PA Back is Irish

Tyrone Willingham's first recruiting class at Notre Dame received a big boost Monday night when bruising Pennsylvania back Nate Schiccatano gave his word to the Irish staff. Signing day is Wednesday and Willingham appears to be closing in on most items on his list. IrishEyes, with help from its colleague recruiting sites, reports.

Copyright by Global Electronic Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes™

February 4, 2002

Long Name, High Hopes

By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

Nate Schiccatano has one of those names that drips with charisma.  Notre Dame hopes his game is just as appealing.

The 6-3, 220-pound tailback from Catawissa, PA (Southern Columbia Area High School) gave his verbal commitment to Tyrone Willingham and Notre Dame Monday night.  That raises the Irish commit list to 17.  (For complete list, click on "commit list" on the left hand navigation bar.)

"I think Nathan just felt that Notre Dame was the best place for him," Schiccatano's father, Sam, told Chris Pool of IrishEyes and  "Notre Dame has a great athletic and academic reputation.  It was just the best place for him."

Pool, widely considered to be the "Dean of Notre Dame football recruiting analysts," feels that Schiccatano was "one of the best running backs I evaluated on film this year."

Schiccatano is a two-time All-State performer in Pennsylvania with more than 2,000 career rushing yards.  Despite his size, he also was a quick, hard-hitting cornerback.

The Pennsylvania made his final decision at a press conference Monday night, choosing Notre Dame over Iowa, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State and West Virginia, who had all offered.

And the Irish apparently are still very much in the mix for a pair of California "difference makers" – tailback Lorenzo Booker and receiver Rhema McKnight.   Both will make their final decision on Wednesday.  "Notre Dame is 50-50 on both," a recruiting analyst from network told IrishEyes.

Landing both McKnight and Booker would probably land the Irish among the top five recruiting classes in the country.

Willingham will be holding a 3 p.m. press conference on Wednesday at the Joyce Center to announce the complete commit list.

(IrishEyes, in business since 1994, was the first site on the Web totally devoted to Notre Dame sports) Top Stories