If ESPN is mentioned around a handful of Notre Dame fans, more than likely someone will have a few derogatory words about the sports network due to the number of biased commentators that continually take shots at Notre Dame. Well, today ESPN will actually be helping Notre Dame. When Raeshon McNeil announces his college decision this afternoon via ESPN News, the Irish will have its first cornerback recruit in the fold for the 2006 recruiting class.
As the saying goes, turnabout is fair play. It is always good for Notre Dame to have a recruit announce his decision live on national television. McNeil will be the first of hopefully several more this year.
Notre Dame Connection
When Notre Dame offered Jashaad Gaines, S, 6-0, 205-pounds, Las Vegas, Nev. it was not the first time a member of the Gaines family had been offered an athletic scholarship to attend Notre Dame. Jashaad's sister, Tulyah, is going to be a sophomore at Notre Dame this fall. She is a member of the women's basketball team at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is making inroads with Gaines, but the competition is far from easy. Nebraska (Sep. 9), Oklahoma, Utah, San Diego State and Washington are also in the mix. One would expect Gaines to at least make it out to Notre Dame this fall for an unofficial visit, if not an official visit. Time will tell.
While recruiting is obviously in a slow-down mode outside of the handful of recruits that have or will make their decisions during August, the Notre Dame football program is also looking towards the future. Remember, recruiting never ends.
Junior recruits can start receiving mail at their houses starting this Sep. 1. Notre Dame is well prepared to make a strong first impression that often times makes a difference down the road. While there will be hundreds of junior recruits that will receive mail from Notre Dame during early September, here are a few to remember.
One of if not the top tailback from the state of Texas for the class of 2007 is Bradley Stephens. The tailback has gained 15 pounds since last season and is now up to 190 pounds. After speaking to Mr. Stephens recently, there is little doubt in my mind that Notre Dame will have a shot at the talented tailback. Stephens actually started out in the Chicago area before moving to Texas roughly seven years ago, so he is familiar with the Midwest.
By now you have probably heard of Jimmy Clausen, the star junior-to-be quarterback out of California. Notre Dame is one of several schools ardently pursuing Clausen. Look for the Irish to be in the race until the end. Clausen may be the nation's top recruit for the class of 2007.
The top player from the Land of Lincoln this year might just be a junior. Dale Martin, TB, 5-11, 190-pounds, Bolingbrook, Ill. is an explosive athlete that reportedly has a verbal offer from Tennessee among others already. Martin will be a priority for Notre Dame and many other schools as well.
You can bet that Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis will always take a hard look at his home state of New Jersey when it comes to recruiting. The top player New Jersey has to offer next year is still up for grabs, but Anthony Davis is certainly a strong candidate. The 6-5, 310-pound offensive lineman from Piscataway will be one of the most highly recruited players back East next year.
And finally, the state of Florida always has a plethora of talent. Among several Florida recruits Notre Dame and many other schools will be chasing are John Brown, DT, 6-4, 260-pounds, Lakeland, Fla., Jabaal Sheard, DE, 6-3, 225-pounds, Hollywood Hills, Fla., John Brantley, QB, 6-2, 180-pounds, Ocala, Fla., (Trinity Catholic), Chris Rainey, TB, 5-9, 175-pounds, Lakeland, Fla. and Jake Goray, TE, 6-5, 230-pounds, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., (Chocawhatchee), who reportedly has a 4.2 GPA. Notre Dame will soon be a household name with Florida recruits once again.