carlisle committed to Stanford in June but took a visit to Notre Dame last month, before Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh left to become coach of the San Francisco 49ers.Staff writer Bob Wieneke: email@example.com 574-235-6428