Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
By Radio Man
The old saying, "if you do not have anything nice to say, say nothing at all," apparently never took hold with Florida head coach Urban Meyer. At least that is the case when coach Meyer covets a recruit that is also considering Notre Dame. As someone who actually knows Meyer from his days at ND, that surprises me a little bit, but not completely. In short, Meyer's true colors have been flying for a while now.
Case in point, when Meyer recruited Justin Trattou he did so by the cover of night. Not that it's illegal, but he told Trattou not to tell anyone he was talking with Florida. Keep in mind that Trattou was committed to Notre Dame at the time. Amongst other things, coach Meyer talked to Trattou about how the 3-4 defense was not a good fit for him and his football future (read: NFL – which is garbage – the Cowboys, Patriots, and Chargers all use the 3-4), while former Gators assistant coach Greg Mattison's favorite topics about Notre Dame (with several recruits) despite his previous love for the school was how the weather sucked and the social life suffered.
Case in point no. 2, Omar Hunter, same deal as before, and Omar was snookered into to lying to everyone from Notre Dame coaches, players, and likely even his parents, especially his father, who wanted him at Notre Dame due to the academics, that he was not talking to other schools, when in fact he was – Florida included – while being a Notre Dame commitment. In the end, Hunter was a fraud himself, but he was not the one who was truly taken for a ride. Coach Mattison recruited Hunter. He had an ax to grind with Notre Dame after leaving South Bend on not so good of terms, and he definitely took it to another level with Hunter. Mattison, you see, had an assistant coaching job lined up with the Baltimore Ravens long before this past National Signing Day came around. So when Hunter switched his commitment to UF after initially deciding to attend Notre Dame, Mattison and Meyer did what came naturally. They lied to Hunter about the entire situation telling Hunter Mattison was not leaving Gainesville. Just by complete and total coincidence Mattison ended up taking a job with the Ravens right after National Signing Day. Shocking! And oh yes, Notre Dame assistant coach Bill Lewis, who recently retired as a football coach, told Hunter of what was about to happen. Hunter did not listen and signed with the Gators.
This year there will certainly be more drama, even without the departed Gators assistant coach…Meyer has actually already made sure of that. The top recruit on Notre Dame's board for the class of 2009 is Fayetteville, N.C., (Jack Britt) standout Xavier Nixon, the top pure left tackle prospect in the country. Notre Dame will be one of Nixon's five official visits according to his father, according to this article by Tigerbait.com. But oh, the Gators are looming as well. Actually, Louisiana State, Notre Dame and Florida all appear to have a good shot to land Nixon, it's just that Notre Dame is the one school that is different (read: private school from a different region of the country) from the others that likely scares Meyer.
Without going into specifics, let me just say that Urban is bad-mouthing Notre Dame again with Nixon and his family. What a stand up individual. With Omar Hunter, it was more of the same.
Notre Dame fans will be hearing more and more about Meyer's sliminess during the coming months, as Nixon and other Notre Dame targets cross paths with Gainesville's biggest dirt bag. As I gather more information, I will continually keep everyone updated, with pleasure. Meyer's antics need to be publicly displayed. Promote the school you represent, do not hammer other programs. It's pathetic, but that's Meyer for you.
For more interesting Meyer fodder, go to Her Loyal Sons and decide for yourself just how well Meyer fits in with another con artist down in Tuscaloosa or Knoxville or Fayetteville. OK, the SEC is chalk-full of slime balls. Meyer fits right in.
Friday, June 13, 2008
By Radio Man
Common sense tells a Notre Dame fan that multiple visits to the University of Notre Dame means the likelihood that a recruit will sign with the good guys increases. This is not a trick scenario. It's just plain as day common sense. With that said, certain types of prospects will likely come to Notre Dame regardless of the extra visits they take beyond their official visit to Notre Dame. Notre Dame will be hosting several recruits for its annual Summer Football Camp in conjunction with several unofficial visitors over the course of the next three weeks. A few names to keep in mind:
Anthony LaLota, DE, New Jersey – attends The Hun School, which is an excellent academic institution. Notre Dame looks to be in good shape here. Boston College could be the competition, but LaLota has national offers from the likes of Louisiana State and Ohio State to consider as well.
Chris Watt, OG, from just outside of Chicago – does not attend a private school, but Notre Dame appears to be in a dog fight for his services with Ohio State. The Buckeyes are running out of scholarships, allegedly, and while it's likely that coach OSU head coach Jim Tressell would save a scholarship for Watt, the Buckeyes only have so much room left with a plethora of good recruits still eyeing Columbus, Ohio.
Zach Martin, OT, from Indianapolis – attends one of the better high schools in the Indy area, Bishop Chatard, and it's also one of the top football programs in the state of Indiana. Michigan will be the main competition.
Uzoma Nwachukwu (photo above), WR, Allen, Texas – speed and toughness separate the Texas wideout from most recruits. Without Texas offering, the Aggies now represent the biggest hurdle. It would not be a shock if Nwachukwu became the next Notre Dame verbal commitment. If memory serves correctly, he will be visiting South Bend next week? "Mom" is reportedly in Notre Dame's corner.
There are several other recruits that will be visiting between now and the beginning of July. The aforementioned list was just a brief overview. As always, Irish Eyes and Irish Illustrated should be a Notre Dame fan's main source for specific football recruiting information.
With that said, keep your eyes and ears out for any information that might come as a surprise on the unofficial visit recruiting trail. Surprise visitors happen each and every year. A few could be headed to South Bend in the near future…
Additionally, here's my post on The Ara Parseghian Message Board about recruiting single-parent recruits. It adds perspective to what the Notre Dame coaching staff has to do to land top-notch recruits.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
By Radio Man
The Notre Dame 2007 youth movement proved to be a bad thing and a good thing. Stating the obvious, many talented freshmen and sophomores will be better prepared to play against upper echelon Division I competition. With that said, an even better recruiting class will joining the Fighting Irish this weekend, as the Class of 2008 officially enrolls for summer school at the University of Notre Dame. Here is a look at a handful of the players that should compete for playing time during the 2008 season.
Michael Floyd – Because wide receiver is one of the easiest positions for a freshman to learn, combined with Floyd's raw skills and Notre Dame's uncompromising need for playmakers not named Golden Tate, Floyd holds the honor as the most likely to start from day one at Notre Dame. Regardless of when Floyd makes his first start, he will play early and often. He's special.
Ethan Johnson – Despite missing his senior season to help further rehab a leg injury, Johnson will be ready to go this summer and compete for playing time come early August when the Irish open up fall camp. Johnson's father recently revealed on an Internet message board that his son was 6-5, 275-pounds and healthy. Few players that possess Johnson's size or strength can also boast his first-step quickness off of the snap of the football. And this just in: Notre Dame needs impact defensive lineman in a desperate way. Do not be surprised if Johnson is placed into the starting rotation or even the starting lineup at strong side defensive end before the end of September. As a side note, a certain Pete Carroll had Johnson as his no. 1 West Coast last year regardless of position. That's a good sign.
Steven Filer – How quickly Flier relates to the defensive packages from the 3-4 and 4-3 will determine the amount of playing time earned. Filer's athleticism and speed cannot be denied. A likely scenario finds Filer coming into games and being used as a blitzer from one of the insider linebacker positions.
Darius Fleming – Fleming comes off of the edge with more than just speed; he utilizes his hands well to ward off offensive lineman and tight ends. While it would be a stretch to write Fleming into the two deep at outside linebacker or defensive end, his pass rushing prowess cannot be overlooked. Therefore, he should play this fall.
Kyle Rudolph – 6-7 tight ends with the hands of a top-notch wide receiver do not come around often. Meet young Mr. Rudolph. Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis often utilizes tight ends, and Rudolph can also be used as a big wide receiver. Look for Rudolph to become a prime target in the red zone on "jump ball" passes against smaller defenders.
Hafis Williams – One of the more underrated defensive linemen in the country, in large part due to the lack of availability of his high school film, Williams possesses excellent feet for a 285 pound defensive lineman. He could play nose guard in the 3-4, perhaps even the strong side defensive end in the 3-4, or defensive tackle in the 4-3. Notre Dame has little to no depth at nose guard behind incumbent Ian Williams. The door is open for Hafis to play.
Brandon Newman – Like Williams, the lack of nose guard depth will aid Newman's opportunity to play this upcoming football season. Built like a compact car, Newman utilizes strong legs to penetrate between offensive linemen. He truly fits the 3-4 nose guard role well.
Robert Blanton – Some guys just have a knack for blocking punts and field goals. Blanton goes beyond the ordinary, as he constantly penetrated protection schemes to find himself blocking another kick during high school games. Notre Dame has a plethora of cornerbacks moving into the 2008 season, but nobody on the Notre Dame roster can boast the type of kick blocking abilities Blanton provided during his high school career. In addition, Blanton fits the mold of a boundary corner, i.e. the short side of the field. Look for Blanton to compete for playing time by the end of this season. Blanton is a competitor.
- The Irish will play at least seven schools that made it to the NCAA Tournament.
- Four schools made it to the Round of 16.
- In the first three weeks of the season, Notre Dame will play two non-conference tournaments. They host the Adidas Class. They will also play in Carolina Classic where they will face power North carolina and Duke.
- The Irish will play host to the final two rounds of the Big East Championship on November 7 and 9.
Randy Waldrum said:
- "I'm really excited about this year's schedule, as it gives us an opportunity early on to play some of the top teams in the country," 10th-year Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. "As was the case last year, this should give us a good idea of where we are early in the year, and allow us the chance to work on some areas that may need improvement. Playing teams like UNC, Duke, and Penn State on the road, as well as Santa Clara at home, will certainly present a challenge. This is why players come to Notre Dame -- so they play against the top competition, year in and year out.
"In addition to these traditional powers, we always face stiff competition in the BIG EAST, and will have other strong non-conference tests against our rivals from Michigan and a good SMU team out of Dallas," Waldrum added. "It's a great schedule and I'm looking forward to the challenge, and of course, I'm anxious to see the local community out in full force once again this fall!" (from und.com)
The Irish, on paper, should be very good again. Last season, they finished 19-5-2. They finished 11-0 in the Big East National Division. They return a ton of talent. They return 22 players, 19 of which earned monograms. The Irish will be led by a couple of 2007 All-Americans, seniors Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock. Also returning is Carrie Dew. Waldrum, as usual, has an influx of great talent coming in. He signed 9 freshmen.
Notre Dame kicks it all of with an exhibition against Memphis on August 12 at Alumni Field.
For the complete schedule, look on this site. We will have the schedule up, soon.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Below is a list of who Notre Dame is recruiting for the incoming class of 2009. It includes commits, offers as well as the rest. Domer Sports Report will update this list whenever it is warranted. We will also write articles, breaking down the offensive and defensive recruits, at a later date. We will be including more details about each recruit. But, for now, this is a comprehensive list of those outstanding high school recruits that Charlie Weis and company are recruiting.
Notre Dame Recruits – 2009
Alex Bullard, OL, 6’3, 275,
Carlo Calabrese, ILB, 6’2, 214,
Dan Fox, OLB, 6’4, 219,
Jake Golic, TE, 6’4, 216,
Theo Riddick, RB, 5’10, 185,
Tyler Stockton, DT, 6’1, 290,
Cierre Wood, RB, 6’0, 192, Oxnard, CA, Forty: 4.4
Nick Alajajian, OT,
Stavion Lowe, OT,
Zach Martin, OT,
Xavier Nixon, OT,
Michael Schofield, OT,
Xavier Su’a Filo, OT,
Chris Watt, OG,
John Anevski, OG,
Everette Benyard, OT,
Cody Bohler, OT,
Adam Citko, OT,
Jess Coffey, OT,
Johnnie Farms, OG,
Dominique Jackson, OT,
Kyle Koehne, OT,
Sam Longo, OT,
Pat McShane, OT,
Hunter Poole, OT,
Colin Rodkey, OT,
Will Simmons, OT,
Patrick Ward, OT, New
Pete White, OT,
Brennan Williams, OT, West
Joseph Williams, OG,
Running backs and fullbacks
D.J. Adams, RB,
Tyler Gaffney, RB,
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Mansfield, TX (offered)
Running backs and fullbacks
Diante Drake, RB,
Rolandan Finch, RB,
Mike Marrow, FB,
Anthony Urbania, RB,
Jeremiah Young, RB,
Drew Allen, QB,
Antone Exum, QB, Glen Allen, VA
Ryan Mossakowski, QB,
Morgan Newton, QB,
Nick Raven, QB,
Jordan Roberts, QB,
Kolby Gray, QB,
Patrick Bade, TE,
Tyler Eifert, TE,
Ra’shede Hageman, TE,
Dion Sims, TE,
Marlon Brown, WR,
Shaquelle Evans, WR,
Uzoma Nwachukwu, WR,
Jamal Patterson, WR,
Rueben Randle, WR,
Alex Blake, WR,
Emory Blake, WR,
Jamarielle Brown, WR,
Terence Davis, WR,
Cameron Gordon, WR,
Joey Parris, WR,
Billy Ray Stutzmann, WR,
Drew Terrell, WR,
Vondrae Tostenson, WR,
Terdema Ussery, WR,
Duwyce Wilson, WR,
Logan Thomas, ATH,
Rex Burkhead, ATH,
Duron Harmon, ATH,
Travis Hawkins, ATH,
Jordan Love, ATH,
Dustin Hopkins, K,
Nicholas Tausch, K,
Ben Turk, P,
Corey Adams, DT,
Chris Bonds, DE,
Isaac Holmes, DT,
Gabe Ikard, DE,
Nick Kasa, DE, Broomfield, CO (offered)
Anthony LaLota, DE,
Jamarcus McFarland, DT,
William Ming, DE,
Craig Roh, DE,
Adam Bellamy, DE,
John Brewer, DT,
Justin Brown, DT,
Michael Buchanon, DE,
Chris Davenport, DT,
Tyler Dippel, DE,
Trevor Foy, DE,
Latu Heimuli, DT,
Antwan Lowery, DT,
Christian Reed, DE,
Cornerbacks and safeties
Ray Ray Armstrong, S,
E.J. Banks, CB, McKees Rocks, PA (offered)
Corey Brown, CB,
Terrance Bullitt, S,
Brandon McGee, CB,
Darren Myles, S,
Shamari Benton, S,
Kevin Brent, S,
Perry James, CB,
Mike Jones, S,
Zeke Motta, S,
Riyahd Richardson, CB,
Branden Smith, CB,
Jawanza Starling, S,
Charlie Thomas, S,
Jordan Barrett, ILB, Sherman Oaks, CA (offered)
Jelani Jenkins, OLB,
Jonathan Stewart, OLB,
Frankie Telfort, OLB,
Manti Te’o, ILB,
Glenn Carson, ILB,
Daniel Drummond, MLB, Flowery Branch, GA
TyQuan Hammock, ILB,
Kelvin Jackson, OLB,
Anthony Jones, WLB,
Peter Miller, OLB,
Barkevious Mingo, OLB,
Will Studlien, ILB,
Monday, June 9, 2008
Third down and seven, the Irish have gone to their dime package as they expect the pass…Here's the snap to the QB…he looks, looks, he has all kinds of time! Now he breaks outside the pocket…there's a wide open receiver to the right side and it will be a first down for…
Remember those days? Even under Holtz, post Alvarez, Notre Dame's pass rush was often anemic. And that is being kind. I'd like a nickel for every time an opposing QB could have taken a nap before making a pass attempt during a third or fourth down and long. Last season, well, honestly, I will give a mulligan because of the complete overhaul the defense went through, not to mention the inordinate amount of freshman and sophomores that were playing significant roles. Beginning this season, however, times will be a changing.
Thank you Jon Tenuta. There, I said it. And it will be the first of many "thank you" notes that the Irish assistant head coach and linebacker coach will receive because of the toughness and "take it to'em" attitude he brought to South Bend. And oh, he likes to blitz. A lot.
A few years ago, one of the most horrid offensive displays of College Football was being displayed. Georgia Tech, with Reggie Ball (my goodness did he suck) at QB, and some mediocre QB from Maryland were throwing ducks all over the place. Late in the game, the Yellow Jackets led 7-3 with one more possession for the Terrapins. Most defensive coordinators would just play cover four and keep everything in front of them. John Tenuta had none of it.
Blitz! Blitz! Blitz!
The announcers were floored. Then again, so was the quarterback, over and over. Even during the last possession, Tenuta's defensive scheme did not waver. He went for the jugular and drew blood. No mamsy-pamsy bend-but-don't-break try-not-to-lose defensive play calling from the Columbus, Ohio native. Tenuta's defense was unrelenting.
Sure, there will be times when a defense is burned deep or a power running play finds a seem. That's football. That's life. As Tenuta stated numerous times after his hiring at Notre Dame, he wants to dictate to the opposing offenses, not the other way around. If nothing else this season, I will personally take solace in the fact that Notre Dame will play aggressive defensive football. It does not hurt that Notre Dame actually has some top-notch talent at cornerback with Darrin Walls either. For that matter, several of Notre Dame's cornerbacks could be future NFL players. That's a good problem to have.
With Tenuta's experience and pedigree as a defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech and Ohio State amongst other stops along the College Football Superhighway, the Notre Dame defense should look much different this fall. Yes, it helps to have more experience from the team that looked lost at times during the 2007 campaign, but the rumblings from South Bend this past spring practice were that the Notre Dame defense brings the heat on virtually every play. That type of defensive play calling allows a defensive unit in dire need of an attitude adjustment the fortification to do just that: believe in themselves.
It's another third down and long as the Irish defense once again comes out in its dime package. They've brought blitzers from all angles today, and everyone in the stadium knows what's coming next, but the question is…from where? Here's the snap…oooooooh the QB is buried for a five-yard loss by a bevy of Irish defenders before he could even get his feet set! The offensive line just looked confused with all the confusion up front, as Tenuta dialed up the blitz again and the Irish defense responded!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
When Notre Dame first hired Charlie Weis, the cupboard did not include all the necessary ingredients to win big. Notre Dame fans, at least ones that follow recruiting objectively, knew that Notre Dame recruiting lacked the punch to place the Irish amongst the nation's elite, i.e. Texas, Southern California, Louisiana State, Ohio State, and so on.
This fall will mark the last of the previous coaching staff's recruiting classes being a part of the Irish roster, with the fifth-year seniors and part of the traditional seniors recruited by the old staff. Nothing against the players from both groups, as some of them have developed well on and off the gridiron, and other players simply developing into productive young men looking forward to moving on into mainstream society after earning a degree from Notre Dame (Notre Dame actually requires it student-athletes to go to class – gasp!), but it is hard to defeat the Trojans without superior talent in the senior classes. Let us be honest, Notre Dame still has a ways to go to compete with Southern California in terms of raw talent. That's just bottom line.
With all of that said, Notre Dame recruiting should be described as efficient over the past two years, with some good ol' Dixie speed helping to stir the elixir of an Irish revival. Here's a closer look at several of the 2007 recruits that Notre Dame fan will become more familiar with during the next three to four years:
Class of 2007: The Irish needed impact players, and did so by signing several big names. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, wide receivers Duval Kamara and Golden Tate, and tailback Robert Hughes each contributed last season after being highly coveted recruits. Offensive tackle Matt Romine (redshirted last year) was also an offensive headliner, but defense was the key component as the Irish defense needed an overhaul. Unlike the offensive talent that was brought in, Notre Dame found the majority of its defensive prowess from down South.
A name that Irish fans should become accustomed to watching would be cornerback Gary Gray from Columbia, S.C. (Richland Northeast). A special "we're sorry," to coach Spurrier, because Gray committed to the Gamecocks before changing his commitment to Notre Dame and signing with the Irish. Gray is expected to make a contribution this fall after redshirting in 2007. Notre Dame's depth chart at cornerback is finally complete. Now that is some good news.
One of three key Floridians taken in the 2007 class was defensive end/defensive tackle Emeka Nwankwo from Miramar, Fla. Nwankwo will be in the rotation at DE/DT (depending on which front ND uses on a particular play, 3-4 or 4-3) this fall and has four years of eligibility after redshirting last year. Nwankwo played offensive line more than defensive line during his high school career at Chaminade Prep. Therefore, he is currently learning the nuances of playing along the defensive line. His ceiling is high, but sometimes so is his technique (yes, pun intended). While not a defensive player, the second 2007 Florida recruit was Armando Allen, the tailback from Opa-Locka (Miami Lakes). His speed will be a big asset to the Irish for the next three seasons.
The third member of the Irish 2007 recruiting class from the Sunshine State was Ian Williams, from Altamonte Springs, Fla., (Lyman). Williams started the final two games of the 2007 season and made a major impact during those two games, against Duke and Stanford respectively. It is hard to find 290+ pound defensive lineman that physically possess the ability to play Division I College Football as a true freshman, but Williams did just that. Williams will be a fan favorite at Notre Dame Stadium for the next three years.
The state of North Carolina is far from synonymous with Notre Dame Football Recruiting. Just do not tell outside linebacker/defensive end (again, depending on a particular play) Kerry Neal that…The Bunn, N.C. native became the first Irish commitment of the 2007 class and made an impact for the Irish defense last season. Neal fought his way into the opposition's backfield on a consistent basis, and will be one of the few select Notre Dame players that can say he started at Notre Dame as a true freshman.
He may not be from Dixie, but wooooweeee, should Notre Dame fans be happy that Irish defensive coordinator Corwin Brown decided to offer Brian Smith after he took over as defensive coordinator. Smith, from Overland Park, Kan., (St. Thomas Aquinas), was committed to Iowa before eventually signing with the Irish and bringing is a jack-of-all-trades outside and inside linebacker talent to South Bend. Plus, Smith is a good pass rush specialist during obvious passing downs. And like Neal, Smith started as a freshman at Notre Dame.
Recruiting in Dixie can be treacherous, but taking a player directly out of Knoxville, Tenn.? Get out of Dodge, err, Knoxville, man! Harrison Smith, from Catholic HS in Knoxville, not to be out done by Brian Smith, developed into a jack-of-all-trades defensive player this spring. Thought to be a college safety, Smith played linebacker during the annual Blue-Gold game, intercepting a Clausen pass and returning it for a touchdown. Smith could end up back at safety at some point during his career, but his physical and athletic play will add needed talent to the Irish front seven this season. And to think, Smith redshirted in 2007. He has four years of eligibility remaining!
Notre Dame will not lack for offensive talent as long as coach Weis leads the Irish on Saturdays. For Notre Dame to defeat the upper echelon of College Football's elite teams, however, the 2007 recruiting class was the beginning of the revival that will not conclude until after the 2009 recruiting class becomes complete. Up next, a closer look at the 2008 recruiting class.
Friday, June 6, 2008
When a top-notch recruit from Dixie leaves his home state and the South in general for college, it's big news. Say hello to Notre Dame Football's newest commitment: Alex Bullard, who is quoted in this article from the Tennessean as to why he chose Notre Dame over other schools, most notably, the Volunteers.
Bullard, an offensive guard, is 6'3" and 275. He runs a 5.0 forty. Like many Notre Dame recruits, he excels in the classroom. He has a 3.3 grade point average. Rivals.com has him listed as the #11 offensive guard recruit for the incoming class of 2009.
Bullard is the seventh recruit to verbally commit to Charlie Weis for the incoming recruiting class of 2009.
Here come the Irish!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
We are a new site and are building up pretty nicely. Radio Man and myself have been writing articles on a pretty consistent basis in our early days. We want to make this Notre Dame blog one of the best on the www. We are going to provide you with our thoughts on the state of University of Notre Dame athletics. We will also provide you with quick updates from the world of football recruiting. But, we need you!
How do we need you? Let me count the ways. First, we are looking for a couple of more writers for the blog. If you can write with quality, we are interested in hearing from you. With a staff of around 4-6 writers, we can keep this blog going around the clock.
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By Radio Man
Notre Dame "should have" struggled to land more than a couple of regional-type recruits thus far. Notre Dame should have, but have not. Notre Dame recruiting is just rolling along...
You hear that? It's the sound of Greg Schiano gritting his teeth back East as Notre Dame has already secured commitments from three of New Jersey's best recruits, with another, Anthony LaLota, a strong possibility to sign with Notre Dame as well. And let it be known that Notre Dame's success in landing New Jersey recruits since head coach Charlie Weis arrived is a big reason Schiano aided in shooting down recent talks between the Irish playing the Scarlet Knights in the Meadowlands, i.e. because Notre Dame would possess even more access to New Jersey recruits. Of course the Rutgers head coach will not admit that publicly, but it is true. And no, this is not just speculation. Through private channels, that's been heard loud and clear. In short, Schiano is not real happy with Notre Dame. Tough. Deal with it.
While no school has recruited as well as Southern California during the past half dozen years, Notre Dame finally made positive movement towards catching the Trojans' talent overload via the past two recruiting classes. Adding Cierre Wood, from Pete's backyard, helps the cause move further in the proper direction. Beginning in 2009, Notre Dame will possess the horses to compete with the Trojans on a year-in and year-out basis.
Assuming Notre Dame lands Alex Bullard, the big offensive guard from just outside of Nashville, Tenn., it will make two out of three years that the Irish have secured one of the best players from the state of Tennessee. Quite frankly, that is unheard of. Coach Fulmer being on the hot seat down in Knoxville probably helped the Irish cause with Bullard to date, and hopefully it helps to push Bullard to South Bend. Bullard is set to announce his college decision tomorrow.
Who will the Irish land next? Bullard, perhaps another recruit? Notre Dame recruiting just keeps rolling along.
Charlie Weis received another commitment. He is linebacker Dan Fox out of Cleveland, Ohio. Fox is 6'4 and 219 pounds. He is projected to be an outside linebacker. Rivals.com has Fox as their #13 ranked outside linebacker prospect. He runs a 4.6 forty. He benches 260 pounds. He is also a very good student, posting a 3.6 grade point average. Rivals has him as a 4-star recruit.
Fix becomes the sixth verbal commitment for the incoming recruiting class of 2009. The others who have committed include, tight end Jake Golic, running back Cierre Wood, running back Theo Riddick, defensive tackle Tyler Stockton and linebacker Carlo Calabrese.
Here is a list of potential candidates for the University of Notre Dame athletic director position. Remember, these are the popular names. But, there might be others on Notre Dame’s list of candidates.
The prospects (in no particular order):
The prospects (in no particular order):
Steve Orsini – Orsini has obvious Notre Dame connections. After all, he played fullback and was a captain on the 1977 National Championship team. He is a 1978 graduate. Importantly, he also has experience in athletic administration. After a career as a certified public accountant, Orsini worked in the administration for Georgia Tech, Navy and also in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. He has athletic director experience, too. He was athletic director for
Mike Bobinski – Bobinski is a 1979 Notre Dame grad. Before entering the world of athletic administration, he spent 20 years as a certified public accountant. He was a Notre Dame administrator for 5 years after that. He is currently the athletic director at
Rick Chryst – Chryst graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1983. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics. While at Notre Dame, he played baseball. At one time, he worked for the Southwest Conference, which no longer exists. He was in sports information. Since May of 1999, he has been the commissioner of the Mid-American Conference.
Joel Maturi – Maturi graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s in government. He is a 1967 graduate. He has experience as an athletic director at three universities. His first two stints were at Miami of Ohio and the
Bob Minnix – Minnix is a 1972 Notre Dame graduate. He was also a running back for coach Ara Parseghian. He led the Irish in rushing for the 1971 season. He is a former president of the Black Coaches Association. He spent 20 years working for the NCAA. Minnix spent 13 years at
Bernard Muir – Muir is a Brown graduate. However, he does have a connection to Notre Dame. He served under former athletic director Kevin White as deputy director of athletics for administration as deputy director of athletics administration. From Notre Dame, Muir went to
Another candidate that many considered the favorite candidate was Gene Smith. Smith, who graduated from Notre Dame, is now athletic director at
Other potential candidates include current Notre Dame administrator’s, John Heisler, Billy Scholl and Missy Conboy. Conboy was recently names interim athletic director while the search goes on. John Paxson, former Notre Dame basketball player and Chicago Bulls administrator is another prominent name mentioned.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The backup center will likely be Thomas Bemenderfer, a local product who attended Mishawaka Penn and attended Northwestern before transferring to Notre Dame. Bemenderfer will be a senior this fall.
The heir apparent at center will likely be Braxton Cave, another Mishawaka Penn product, but this former Kingsmen will only be a true freshman this fall. Cave played very good in high school All-Star action and possesses excellent strength for a player that has yet to take part in a college weight lifting program. Another possible center could be Mike Golic, the son of … well, Mike Golic, who played at Notre Dame in the early-to-mid 1980s before playing professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Oilers. The younger Mike could also end up playing offensive guard. Either way, he will need a couple of years of strength and conditioning work to add needed muscle mass to his currently listed 6-5, 260-pound frame.
Coming to Notre Dame within the same recruiting class as Wenger, offensive guards Eric Olsen and Chris Stewart will be the starters this fall. The left guard will be Olsen, 6-5, 303-pounds, who plays football with the same mentality that Wenger does, and Irish fans should expect to witness many “pancake” blocks during the course of the next two seasons. Stewart, meanwhile, could become one of College Football’s top run blockers based upon his progress last season. At right guard, the 6-5, 340-pound Stewart engulfed more than a few would-be defenders towards the end of the 2007 season, and will be expected to do the same moving forward in addition to becoming a more consistent pass blocker.
Backing up Olsen will be senior and former left guard starter Michael Turkovich. His strength is run blocking. The backup for Stewart will likely come from redshirt freshman Andrew Nuss, 6-5, 303-pounds, and the highly touted Trevor Robinson from Elkhorn, Neb., who enrolled at Notre Dame this past January and participated in spring practice.
The interior of the Notre Dame offensive line appears to be ready to take the next step towards becoming an efficient unit. The size, talent and, as Irish fans certainly know, all-important factor of experience are in place for the Irish to play physical football. Adding the physical nature of the offensive line should aid Jimmy Clausen and the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield considerably.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Doctor Kevin White has announced that he will be stepping down as the University of Notre Dame athletic director. He will be taking the same post at
White was hired at Notre Dame on March 13, 2000. He was hired to take the place of former athletic director, Mike Wadsworth. The eight years that White was at Notre Dame was marked by a mixed bag of success and controversy.
White will, perhaps, be best known, in a positive sense, for the success that the Olympic sports teams had at Notre Dame. Under his direction, the football team benefited from new multi-million dollar facilities.
In 2001, the women’s basketball team won the National Championship. The women’s soccer team won a National Championship. The baseball team made it to the College World Series. The women’s fencing team has been a power and has won a national Championship. The state of women’s athletics and Olympic sports has never been better.
Unfortunately for White, he might be remembered best (at least by Notre Dame fans and subway alumni) for his seeming football bumbling hires, raises and firings. Even the men’s basketball hire might not have been his first choice. Maybe, not even his second.
Only a couple months after his hire, Doctor White had to find a replacement for departed men’s coach, Matt Doherty. His first two choices seem to have been Ernie Kent and PJ Carlesimo. Both turned the job down. It was then that White turned his attention to
Now to the football fiascos that has frustrated many a Notre Dame fan. In December of 2000, White offered football coach Bob Davie a contract extension after going 9-2 in the regular season. The Irish then proceeded to get spanked by
The next coaching hire was truly a fiasco. White eventually had to go with his third choice. First choice was apparently, Jon Gruden, an NFL coach. His father was once an assistant at Notre Dame and everyone thought the job was Gruden’s. However, many believe that Notre Dame President Monk Malloy favored Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary. O’Leary was hired – for one week! O’Leary falsified his transcripts, saying he had a Master’s degree, when, in fact, he did not. O’Leary was forced to step down after one week on the job.
Next came the hire that might be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. After failing to get Gruden and after the O’Leary scandal, the powers that be thought it would be great to have a little social experiment. Why not hire an African American as head coach? ? It would be groundbreaking. Notre Dame could lead the way in the hiring of more African Americans as head coaches. Monk Malloy prodded Kevin White to get Stanford coach Tyrone Lionel Willingham. Willingham, after all, had moderate success at Stanford. In addition, not many talk about this. But, Jesse Jackson made a trip to the University of Notre Dame. Remember,
28 games later, Willingham was 21-15. He was 13-15 over those 28 games. He was fired. Kevin White, ashen at the announcement, wanted everyone to know non-verbally, that he was not responsible for the firing. Most agree that is was the decision of the majority of the Board of Trustees as well as incoming president Father John Jenkins.
Notre Dame was attacked, unmercifully. They were, basically, called racist for firing Willingham after only three seasons. After all, they could argue, even Gerry Faust was allowed to have all five years of his contract. ESPN and a few personalities, led the charge of racism against Notre Dame. But, of course, they never mention that Notre Dame gave Willingham the chance to begin with.
So, Doctor Kevin White leaves Notre Dame with a mixed bag of success and controversy. How he is viewed will, perhaps, be best seen in the future.
Coming soon: A look at the prospects who will replace White as the new Notre Dame AD?
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Sunday, June 1, 2008
Starting the first game of his freshman season, Sam Young's presence at the line of scrimmage has become old hat for Notre Dame coaches, players, and fans alike. The now junior right tackle played on the opposite side of the line last season to protect him from further injuring his right wrist, which is now reportedly healthy. There are three keys to further advance Young's development, beginning with leadership, which Young previously displayed by paying a visit to Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis last season (a true ND fan knows the story well). Now he needs to become more vocal (assuming it is within his personality, and it might not be). Next, Young gained about twenty-pounds since last season and tips the scales at around 330. Will that be too much weight to match up with talented speed rushers (think Everson Griffin, Southern California's next great defensive end) that the Irish will face this season? That's the one concern. Conversely, Young's added girth should help him with run blocking by sheer size alone. Finally, Young needs to develop a nasty streak. No, not the old school Oakland Raiders lets get five fifteen yard unsportsman-like conduct calls-type of nasty streak, but the "I'm going to bury my opponent during this next play and there is nothing he can do about it" attitude. Sort of like Aaron Taylor, Tim Ruddy, Jeff Faine, and other past Irish offensive linemen that would go out of their way to send a message to a defender by driving him into the ground whenever possible. For Young to reach his potential, he must develop that mentality. He does that once in a while, but now he must do it consistently. Young possesses the talent. It's up to him.
Overall, right tackle looks good for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but Young is only the starting point. Redshirt freshman Taylor Dever did not garner preseason High School All-American honors before entering his senior season, but much like many other offensive lineman at the high school level, came into his own as a senior and earned many scholarship offers before the conclusion of his high school career. While he has yet to play a minute of College Football, Dever has earned good reviews by many close to the Notre Dame Football program. Dever will likely be the no. 2 right tackle this season and next, before taking over the starting position in 2010. It's a good situation for Notre Dame offensive line coach John Latina to have. Now coach Latina and the Notre Dame coaching staff just need to land a good right tackle recruit this next Frebruary and the depth chart will be restored to normalcy.
Interior offensive line play will be the next installment…