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New contender for Cage

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Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods defensive tackle Daniel Cage was hitting a busy stretch of official visits before a National Signing Day announcement when a new contender entered the conversation on Sunday.
"I just got offered by Notre Dame today," Cage said. "It was just out of the blue. I used to talk to them toward the middle of the season, but their defensive coordinator didn't like me so they stopped (recruiting) me.
"They got a new defensive coordinator with a new defensive scheme and they want me to be a part of it. I haven't really gotten the details about the scheme. He just said he was going to get into more details if I can go on an official visit."
Notre Dame is expected to name former New York Jets linebackers coach Brian VanGorder as defensive coordinator this week. Defensive line coach Mike Elston was one of the coaches Cage said he spoke with on Sunday. The next step is determining whether he can make an official visit to South Bend.
"They said anytime and I've got to set the time," Cage said. "I am trying to figure that out."
Cage already has official visits scheduled each of the next three weekends to Louisville (Jan. 17), Michigan State (Jan. 24) and Missouri (Jan. 31). The upcoming Louisville visit will help him get acquainted with new head coach Bobby Petrino.
"I only talked to Coach Petrino once, and I am just trying to get to know the new staff," Cage said. "I am going down there to check out the new staff and see what they are about."
Only one official visit has been completed, and that was to Illinois the weekend of December 13.
"It went well and I learned a lot, especially about their Business program. I really liked that," Cage said of Illinois. "I felt better about them than I did going in."
Cage plans to announce his decision on National Signing Day, Feb. 5, and is considering a mid-week official visit.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Cage is rated three stars and ranked as the No. 27 defensive tackle in the 2014 class.
Josh Helmholdt is the Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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