Summer Months Vital to ND Recruiting

Not that the May evaluation period is over, summer camp is right around the corner. Notre Dame has lined up several unofficial visits for this summer, and the summer camp is expected to be very good as well. Both will be important to the 2006 recruiting class.

Every year the months of May and June play a large role in how good or bad Notre Dame's recruiting class will be. With Notre Dame's national recruiting base, the month of May is without question the most important with assistant coaches scouring the country looking at prep recruits. This year head coach Charlie Weis even joined in the fun and made the rounds across the country.

But for the work put into May to be worth-while, the coaching staff needs to try lure several top-notch recruits to campus for the Notre Dame football camp in June, or to take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame during June, July or August. The Irish always have a better shot of landing a prospect if they can get him on campus and that is what the Irish coaching staff will try to do this summer.

So far, so good.

With top recruiting targets Raeshon McNeil, CB, 6-0, 175 pounds, Mocksville, N.C., (Davie County) and Darrin Walls, CB, 6-1, 175-pounds, Pittsburgh, Pa., (Woodland Hills) having taken unofficial visits to Notre Dame this past weekend, summer recruiting is off to a fantastic start.

Quick, name the last time Notre Dame had even one of its top two cornerbacks take an unofficial visit during the summer?

It certainly has not happened within the last 15 years as Notre Dame has truly struggled to land talented cornerbacks virtually every year. But this year the Irish hosted two of their top targets on campus at the same time in early June.

There is a chance that one or both of the two cornerbacks could make a summer decision. After personally speaking with both McNeil and Walls after each of their unofficial visits, it is safe to say Notre Dame has a great shot to land both recruits.

Walls is also due back in South Bend today for a 7-on-7 camp. The more times Walls comes to visit Notre Dame the better.

And by the way, Notre Dame is in need of offensive linemen. A little sarcasm, obviously, but Notre Dame's need for offensive linemen could be reduced with the summer camp where several offensive line recruits are expected to attend.

A couple of Ohio recruits that have mentioned attending the Notre Dame camp are Bryant Browning, OG, 6-4, 339-pounds, Glenville, Ohio and Clark Crum, OT, 6-7, 280-pounds, Dublin, Ohio, (Scioto). It would not be surprising if 10 or more offensive line recruits attended camp at Notre Dame considering the need Notre Dame has.

Sam Young, OT, 6-8, 280-pounds, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (St. Thomas Aquinas) is also set to take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on June 17 and 18. Miami is considered to be the team to beat, but Notre Dame will have its opportunity to impress Young and his father in less than two weeks.

Another unofficial visitor scheduled for this month that the Notre Dame coaching staff is ardently pursuing is Jason Kates, DT, 6-3, 291-pounds, Harrisburg, Pa., (Bishop McDevitt). Kates is considered to be a lean to Notre Dame and it would not be a surprise if he committed to Notre Dame sometime this summert.

Two national level skill position recruits that can pick their respective school will also likely be coming to Notre Dame this summer. Taylor Mays, S, 6-3, 220-pounds, Seattle, Wash., (Bishop O'Dea) confirmed this past Friday that he will taking an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in July. Richard Jackson, WR, 6-3, 200-pounds, Clermont, Fla., (East Ridge) is also rumored to be heading to South Bend this summer.

Keep your fingers crossed. These are just but a few of the names that are taking unofficial visits to Notre Dame this summer. Notre Dame has an opportunity to jump in the teens with its total number of commitments by the time fall camp arrives.

Coach Weis and his coaching staff have done a fantastic job along the recruiting trail thus far. There is no reason to believe that is going to change. This staff has made a splash with recruiting already and it will continue through National Signing Day.

By the way, it is good to be back working with Mike. He is the most honest man in the industry. Sit back and enjoy.


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