Weis Has Irish Off and Running With Recruiting

I've been heavily involved in following Notre Dame's recruiting effort. For the past 10 years, I've personally followed the recruiting process and have witnessed some great classes signed by the Irish, and some not so great classes signed by the Irish. However, I've never seen a class get off to as quick, and as an impressive start as first-year head coach Charlie Weis's first full recruiting campaign.

Head coach Charlie Weis is spoiling Irish fans. What's this? Four possible commitments already and it's not even May? And more importantly, these four commitments are the cream of the crop in Weis' eyes.

I've always said that recruiting rankings mean very little in the grand scheme of things, and how we should judge a class is to know which players were really targeted, and then look at how many of those top prospects were actually signed. So far, Weis is perfect at the plate going 4-for-4.

It's been made public numerous times that Zach Frazer was quarterback coach David Cutcliffe's and Weis' top quarterback target for the class of 2006. But did you know that Kallen Wade, Munir Prince and Barry Gallup were also the first players offered at their projected positions?

Now that is quite an impressive statistic!

But the good news doesn't stop there. I cannot remember a time where Notre Dame had this many of their top prospects already on campus for unofficial visits. Many more are planning trips to see what all the buzz is about in South Bend.

Consider this: Weis and Co. already had three of their four offered quarterbacks on campus. Two were scheduled to come back for a second look for the spring game and the third (the top target) already committed. Six other top targets at quarterback have already visited South Bend.

Notre Dame's two outstanding offers at running back (James Aldridge and Luke Schmidt) are attending the spring game on Saturday after already visiting Notre Dame this month, and many think the Irish are in good shape with both of them. If Weis could land Aldridge and Schmidt, Weis would land his two top three choices at running back.

The Irish already have one commitment (Barry Gallup) at wide receiver. Seattle native Taylor Mays is another offered player that has told us he is visiting this summer. George West, another offer, also plans to visit South Bend this summer. The Irish have also made some headway with Percy Harvin after not even being mentioned by the talented Harvin previously. Many other top wide receiver targets have already visited or plan to visit South Bend in the future.

Notre Dame's top tight end target (Paddy Mullen) has visited Notre Dame a number of times. The Irish clearly lead for Mullen at this point. Notre Dame also recently offered California tight end Konrad Rueland. Guess what? He's coming for a visit this summer.

The Irish have offered a number of players already at offensive line. Matt Carufel and Bartley Webb both have offers and have already visited. Webb visited last week and had planned to make the trip up again for the Notre Dame spring game. Ohio native Aaron Brown is said to be visiting South Bend soon. Texas native Chris Stewart has also been offered and plans to visit South Bend this summer. We expect quite a few more visits from top offensive line prospects in the near future.

Defensive line is also looking good for Irish fans. The imminent commitment from Cincinnati defensive lineman Kallen Wade is definitely a step in the right direction. But Wade might not be the only Ohioan committing to the Irish in the near future. Defensive end John Ryan also plans to choose between Notre Dame and Boston College very soon.

Jamie Cumbie is both a defensive end prospect and tight end prospect the Irish have offered. He's visited Notre Dame twice already, and the Irish are at worst in his top two at this point.

The Irish recently offered Jason Kates and Ben Alexander at defensive tackle. Both Kates and Alexander plan to visit South Bend in the near future and Alexander seems very high on the Irish.

Notre Dame's top target at linebacker, Toryan Smith, recently visited Notre Dame and the Irish are very much in the thick of the race for his signature. A number of other top targets have already visited Notre Dame, and two more, Nick Macaluso and Alex Wujciak, plan to visit Notre Dame for Saturday's spring game.

Notre Dame recently offered Darrin Walls and Raeshon McNeil at defensive back. Both players plan to visit Notre Dame in the near future.

I cannot remember a time when this many Irish prospects had already visited Notre Dame in previous recruiting seasons. Weis and recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello have done an outstanding job of locating their top prospects and getting them on campus.

We don't know every Irish offer at this point, but we do know of most of them.

At least 14 of the 30+ offers we know of have visited Notre Dame already. Another nine have recently told Irish Eyes that they plan to visit South Bend in the near future.

And the fun is just beginning. As we've said before, head coach Charlie Weis plans to spend the entire month of May on the road recruiting. We've never heard of any head coach spending the entire month out on the road recruiting.

It's quite obvious that Weis understands the value of recruiting, and that nobody will out-work the first-year head coach when it comes to recruiting.

Fasten your seatbelts Irish fans. This thing is about ready to take off.


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