Here are a few quick hits on the Irish recruiting front to think about as we get closer to the spring game and Irish coaches hitting the road on Monday.
Key Position Running Back
Make no mistake running back is a key position in the Class of 2012 and the top back on the Irish radar is Raleigh (NC) Millbrook High School back Keith Marshall. Irish coaches had hoped Marshall would be on campus this weekend but those plans look to fallen through. However, look for the Irish to put on a full court press when they hit the road hoping to show Marshall they have an offense he can excel in at the college level.
No matter how well the Irish coaches do when they visit Marshall, do not expect his recruiting to take a quick turn and end. This is one that looks as if it could go all the way to signing day. Will the Irish wait on Marshall? Right now it looks as if they feel he has the tools they are willing to wait for.
Maty Mauk Campus Visit
Yes, Maty Mauk (Kenton, Ohio) made it to South Bend after missing a few other planned trips to the Notre Dame campus. From all reports Mauk had a great visit and both he and his father were impressed with what they saw from the Irish practice they viewed. However, there was no commitment and both Mauk's did not return phone calls on Monday to Irish Eyes.
Several close sources feel Maty favors the Irish with his mother wanting him to take a few more looks before making any decision. The clock is ticking and Maty knows his time to pledge Irish could be running out.
Gunner Kiel Tough to Contact
The other quarterback in the Irish recruiting derby is Gunner Kiel who made his visit to campus a few weeks ago. Sources have told Irish Eyes the Columbus (IN) East signal caller was impressed with his Irish visit. However, Kiel continues to check out other programs while keeping a low profile with reporters and college coaches about his thoughts.
Next Man In?
This weekend Spring (TX) Klein Oak High School product Nick Baratti is set to make a return visit to campus with family members. Many feel this will set the stage for Baratti to end his recruitment and be the next pledge for Brian Kelly and the Class of 2012.
Look for Baratti to be paying a lot of attention to what he views on the field as Irish safety coach Chuck Martin works with his guys. If Baratti likes what he sees, a pledge could come before leaving campus.
This will be one of the stories to watch unfold this weekend following the spring game.
May Not Have Time to Wait On Irish
One player who was hoping to get an offer from Notre Dame is Centerville (Ohio) offensive guard Benny McGowan. With three guards already offered, McGowan knows any chance of the Irish offering would have to come in time.
This weekend the 6-foot-4, 285-pound McGowan picked up an offer from Iowa. However, he also learned the school he might be favoring at this time, Michigan State, may be close to finishing their guard recruiting having offered another Ohio prospect in Zach Higgins.
Sad News for One Prospect
Irish Eyes sends its thoughts and prayers to Kent (Ohio) Roosevelt High School offensive lineman Ryan Anderson. Notre Dame was taking a look at the fast rising offensive lineman who has been impressive in some recent combines.
Irish Eyes has learned Anderson has been diagnosed with cancer in his leg with chemo and surgery in his future.
Hoke & Wolverines Pulling Offers
One bit of news that has several college coaches scratching their heads is the recent news Michigan has pulled scholarship offers from two prospects from Northeast Ohio.
Brady Hoke, who hails from Kettering, Ohio was making some noise in Ohio since taking over at Michigan with several early offers.
Michigan offered Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward Division I State Champion defensive tackle Greg Kuhar and tight end Sam Grant in February and many felt both players could be early pledges for the Wolverines.
Grant, whose high school position coach played at Michigan may now be scratching his head on what is going on in a program many pundits believe will rebound with Hoke at the helm.