IrishEyes.com continues its signing day coverage with a look at one of the most versatile two-way players in its 2012 class.
Nick Baratti (Safety – 6'2" 215 pounds):
Baratti, who reportedly reached 225 pounds during his senior season at Klein Oak, is Scout.com's 17th-ranked middle linebacker though he appears slated for safety and/or OLB duty in Bob Diaco's defensive scheme…A high school quarterback and do-everything athlete, Baratti should possess awareness of passing schemes and coverage from the outset…A true "Big Skill" recruit who could fill a number of roles for head coach Brian Kelly over the next four years…Much like 2010 recruits Bennett Jackson
and Austin Collinsworth
, expect a Week One debut by Baratti as a special teams performer next September…One of the top two Irish defenders who'll likely outplay his three-star ranking over the next four seasons, Baratti is a rugged football player by any measure.
Kelly Recruiting Profile: Big Skill
*Veterans returning at Safety: 5th-year Jamoris Slaughter; senior Zeke Motta; junior Austin Collinsworth; redshirt-freshmen Chris Badger (2010 class) and Eilar Hardy. Potential 5th-year senior Dan McCarthy could return to the Irish for 2012 as well.
*Veterans returning at Dog LB: 5th-year safety Jamoris Slaughter; Juniors Prince Shembo and Danny Spond; sophomore Troy Niklas; redshirt-freshman Ben Councell.
*Veterans returning at ILB: Senior Manti Te'o; redshirt-juniors Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese; redshirt-sophomores Kendall Moore and Justin Utupo; redshirt-freshmen Jarrett Grace and Anthony Rabasa.
(*denotes eligibility entering 2012)
Fellow incoming safety prospects: John Turner, Elijah Shumate, and C.J. Prosise
Berk on Baratti: Is he an outside linebacker or safety? Either way the thing that is easy to see is Baratti is a football player with size, speed and strength. A high school quarterback, the Texas native has the ability to contribute early on special teams and fight for serious playing time early in his career.
Dohn on Baratti: Safety or linebacker? Baratti can do either, and may do both as he plays a hybrid role. He is hard-nosed and plays fast and physical. He will enter Notre Dame as a safety, but could move to linebacker.
Dohn's recent interview with Baratti
IE Breakdown: Nick Baratti
Senior Highlights: Nick Baratti
All on Nick Baratti (A collection of video is available at the bottom of the page.)