Irish Commits Taking a Wait and See Approach

The firing of Tyrone Willingham will send shockwaves around the college football community. The rumbling will also be felt for a number of high school football players already committed to Notre Dame for the 2005 recruiting class. We spoke with a number of current commitments to get their reactions to Willingham's firing.

"I was stunned when I found out. I'm really disappointed," said Marshall, Mich. Quarterback Evan Sharpely. "I just found out and haven't had time to think about what is going on."

Sharpley committed back in July and said he'll have to wait and see what happens in the future when asked about his commitment to Notre Dame.

"I love Notre Dame. It's a great place," Sharpley said. "I'll need to take a step back and think about things. Right now, I don't know what to think. I'm going to keep my options open."

Houston linebacker Kevin Washington was also shocked to hear the news.

"I'm shocked--really disappointed," said Washington. "I was really looking forward to playing for coach Willingham. I was really looking forward to playing for all the coaches."

Washington also said he'd have to look at possible options he might have.

"My parents and I just talked about that," said Washington of his commitment to Notre Dame. "We'll probably contact the schools who were interested in me before I committed to Notre Dame.

"I still want to play for them, but I don't know what the situation is, who the coaches will be, and if they still want me to play for them. So I'll talk to the other schools just to cover all the bases."

The worse news for Notre Dame came from Akron defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson.

"I'm definitely going to reconsider my commitment," said Wilson. "That was terrible what happened."

Wilson said he was excited to play for Willingham and the Irish coaching staff.

"I really liked coach Willingham," said Wilson. "I liked all the coaching staff. I really wanted to play for them."

The 6-5, 235-pound Wilson says he's no longer committed to Notre Dame.

"I'm definitely going to reopen my recruiting," Wilson said. "Notre Dame doesn't have a coach so I have to look at other options. I will listen to what the new coach has to say, but I'll look at all my other options."

Dayton, Ohio corner prospect Brandon Harrison said he was in school when he found out the news.

"I have a counselor that is a big Notre Dame fan," he said. "She came in and told me. I just went home. I didn't even finish school. I was shocked."

Harrison says he's going to wait and see what happens before he seriously considers other options.

"I want to wait and see what the new coach is all about," said Harrison. "I have other options and the other schools that were recruiting me still call. I just want to see what happens with the new coach. I was devastated when I heard the news."

Miamisburgh, Ohio defensive back David Bruton also said he's unsure of his future plans.

"I talked to Bernard Muir and he told me they were going to honor my scholarship," said Bruton of his plans. "I chose Notre Dame because it's Notre Dame, but I was also really comfortable with the coaches.

"I'll see what happens with the new staff and if I can relate to them—especially the defensive backs coach because I'll be spending a lot of time with him."

Irish Eyes will also call the remainder of the committed players tonight to get some reaction to the Willingham termination.


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