Jan 25, 2007

Irish Lads: 2007 Recruiting Spectacular

Here they are, and here they come... 18 men of COMMITMENT. I am going to break them down by position," throw a little knowledge mixed in with some old negro wisdom"(Hunter S. Thompson), and give you a little taste of the feast to come.
Let me say right from the jump that this was the most bizarre year in recruiting I have ever witnessed. Decommitts, accusations, mud-slinging and lets not forget the drugs and hookers. (That's right Illinois I'm calling you out). I am not going to focus too much on this bologna until the end where there is a list of misses. Let us begin....
These individuals are on campus right now.
Jimmy Clausen- Quarterback
This may be the biggest catch on the recruiting front in well over a decade. Jimmy has all the physical tools to be successful. The greatest asset however, might be everything from the neck up. Very smart on the field and has great presence in the pocket with quick feet to adjust. He has never lost as a starter in H.S. He will definitely get a chance to start for the Irish. If he can grasp on to Weis's system early... watch out. We may have our starter for the next 4 years and a transfer for another kid out of South Bend.
JERSEY..........#7 (Has already requested)
Armando Allen- Running Back
Can you say whoosh? This is an extremely exciting player that has gamebreaking speed to well...break open games. An injury forced Allen to cut his senior year short and may have curtailed any climb in star status from a 4 to a 5. Allen is what we as ND fans have been waiting for, a Julius Jones type back now that we have a coach that knows what to do with talent. Did I mention that he was fast? He was the fastest player at the Army All-American Combine out of over 500 players and was the fastest at the Nike Combine in South Florida. Hold on and watch this AA become an AA.
JERSEY.........#5 (Has already requested)
Gary Gray- Cornerback
Poaching? Yes we are guilty too. Gary was an early commit to South Carolina but he never showed the campus to his Momma. She came up and now he is freezing his ass off. Although Gary is lacking in size he does show to be very aggressive when playing against the run. Good cover skills and he seems to have a knack to be around the ball. He will make an excellent addition to what is shaping up to be a very talented defensive backfield for the future. He had me hooked once I saw the Leprechaun shaved into the back of his skull. He has the confidence to be a shutdown corner and should make an impact...in 2008.
JERSEY........#3 (Has already requested)
Now let's check out the other players coming in this summer on the Offensive side of the ball.
This man is a truck. POW! Robert is a downhill runner with enough shake in his hips to be elusive but, his greatest quality is his throwback style of punishing would be tacklers with his power. Notre Dame has not had this type of back since Ray Zellars, Marc Edwards, and Jerome Bettis. He is not a fullback as the aforementioned list of names, but he brings to the table the type of toughness these freaks did. His addition with Allen can generate the Thunder and Lightning cliche' . Very exciting!
JERSEY.........#33 (This number is now owned by a walk-on kicker and should be Hughes' by summertime. If not look for him to wear 30)
Big, tall wideout with decent speed. This kid is a beast at jump balls and becomes a playmaker inside the red-zone. He uses his body well to get position and has good hands to pull the rock down. His high school team was a run oriented offense so he may be a little rough and a year or two away from becoming an impact player. Interesting enough, his HS coach has always considered him to be a better Safety. Here's hoping we have good enough depth at safety that he doesn't have to go Ndukwe on us.
JERSEY..........#85 (He was 11 in HS but Grimes owns it. Would not be surprised if he goes Shark on us and takes 83)
First of all, his name makes him a fan-favorite right now. Golden. Why weren't my parents that creative? This kid is an amazing talent and I will say right now, he will make an immediate impact next year as a returner. Tate is an explosive athlete who could play RB, CB, and WR. He will most likely be used as a wideout and adds depth to what is a young, growing, talented stable of wideouts. He was named Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee. He was offered a scholarship late in the game because other names like Benn and Little were out there. He committed soon after he was offered and I believe he has something to prove to Weis and the staff. I love this kid and he is another addition of pure speed.
Another good, if not great, Tight End out of New Jersey. He would of been the top rated TE in the country, but an injury he suffered wrestling his Junior year sidelined him all season his senior year. He has great speed for his position and blocks very well. He can be THE difference maker in Charlies system. No LB will be able to cover this kid and will open passing lanes up for others or become a threat himself. Giddy is the word I use about this kid. Why? Because he is that good! I can not wait to see him line up. His leg is healed and he is at 100% right now. I think he has the right kind of attitude that will make him a nasty player if not borderline straight cocky. Think Greg Olsen with out the Rap skills. (Haven't heard him rhyme yet).
JERSEY..........87 (Was 80 in HS, but Mr. Jackson owns that #. Could also take a teen number, 14 or 16)
Dever was a little known prospect for a long time. He did have a meteoric rise through the rankings as Scout.com had him at a 2 star and then he rose to a 4 star. A very big kid who will only get bigger. He has quick feet for a lineman and is generally considered very athletic. He adds tremendous depth to what is the best 2 year haul of offensive lineman in the country. He will have a lot of competition, but if he comes out of it on top, we will know that he could be a great one.
JERSEY.........70 (Why Not?)
Another good prospect to add to the depth that Ty never gave us. He only weighs about 273 lbs. right now, but I suspect a few dates with ND strength coach Mendoza should pack a few more digits to that number. He blocks very well and moves downfield well to take on the secondary to help spring runners. He should already be on everyone's all name team. What's the key word here... quality DEPTH.
Matt is listed as a guard, but he may very well end up at tackle for the Irish. One word really describes this kid...NASTY. He could be a Jeff Faine type, who only stops blocking 5 seconds after the whistle. He was named a captain of the West team at the Army All-American Game. During practice that week he dominated Everson Griffen, who is widely known as the #1 defensive end prospect coincidentally heading to USC. Matt could be a great one and what's that word again...
JERSEY..........75 (Was 77 in HS but the Turk has it)
WOW! That is a great haul of players. ND addressed some needs and added quality depth at every position, save Center. The future looks bright and explosive for these young guns and ND. Next year we may struggle a bit on Offense, but come 2008 and beyond, ND will average at least 32 points a game as long as Weis is at the helm and keeps bringing in players such as the ones listed.
This was probably the biggest need position this year as it seems it is every year. Williams fits the bill of a good DT and should battle it out early for playing time. It is unclear where he fits in with a 3-4 scheme, but Brown will probably use a multiple front and use Williams quickness to disrupt the opposing O. He does need to work on his pass rush skills but takes up a lot of space and is a good run stuffer. It would be nice if he turns out to be the diamond in the rough of class and really shine in the future. I am already hearing a lot of love from Irish fans about Ian as he turned down a very aggressive Urban da Liar.
JERSEY.......... 65
Nuss is quite the enigma. He is listed as an offensive lineman, but he was asked by Weis to be a DT and he accepted with eagerness. He is a big kid with a frame to add more weight. He also has a nasty streak and could be a very versatile player in the future. He adds depth to a thin position and could develop into a good player.
JERSEY......... 76 ( I will withhold all Bob Morton jokes and was already requested)
Kerry was the first commit in this class and he had never been to ND. He has been there 3 times since and lets hope he stays for 4 years. He reminds me, and just about everyone else, of Julius Peppers. He has great speed and hits like a truck once he locks onto a runner. In Corwin Browns scheme Neal can be used as an OLB or he could put his hand down. Either way, he will be a force as a pass rusher and a run stuffer. His game tapes are stuff of legend in recruiting circles and should make us all forget about a certain DE that decommitted late in the game. WOW, WOW and WOW. He will be a great one and fills a position of need with great upside potential.
JERSEY......... 18 ( Was 12 in HS and that is owned by Frazer, so why not 18)
Another poaching incident. Brian was committed to Iowa until the Irish came knocking. Ferentz played hardball or quit, and told Smith if he visited ND the offer would be pulled. He committed to Weis and really he should of been offered earlier. His dad was a RB for the Irish in the early 80's. He has great size ,and again ,is another player that can add to his frame. Brian plays with a lot of energy and will bring a lot to the table at LB. Expect him to be a starter in 2008, standing next to another Smith. ND needed depth at this position and got it and then some with Brian.
JERSEY........10 (I have no idea so stop laughing)
A tough, hardnosed player from Pennsylvania. Steve mostly played running back in HS and it is not ruled out that he won't play there at ND. At the time being however he is a LB and brings a lot of instinct and speed to the position. Paz was injured for most of his senior year but he is healthy now and will add depth to the position.
JERSEY.......35 (Was 1 in HS)
Nagel is an exciting prospect to have at ND. He proved himself at the Army All-American game to be quite the plater on D. He can bring a lot of speed to the position and is very, very physical. His sideline to sideline coverage is a great plus. An ND type kid all the way. He could develop into a nasty LB in the mold pf A.J. Hawk if he puts on about 10-15 more pounds. Get used to hearing his last name as it is rumored that his brother is a hot prospect for next year. Once again....DEPTH.
JERSEY..........47 ( Was 20 in HS)
One word describes this kid...Instincts. Smith actually has the total package. Good size and speed to go along with those instincts. He is very physical and can help in stuffing the run as well as being a cover saftey. This is another steal from the State of Tennessee, and was named the Gatorade Player of the year there. Harrison could see the field soon...like this fall. If he works hard and learns the system I see no reason for him not to as he is probably the most athletically gifted Saftey on the roster. Watch out for this kid because his stock should only go up.
JERSEY.........43 (Was 22 in HS and may change in 08)
ND also poached themselves another kicker. And why not? Since Fitzpatrick left it has been a huge issue. Brandon actually projects more as a punter but I'm sure Weis will squeeze him into the mix and let him challenge as a placekicker.
JERSEY........... Whatever is left over, he's a kicker.
Well there you have it. Not a lot of star power like the offense, but a lot of quality depth and projects that could go a long ways. I actually feel Neal, both Smiths, and Gray will be immediate in their impact.
What were some of the misses? Who F*%^ing cares! Those other prospects for one reason or another chose to go somewhere else. We can't change that now. The coaches are moving foward with this great haul and have already started throwing offers out to the top Juniors, so here we go again!
Just a little FYI. The team Rankings for recruiting by the 4 services I use.
Scout.com 11
Rivals.com 8
Lemming 6

1 comment:

Sean said...

Hey I was just scanning your blog, but I wanted to say Ian Williams will wear #95 and Brandon Walker will wear #16 most likely.