May 6, 2007

Hindsight Is 20/20 And What Could of Benn

The Irish are rolling right now. May is barely starting out and Notre Dame already has 12 verbal commits for the incoming class of 2008. The future is looking very bright, and the future is being widely discussed about for the next few years. It has me really thinking. People are asking each other; Who's next? How many slots are left? What are the positions of need? These are very excellent questions and the answers could have been "we already got 'em." What am I talking about? The ones that got away. Sorry, I can't help but look at last years class at what we lost and the parallels to what we need with this class. Let me explain....

Wide Receiver. This is a position that is in dire straights right now. ND has no real stud at this position. David Grimes is a heck of a player and probably our number 1 wideout, but he might be better in the slot. It is a safe presumption that the Irish would like to take 2-3 WRs this year. John Goodman, A.K.A. Walter, has already pulled the trigger and ND is looking to a host of other WRs such as Floyd, Butler, etc. Two recruits that ND really missed out on last year was Arrelious Benn and Greg Little. Benn was a soft verbal to ND in June. For a wide array of reasons Benn felt as if he was feeling pressured into making his commitment public. He began looking elsewhere and elsewhere is where he landed. He got Zooked. Another prospect was Greg Little. Greg was a verbal commit and let Weis know he changed his mind, hours before National Signing Day. He never seemed 100% on ND and proved that with a commitment to North Carolina. These two players gutted what could of been one of the best group of receiver commits ever, along with Kamara and Tate. Without a doubt these two would have impacted the Irish this upcoming year and beyond. ND is now left looking and waiting on this years group of wide receivers to make that call to Coach Weis and commit.

Linebacker. Obviously, ND has been doing very well this year at this position. With commits from 3 kids already; Posluszny, Flemming, and McDonald the Irish are going hard after a very big NEED position and are almost done. 1, maybe 2 slots are left and Domers everywhere are pining for Filer and/or one of a host of others that are very highly ranked. Remember that ND did get 3 backers last year in Brian Smith, Aaron Nagel, and Steve Paskorz. (Paskorz may have a different future on campus however). But quantity never seems to match quality. The one that slipped away was Chris Donald. Donald is a violent player that screams dominance. The late word is that ND led up until the Sugar Bowl Fiasco. (He committed to Tennessee which lost to Penn State in their bowl game... we smoked PSU. So, logic may not be his strong suit.) This was a hard pill to swallow.

Defensive Line. This seems to be a break through year for the Irish at this position. With Cwynar and Williams already committing, and guys such as Newman and Goebel in the mix, The Irish are doing very well. Last year was almost a complete disaster. The biggest commit was from Justin Trattou. He later decommitted and ended up at Florida. Before I go any farther, I hold no animosity towards Justin, he saw a different defensive coordinator coming and a new defense. This was not what he thought it was going to be at ND. So...whatever. Ian Williams gave us all a heart attack, and then a sigh of relief when there were rumors of him wavering on his commitment. Nuss was added to the DL, but he is a crossover from the OL. Another name that was floating around was Ben Martin. He ended up at Tennessee with Donald and followed the same logic. He didn't like the blowout against LSU. I never figured him to go to ND, but a lot of insiders down in Cincy pegged him 50/50 O$U and ND. This could of been a great class for 4 years; Justin, Ben, and Ian. Damn!

So what am I getting at? Five recruits. Four 5*s and One 4*(G. Little). That is a lot of talent. That is a lot of LOST talent. If we would have landed these guys, we would be basically done with this years recruiting. Would all of these guys this year have said yes to ND if the circumstances were different? Who's to say. But this is an indicator that the Irish are on the right path. Done with recruiting in May! I never thought I would see the day, and maybe we never will. The point is that Weis and the staff are gunning for the best, and they seem to be doing a very good job at it. Just look at the pictures of all the guys I mentioned. All of them were Army All-Americans. Now take a look at the guys we got with the 2007 incoming class. What could of been the greatest class EVER, wasn't. But the talent is there to make the National Title runs a very serious discussion in 2009. Hell, maybe we'll surprise ourselves sooner.

Editors Note: I left Chris Little off the list, because his word is as strong as jelly.


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