Welcome to the 2010 Subway Domer Recruiting Spectacular. I don't want to waste too much time here, because we have a lot of ground to cover, but I did want to say a few quick words about this class.
When asked by In the Bleachers on a recent podcast about this class, I said it was a very strong class for a transition year. I sincerely meant this. For Notre Dame to end up with a top 15 class (Rivals) after the 3 year span they had plus a new coaching staff with only a month and a half to go was fantastic. Those who think that this class was a failure and point to U$C and Kiffen as another transition school to compare to are fucking morons. Apples and Oranges people. Those who think this class was outstanding, are equally moronic. There were many holes that were not filled, but... this is a time of celebration, so perhaps we shall discuss this at a later time.
Before you read the Spectacular, you need to know what you are reading. I, The Subway Domer, have provided a look at the prospects recruitment and their possibilities on the depth chart as well as provided grades (don't be too brutal with me) and guesses at to what number of jersey each prospect will wear at Notre Dame. The Brawling Hibernian had a different task. I threw The Brawling Hibernian out of my van and into the desert with nothing but a bottle of Wild Turkey, some hallucinogenic asparagus, a crayon, and a notebook. His task? Finish this thing. His results? Well, they were worldly. He will enlighten you all on what foreign country each prospect identifies with as it pertains to, well... anything.
BTW- Spellcheck does not work on something this large. There will be mistakes- deal with it. We better get started...
Subway Domer:In the long process known as recruiting, a prospects path can take many twists and turns that would cause some people to vomit like a teenage girl at a kegger. This is certainly the case of Luke Massa. While Charlie Weis was looking for a two Quarterback class, Irish fans wondered who those two would actually be. Then, Notre Dame received the verbal commitment of Andrew Hendrix. Hendrix looked the part of the blue-chip guy, and the search was on for the complimentary player to fill the needed role. Who would get that offer? Well, Tommy Reesgot that offer over Massa and Rees responded with a commitment to Notre Dame while Massa made his pledge to the Bearcats. Fast forward almost 6 months and enter Brian Kelly as the new Head Coach. Massa receivedan offer from Kelly to join him at ND- and Luke took the lure of Notre Dame and the challenge of competition and pounced on the opportunity.
The depth chart at QB is fragile at best. With Notre Dame only returning one (Crist) scholarship QB in 2010, the Irish definitelyneeded help in a hurry. Time will tell how much, if any, impact that Massa will have in 2010 or beyond. Kelly will have Luke Massa, Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and even Nate Montana to battle against each other for the coveted number 2 slot. Regardless of what happens along the depth chart, Mass is a strong late addition to the class and his presence alone will help the development of all Irish quarterbacks.
Brawling Hibernian: (Mexico) Important position? Check. Large and having a tremendous amount of potential? Check. A bunch of nagging questions as to whether they will ever be able to take the steps necessary to achieve said potential? Yup. Mexico is a country of over 100 million people and possesses an economic agreement (NAFTA) with the largest economy in the world. In spite of this, poverty, crime and government corruption are rampant and, in case you’ve been under a rock lately, a big chunk of their workforce continues to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Massa is similar. While he possesses a number of tools (height, footwork, experience) to make him a star, he will have to pack on weight and overcome competitors in his class to get there.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Subway Domer:The Prince was no easy task. After giving his commitment to Notre Dame in August, he was still hotly pursued by teams such as North Carolina, Tennessee, and Miami. As the theme will show with a host of recruits, Prince Shembo was a little worried about the new staff and the future of Notre Dame football. Rumors swirled about possible visits for the Prince, but after a visit from Kelly, all of that disappeared and Shembo was all in.
With yet another switch back to a 3-4 defense from the 4-3, Notre Dame is stacking itself at linebacker. Shembo is physically ready to compete for playing time, but minutes may be hard to come buy with the way the depth chart stacks up. Shembo will need a year or two to develop mentally into the new scheme, but when he does... expect a royal awakening. Notre Dame landed a potential nightmare coming off of the edge.
Brawling Hibernian: (England) Like England itself, Shembo is a contradiction. On the one hand, erudite and cravat-wearing (probably) bon vivant, on the other, rage-fueled hooligan bent on destruction. As an aside, if England had Prince Shembo, rather than that lame dick Prince Charles, their awesomeness factor would increase exponentially.
ESPNU Top 150
Subway Domer:Perhaps the best recruiting story for the Fighting Irish was the Louis Nix story. Early in the recruiting cycle, Louis Nix's name was barely mentioned by Irish fans as a possibility to commit. Nix was a Florida defensive tackle and committed to Miami. Still, Nix started to express more and more interest in Notre Dame. After each visit, Nix looked more and more interested- yet he remained committed to Miami. Then something remarkable happened. In between the firing of Charlie Weis and the hiring of Brian Kelly, Louis committed to Notre Dame. To Notre Dame. This is one of those commitment that just doesn't happen for the Fighting Irish. When guys talk about, "a Notre Dame kid," this is exactly what they are referring to with that comment.
With the switch back to the 3-4, defensive tackles are not as high a priority as they once were. However, getting a kid of Louis's caliber is a high priority. With Tyler Stockton, Brandon Newman, Hafis Williams, and Ian Williams- Notre Dame has a nice logjam of big players. Nix is good enough to come in and compete for a spot behind Ian Williams right away. A strong rotation of capable playmakers along the defensive line is the foundation of a good defense.
Brawling Hibernian: (India) Much like Ganesha, Hindu god of success and remover of obstacles, Nix is a rampaging elephant who will be earning the widespread adulation of huge numbers of devotees in the coming years. Also, like India itself, Nix is large, smart and possessing a serious upward trajectory.
Hazlett, New Jersey
Subway Domer:Bennett Jackson's recruitment was short and very quiet- until a month before signing day. Jackson had been committed to Notre Dame since the beginning of June, and his name was rarely mentioned as a possible decommit- even when Coach Weis was fired. Jackson had been heavily recruited by Big Ten and Big East schools and finally, Pitt looked like they had a chance to sneak a Mustache Ride in on Jackson. Enter Brian Kelly, "Look what we can do with our WR's" and Jackson was resold on the school and the program.
Jackson joins an already deep- but young receiving corps. He has good speed and fits well into the system as a slot guy, but he may still redshirt this year and try to compete for a position next year. Jackson will need some time to develop physically for the college game. He does remind some of legend Golden Tate, and others of Joey Getherall. The Irish will be in good shape if Jackson develops into a player- somewhere between those lines.
Brawling Hibernian: (Portugal) Ah, little Portugal. There she is, a country with a population of less than 11 million, hanging off the edge of Spain like a sad, little spider monkey clinging to a tree in a storm. Well, guess what? Poor little Portugal has had one of the most influential cultures in the world for over five centuries. Between the explorers (dudes like Magellan and Da Gama) and their former empire (stretching from Europe to Africa to South America to Asia); the Portuguese have totally rocked, in spite of their size (their women are also relentlessly hot). To this day, Portuguese is the 7th most spoken language in the world, with well over 200 million speakers worldwide. Which brings us to Bennett Jackson. Sure, he’s a little undersized but, like Portugal, he is completely awesome. He has good speed, moves well with the ball and adds solid depth to the receiving corps.
Subway Domer:Justin Utupo was one of the bigger recruiting surprises for the Irish. As Notre Dame fans were desperately looking forward to a commitment from a blue-chip player- Utupo's commitment came out of nowhere. Fans hadn't heard of him, and barely a picture was available to see what this kid looked like. But, as fans researched Justin and looked at the scholarship offers from a host of Pac-10 schools and Big 12 schools, the questions evolved into hope as Justin became the Lineman of the Year by the LA Times.
Notre Dame is fairly deep at defensive end and should not need a freshman to enter the mix in the 2 deep roster. Justin will most likely redshirt and add a little size to his frame, which would be a huge advantage for him later in his career at Notre Dame. Don't be surprised if his name gets mentioned quite a bit in the summer.
Brawling Hibernian: (Brazil) Despite their greatness, these two kindred spirits get the Rodney Dangerfield, “No Respect” award. Utopo is a ridiculously talented athlete who was rated as just three-star by most services. Brazil, for its part, is huge, well-populated and more hyper-sexualized than most 19-year old girls with “daddy issues” and yet, is continually overlooked by its peers.
Subway Domer:Chris was one of those guys Notre Dame really needed- unfortunatelywe needed more. As a safety, badger was really a priority need for the Irish, and as he was committed to Stanford, it didn't really look like he would be involved much. But, as the theme suggested this year, Badger visited Notre Dame, decommitted from Stanford, and he gave his pledge to the Fighting Irish. Not only did Chris turn down the Cardinal, he also turned down an interesting offer from Florida State.
Like I said before, Chris was a huge player of need at safety. Notre Dame could have used about 3 safeties in this class, but Badger was the only one that signed. He is also an early enrollee, which puts him in an outstanding position with a new staff in the spring to position himself in the 2 deep. There is no doubt that Chris will at least become a special team mainstay in his freshman year, and with a good spring and summer camp, he could be battling for a starting job.
Brawling Hibernian: (Norway) What could possibly be more badass than a Viking? How about a Viking with a last name that’s also a ferocious animal? No, not Olaf Pit Viper – Chris Badger. With a shock of blond hair and a knack for aggressive play, Badger is a throwback to the days of pillaging and plundering Scandis, as opposed to the Ibsen-reading, herring-eating peaceniks currently robbing Norway of its national pride.
Jersey: #24 (already given)
Subway Domer:Lombard became the first Irish commitment for the 2010 class when he committed to Notre Dame at the Army All-American game in 2009- as a junior combine participant. That might have been his downfall as far as the recruiting rankings were concerned from Scout and Rivals. Lombard is listed as one of the top 3 lineman in the country by MaxPreps, but it took him until January of this year to get his fourth star from Rivals. Lombard remained loyal to the Irish, and turned down offers from Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to name a few.
Along with quarterback and safety, offensive tackle was on the Most Needed list. Lombard fits the profile of a big tackle, but more on the right side as opposed to the left. As much as this position was needed, it is generally a bad idea to envision a freshman cracking the starting lineup- or even the two deep. There are bodies at this position, and although unproven, they are bigger and are more ready for the college game right now. This could be a possible redshirt year for Lombard, but his future is very bright as his his potential that comes with it as well.
Brawling Hibernian: (Italy) The Lombards were a badass group of warriors who eventually founded what became the Kingdom of Italy. To this day, the Lombardy region bears their name. Christian Lombard is a badass offensive lineman who will be laying waste to opposing defenses while establishing his own Kingdom of Awesome in South Bend.
Subway Domer:Irish fans had a few surprises with some late offers, and one of the bigger offers went out to this athlete from Hawai'i. Notre Dame is starting to become a real presence in the islands and it is certainly good for the Irishto do so. Kona had a list of offers from Pac-10 and Mountain West schools, but the opportunity to play at Notre Dame was too great for Schwenke to pass up.
Once again, we are looking at a defensive end with lots of potential, but with some size issues and a bunch ofveterans in front of him. I think Kona could be placed on special teams and with a year of training and with his quality Islander blood, he should bulk up quite a bit with his frame. He moves very well laterally, and is stronger than his weight would suggest. A possibility to redshirt, but he could really be a nice special teams player.
Brawling Hibernian: (Canada) Canada encompasses a huge amount of territory, but has a small population. Like Canada, Schwenke has a big frame, but could use some filling in. A steady diet of Molson, poutine and Kraft Dinner (aka, “The Anne Murray”) may do the trick.
Newbury Park, California
Subway Domer:Cameron Roberson appeared to be a lock to Notre Dame, if only for the fact that his grandfather graduated from the University in the late 50's. All the way around though, Roberson seemed like a Notre Dame type of kid. He chose Notre Dame after his visit there for the Nevada game. He chose the Fighting Irish over a long line of Pac-10, Mountain West, and Big 10 schools.
Roberson will enter into a a crowded depth chart come this summer with Notre Dame returning Armando Allen, Robert Hughes, Jonas Gray, Theo Riddick, and Cierre Wood.PLaying time looks to be light for the young Roberson, but if history remains pertinent, it tells us that running backs are more than capable of stepping onto the big stage right away. I just don't see it though. Cameron will likely see some snaps- and crucial snaps to perhqps, but my gut is saying that he will be more of a special teamer until both Allen and Hughes are gone.
Brawling Hibernian: (Mongolia) In the 12th century, a massive swarm of Mongolian warriors swept out of Asia and, pretty much, fucked up the program of anyone dumb enough to get in their way. Like these Mongol hordes, Roberson is large, fast and capable of creating regrettable collisions with any defender foolish enough to try and tackle him.
Subway Domer:Haven't we gone through this before? Didn't Notre Dame already get a commitment from a top tight end from Elder High School in Cincinnati? I think his name was Kyle Rudolph, or something. Welch is one of the bigger names in this recruiting class, but since he committed way back in May- he is sometimes forgotton. His offer list is as impressive as any prospect with Alex turning down a laundry list of schools such as; Ohio State, Florida State, and Michigan to name just a few.
Many Irish fans want to name Notre Dame "Tight End U," since the recruitimnet of elite tight ends has become commonplace for the Irish. However, keeping some of those guys on campus has been a slight problem. Welch enters Notre Dame ready to be apart of a new system. The Irish will have, of course, Kyle Rudolph and Mike Ragone topping out the depth chart with Bobby Burger in the mix as well. Welch may not see a whole lot of playing time in the begining, but he will still get some snaps. His contabutions may increase if the other tight ends are hit with the injury bug... again.
Brawling Hibernian: (Wales) Seriously, with this last name, what other country could I pick? Welch is less a black lung-wracked pub denizen speaking a gibberish language, and more the fire-breathing red dragon on the Welsh flag devouring villages and leaving piles of knight-filled scat in his wake.
ESPNU Top 150
Subway Domer:Anytime you are dealing with a legacy recruit, you take that recruit for advantage. Tai-ler is the son of former Notre Dame defensive standout and National Title winner, Andre Jones. However, Tai-ler's commitment was not an easy task. This elite WR actually committed to Stanford before coming to his senses and giving Notre Dame his pledge in October. Jones also turned down Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia. Tai-ler is also an early enrollee,
Since Jones is on campus for the spring, he will be able to attempt to crack the depth chart at WR as a freshman. Notre Dame is still loaded at WR, even with the departure of Golden Tate (Peace be Upon You). Never-the-less, Kelly likes to use 4 and 5 WR sets, and if Jones shows that he is able to perform, I see him as being the frehman most likely to play a lot of downs and become an important part of the team early. The competition should be some of the best we will see this year.
Brawling Hibernian: (Thailand) Like a Thai kickboxer, Jones is somewhat diminutive, really athletic and a total ass-kicker. Like a Thai opium runner, Jones knows his routes perfectly. And, like a Thai cartographer, Jones takes issue with Cambodia's claims to his border regions. (On a separate note, I am proud to say I made it through a piece referencing Thailand without once using the word 'Bangkok').
Subway Domer:Notre Dame had to land a top QB in this class after whiffing in 2009 and losing Jimmy Clausen a year early to the NFL Draft. In fact, they needed two. Anrew Hendrix was the first to come aboard back in June of 2009 with Tommy Rees commiting shortly thereafter. Hendrix seemed firm in his commitment until the firing of Charlie Weis (theme). After a little looking around, that included Florida and Urban the Liar, Hendrix was resold on Notre Dame by Brian Kelly. Hendrix not only turned down Florida, but also a long list of SEC, ACC, and Big 10 schools as well.
Hendrix is considered to be the best of the three QB prospects that have committed to Notre Dame. However, he have to earn his way onto the depth chart and will be a few steps behind Tommy Rees from the jump as Rees is enrolled early. Hendrix has a cannon for an arm and his college ready size will be a plus, but can he conquer the little things that help make a college QB good? Time will tell as he faces this battle, but opportunity is certainly there.
Brawling Hibernian: (Russia) Both are big, powerful and, potentially, dominant. Unfortunately, both are also entirely capable of committing turnovers at inconvenient moments (Hendrix through interceptions, Russia through that whole “Cold War ending” thing).
Cape Coral, Florida
Subway Domer:There were a lot of cornerback names that came up early in the process for Notre Dame, and Boyd was there from the very begining. Spencer committed to Notre Dame on his visit there in July, and has never looked back. Boyd enrolled early at Notre Dame in January and turned down schools such as Georgia, Miami, and North Carolina.
After watching the Notre Dame secondary in 2009, Irish fans are begging for help. Help is on the way, but overcoming veterans such as Darrin Walls, Gary Gray, and Robert Blanton will be a tough mountain to climb- even as an early enrollee. Look for Boyd to contribute on special teams and at times we may see him in on a nickel or dime package. The opportunity is there for him to exceed expectations this spring. His future is bright, but it may wait to start to shine brighter in his second year.
Brawling Hibernian: (Chile) One of Chile's greatest strengths is its ability to seamlessly blend into its environment. Take a look at a map of South America: Brazil, Argentina, Peru and then, all of a sudden, "Hey, what's that little sliver of country there by the water?" Much like the Spanish Inquisition (for all you Monty Python nerds out there), nobody expects Chile. Such is also the case with wiry and tenacious CB, Spencer Boyd. One minute, a QB is locked in on his favorite receiver, the next a surprisingly cagey South American country is running in a pick six.
Soth Bend, Indiana
Subway Domer:Daniel Smith's recruitment didn't take very long. He and his parents were in Charlie Weis's office, Weis offered, Smith accepted and committed. Smith is a psuedo-legacy as his brother-in-law is former Irish safety Gerome Sapp.Smith has received a wide variety of reviews from the recruiting services and his best offer outside of Notre Dame came from Purdue.
Again, the depth at WR for the Irish is pretty full and loaded with 4 and 5 star talent. Smith is a lot like Duval Kamara, but the role of "Tall Target" will be played by, Duval Kamara. Daniel Smith will likely redshirt and use his freshman year as a chance to grow into the collegiate system and prepare himself for a position battle in the spring of 2011.
Brawling Hibernian: (Japan) Prior to becoming a nation obsessed with bizarre children’s franchises ($10 to any adult who can tell me what the fuck Sailor Moon is about), hilariously dangerous game shows and anime designed by registered sex offenders with access to hallucinogens; Japan was a pretty badass place. From the 8th to the late-19th century, the Samurai were the elite of both Japan’s military and society. These were smart, highly-trained and totally fearless warriors who, among their accomplishments, managed to twice repel the mighty Mongols (see Cameron Roberson). Like these ancient knights of Japan, Daniel Smith is big, tough and ready to roll. At 6’4 and 215 lbs, he represents a huge target and a miserable experience for opposing secondaries. Expect contributions early on (particularly in the red zone) from Smith.
Subway Domer:Matt James was one of the first names to surface for the 2010 class and the last to commit to the Irish. For a long time the battle for James was a battle royale between Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Cincinnati. In the end, Notre Dame got their man and solidified a strong recruiting presence in Ohio and in particular the Cincinnati area (4 from Cincy and 2 from Northern Kentucky). The absolute need for an offensive lineman of James's caliber and the prospect of an open competition was ideal for Matt.
As with Lombard, James is enetering a program in desperate need for able offensive lineman. With that said, there are still quality, albeit unproven, veterans in front of James such as Taylor Dever, Matt Romine, and Zach Martin. Will James be able to crack the 2 deep, and will that be because of his play or lack there of of the veterans already mentioned? Necessary- but vital questions. The ideal scenario would be for James to redshirt along with Lombard and grow into a collegiate lineman, but if the need arises, so should Matt James.
Brawling Hibernian: (China) A massively powerful beast on the upswing who’s not afraid to crush a defender like a tank over a Falun Gong or Tibetan monk. James is the General Tso of this year’s class.
Subway Domer:Lo Wood was another prospect with an early offer from Notre Dame, but for a long time he was considered a strong Michigan (sucks!) lean. Once Wood got on Notre Dame's campus however, it was pretty much over. Wood was another one of those mid-summer commitment that helped form the base of this class. Wood not only turned down the offer from Michigan, but also from schools such as Georgia Tech, Ole' Miss, and South Carolina.
Like Boyd, Wood has a one-syllable last name. Also, like Boyd, Wood is an early enrollee at Notre Dame and will be ready for spring ball. Wood will have to get a little bigger, but I don't see him redshirting as I expect him to contribute on special teams right away. As far as playing corner, he will have to battle Darrin Walls, Robert Blanton, Gary Gray, and Jamoris Slaughter for playing time as well as his classmate, Spencer Boyd. 2011 looks like the year that his name and number will start being recognized a bit more.
Brawling Hibernian: (Greece) Here’s the thing about the Greeks - while they don’t bring a lot to the table as, say, a military ally (at least not in the last 2,500 or so years), there are a lot of things they do real well (running diners and becoming shipping magnates who bang hot American chicks comes to mind). While no one would say Wood is the greatest natural athlete, there’s a lot of little, instinctive things he does that will be great for the Irish secondary (it’s unclear whether making a tasty gyro in just under ten minutes is among them).
Jersey: #23 (already given)
Subway Domer:Ahhh, the hustle and bustle of the clos of recruiting season. With Notre Dame scrambling to add some depth and numbers to the program, a bunch of new offers went out in the last month leading up to signing day. Derek Roback was one of those offers that Kelly handed out, just as he did while at Cincinnati. Roback was a Toledo commitment at the time, but committed during his official visit to Notre Dame in late January.
Derek was rated as a Quarterback by the recruiting services, but he fits in as an H-Back (hybrid tight-end and fullback) for the Fighting Irish. Currently, Bobby Burger, and perhaps even Steve Paskorz, hold that spot for right now. It is an important position in the Kelly offense and this Ohio athlete will have his work cut out for him to crack the depth chart. With that said, I could see Derek playing a number of positions and in 2010 he may see the field right away on special teams- or redshirt. Potential here people, potential.
Brawling Hibernian: (Zimbabwe) Before it became Zimbabwe, it was Rhodesia and, if Rhodesia was famous for nothing else, it was the Rhodesian Ridgeback (aka, for purposes of this entry, the “Roback”). These powerful and versatile dogs are capable of great endurance and feats of strength. So too is Derek Roback who, apparently, is capable of doing everything from playing QB to making strides in cold fusion while on a football field (disclaimer: as a breed, Rhodesian Ridgebacks prefer long runs and belly rubs to electro-chemical engineering and should not be considered experts in cold fusion).
Lake Forest, Illinois
Subway Domer:After Andrew Hendrix committed to Notre Dame, the former Irish staff were weighing their options as they wanted a second quarterback for the class to make up for the doughnut in 2009. Basically, it came down to Rees and Massa. Who was going to get offered? It turned out to be Rees, and he accepted the offer with a commitment. There were rumors at one time about Rees possibly visiting Tennessee, but he turned the Vols and Douchebag Kiffen down as well as snubbing Stanford.
Tommy is in prime position. This spring he is one of only two scholarship quarterbacks to be on the Irish roster along with Dayne Crist. Crist is coming off of the injured knee, and Rees will get plenty of looks from the new staff as he trys to lock down the backup job. The situation could certainly change in the summer, but if Rees impresses Kelly, he may be hard to beat by the other quarterbacks on the roster. Of the three freshman QB's to sign with ND, I expect one of them to redshirt- I just don't think it will be Rees.
Brawling Hibernian: (Israel) Much like Israel, Rees’ position is incredibly important, but he is a bit undersized and facing threats from all sides (there are three QBs and at least one quasi-back in this year’s class). Also like Israel, Rees has a full compliment of weapons at his disposal which enable him to more than fend for himself.
Subway Domer:Like Derek Roback, Danny Spond was a name that surfaced very late in the recruiting cycle, but unlike Roback, Spond was rated quite a bit higher by the recruiting services. Spond was at one time a Colorado commiment, but after he decomitted, only Stanford, TCU, and the newcomer- Notre Dame remained. In the end, Spond chose the irish over TCU and was being brought in as an athlete that was promised a look at quarterback.
It is kind of hard to project Spond, but I'm pretty sure his defensive days are over. The staff mentioned both safety and linebacker as a possibility with linebacker being the most likely. Spond is a pure athlete and it will be hard to keep him off of the field, but he will have to learn the position that he finally settles into. Spond could redshirt, or he could play on special teams.
Brawling Hibernian: (Australia) Is it a country? Is it a continent? Well, it’s both and it’s awesome. Let’s face it, beer, sharks and kangaroos make for a pretty amazing combination. Similarly, any player who’s versatile enough to play no less than three different positions on both sides of the ball is alright by me.
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Subway Domer:Austin was the first commit for the new Irish head coach, Brian Kelly. Kelly recruited and offered Austin while still at Cincinnati and Austin was the first player to receive an offer from Kelly at Notre Dame. Austin is, of course, the son of former NFL player Chris Collinsworth. But don't hold that against him. Austin turned down offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, Stanford, and Oregon.
I have Austin listed as an athlete. Some think he will play WR, some think his future will be at safety. I think we should all know our role and wait and see what happens. I have talked to quite a few people that have seen Collinsworth's games live or on TV and ALL of them have said what a great player he was (most are not ND fans). Wherever Austin ends up at, I think a redshirt year is probably in order- but as the theme this year... special teams could be an option.
Brawling Hibernian: (Egypt) It can be tough living up to expectations of the past. Just ask Egypt. Thousands of years after the building of the pyramids and the last Yul Brynner-looking pharaoh, it’s that ancient civilization people think about when the name is mentioned. Sadly, that’s also the case for Austin Collinsworth. Given his last name, it’s only natural people think about his dad, Cris. Like modern Egypt, though, Collinsworth has a chance to make his own name (but, hopefully not by launching badly conceived invasions of neighbors).
Subway Domer:An interesting prospect is Tate Nichols. Tate was committed to Stanford while holding offers from in-state powers Kentucky and Louisville, and he was offered by Kelly while at Cincinnati. Everyone was recruiting him at offensive tackle as opposed th tight end (which he played in high school). Tate eventually decommitted from Stanford and committed to Notre Dame.
Nichols is part of a larger philosophy from Brian Kelly. Get athletes and mold them to you needs. Basically. Tight ends are excellent candidates to slide down one spot as they are just as big and have better feet. Tate is more than likely going to take a redshirt year this year as he needs time to develop into his new position. Consider that a really good thing.
Brawling Hibernian: (Colombia) Back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, the name Colombia evoked images of drugs, violence, violence from drugs, drug-fueled violence and, of course, violent, drug-fueled violence. Today, though, Colombia is a nation on the rise. A solid effort by the government to root out the drug lords has resulted in a burgeoning economy not totally dependent on booger sugar. In other words, much like Tate Nichols, Colombia is a project, but one with a lot of upside. While Nichols is moving from tight end to o-line, his size and dexterity should make him great addition to the Irish and a much needed contributor to the future success of the line.
Mount Dora, Florida
Subway Domer:Bruce Heggie will probably go down as the most controversial commitment of the 2010 class. Not because he is a bad kid, or anything of the sort- but because of his recruitment. He literally had zero Div 1-A offers. Zero. Than something amazing happened to Bruce... Notre Dame offered him a chance. Some irish fans were a little zealous in their comments about offering such a low rated prospect. Good for him, I say- and now a large contingent of fans as well.
Given the nature of his recruitment and the need to develop "Heggie Bear," he's going to redshirt. In fact, he may not see the field until his true Junior year- you never know. What Bruce brings right away, is another big frame body to the defensive line and a capable "project" that could just turn out to be a rockstar ending (minus the pornstar affair and cocaine addiction).
Brawling Hibernian: (Belgium) Quick, name all the things Belgium is known for – beer, chocolate, waffles, action stars named Jean-Claude All that’s very nice, but let’s face it, they’re not a world power. Still, for some reason, the EU has decided to make Brussels its capital. Heggie’s in the same boat. No other FBS school offered him a scholarship, and yet, next year he’ll be on the roster of the most storied program in college football history.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Subway Domer:Moore was another of those mid-summer commitments that helped Irish fans in getting their hopes up for this 2010 class. Moore looked solid all the way through until, of course, Weis being fired. Rumors started flying around and next thing you know- Moore visited NC State. In the end, the in-home visit from Brian Kelly sealed the deal for Kendall and he solidified his previous commitment with Notre Dame. He turned down offers from all over the ACC and SEC.
As far as the depth chart goes, Moore will have to really excel early to crack the 2 deep, which probably won't happen. This isn't a knock on him, but rather a nod to the athletes already at Notre Dame. Moore could redshirt, but he may see some special teams as well. 2011 will remain tough as only Brian Smith is scheduled to leave. Moore creates solid depth, and in a few years he could really turn into a hell of a player- but it may take some time.
Brawling Hibernian: (Poland) “Did you hear the one about the Polish guy who…” Ha, ha, ha - douche. While the Poles have been the butt of an untold number of jokes throughout the years (chiefly aimed at their supposed intellectual ineptitude), the truth tells a different story. To begin with, the Polish people have contributed geniuses like Copernicus and Marie Curie to the world. More importantly, for our purposes, they also have a completely lethal military (and especially, special forces) capable of making Poland’s enemies sob like bitches. Kendall Moore is similarly deadly. A big hitter with size; Moore will be a run-stopper extraordinaire for ND in the coming years.
WHEW!!! What a mouthful. Here are the final Team rankings by the major recruiting services:
- Rivals: #14
- Scout: #19
- ESPNU: #21
- MaxPreps: #7
It all averages out to around a #15 ranking which seems about right. A special thanks goes out to Mark from A Stern Warning for providing the badass banner at the top of the post.