May 18, 2008

The Numbers Game

I suck at math. But, somehow I understand enough about addition and subtraction to understand the basics of recruiting. (I still don't understand how 10=11 or 11=10 except in the Big Integer Conference). With this in mind I wanted share with you what Irish fans, and haters, should be looking for with the 2009 recruiting class.

Every year teams across the country find new ways to take in 31 recruits and get rid of some of their own players to of course make new room for the freshman as well.

Notre Dame does it differently than say... Alabama and Clemson. Yearly on the field progress reports (Clemson), and making room for freshman (Alabama) just doesn't happen at ND.

Let's take a look at these numbers that mean so much to recruiting junkies and the programs themselves. Along with these stats, let us also take a look at what The Fighting Irish might have in store for themselves this year in regards to recruiting and... the numbers.

  • Notre Dame has 79 scholarship roster players planned for 2008.
  • The NCAA limit is 85.
  • That leaves 6 spots open for Weis to give to Walk-Ons. This is NOT a good thing. One is great for that kicker or W.O. that worked extra hard. Two is one too many. Six is borderline disaster. A big reason for this large number is from transfers and a few decommitments. Also, Anthony Vernaglia was asked to return but decided to finish out his career at Hofstra.
  • ND took 23 letters of intent from incoming freshman of 2008.
  • Only 21 counted against the 2008 class. TRob and Cwynar were early enrollees and counted against the previous years numbers.
  • The NCAA allows only 25 freshman in a class unless they are E.E. and start in the Winter.
  • If the Irish take zero 5th year seniors back in 2009 and there are no E.E. as well, they can only take 22 freshman for the 2009 class.
  • The most likely candidates as of right now that Weis will ask, in my opinion, to take a 5th year are: Evan Sharpley(QB), Asaph Schwaap(FB), Scott Smth(LB), and Kyle McCarthy(SS). The other eligible players are: D.J. Hord(WR), Kevin Washington(LB), and Ray Herring(SS). I don't think the "others" will do enough in 2008 to merit another year of eligibility.
  • If the 5th year scenario plays out, that leaves the Irish with 18 open scholarships.
  • As of today, the Irish have 4 verbal commits for 2009: Wood(RB), Golic(TE), Riddick(RB), and Stockton(DT). This takes the number to 14.
  • What do we need for 2009? Here is a breakdown of 19 scholarships of need. This is strictly my opinion and has changed somewhat since the commitments have started. (I didn't think we would take 2 running backs at first).
  1. Offensive Tackles (3)
  2. Outside Linebackers (2)
  3. Inside Linebackers (1)
  4. Defensive Tackles (2)
  5. Defensive Ends (2)
  6. Quarterback (1)
  7. Offensive Guard (1)
  8. Wide Receiver (1)
  9. Cornerback (1)
  10. Safety(1)
  11. Tight End (1)
  12. Running Back (2)
  13. Kicker (1)
  • Now let's take a look at what might transpire for the Irish in terms of offers and commitments...

Quarterback- The Irish are looking for one. They have already offered a few prospects and they have committed elsewhere. The most recent "look" was Allan Bridgford. He committed to Cal the other week. The Irish don't need another 5 star QB for 2009. They need a team player that is capable of running Charlie's system. Look for Jon Budmayr to pull the trigger if they can convince him that South Bend is more right than Madison Wisconsin.

Running Back- Done. With the commitments of Cierre Wood(5*) and Theo Riddick(4*), the Irish should be done at this position. The only other name that has been surfacing is Mike Marrow. Mike is more of a fullback, and ND may not need a FB at all in this class. Schwaap has 2 years of eligibility while Schmidt has 3. Also, Steve Paskorz moved from LB to FB in the spring and has all 4 years remaining.

Wide Receiver- The offers are out there, but the need may not be. After the 2007 and 2008 haul (Kamara, Tate, Floyd, Goodman, and Walker), the irish may only take one WR for 2009. The names to watch are Marlon Brown and Uzoma Nwachukwu. Guess: Nwachukwa.

Tight End- Done. Jake Golic was the first player to commit for the 2009 class and will be the only TE the Irish will have in this class. It is a shame the Irish couldn't take another. Tyler Eifert is a top class TE from Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Tackle- If ND could get away with taking 5 or 6 quality tackles they would this year. This is very much a top priority for the Irish. Names to watch are Xavier Nixon, Xavier Su'a Filo, and Stavion Lowe. All three could play on the left side. One of the top prospects on the right side, Eric Shrive committed to Penn State last week. Still, watch for a few more offers to go out between now and June.

Gaurd- The Irish have a lot of good depth at guard especially when centers (Cave and Golic) can be used at this position as well. However, Notre Dame is gunning after a few top prospects to come in and compete. Chris Watt and Alex Bullard.

Center- None. Four are on the depth chart with 2 of them being true frosh in 2008.

Defensive Tackle- Even after a good haul of defensive lineman in 2008, the Irish still need more after some very anemic years at this position. ND already secured a good one in Tyler Stockton, but look for at least one more commitment to really help this line out. One name that looks good on paper is Issac Holmes. Holmes is from New Jersey and is the cousin of Duval Kamara. Looks good on paper.

Defensive End- Not a huge need for the Irish. Look for Anthony LaLota from the Hun School and Tyler Stockton's teammate to pull the trigger. The next possible commit is anybodies guess right now. A lot of people like Chris Bonds. Bonds and Corwin Browns relationship is growing.

OLB- A lot of talent is in South Bend already in Kerry Neal and Brian Smith. Plus, Darius Flemming will join them in the summer. However, ND is going after two very skilled, but also maybe undersized, linebackers in Frankie Telfort and Jelani Jenkins. One or two commits here would really bring home the depth.

ILB- One or two possible commits are likely here as well. Carlo Calabrese is looking more and more like he is going to commit early and join the Fighting Irish. Another name that is becoming a recruiting cult classic is Manti Te'o. Weis is recruiting him personally, although I don't think a visit to Hawaii was a trip that Weis was dreading. Another name that is surfacing is Dan Fox from Ohio.

Secondary- I'll lump these together because ND is so stacked at the moment (deepest group) a lot of offers are not going out. Names to watch are E.J. Banks and Corey Brown at corner and Darren Myles and Terrance Bullitt at safety.

Kicker- The word is spreading that ND is looking at kickers. They should look in their own state. Logan Powell is a strong legged kicker from Fort Wayne Indiana and is rated in the top 8 in the nation by

As always in recruiting things can change in a hurry. What is targeted today can also be lost today with commitments elsewhere. But, every time that happens a door opens up for another recruit to be offered. ND secured a lot of early commits last year, but don't look for that to be the same this time around. The Irish are going after a lot of Blue-Chippers and must have patience and diligence to secure the future.

Math sucks, but numbers kick ass.


Anonymous said...

Included in the 5th year group in 2009 are Duncan and Turk. I would expect them to be asked back along with Sharpley.

SubwayDomer26 said...

According to every eligibility chart I've seen, Duncan and Turk are done after this year.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Analysis and a welcome update of where we currently stand..I think your forecast of the 5th years looks accurate but, IMO, it is inevitable that a few more spots will open up because of some additional transfers and/or career ending injuries..