Will Burkhart Start as a Freshman?

It is rare when a college freshman starts at Notre Dame, but that has not stopped recent commitment Ryan Burkhart from setting his sights on the starting place kicking job that will open up with the graduation of DJ Fitzpatrick after this year.

Lou Holtz used to say ‘gold is where you find it,' referring to art of recruiting. Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis recently found gold in Wakarusa, Ind.--not usually a recruiting hot bed. Notre Dame's latest commitment is Ryan Burkhart, K, 5-11, 185-pounds, (Northwood).

Burkhart said he was expecting the call from coach Weis, but did not honestly know what he would hear.

"I knew he was going to call," Burkhart said of talking to coach Weis this past weekend. "It was pretty much going to be a yes or a no."

Now that Burkhart has committed to Notre Dame, what does he think of the first-year head coach?

"He's a straight-forward guy," Burkhart said bluntly.

While Burkhart's comment about coach Weis is what one would expect, his comments about his freshman season may or may not be.

"I'm hoping to come in and do the kickoffs and place kicking," Burkhart said of his goals for the 2006 season.

Will Burkhart kick and punt?

"It will probably be just kicking. Notre Dame told me they were hoping the junior punter (Price) would do the punting."

Burkhart has a self-reported 3.2 GPA and 1,410 SAT. He plans to major in business at Notre Dame.

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