Shawn Oatis is becoming one of the top targets in California. "I rushed for 1,300 yards on 250 carries I think. 220 or 250, I can't remember," said Oatis of his junior season stats. "I also had 75 tackles, two interceptions and two caused fumbles."
Plenty of schools are after Oatis so far. "UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon State, Oregon, Northwestern, BYU and Notre Dame have offered me," Oatis said.
The Irish have offered in writing according to Oatis. "At first I talked to them (Notre Dame)on the phone and they offered me there," he said. "Then, about two days later, the Fed Ex came with the official offer in writing."
Oatis says he keeps in touch with defensive coordinator Kent Baer often. "I spoke to him in May and I got to speak to a bunch of the defensive coaches just to get a feeling for how they were. I e-mail with coach Baer all the time. We keep in touch frequently."
Is Oatis interested in Notre Dame? "Oh yeah, them and Ohio State are my top two. I like Notre Dame a lot. It's a great school with a great tradition."
The Chino native says he's not attending any camps this summer. "I won't go to any camps," he said. "I might take a few unofficial visits to some of the schools here locally, but that will be about it. I plan to be in the weight room getting ready for my season."
An early decision could be in the makings for Oatis. "I'd like to make my decision some time during my season--probably 4-5 weeks into it. That will give me time to take my visits and then I can decide. Education will be real important to me. I have a 4.1 right now so education has always been very important to me.
"It's a big decision. The coaching staff will be important. I don't want to get there and then have a new coaching staff come in. The depth chart will also be important. I don't want to have to go through a whole bunch of safeties to get on the field."
We asked Oatis if leaving California would be a problem. "No, distance is not going to be a problem--weather won't be a problem," said Oatis.
Comments: We've seen film of Oatis and we are very impressed. He's a hard-hitting safety that likes to light people up. He also impressed us as a running back, and might get a serious look there. He's one heck of an athlete and we expect many schools to get involved. He's just a real natural and the first thing you think of is football player when watching him on film. The Irish appear very much in the race for his signature. It's early though and we expect a lot of the top schools in the country to recruit Oatis.