The die-hard recruiting fans might not like the method but Tyrone Willingham's method to recruiting proved successful last year. The Irish staff didn't waste a lot of time recruiting players they couldn't get into school. They didn't make promises they couldn't keep and the Irish signed one of their top classes in recent memory.
The coaching staff will file into the Notre Dame football office with arms, bags and briefcases full of information and film. The next task at hand it to evaluate the top talent across the country, weed out those that can't be admitted and then focus on those top players they can get in and send out a few offers to these top prospects. The first present of recruiting is about to come.
Not everyone will agree on each player. The position coach will be consulted; the coordinator probably has the final say unless the big guy decides differently. Opinions on each player might differ as much as the recruiting experts differ on these top players. The key is to be right more often than not. What should we expect on offense?
So who will be offered? I can only give a few guesses at this point. I am going to guess that at least two to three more offensive linemen will be offered shortly. This is a need area for Notre Dame and I suspect quite a few will receive offers. The Irish cannot take a chance and come up short along the offensive line again. A large number could be offered because the Irish will need to land four players along the offensive line and at least two tackle prospects. I'm going to guess Jeff Byers receives an offer soon if he hasn't already.
I also think Irish fans will know who the top running back targets are very soon. Darius Walker has already been offered but I expect a few more to receive scholarship offers soon. I expect two or three more offers at the tailback position to come soon.
Quarterback has been a hot topic but I don't think this will be decided until after camp. The Irish will have many of their top targets at camp this year. Brian Brohm, Chase Patton, Bryan Savage, Drew Weatherford, Rocky Hinds, Mike Vlahogeorge and Sean Lewis have said that they will probably attend camp. I am going to guess the Irish will offer their top two quarterbacks sometime after summer camp.
Your guess is as good as mine with wide receiver. I would say this area is the cloudiest at this point. Hopefully some of the top targets will be interested in Notre Dame. Getting a commitment from a top quarterback early will help the Irish at this position. Expect a few offers to come soon at this position. Xavier Carter is rumored to have been offered already. He hasn't shown much interest lately. The Irish will have to find some top targets to offer. Chris Ogbonnaya might get an offer. Doug Dutch has quite a few offers from top schools already and has the grades. I expect a few new names to pop up very soon here.
I don't expect a tight end to be offered. I also don't expect the Irish to sign a tight end this year.
Irish fans are not the most patient fans in the world. Last year, the Irish offered about 20 kids after the May evaluation period. That number could increase with the need at offensive line.
All Irish fans need to do is watch the film of the last class to know that Willingham and his staff know what they are doing. I'm not sure they can have the same kind of success with the same formula but the plan worked well last year.
I expect the Irish to make some offers very soon and hopefully the reaction will be a very positive one. Just be patient and I think Irish fans will have something to get excited about.