The way it stands now, Notre Dame will only have nine offensive linemen on the roster for the 2006 season after starters Dan Stevenson and Mark LeVoir depart after the 2005 season is concluded. And the nine offensive linemen total is assuming that seldom used fifth-year candidates Scott Raridon, Brian Mattes and James Bonelli are asked back. Uh-oh.
That's why Notre Dame is hard after several of the nation's elite offensive linemen. Everyone knows that Notre Dame covets Sam Young, OT, 6-8, 280-pounds, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (St. Thomas Aquinas), but who doesn't?
Young is rated by most as Florida's top offensive linemen, but Daron Rose, OT, 6-5, 310-pounds, Tampa, Fla., (Jefferson) is probably just as highly recruited.
The left tackle is taking a few unofficial visits this summer to help sort out his options.
"I'm going up to Alabama this weekend to check out Alabama and Auburn," Rose said of his upcoming unofficial visit plans.
Jefferson is always one of Florida's top programs for producing Division I talent. This year is no exception, as nine, that's right, nine players from Jefferson are receiving recruiting attention from Division I programs in the senior class alone.
So which schools will Rose take a close look at?
"Well, I actually have a top six. Florida, Michigan, Southern California, Notre Dame, Florida State and South Florida," Rose said when asked about his favorites.
Unlike most kids growing up in Florida, Rose said he didn't have just one local school he rooted for.
"Notre Dame and Florida State. My dad didn't root for any one of the big three more than the others. He always liked Notre Dame so they were always on TV (at my house). So I started liking them," he said.
As for making an early decision, Rose will not be going that route.
"I want to take two or three of my official visits during the season and check out some schools game day atmosphere," Rose said. "I'll probably take three of my official visits after my season.
"I probably won't take any official visits to the Florida schools since I can just take unofficial visits there. I will use those visits for out of state schools."
SMITTY'S TAKE - Rose was really cool to talk to. He's blunt and honest. I love that. Notre Dame could use more of that attitude on the football field.
I have never seen Rose play in person or on film, but I have heard he is a big-time player. With Notre Dame's depth so precarious heading into this season and next, there is actually a realistic shot that Rose could start from day one as scary as that may be.
Quick, name the backup right tackle to Mark LeVoir? And LeVoir is leaving after this season…
It is pretty easy to see what direction head coach Charlie Weis will going to pitch the talented Rose.