Notre Dame gets commitment from 4-star CB Ivan Taylor

ByBlake Baumgartner ESPN logo
Saturday, December 2, 2023

Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame received a huge boost to the 2025 recruiting cycle on Friday with the commitment of four-star cornerback Ivan Taylor.

Taylor (No. 30 overall in the 2025 ESPN 300) -- the son of former NFL cornerback Ike Taylor -- is the fifth-best cornerback in the 2025 class and immediately becomes the highest-ranked prospect in the Fighting Irish's next class.

"They're definitely different when it comes down to talking football and just being good people overall," Ivan Taylor told ESPN on Friday about Freeman and the rest of his staff. "I feel like that was [something] definitely [that stood out]. If you take the stadium out of it, money out of it, NIL out of it, it's the coaches, the coaches hands down are just [different]. If they really want you, they'll tell you. They'll show you."

He added the personal touch Freeman and his staff added to their conversations and the care and interest they take in their players' lives off the field was a major selling point.

Taylor took four visits to Notre Dame before committing, including one as recently as the team's Nov. 18 game against Wake Forest.

If he signs, Taylor would be the highest-ranked cornerback to come to Notre Dame since ESPN began ranking players in 2006. For the 2025 class, Notre Dame now has five ESPN 300 pledges (two in the top 100), with Taylor joining defensive end C.J. May (No. 261 overall) on that side of the ball.

Taylor, who's Catholic and relied heavily on prayer in making his choice, also looked at Florida State, Tennessee, Louisville and Wisconsin, with Wisconsin receiving heavy consideration.

In nine games as a junior for West Orange (Florida) High School this past season, the 6-foot, 175-pound Taylor recorded 45 tackles (22 solo) with 6 tackles for loss and 1 interception.

Upon enrolling early in January 2025, he'll offer defensive coordinator Al Golden some flexibility as he can play both cornerback and safety.

"Reading the play before it happens," Taylor said of his strongest skill. "I watch a lot of film and I'm proud on that. So I feel like I know the play before it comes. [Geno] Thompson, my head coach right now for West Orange, he is very big on watching film and knowing what happens before it happens."

Ike Taylor played 12 seasons in the NFL at cornerback -- all with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2003-2014) after being drafted 125th overall in 2003 -- and was a member of two Super Bowl-winning teams (XL and XLIII) in the Steel City.

"Humble and work hard, I would say is what he's taught me the best," Ivan Taylor said back in July. "I'm embracing [the Taylor name] very much. My dad has taught me what he was being taught in the NFL.

"So I feel like I'm already ahead of the game because he's teaching me what NFL coaches and what it's been like and what you have to go through and how the whole thing is."

After securing a top-10 class in 2023 (No. 7 overall), the Fighting Irish currently sit 13th overall in ESPN's latest 2024 team rankings, which were released on Thursday.

"Whatever they need me to do, I'm definitely going to do it, hands down," Taylor said. "Whatever I can do for the team, I'm going to do. If they need me to recruit someone, for sure, I will."

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