Lost between the firing of Tyrone Willingham and the hiring of Charlie Weis were a number of top prospects the Irish were recruiting. Key offensive line targets Dan Doering, A.J. Trump and Rafael Eubanks all appear to be headed to other schools. Notre Dame also lost their only cornerback commitment when Brandon Harrison chose Michigan over Iowa after de-committing from the Irish.
Players like Brian Cushing appeared to be finding more and more interest in the Irish as the days went by—at least that was until the Willingham firing.
The coaching change has come at a price, but that doesn't mean that the Irish can't salvage this recruiting class.
When Willingham took over for departing coach Bob Davie in early 2002; a number of new targets gave the Irish serious consideration that weren't previously considering Notre Dame. The Irish were able to steal prospects like Rhema McKnight and Mike Richardson, and plenty more names came back into the mix.
The time for new names is now.
During this dead period, a school can make one call per week to each prospect. We fully expect Weis (and hopefully some newly hired assistant coaches) to use this time wisely.
Weis and his staff can only call Lawrence Wilson once per week, so we do expect a lot of time to be spent on new names.
Can the Irish get back in on some past loves?
For the Irish to salvage this class, relationships will have to bud during this critical time in recruiting for Notre Dame. Other schools are likely worried about bowl opponents while the new Irish staff can use this critical time to introduce themselves to some of the top prospects in the nation.
Weis will likely hear a lot of "no" while making these critical phone calls, but if just a few say yes, it could go a long way to salvaging this very critical recruiting class.
If I'm Charlie Weis, I'm calling every top offensive line prospect and cornerback in the country right now looking for those few who might say yes.
For the life of me I cannot understand how Notre Dame cannot land a top cornerback in this class. Any top corner prospect in this country that's worthy of his accolades truly has a chance to come in a start next season. I've never seen a more golden opportunity at Notre Dame for any young player in my 10 years of covering the Irish. I don't think any top program in the country can offer this kind of opportunity.