When Dan Stevenson and Mark LeVoir graduate after next season, the Irish depth chart along the offensive line will be perilously thin. It is imperative that the 2006 recruiting class contains high caliber offensive linemen that have the potential to contribute early.
Until the new staff came to Notre Dame, Bartley Webb hadn't received any recruiting interest from Notre Dame, so he really hadn't thought about Notre Dame being an option. Now that has all changed.
Webb has an early Irish offer, which indicates that he is a primary target for the Irish staff. He made two unofficial visits on back-to-back weekends to Notre Dame. His first visit came prior to a visit to Michigan, and then he and his family made the trip back to South Bend for the annual spring game. What was his impression of Notre Dame?
"I was surprised about how small the campus really was," Webb said. "We were able to get a detailed tour, I was really impressed."
"I had to chance to speak with coach Latina," he continued. "I felt pretty comfortable with him. He knows what he's talking about. He has a standard for his players. I'd say I had a strong connection with him and I could see myself playing for him."
Webb had recently visited Michigan, which has a much larger student body, so I asked him whether he preferred a larger student body or smaller.
"Size of the student body doesn't really matter," he responded. "55,000 or 5,000, it doesn't matter. That's not the big picture. You want to go where you feel comfortable and obviously academics is very important."
With offers from the likes of Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisville, Duke, and Clemson, will Webb be narrowing his list of schools down?
"It's too early into the evaluation period," said Webb. "I really haven't started filtering yet."
All the offers Webb has indicates that he's likely one of the top offensive lineman in the country, so I asked him what made him better than other lineman.
"I'm never willing to give up,' he responded. "I never settle, and I keep fighting."
Comments: The fact the Webb made two visits to Notre Dame certainly puts the Irish in good position, but I'm not sure Notre Dame fans should read too much into that. He has a lot of very good options and I really don't think he's begun to trim his list. Notre Dame should be in the final group though.