Eddie Vanderdoes (Defensive Tackle, 6'3" 303 pounds)Notre Dame's final addition to its 24-player, top tier recruiting class fills a major position of need for 2014-15 and '16, with a chance to make an impact on the field as a true freshman as well.
Veterans returning on the Defensive Line: Senior Kona Schwenke, senior Louis Nix (2), junior Stephon Tuitt (2), redshirt-sophomores Chase Hounshell (3) and Tony Springmann (3), sophomore Sheldon Day (3), redshirt-freshman Jarron Jones (4).
Berk on Vanderdoes: Player built with great physical size and extremely quick first step. Solid in stopping the run but excels as a pass rusher with his ability to dip the shoulder while not losing balance, punch or quickness. Has skill set to compete early in his Irish career.
Dohn on Vanderdoes: There's a reason Vanderdoes is a five-star prospect and theNo. 2 defensive tackle in the nation. He is explosive and a true run stopper. He is strong and plays with a low center of gravity, and can also get to the quarterback. He has several moves and also can use a bull-rush, but he does needs to work on his ability to change direction.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingThe missing piece.
In a two-year recruiting cycle between 2007 and 2008, Notre Dame brought in a quartet of first and second round skill position players: QB Jimmy Clausen, WRs Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, and TE Kyle Rudolph.
In three seasons together, they beat as many teams ranked among the nation's top 25 as did you or I.
Games are won in the trenches with blocking and tackling. And blocking and tackling is made much easier for the entire defense when a rock exists in the middle, one taking on consistent double teams in order to keep said rock from destroying the quarterback or ball carrier in the pocket.
That's what senior nose guard Louis Nix brought to Notre Dame last year. Its what 5th-year senior Kapron Lewis-Moore became late, and its what current junior Stephon Tuitt was often last fall and its expected more so in the next.
And that's what FOX Sports NEXT's No. 2 ranked defensive tackle prospect Eddie Vanderdoes is expected to be for Kelly's Irish over the next four seasons.
In 2013, Vanderdoes will have a chance to breech the team's already strong two-deep. At worst it appears he'll turn an accepted six-man rotation of returning veterans into the program's deepest in decades.
And by 2014, a starting job is available to be won.
Vanderdoes joins OLB Jaylon Smith as the most important pieces in Kelly's third recruiting haul to South Bend.