It's All Good for Atkinson

One the more dynamic athletes on in the Notre Dame recruiting class is George Atkinson from Granada High School (Livermore, Calif.) George has the potential to play on either side of the football at Notre Dame, but it is likely that Brian Kelly will utilize his talents on offense.

Right after the final game of the season the Notre Dame coaching staff fanned out across the country to check in on the committed recruits. One of the key members of Notre Dame's 2011 class is athlete George Atkinson.

"Coach Hinton and coach Alford came by the house and it went well," George said. "I hadn't had a chance to really get to know them other than when I was out there on my visit. It was nice to get them out here and really get to know them on the personal level. I liked them a lot.

"It was funny because they were kind of arguing about where I'd play. Coach Hinton said he could use me in the backfield and talked about how they'd get me the ball. Then coach Alford said that he needed me, and how he'd use me.

"Yeah, it was funny because they were arguing about where I should play," he said. "In the end, they said I could probably do both."

One of the main reasons for the Notre Dame coaches to meet with the recruits is to confirm their commitment.

"I'm solid…definitely," Atkinson said. "I can't wait to be a part of it. I see a definite change even with all the starters out. Coach Kelly is really pushing them in the right direction with all those big wins."

One of the wins that George was referring to was Notre Dame's 20-16 win over the USC Trojans. The win not only guaranteed a winning season for the Irish, but broke an 8-game losing streak to their long-time rival.

"It was huge. They played great," Atkinson said. ". On offense they made clutch plays when they needed to and overcame the turnovers, and stuck with it. That was good.

"It's surprising me how well their offense has been doing with all the major injuries that they've had. You look back and say, ‘not another one'. You kept wondering how they were going to do it. Surprisingly they went undefeated in November.

"They moved the ball around," he said. "I think that's good. I think I can help contribute with my speed. I can't wait to get up there and learn the offense as quick as possible, so I can see the field as quick as possible."

The win over USC had an added benefit for George as well. Leading up to the game against the Trojans, he had heard a lot of chatter from his teammates that are USC fans.

"Leading up to the game they were all you heard was, ‘Why you watching the game? You know you're going to lose anyway,' he explained. "I haven't had to say anything. They're in hush mode right now…nothing but crickets. I don't know about anyone else, but it's all good all good on my end,. They're on hush mode right now. They don't say anything else.

George finished the season with 172 carries for 1,669 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also added 27 receptions for 678 yards and six touchdowns. Top Stories