Sunday, April 3, 2011

Catching Up On the Recruiting Trail

It’s the dog days of summer and that could only mean one thing to die hard football fans: The latest on high school recruits. Notre Dame is preparing their Who’s Who list of possible candidates for their summer camps. So far the Irish have once again laid some solid ground work for what looks to be another top notch recruiting class.

Below is a breakdown by position of possible signees and current verbals:

Quarterback - ND might not grab anyone. I believe they have 2 offers out, and if they say no I don’t think the Irish will take anyone.

Running Back - ND is done. Cierre Wood (# 3 overall recruit according to Rivals) and Theo Riddick of Sommerville, New Jersey, verballed early on for the Irish.

Cierre Wood: 6’0 192 lbs. Ran for more than 2,600 yards and scored 42 TDs in 2007.

Theo Riddick: 5’10 185 lbs. Rushed for 1,192 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Had 23 TDs his sophomore year.

Fullback - They want to find someone. No names have really surfaced yet, but if all else fails, Manti Te’o (see Linebacker) could be a possible 2-way player.

Wide Receiver - ND would like 2-3. The Big names right now are Uzoma Nwachukwu (Allen, TX), Shaquelle Evans of Inglewood, California (#24 overall recruit), and Reuben Randle from Bastrop, Louisiana (# 6 overall recruit).

Uzoma Nwachukwu: 6’1 186 lbs. Six of his 22 catches went for scores.

Shaquelle Evans: 6’0 203 lbs. Caught 30 passes for 608 yards and three TDs, also returned a kickoff for a score.

Reuben Randle: 6’3 195 lbs. Star receiver on state championship team will be playing under center senior season. Has over a 30 yard a catch average for his career.

Tight End- They will try and go after 1 more after Jake Golic (West Hartford, Connecticut) pledged his intentions in March. Top prospect, Orson Charles of Tampa, is a possibility until his test scores and grades improve. If he clears that hurdle, Weis and Co. will be visiting the sunshine state regularly.

Jake Golic: 6’5 210 lbs. First verbal of the 2009 class runs a solid 4.65.

Orson Charles: 6-2 216 lbs. Broke Florida's BCS championship trophy on a recruiting visit. Hopefully he’ll break more than that if he commits to the Irish!

Offensive Line - Look for the Irish to try hard and get Xavier Nixon of Fayetteville, North Carolina (# 27 overall recruit) and Xavier Su’a-Filo from Provo, Utah. I think ND has a good shot to get both, if not we will definitely get 1. Others that are in the mix that we look good at is Chris Watt of Glen Ellyn, Illinois (# 52 overall recruit), and Brentwood, Tennessee, guard Alex Bullard.

Xavier Nixon: 6’6 275 lbs. Emerged as one of the top linemen at the U.S. Army All-American Combine.

Xavier Su’a-Filo: 6’4 285 lbs. Led team to an undefeated championship last season.

Chris Watt: 6’3 280 lbs. The # 1 guard prospect in the nation and the top rated player in the state looks to stay close to home.

Alex Bullard: 6’3 275 lbs. Currently visiting South Bend this weekend, and will be back this summer for camp. Bullard is a very productive offensive lineman that could be a big asset for the Irish.

Defenive Line - Another New Jersey product, Tyler Stockton of Princeton got the ball rolling for the Irish on the defensive front. Look for ND to grab 1 more DT, if not, they will take 2-3 DE's. Right now the Best option is Anthony LaLota, a teammate of Stockton at Princeton Hun.

Tyler Stockton: 6’1 290 lbs. An impressive player that had 68 tackles, including 24 for a loss and nine sacks, his junior year.

Anthony LaLota: 6’6 260 lbs. The rangy DE had 40 tackles and 10 sacks last season. Could be a possible preferred walk-on for Mike Brey’s squad too!

Linebacker - Look for ND to land 3 more here after Verona, New Jersey, product Carlo Calabrese bolstered the Irish 2009 to five this month. As of right now Dan Fox of Cleveland, Ohio, looks like he’ll be the next LB to pick the Irish. Also looking ok is Manti Te'o of Honolulu, Hawaii (# 7 overall recruit according to Rivals), and Jelani Jenkins of Wheaton, Maryland (# 10 overall recruit).

Carlo Calabrese: 6’2 225 lbs. Made a 104 tackles and four sacks last season.

Dan Fox: 6’4, 219 lbs. Hails from the same high school as current Irish players Robby Parris and John Ryan.

Manti Te’o: 6’2 230 lbs. Recorded 90 tackles, five sacks and rushed for 400 yards and 10 TDs as a junior.

Jelani Jenkins: 6’0 203 lbs. Jenkins is the biggest mover so far, from his previous ranking (79).

Defensive Back - Two kids that look good right now is Lauderhill, Florida, native Brandon McGee and E.J. Banks of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

Brandon McGee: 5’11 186 lbs. One of the most electrifying athletes in the country could be a possible early enrollee candidate for Charlie Weis and the Irish.

E.J. Banks: 6’0 180 lbs. Has the Irish very high on his list. Could possibly pull the trigger after his ND camp visit.

Overall ND looks good again. I think ND will land in at #5- #8 this year in Recruiting.

Here's a look at a few clips of the current verbals.

Cierre Wood

Carlo Calabrese (courtesy of Irish Illustrated)

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