Watching defensive back coach Trent Walters coach is truly a clinic in coaching. Watching the results in 2002 was also quite a pleasure. Walters is a teacher just as much as a coach. He demands perfection and stops play to correct any mistakes. His personal touch and attention to detail is impressive. His results have been outstanding if not very unlikely.
Walters took the weakness of the defense and turned his unit into one of the strengths of the team. What he did in one year is remarkable and worth mentioning.
Walters has had a very long and distinguished career in coaching including many years with the Minnesota Vikings as an assistant under Dennie Green. He knows the NFL game and what it takes to play at that level. His expertise in coaching defensive backs at the NFL level and his years in coaching in the NFL should be very attractive to any defensive back that wants to move on to the next level.
The important thing to remember about Walters is that he knows talent and has coached more talented players for many years. When Trent Walters wants a player to become a member of his unit, one should trust his judgment because the results are hard to argue with. Walters will likely be sending many of these prospects to the NFL in the near future.
The next question to answer is who does Walters really want to be part of his secondary? This list is not complete by any means but these are the known players who have been offered a scholarship by Notre Dame. More names will likely be added and some might be removed. As of now, here is the most-wanted list.
Name a defensive back coach who wouldn't want a 5-11, 185-pound prospect with legitimate 4.3 speed? Terrail Lambert is such a guy and has been offered by Notre Dame. The Ventura, CA prospect has listed the Irish in his top five.
Lambert recently told Insiders expert Chris Fetters ""USC, Notre Dame, Northwestern, San Diego State, Washington and Florida State recruiting the hardest right now. I know I would like to travel and see what every school has to offer," he said. I do know that the majority of schools I'll be visiting will be out of state. I can say that." Hopefully the Irish will get a visit from this great prospect.
Another top prospect is corner prospect Chris Gorham. The 6-0, 175-pound Pottstown, PA native has been offered and recently attended Notre Dame camp. Gorham seemed very impressed with Notre Dame. "I loved it, it was great. You can just feel the tradition when you are there. I felt really comfortable there so I felt real good about Notre Dame. My parents and I got to speak with Coach Willingham for about an hour and a half. He is a real down-to-earth guy. I feel like I can trust him and he is a great man. I guess the word is integrity."
The Irish and the Cavaliers seem to be the two teams to beat. When asked about his favorites, Gorham told Irish Eyes this. "Notre Dame and Virginia. Georgia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina are also right there. I will wait and see if other teams offer me." Gorham is a top prospect and the battle with Virginia will go down to the wire.
A safety prospect the Irish appear very interested in is Pittsburgh, PA prospect Devon Lyons. The 6-3, 205-pound Lyons has over 23 offers including schools like Miami, Penn State and Ohio State and has an offer from Notre Dame.
Lyons recently visited the Notre Dame campus and came away impressed. "It was real nice. I liked the campus a lot. I got to meet all the coaches and they were great guys. Notre Dame is in my top three right now." Expect Lyons to visit Notre Dame.
Corner prospect Rod Council also appears very interested in Notre Dame. The Charlotte, NC prospect has some offers including offers from Michigan and Notre Dame. The 5-11, 175-pound Council has seen his stock soar since May and more offers are likely on the way.
Council seems very interested in Notre Dame. "I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame. My coach and I talk about them all the time and that I need to look into them. I like their tradition and their academics." Council has listed the Irish in his top 5 consistently and tried to make it to Notre Dame camp but couldn't make it. Look for him to visit Notre Dame in the future.
The Irish were able to lure another top prospect to their camp this summer. Safety prospect Nate Lyles attended Notre Dame camp and was offered shortly after camp. The 6-0, 190-pound Chicago native might be a target at corner as well.
The coaching staff appeared to be the highlight of camp for Lyles. I was very impressed with the coaching staff. They are very down to earth and seem very honest with you. I liked talking with all of them."
While some schools like Lyles as a safety, it appears the Irish will look at him at corner. "They really wanted to see me play because they didn't have much film to evaluate me. They said I really impressed them when I worked out and they were going to recruit me as a cornerback."
Another hot corner prospect is D.J. Davis. The 6-0, 190-pound Forth Worth, TX native has over 15 offers from some of the top programs in the country including Notre Dame.
Davis admits that he doesn't know a lot about Notre Dame but he is interested. "I talked to Coach Mattison. He is a great guy. It was very exciting to get an offer from Notre Dame. They are a big-time program and for them to show interest in me was exciting. I don't know much about Notre Dame. I'm going to call Coach Mattison on the phone and have him send me a book to find out more about them. I know about their tradition but I don't know much about the school. I know it's a great school but I don't know much else about it. I'm really interested to find out a lot more about Notre Dame."
A few more prospects to keep an eye on are Omaha, NE native Cortney Grixby, Birmingham, AL native Simeon Castille and Tuscaloosa, AL native Travis Robinson. All three appear to be top prospects without the official offer but have an interest in Notre Dame. Robinson is very interested in Notre Dame and could be a guy to keep an eye on.
Expect more names to surface as always but the Irish appear to be in line for a great class of defensive backs. All these players were targeted early by the Notre Dame staff and the Irish are in the hunt for many of these top prospects. The coaching expertise of Trent Walters should gain their interest because he has done wonders with the secondary in just one year of work.