Irish Coaches on the Road

The Notre Dame football team enters a much-needed off week this week. The staff will use this week to accomplish a couple of things. The Irish have problems on the field and will work during the week to fix them but also will use the weekend to scout football prospects. The Irish staff will hit the road to scout players they have offered and some that might be on the borderline of being offered. Let's take a quick look at recruiting.

Quarterback is a position where the Irish need to add some names. Brian Brohm has been offered but Brohm has said he wants to play early. With the emergence of Brady Quinn at quarterback, Brohm might have to wait a bit before he will get playing time. The Irish could have a difficult time luring Brohm away from teams that can offer early playing time.

The only other quarterback prospect with an offer is Rocky Hinds. Hinds tore and A.C.L. early this season and some question if that will limit his speed. Will the Irish continue to recruit Hinds? We believe they will.

After Hinds, the Irish don't appear to be recruiting anyone heavily at quarterback. Matt Tuiasosopo is a player the Irish have shown some interest but it's doubtful they can pull him away from Washington. Brent Schaeffer is another player interested but some questions remain if he can be admitted due to academics.

At running back, the Irish don't have a lot of offers on the table. They do have a commitment from Justin Hoskins but need another running back in this class. Darius Walker seems to be the most likely but has over 50 offers to choose from and recently told us he might not be visiting until late January. Can the Irish wait that long?

Charlie Jones has an offer but we would be very surprised if he signs with anyone but Miami. The Irish are recruiting a bigger back in Brannan Southerland. Southerland loved his official visit to Notre Dame on September 6th but has said he would prefer to stay closer to home. The Irish will likely battle Georgia for him.

We expect the staff to take a hard look at Samson Taylor and Chris Pressley this weekend. Maybe a few new names will pop up at running back.

Wide receiver is another position where the Irish could use more names. The Irish have offered Calvin Johnson, Doug Dutch, Adrian Arrington, Bobby McCoy and Xavier Carter. Johnson has said he like to stay close to home. Carter is a track star and it's doubtful he will sign. Dutch hasn't shown much interest in the Irish and has already schedule four out of his five official visits.

Arrington seemed excited about his offer from Notre Dame but hasn't scheduled an official visit yet. McCoy is rumored to be interested and might be setting up an official visit to Notre Dame soon. Another big name would be nice. As much as Notre Dame is throwing the football, you'd think more wide receivers might become interested.

The Irish already have a commitment at offensive line in Chauncey Incarnato. He's a big left tackle prospect and the Irish need tackles. Brandon Nicolas could be moved to offensive line but is considered a guard prospect if he does move from defensive line. The Irish need at least one more tackle prospect in this class.

John Kadous is rumored to be close to committing to Notre Dame after taking an unofficial visit for the Michigan State game. Kadous is considered a tackle prospect and would fill a need. Allen Smith is another tackle prospect that remains highly interested in Notre Dame. Smith claims he won't decide until signing day.

Tyrone Byrd took an unofficial visit all the way from Texas in the summer. He has said he will likely take an official visit but also says he won't take official visit until after his senior season. Jeff Byers is an interior offensive lineman that is considered the best offensive lineman in the country. Byers took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame over the summer but hasn't scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame yet. He's already visited Ohio State and Iowa officially. Byers says he won't be announcing his official visits until after he takes the visit so we might not know until after he takes a visit.

The Irish gambled and lost last year at offensive line. They needed four and landed two so offensive line is a high priority this year. Hopefully the staff will find some new names this weekend. They will need to land at least four in this class.

The Irish were going to pass on a tight end this year but with the transfer of Greg Olsen, the Irish might try to sign one. Zach Miller is a player they'd love to sign because he can play defensive end as well. The Irish originally offered him as a defensive end but are now recruiting him as a tight end. Miller has set one visit to Arizona State already. The Irish will try to get him to visit Notre Dame as well.

Another player the Irish are recruiting is Kellen Freeman-Davis. Freeman-Davis remains interested in Notre Dame but hasn't received an official offer yet. Michigan has offered and are considered his leader. He did take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on September 21st for the Michigan State game. The Irish will have to offer if they want to have a chance and might have by now.

The Irish have plenty of names at defensive line. Demario Pressley, Frank Okam, David Brown, Darryl Richard, Dwayne Hendricks, Phillip Mbakagu, Thomas Herring and Jeff Schweiger have all been offered.

The Irish have a commitment from Brandon Nicolas already but he could move to the offensive line. Pressley has scheduled a visit but questions remain if he will be admitted. Okam has said he will visit and is considered one of the top defensive lineman in the country. Darryl Richard seems very interested in Notre Dame. David Brown is also very interested in Notre Dame and plans to visit.

Mbakagu has scheduled an official visit. Schweiger and Herring have both said they would visit but taking either away from USC will be a challenge. Hendricks might visit but we aren't sure how interested he is in Notre Dame. The Irish will likely take three defensive line candidates this year. They could use more defensive end candidates on this list.

The Irish have two commitments at linebacker in Abdel Banda and Anthony Vernaglia. Vernaglia is considered a SAM prospect and Banda is considered a WILL prospect. Both would good catches for the Irish staff as both are considered excellent athletes with speed.

The Irish now need to find a middle linebacker. Jae Thaxton has said he will visit and would fit the bill. He's been offered but it might be difficult to take him away from the SEC. Brian Toal is another prospect who's been offered but is considered more of a WILL candidate. Toal is highly recruited and would be a steal if they landed him. Miami is the team to beat we believe.

Maurice Crum is another linebacker prospect the Irish have offered. Crum is a guy that most consider a WILL prospect. Crum is very interested in Notre Dame and the Irish have a good chance to sign him. He hasn't schedule a visit yet but we expect him to shortly.

The Irish will need to find more middle linebacker candidates to add to this list. They've done well so far with their two commitments and could take up to four when all is said and done.

Defensive back is another big need this year for the Irish. The Irish will lose Vontez Duff, Glenn Earl and Jason Beckstrom from their secondary so they will need to land a number of great prospects to fill their void.

Devon Lyons is a safety prospect with a lot of offers. He visited Notre Dame officially on September 21st and loved his visit. The Irish look good for him but he will still take visits. Chris Gorham and Rod Council are considered cornerback prospects and both visited the same weekend as Lyons. Both were very impressed with Notre Dame but will continue to take visits. Hopefully the Irish can land these three in the end.

Nate Lyles is another corner prospect who has been offered by Notre Dame. The Irish led large early but Lyles seems more open to other schools lately. We expect him to take an official visit and he has visited Notre Dame a number of times in the past. Can the Irish hang on for Lyles?

Texas prospect D.J. Davis seems very interested in Notre Dame but has had Penn State as his leader all along. Davis has set a visit to Happy Valley and also has a visit set for Notre Dame on November 1st. If Davis doesn't commit to Penn State before his visit to Notre Dame, the Irish might have a shot.

Courtney Grixby is another prospect the Irish seem to be recruiting heavily. He hasn't been offered yet but we expect him to be offered soon. Grixby's brother plays at Nebraska and stealing him from the Huskers could be difficult. Grixby remains open however and we think the Irish have a good chance to steal him from his home state.

The Irish staff will be out this week evaluating talent. Hopefully some new names will pop up after this week. The Irish will have to find more quarterbacks, offensive lineman, running backs, wide receivers and offensive linemen. They also need to find another prospect at middle linebacker and an extra corner and defensive end would be nice. Expect some new names to pop up soon.


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