Which way is Roche leaning? U of L or Notre Dame?

<b>RECRUITING 2005</b> <b>Brian Roche</b> is in the process of weighing his options and choosing a college to attend next season. Notre Dame or Louisville? Academics or football? Both are questions the four-star prospect is trying to find an anwser right now. Don Bosco assistant Ty Caldwell provides insight into the decision Roche and his family are about to make.

Brian Roche is in the process of weighing his options and choosing a college to attend next season. Notre Dame or Louisville? Academics or football? Both are questions the four-star prospect is trying to find an anwser right now.

Rated the nation's No. 25 offensive line prospect by Scout.com, Roche didn't start playing football until his junior season at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, New Jersey. But he came out of the gates blazing-hot, earning First Team All-State honors following an excellent junior season.

Now, after just two short years of high school experience, Roche is one of the hottest unsigned offensive tackle prospects in the nation. He's already turned down offers from Florida, North Carolina State and Michigan State.

And at 3:30 EST this Wednesday, the 6 foot 5, 280-pound Roche will announce on College Sports Television whether he'll play in South Bend or Louisville next season.

So why are Notre Dame and Louisville battling it out until the final moments for Roche's services? "He's the type of kid you win with," explains Bosco assistant coach Tyrone Caldwell said.

Besides coaching Roche the past two years at Bosco, Caldwell has also served as an advisor to the prospect and his family during the recruiting process. The uncle of Louisville commit Darius Mann, Caldwell is in a unique position to provide insight into the decision Roche and his parents are currently in the process of making.

"With Brian's situation, it's come down to Notre Dame and Louisville," Caldwell said Monday night on Xtra Sports 790's Inside The Ville radio program. "They've survived the cut - so to speak."

Notre Dame's appeal to Roche should appear obvious. "It's the academics and life options [they provide]," said Caldwell.

However, according to Caldwell, if Roche factor's football more heavily into his decision than he does the academic side of the equation, it appears Bobby Petrino and Louisville will win out.

"Louisville has more check marks on the football side of the equation than Notre Dame right now," Caldwell said. "And they also offer good academics."

Mann, a 6 foot 1, 185-pound defensive back who was the first player to commit to Louisville this year, could also play a role in Roche's ultimate decision. Considered one of the nation's top safety prospects, Notre Dame made a strong push late in the recruiting process to sway Mann from his commitment to Louisville after New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weiss became the Irish coach. However, Mann held firm and turned down Notre Dame's advances.

"He never wavered or considered breaking his commitment," Caldwell said. "He understands the importance of being loyal and honoring his commitment."

And when Roche announces his decision to attend either Louisville or Notre Dame Wednesday afternoon before CSTV cameras, Mann will be by his friend and teammate's side. "Darius will be holding up the jersey of the school Brian will attend when he announces his decision," said Caldwell.

Whether or not that bodes well for Louisville remains to be seen. One thing appears certain, though. The jersey Mann holds up for Roche will be either green or red.


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