The Subway Domer was on a little siesta this past week and a half. Ahh... I should have known better. There was more ACTUAL Fighting Irish news in the past 4 days than in the last two months. Never fear- I have a little recap of what went down along with some commentary that I know most of you just can't live without.
Notre Dame was in a bit of a recruiting lull for most of the past few months (as far as commitments are concerned), but this past week has proved to be a giant one for the Fighting Irish.
Andrew Hendrix, Quarterback- Cincinnati, Ohio:
The last elite QB prospect offered by the Irish for the 2010 class, finally committed to Notre Dame on Thursday. Hendrix doesn't have the name power of Nick Montana and he isn't as highly rated as Austin Hinder (Cal) or Jake Heaps (BYU), but he is still a four star QB with a lot of potential. He fits in well at Notre Dame with his overall character, but his rollout style as a passer will be a project that Charlie Weis will definitely be hands on with right away. This was an excellent pick-up for Notre Dame as they start to really cement the future at the position.
Here is an evaluation from ESPN:
Hendrix could be the biggest sleeper in this class not only as a powerful pocket passer, but also as a deceptively good athlete. He possesses adequate-to-good height and a solid build. Arm strength is outstanding and he is one of the few players in this class with natural downfield power and terrific wrist snap and velocity on all throws. Plays in a multiple set scheme out of the shotgun and from under center. Foot speed is good for the position and overall athleticism is very good. Gets back and set quickly in the pocket, feet are balanced and he shows poise and confidence surveying the field. Shows good ball handling skills, can freeze defenders with play fakes and can make the deep sideline throws from the opposite hash off play action. Has shown the ability to work through progressions, side-step the rush, keep eyes downfield and deliver the ball on time. Can compensate on late throws with arm strength and is more than capable of fitting the ball into tight spots in all three phases of the field-- short, intermediate and deep. Delivery mechanics are sound and consistent. Release is fairly compact and he is capable of driving off his plant foot and deriving excellent power when he transfers his weight through his hips. Overall accuracy is very good and even through he displays a great arm, he can change ball speeds a bit too. He is a guy that can use his feet to buy time and get an extra passing chance. Is not afraid to tuck the ball and run and shows very good foot speed for the position. He can be elusive and is a much better runner and athlete than one might think. His feet and arm make him a threat on the perimeter when rolling to either side because he can tuck it, but also make difficult throws off balance and across his body due to his arm strength. The more you watch Hendrix, the more you get an appreciation for the vast array of throws he can make which you do not see much of at the high school level. He can be a bit robotic at times as a passer-- a little tense in the upper body, but he has a high ceiling for further development. Overall, this is a kid that should be garnering far more attention than he is in the spring on a national level particularly in what is considered a down year by most at the QB position. Big arm, good athlete and nice upside.
Here is video from Rivals:
Blake Lueders, Defensive End- Zionsville, Indiana
One of the biggest recruiting needs for Notre Dame is at the defensive end position. The Irish are looking to solidify both end spots with Lueders and Chris Martin. It never seemed like Blake would go anywhere else but ND. Four and 5 star prospects from the state of Indiana are few and far between, so after losing James Hurst to North Carolina, Blake was a must have kid to help not only the team, but to keep building that fence around the state.
Here is an evaluation from ESPN:
Lueders is a pretty physical defensive prospect. He plays middle linebacker for his high school and does a nice job versus the run and he will offer some versatility to a defense in college, but will most likely make a move to defensive end. He has good size now and nice physical upside and should grow into an end with ideal type size. The athleticism he shows for his size should translate well to the end position, but there will be some adjustment. He moves well and has the lateral ability to stretch plays and come across the ball and squeeze down. He displays a physical nature in taking on blocks from the linebacker spot. Flashes the ability to generate power from his lower body on contact and use his hands to engage and separate from the blocker. He will need to be more consistent though in using his hands and also get accustomed to more quickly engaging blockers on a consistent basis. He has a good motor and is a good wrap-up tackler. An area Lueders will need to work on and adjust is his pass rushing from the end position. He displays the raw tools to be a productive rusher as he can attack half-a-man and work around blockers, but he will need to learn to use his weapons. Lueders is a good prospect with nice upside physically and as a player. He could end up at outside linebacker in a 3-4 look and where he ultimately plays will depend on where he lands. If he makes the likely move to end though there will be some adjustment and gray areas but should develop into a good one in college.
Lo Wood, Cornerback- Apopka, Florida
Back in the early spring, Wood was considered a Michigan lock. Some lock. Wood visited Notre Dame and called the Irish his leaders... a few months later he becomes the first defensive back to commit to Notre Dame. With the departure of McNeil after this year and the possible departure of Darrin Walls after this year as well, Notre Dame was looking to sign 2-3 corners. Now that Wood has committed , it will add pressure to players such as Spencer Boyd and Joshua Shaw, amongst others, to make a commitment soon.
Here is an ESPN evaluation of Wood:
Wood is a quick-footed cornerback prospect who is savvy and very active around the football. Lacks great size but has adequate arm length and some range to his frame. Plays bigger and is a scrapper. Transitions out of his pedal quickly breaking underneath and eats up the cushion. Hips are fluid and shows he can open out of his pedal and transition smoothly breaking underneath. Has good body control and change-of-direction quickness when playing off-man coverages. Will walk up and play press aggressively as well; knows how to use his hands to take away leverage, but lacks the upper-body strength at this time needed to reroute and jam bigger receivers of the line. Best asset may be his ability to recover in the short-area with burst and quickness. Anticipates the pass well and undercuts a lot of balls. Very instinctive and adjusts his body well to the ball in the air. Ball skills are good. In terms of run support, he is willing and feisty. Comes up quickly to tackle and is reliable in the openfield chopping down bigger backs. However, he could struggle setting the edge if asked to be the force player in Cover 2 zone schemes, and we question his vertical speed when locked up in man-to-man. Struggles limiting separation from faster receivers at times and can let them slip behind. Will have a more difficult time recovering at the next level. Shows some hip-stiffness for a smaller corner transitioning to run vertically. Overall, Wood is a solid, well-rounded corner who is savvy in coverage awareness, disciplined and consistent in his play. Has better range than speed and projects well as an underneath corner if he can continue to physically develop.
Here is a video of his commitment:
Other recruiting news of note...
Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride for recruiting junkies- Notre Dame commitment Chris Martin announced earlier in the week that he would be checking out a few other schools as part of a back up plan. Irish fans have fell in love with Martin after reports were coming out of Chris verbally and physically smashing U$C recruits at various football camps and pledging his hatred of the Trojans. A few days after the news came out of his decision to take a few visits, he retracted his plan and has said that ND is solid with him and he has no plans to take any visits. Whew. One small note though, Pete Carroll will not allow Martin at his camp because he fears Martin will recruit for ND while he is there. However, Urban Meyer still has that invite for Martin at his camp. How many ND verbals / former recruits are on the Gator front four? Too many. Meyer isn't scared of what the Poodle is pissing his shorts over.
Sophomore TE, Joseph Fauria has asked, and received permission to transfer out of Notre Dame. Fauria was recently suspended for the fall semester after he was found guilty of violating school policy. I will not comment much more on this matter as it pertains to the reasons for the suspension as I have only read rumors and nothing has- nor will it probably ever be released by the University. I will say that I smell a lot of bullshit, and it isn't coming from Fauria. Fauria will likely transfer to a PAC-10 school.
The incoming freshman were assigned their jersey numbers:
Manti Te'o #5
Shaq Evans #11
Roby Toma #84
Jake Golic #88
Cierre Wood #20
Tyler Eifert #80
Theo Riddick 332
EJ Banks #27
Carlo Calabrese #44
Tyler Stockton #92
Zeke Motta #17
Jordan Cowart #60
Zach Martin #70
Chris Watt #66
Alex Bullard #68
Nick Tausch #40
Ben Turk #35
Dan Fox #48
The eligibility charts for 2009 and 2010 are updated as well as the State of Recruiting map. All 3 links can be found in the right hand column.
All right. I think that about covers it. Subway Domer is officially back on schedule. Commence with the kegger!