CoachSpeak: Day Reminiscent of Sapp

Notre Dame picked up an enormous commitment Wednesday when five-star defensive tackle Sheldon Day of Warren Central High (Indianapolis) made his decision. So, what are the Irish getting in their 13th commitment in the 2012 class? Warren Central coach John Hart spoke to IrishEyes.com about it. He also discussed whether Day will enroll early.

During Wednesday's practice at Warren Central High (Indianapolis), running back and Cincinnati commit Deionte Buckley took a screen pass, turned up field ...and was chased down by a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive lineman.

That is the type of speed and athleticism Notre Dame picked up Wednesday when five-star Sheldon Day, Scout.com's No. 7-ranked defensive tackle in the 2012 class, committed to the Irish.

"He has that kind of explosiveness," Warren Central coach John Hart said. "He will remind people of (ex-NFL star) Warren Sapp. He's 6-foot-2, he has an unbelievable motor. You look at him and talk to him, and you think he's the nicest kid in the world. He has a 3.7 gpa. He's a great Christian kid. He's well grounded, takes AP classes. But his motor is non-stop.

"I remember Warren Sapp in his early college years, and on up, and you look at Warren Sapp and thought, ‘Man, that guy just has it.' I think that's what every college coach said with Sheldon. He's going to be a great leader wherever he goes. He's going to be a great player wherever he goes."

Hart isn't just throwing the praise around. He thinks that highly of Day, who will bring versatility to the Irish defensive front.

Although Day is projected as an interior player, the Irish plan to move him around to utilize his strength and speed.

"I think they have him playing that four-technique because of his speed and length," Hart said. "They feel he can play that tackle position. If I was guessing they will put him on the outside of the field a lot, and bring him inside a lot. He's so good with his hands. He can chase down about any cat in the business.

"I think some of the teams were talking about him being an edge player, too. They did that with people like Warren Sapp, just to give him single blocks. (Day) is a very difficult single block, even for our kids that went Division I."

The decision didn't come as a shock.

A month ago, Day dispelled a myth he already committed to the Irish, and IrishEyes.com had reported Notre Dame was in very good shape to land the in-state star. Day also made several trips to campus, and he came away very impressed each time.

Furthermore, the Irish coaching staff was pushing to land him, and had him slated as their top defensive tackle in the class.

"I've known for about a week he was really, really close," Hart said. "His mom has been very involved with (defensive line) coach (Mike) Elston, and the Notre Dame, and Sheldon felt like it was time. It just made sense all the way around."

With Day's decision made, his focus is turning to academics and the season. Day is on track to graduate in December and enroll at Notre Dame in January.

"He's working hard on that," Hart said. "That is his plan."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories