The Irish will likely sign at least five offensive linemen in the 2005 class, and one player they're hoping to land is 6-7, 290-pound Bartley Webb. The Irish aren't alone in their pursuit of Webb.
"I have a few offers," Webb said. "Notre Dame, Arkansas, Texas, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas, Louisville, Clemson, Tulane and Maryland. I have one more but I can't remember them right now."
The Irish recently offered Webb and the big offensive tackle prospect says he was surprised.
"They offered me about a week ago," said Webb of the Irish offer. "That really surprised me.
"I knew about coach Weis coming in, but I really didn't know that much about the school. To have a coach like coach Weis interested in me really took me by surprise. I was really excited to get their offer.
"I really didn't know much about the school academic-wise. When I thought of Notre Dame, I though about Joe Montana and Joe Theisman, all their big names and their big tradition. It's quite an honor to even be offered by a school like Notre Dame."
Webb has also had a recent conversation with the Irish coaching staff.
"I just talked to coach Haywood and coach Weis just the other day," Webb said. "I had a really good conversation with both of them.
"They definitely know what they're doing. You can just tell that. They're both really fired up about being there, and they gave me the sense that the program is definitely in good hands. They know what they're doing there."
The Springdale, Ark. native has also scheduled an unofficial visit to Notre Dame.
"We're going to visit Notre Dame next weekened," Webb said. "We're also going to go up and see Michigan that weekend. After that visit, I'm not sure where I'm going to visit next."
Webb has already visited a number of schools this spring.
"I've been to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas so far," Webb said. "I was impressed with all of them. Each one had something unique about it that I liked."
When will Webb make a decision?
"The only problem I see with committing early is that I might not take the time to get to know everyone well," Webb said. "I plan to take my time so I know where I want to go. I plan to take more unofficial visits, and I might take some official visits. Whenever I know for sure, I'll commit. I won't do it until I know for sure."
Does Webb have any favorites at this point?
"I'm really wide open right now," he said. "It's a little early for me to be narrowing it down. I'm completely open to anyone right now."
Comments: Webb said he's good friends with Mitch Mustain, but he's also trying to find the right school for him. Webb did seem to have a genuine interest in Notre Dame, and we'll probably know more about that interest after he visits South Bend. We'll check back with Webb after his unofficial visit.