While Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish are getting ready to battle Miami in the Sun Bowl, the past couple of weeks have seen assistant coaches hitting the recruiting trail putting the final additions on the Class of 2011, while getting first and sometimes second contacts with members of the Class of 2012.
Here are five key players to watch from Ohio the Irish are showing early interest in.
OT – Taylor Decker – Vandalia Butler High School
The 6-foot-8, 268-pound true tackle prospect has the Irish high on his list and the Irish feel the same. While Decker needs to continue to get bigger, his upside is so big especially in Brian Kelly's offense, the Irish made it a point to visit Butler the other week. Look for a verbal offer to come sooner than later, and Decker likely to be an early pledge.
DE: Adolphus Washington – Taft High School
Some have the two-sport standout penciled to Ohio State already. However, his father is looking hard at education and Washington has told several he is wide open to look outside of the state. Much like Decker, the Irish visited to watch the 6-foot-6, 240-pound during basketball practice the other week. A verbal offer could be coming soon, with Washington taking his time before making his commitment.
S: Bam Bradley – Trotwood-Madison High School
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bradley may outgrow the safety position at some point during his college career but the Irish are willing to give him his start at safety. Right now, the Irish are doing their due diligence with Bradley and will look to push forward after they finish the Class of 2011.
DE: Se'Von Pittman – Canton McKinley High School
Overshadowed by his teammate Steve Miller, Pittman is considered by many to be a better player than the Ohio State bound Miller. The Irish coaches have been in to see McKinley head coach Ron Johnson looking to get their hands on transcripts while talking about a verbal offer being on the table. Much like Washington, Pittman is a solid edge player with great upside.
OL: Kyle Kalis – St. Edward High School
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Kalis is a verbal pledge to Ohio State now, however, the Irish are not going to go away without putting up a fight. While many feel Kalis is a solid Buckeye pledge, others feel Notre Dame could be the only team capable of getting him to make a change.
OTHERS TO WATCH
QB: Maty Mauk – Kenton High School
WR: Monty Madaris – Moeller High School