Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Cameron Roberson Is Irish

September 8, 2009

I have been running behind all week. Cameron Roberson is Irish. Here is a good write up from Steve Wiltfong at Irish Sports Daily.

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Insert Clever Commitment Title For "Royal" Names Here

August 4, 2009


Yes. The Prince is coming. Four star outside linebacker / defensive end, Prince Shembo is committed to Notre Dame for the incoming class of 2010.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native is the 14th verbal commitment for the class of 2010. Shembo is considered as a hybrid player, but I really see him in a Darius Fleming mold.

ESPN has this evaluation of Prince:

Only time will tell if Shembo can become college football royalty, but the defensive prospect does display some good tools. His measureables on paper do not wow you, but the kid is a fairly-impressive looking athlete. He plays both linebacker and defensive end in high school and there is some merit to him being recruited for both those spots. He has solid size potential for linebacker, but we feel he will be a better fit as a defensive end in college. He may lack ideal size, but should have little problems handling the physical demands of the position with his thick build and he should be able to pack on more good bulk with time in a college weight program. At this point, the strength of his play is his ability to rush the passer. He gets off the ball well, but does need to work on being a little more consistent in his quickness off the ball. Does a good job of attacking the outside shoulder and can sink in a rip move and get the body lean to quickly turn the corner. He can be inconsistent with his hands, but flashes the ability to punch, get some push and knock the blocker out of his cylinder. Needs to keep working to use his weapons a little better, but has the ability to cause some problems off the edge. He is tough against the run and is an active defender. Displays the ability to come out of his stance low and win the leverage battle. He tends to attack with the shoulder and needs to work on using his hands to create separation, which will help him shed blocks more quickly. Takes good angles in pursuit and displays good speed, but does not flash a great closing burst to the ball and likely lacks the ideal range for him to play at linebacker in college. He is a solid wrap-up tackler, but can overrun the play at times. Shembo is a good prospect. Will likely see the field quicker as a pass-rusher, but has the ability to be a good well-rounded defender in college.

Shembo chose the Irish over a long list of schools that included; Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Welcome to ND Prince!!!

There is no Youtube of Prince- but Carolina is another story:

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Safety Speak

August 3, 2009

With the departures of Kyle McCarthy, Sergio Brown, and Ray Herring after this year, Notre Dame is in dire need of safeties for the 2010 class. Sean Parker has been tabbed as Notre Dame’s number one target the position for the 2010 class. Rivals got this interview with him:

AMP: Sean Parker talks recruiting @ Rivals Video

Lo Wood Highlights

July 18, 2009

Highlight video of Lo Wood.

Lo Wood has it covered @ Rivals Video

Spencer Boyd Commitment Video

July 18, 2009
Boyd talks Irish commitment @ Rivals Video

All A Boyd!

July 17, 2009


There wasn’t much suspense to this recruitment. Spencer Boyd, a 5’10” 175 lbs. cornerback from Cape Coral Florida, is Irish. While Boyd was planning on a press conference to announce his college of choice- some people were too eager to stand pat. His father was the first to come out and say that ND was the school that Spencer was committed to, and then his high school coach told Cape-Coral-Daily-Breeze.com that he spoke with Boyd and Spencer said he was Irish.

So I’m pretty confident that I can write about his commitment 12 hours before he does so verbally/publicly.

Boyd is the 13th verbal commitment for the Fighting Irish’s incoming class of 2010. He is the second cornerback to have committed in this class after friend, Lo Wood, gave ND his pledge three weeks ago. In a class that has room for 3 corners, this commitment starts to really put some pressure on two other Irish prospects in Joshua Shaw and Cody Riggs. Both Shaw and Riggs hold some top-notch offers and both are scheduled to officially visit ND in the fall. (With Shaw’s size, he could be used as a safety as well).

Notre Dame is locking down some serious depth at cornerback. This is refreshing considering the lack of depth that ND had for about 4 years. Depth allows for competition, which allows for the best player playing, which allows for development and possibly an extra year of eligibility for those on the bottom end of the chart, which allows for depth. It’s an awesome circle, that allows programs to become very good for longer periods of time. WOO-HOO!

Welcome to ND Spencer!!!

ESPN evaluation of Spencer Boyd:

A natural athlete with good speed and ball skills, Boyd could likely get recruited on either side of the ball at the next level. Lean, rangy frame and will need to add size. Has longer arms for pressing and he utilizes them well extending to make plays in deep coverage as a defensive back. Knows how to position himself properly between the ball and the receiver. Shows good recovery quickness and burst. Soundly anticipates the throw and reads the quarterback. Breaks on the pass in front of him with good closing speed and direct angles to the ball. Good acceleration and makeup speed. Will stick you as a tackler and drive his hips through. Really has good form, particularly as an openfield tackler. Aggressive and has experience making reads down in the box. However, pedal is very high hindering transitional quickness and we did not see good cover corner technique on film. Can struggle getting off the stalk block when filling on run support and does not bring much explosiveness to the point of attack. Good ball-hawker and strong solo tackler who make a reliable last line of defense but he could struggle playing down in the box if employed at strong. Needs to work on filling out his narrow base and improving upper-body strength. Quick, smooth, fluid and fast with the ball in hands as a running back and return specialist adding to his upside. As a running back, he is very slippery to wrap up when he picks and slides his way through traffic showing very good vision, balance, hips and elusiveness. Gears down very little cutting laterally. Flashes a good downhill burst as well and his ability generate speed and momentum quickly through the hole allows him to break his fair share of initial contact. Does lack great in-line power at this time though and we question his in-line durability if asked to carry the load. Boyd projects more as a great change-of-pace, multi-purpose back in the spread with his great receiving skills, perimeter speed and ability run the zone effectively. A very good prospect who will add coveted versatility to the future roster he lands on.

Video of Boyd:

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Moore Than Meets The Eye

July 13, 2009


The Fighting Irish gained their 12th commitment for the incoming class of 2010 Saturday, when Kendall Moore announced his intentions of attending Notre Dame. The inside linebacker is the first linebacker to commit in this class and held offers from numerous schools of which North Carolina State and Florida State were the other top contenders.

ESPN has this evaluation of Moore:

Moore has good size and can flat out run, close and hit. His tools may project best in the short-area and he could get recruited to play either middle or strong side ‘backer. Has coveted versatility. Has adequate height with great thickness and bulk. Compact frame may have limited physical upside but already has the bulk and strength to make the jump to the next level. Does have longer arms for his height but we have yet to see him consistently uses them to shed. Flashes a good burst of speed for his size filling downhill. Mirrors well between the tackles with above average feet and smart reads. Shows good power and explosiveness at the point of attack but is most productive beating blockers to the hole. Good initial quicks coupled with his great size and relentless style makes him a disruptive blitzer. Makes a lot of plays inside out on the football. Takes very sharp, direct angles to the ball carrier when pursuing off-tackle. Demonstrates very good acceleration for his size chasing plays down to the sideline. Shows some wasted motion at times changing direction on his pursuit but masks it well with great recovery quickness and explosiveness in the short-area. Closes very hard in space generating very good velocity which leads to some impressive hits. Will surprise you with his fluidity, athleticism and awareness skills in coverage. Reads the quarterback well and sees underneath routes develop. Soundly anticipates the pass and breaks quickly on the throw. Plays fast between the white lines but we do question his sideline-to sideline range if employed on the outside; has better short-area speed and burst. Can overrun the play at times and struggle to recover sharply. Does not consistently wrap cleanly as a tackler. Needs to work on playing more under control and breaking down in space. Has some hip stiffness which could get exposed if employed on the outside. To play on the inside and remain productive we would like to see him improve his leverage and hand technique; can open up his whole body to the cutoff block. Overall, Moore has a good combination of size and range and the physical tools for a program to develop into a productive linebacker. Will most likely start off his career on the inside.

Some camp highlights from Rivals:

AMP: Kendall Moore camp highlights @ Rivals Video

Welcome to ND Kendall!!!

As you may have noticed, I’ve changed the way I am doing these “commitment profiles” lately. I am very excited about the individual commitments, but I have really become more interested on how the class is developing as a whole and how the roster breaks down. That is why with every one of these commitments , I include the eligibility chart and the State of Recruiting Map.

So Kendall’s commitment is very interesting. Three years ago, a 4 star linebacker giving his pledge to Notre Dame would have fans going apeshit. Things are a little different now- expectations for incoming freshman are becoming diminished- depth is increasing not just in numbers alone, but in quality as well.

Take the Mike backer position for example, which Moore is likely to play in South Bend. In 2010, Notre Dame will have Carlo Calabrese and Anthony McDonald on the depth chart, as well as possibly Te’o (he might be preaching in Guam by then), or even Brian Smith could be back at Mike during his senior year. The quality of the depth at all the linebacker positions has gone up dramatically in the last 3 years. This is good- very good. This allows for players to develop and improve with time and true competition at practice. Tenuta is licking his chops as wee speak. His mouth is foaming, as he thinks of his linebackers hitting others in practice.

So back to Moore… more of the same- really. This is a quality defensive player that should have Irish fans going apeshit over, because he helps seal the future of this program. Every recruiting class has its role and this 2010 class is certainly defining itself as the recruiting cycle continues. It is becoming the “Depth and Develop” class. Now if we could only add a few more offensive lineman- but that is for another time…

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A Reesonable Commitment

July 10, 2009


Just the other day, Notre Dame received its 11th verbal commitment for the incoming class of 2010. Illinois quarterback, Tommy Rees, impressed the Irish staff enough at a camp that he earned an offer- and he repayed that offer with a commitment.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

The first thing that jumps out about Rees is his release. In fact, we are surprised he has not received more attention due to his delivery alone at this stage. He is a prospect that coaches may look at and see an intriguing prospect three years down the road with upside and late bloomer potential. He has adequate-to-good size and the frame to continue to add bulk and strength. Plays in a version of the shotgun spread, but strictly as a passer with limited run snaps. He has quick feet and set up balance in the pocket. Stands tall and does an excellent job of keeping his eyes downfield and working through progressions. Feels the rush, will side step and buy himself a second chance to get the ball off and shows very good toughness in the face of pressure. Release mechanics are smooth and compact. Ball pops out and there is little wasted motion. He can beat the rush with his delivery and while he does not have an elite arm, his release can compensate somewhat. Arm strength is efficient and allows for him to make most, if not all the necessary throws when his feet are set. Rees’ overall accuracy is also an impressive trait. Throws a soft, catchable pass that rarely strays to far from the strike zone. Does a nice job of leading receivers to the open spot and shows the touch to drop the ball in over the top of coverage on downfield corner and fade routes. He is an adequate athlete for the position. Rees is extremely efficient in his methods and while he may not be in the elite category in terms of overall physical tools, he has a high ceiling for development and productivity and is the type of player we could see being a different player down the road than he is now. Good, under the radar prospect.

Fair enough. Notre Dame got its desired “2nd” quarterback for this class and it was the one that they wanted by proof of him being the only QB they offered after Hendrix committed. He wants competition to prove himself, and so does Hendrix. This could be a good fit for the both of them.

The last time Notre Dame took 2 QB’s was in the infamous 2006 class when they signed both Demetrius Jones and Zack Frazer. Neither prospect worked out, as Frazer gracefully transferred to UConn after sliding to 4th on the depth chart during the Spring of 2007- and Jones acted like a bitch and ended up at Cincinnati where he now finds himself as an outside linebacker.

Only time will tell if Rees and Hendrix will be able to coincide in 2010 and beyond with Clausen in his last year of eligibility, and Jimmy’s heir apparent, Dayne Crist having 3 years left. I have a gut feeling that the Irish staff and Coach Weis learned from the aforementioned mistake, and are doing their best to help both young recruits their future role as competitors.

Welcome to ND Tommy!!!

This commitment also sparked some big discussion across the message boards- What’s up with the 3 star players? Yes, Notre Dame is taking quite a bit of their share of 3 star prospects early in this class. The breakdown of “stars” is as follows:

Rivals-

  • 7– 3 stars
  • 3– 4 stars
  • 1– 5 star

Scout-

  • 5– 3 stars
  • 5– 4 stars
  • 1– 5 star

There is a two player difference as far as the tally is concerned in the numbers of stars. Lombard, Smith, and Jackson are all rated as 4 star players on Scout as opposed to their 3 star ranking on Rivals. Hendrix is listed as a 4 star prospect on Rivals as opposed to the 3 star ranking he received on Scout. There could be another difference on Saturday as North Carolina linebacker, Kendall Moore, is expected to commit to Notre Dame. Moore is a Rivals 4 star and a Scout 3 star. So the tally could be 1-4-7 for Rivals and 1-5-6 for Scout.

Get all that?

Look, forget the star rankings for a moment and look at who has been offered and by whom else- as well as the future depth chart and what role these players will play not just in their freshman seasons, but throughout their career. A 3 star player can develop , just as a 5 star player can become a bust. These are guys that Weis has offered and offered before their senior year, so I think that should be a good omen for all to relate to. Also, some of these 3 stars could very well earn an extra star by having outstanding senior seasons.

And while I’m feeling optimistic, there are a large number of prospects that ND is still recruiting that are rated very highly, and the Irish are in very good shape with those players as well. Throw names like; Anthony Barr, Justin McCay, Cameron Roberson, Sean Parker, and a few others into the commitment list and you have a top 10 class. Signing top 10 classes on a consistent basis, allows you to compete for championships. There is a long time between now and signing day- so just relax there Bianca Bitchalot.

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The Two Ute’s- Well, One Utupo Is Irish

July 6, 2009


Notre Dame just picked up it’s 10th commit for 2010, 3 star defensive end Justin Utupo. I know next to nothing about Justin, but I do know that he is the 3rd defensive end in this class and that should seal the fate of Chance Carter going elsewhere.

Here is the ESPN evaluation:

Utopo is an active defender. He plays a little out of position in high school as a defensive tackle, but we feel he will make the move to defensive end in college. He has solid size though he looks as if he may not be as big as listed. He has a good get-off and plays with a good motor. He can be a physical kid at the point of attack. Displays the ability to come off the ball with good pad level and shoot his hands and be able to take on a block and even at times knock the blocker back. He will use his hands to shed and make a play on the ball. Does a good job of being able to get to the shoulder of the blocker and get in the gap. Does a good job of being able to stay square and keep himself in a position to make a play. He displays good speed and short-area change-of direction skills. He will leave his feet at times, but for the most part is a physical wrap-up tackler. As a pass rusher he can create some push and work off the block. Utopo combines some ability with effort and can be productive. Defensive end will likely be his better fit in college, but depending on how he physically develops he could be a swing guy as he shows he can play inside also.

Welcome to ND Justin!!!

Everything I know about Utupo I learned from Youtube:

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Badger Is Irish… Recognizes Harbaugh Is A Tool

June 29, 2009


The Fighting Irish are on a roll with commitments as off late. They got their 4th commit in 5 days when 3 star safety, Chris Badger committed to Notre Dame. Badger is a big hitter and will definatly play more of a strong safety role that rolls up on run support.

Badger was a verbal commitment to Stanford and Jim Harbaugh up until now. Harbaugh may be crazy as bat shit, but he is becoming a thorn in the side of Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts. The Irish may still get another “flip” from Stanford before this is all over with.

Chris is the first safety to commit for the class of 2010. Notre Dame would like to take no less than 2 safeties, but will probably take 3 or even 4.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

This guy is one tough nut. He has good size and for the secondary and really stands out at the safety position. Very instinctive and is a quick reactor to both the run and the pass. Attacks downhill on run support and takes great angles to the football; rarely is out of position. A sure reliable tackler attacking from the inside out and in the openfield. Especially impressive defending the sweep and option before the ball can break the perimeter. A physical hitter that makes a ton of face up tackles; absolutely doesn’t shy away from contact. Tackles from low to high and explodes through the ball carrier. Intelligent safety that understands and reads route progression; knows when to jump the route. Transitions well and gets a great break on the ball. Excellent ball skills and times the interception to perfection; knows exactly when to go up for the ball. Soft and confident hands that gets north and south instantly after the interception. Goes up in a crowd and high points the ball. Fluid in the hips and can change direction without losing speed or balance. Very solid zone coverage safety from both the two and three deep. Quicker than fast but runs well and has a burst out of his break. Shows some limitations in one-on-one coverage when in man. Badger is an outstanding run support safety and possesses all the skills to be a very good free safety at the next level as well as a special teams standout.

Here’s a nice video of Badger laying dudes out:

Welcome to Notre Dame Chris!!!

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