Irish Down to Final Week of Recruiting

The final week of recruiting has arrived and the list of prospective recruits will start to dwindle. Which players are likely to sign with the Irish?

With not many prospects left on the board, we thought we'd give our readers our thoughts on which uncommitted players are most likely to sign with the Irish on February 2.

Offensive lineman Brian Roche will be in for an official visit this coming weekend. The 6-4, 300-pound Roche is an important recruit for Notre Dame. Roche has said that the Irish, Louisville, Florida and North Carolina State are still in the mix. We believe Roche's final decision will likely come down to Notre Dame and Louisville. With a good visit this weekend, we believe the Irish have a very good chance to land him.

Defensive end/tight end prospect Lawrence Wilson says he's down to Notre Dame and Ohio State. The Irish made a big impression with Wilson when they sent seven assistant coaches to see him and jumped back in the race. Both Ohio State and Notre Dame will have one last in-home visit to state their case this week. We think Notre Dame still has a good shot to land him.

Earl Bennett is a new name for Notre Dame fans. The 6-1, 200-pound Birmingham. Ala. native will visit Notre Dame this coming weekend. Bennett could end up playing either wide receiver or defensive back for the Irish. Bennett is looking at a number of schools after de-committing from Kentucky. If the Irish offer him this weekend, we believe he'll accept.

Defensive end/tight end Erik Lorig is also said to be visiting this weekend. Many think his decision will come down to USC and Cal. However, Lorig continues to be impressed by Irish head coach Charlie Weis. Can the Irish steal Lorig? It's possible, but most likely improbable at this point. Yet, he continues to be interested so you never know.

Brian Cushing is another name Irish fans get excited about. Cushing had planned on visiting Miami, Florida, Boston College and Virginia in the final two weeks of recruiting, and that is a lot of teams trying to get into the race not including Notre Dame. We don't feel good about Cushing. We just don't see him as strongly considering Notre Dame at this point.

Doug Worthington is another top prospect who has been flirting with the idea of visiting Notre Dame this weekend. We haven't confirmed yet that he will, but Worthington continues to say he's committed to Ohio State, and we believe that's where he'll end up on Feb 2. We don't think Notre Dame has much of a shot at landing Worthington.

Also out of the mix for Notre Dame, we believe, are running back R.J. Jackson and defensive back Reggie Smith. We don't believe either will visit Notre Dame this weekend.

One name to keep an eye on is Kenton Thornton. The 6-5, 225-pound Thornton plays wide receiver in high school, but many think he could end up at tight end in college. We believe the Irish would have to offer to have a shot at him visiting this final weekend, but that could happen at this point. Thornton is quite an athlete and would be hard to pass up. The Irish should have a good shot to get him to visit with an offer.

The numbers are getting lesser every day. Will Weis pull a rabbit out of his hat and land one of these unlikely recruits? Stay tuned….. Top Stories