While many Irish fans get excited about quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, new Irish head coach Charlie Weis understands that it won't matter how many top skill players he signs if he doesn't have top linemen.
Offensive tackle prospect Jim Hart is just what the doctor ordered and is already becoming a top name in this early recruiting season.
"I don't have any offers yet but Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Auburn and Nebraska are the schools that have been recruiting me the hardest," said Hart.
Growing up in Arkansas, it's hard to be anything but a Razorback fan according to Hart.
"I am a razorback fan," Hart said. "I've been to Razorback camp with coach Nutt, and I'd say I like them quite a bit. But I'm really pretty open to anyone right now. I'm interested in any team that's interested in me right now."
A lot of juniors will be attending junior days in the near future. We asked Hart if he had any plans to attend junior days or camps.
"I think I'll probably wait until my visits," Hart said. "I've been to a bunch of combines already. I went to the Arkansas combine last year, and I just went to the Army combine, but I don't think I'll attend any camps."
We asked Hart if he had a list of some top schools early in the process.
"I'd say Arkansas, Auburn and Notre Dame probably," he said. "I'm pretty much open after that."
Do the Irish have a real chance in this race?
"I like Notre Dame quite a bit," Hart said. "I'm Catholic so that obviously helps. I've always liked them. I have some family in the area and they speak very highly of the school."
The Pocahontas, Ark. native says he plans to to look around before making any decision.
"I plan to take at least a couple of my visits," he said. "I want to take my time before I make my decision so I know I'm making the right decision."
Hart also says he knows what he'll be looking for on his official visits.
"I'll be looking at the people," he said. "I want to see how diverse it is. I think a good community will be important to me--how well I fit in with the players."
Comments: Hart said he currently carries a 3.0 core g.p.a. and plans to take his test very soon. The Razorbacks are clearly the team to beat in this race, but the Irish should have a shot at him in the end. He should be a top player when all is said and done.