At Look at 2007

The class of 2007 is already off to an impressive start judging by our early interviews of some top prospects. Many of these top players are already listing Notre Dame very high on their list. Let's look at some of the top offensive players the Irish appear to be targeting at this point.

Quarterback

The list at quarterback starts and might end with the nation's top quarterback, Jimmy Clausen. Some have labeled Clausen ‘the LeBron James of football.' Clausen has been offered by Notre Dame. He has visited South Bend already and is said to be very enamored with Irish head coach Charlie Weis and the Weis offense. Clausen plans to commit early and enroll in January of next season. We would not be surprised if he committed to Notre Dame sometime in the near future. USC appears to be the main competition at this point.

Others to keep an eye on

Pat Bostick, 6-3, 225, Lancaster, Pa (Manhiem Township high school). Bostick currently lists a number of eastern schools as his favorites as well as Notre Dame, but he should be one of the top quarterbacks in the country next year. He already has two offers from Pitt and Louisville under his belt. Bostick completed 63 percent of his passes as a junior, and also threw for 2,800 yards and 34 touchdowns while throwing only six interceptions.

Steven Threet, 6-5, 210, Adrian, Mich. Threet is an impressive student and lists Notre Dame high on his list as well as other Midwestern schools. Look for Threet to make it to Notre Dame for a junior day in the future.

Matt Simms, 6-2, 200, Ramsey, N.J. (Don Bosco Prep). Simms is the brother of Chris Simms, son of Phil. The history between Phil and Charlie Weis will certainly spark some conversations about Matt, and the Irish appear to be recruiting the younger Simms. Simms led his Don Bosco team to the state title game the past two seasons and threw for over 2.000 yards and 25 touchdowns on the season. Many say he could develop into a better prospect than his older brother.

Mike Paulus, 6-5, 210, Syracuse, N.Y. (Christain Brothers). Paulus is the brother of Greg Paulus—Duke basketball player that Mike Brey also pursued for the Notre Dame basketball team. Paulus already has three offers on the table and the Irish will likely take a look at this top player. Paulus threw for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.

Chris Smith, 6-3, 210, South Point, Ohio. Smith is said to be one of the top quarterbacks in the Midwest this year. He already has a couple of offers under his belt and threw for over 1,600 yards this past season.

Running back

The Irish have already offered running back Marc Tyler. Tyler is the teammate of Jimmy Clausen and the Irish will certainly battle some top programs for his signature. Tyler already has logged some impressive offers from teams like Tennessee, LSU, Nebraska and Alabama. Tyler rushed for over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.

Bradley Stephens is another prospect the Irish will likely pursue. Stephens owns a 4.0 g.p.a. and has been tearing up defenses around McAllen, Texas for the past two seasons. Stephens rushed for over 2,600 yards and 38 touchdowns during his junior season and already has a couple of offers under his belt.

Dale Martin is another top player to keep an eye on. The Bolingbrook, Ill. native already has a number of official offers including teams like Nebraska, West Virginia and Illinois. He'll likely be the top running back prospect in the Chicago area as well as the Midwest. Look for Martin to be at an early junior day for Notre Dame.

The Irish area also recruiting in-state player Darren Evans. The 6-0, 205-pound Indianapolis, Ind. star has already been to Notre Dame a number of times for games. Evans has put together two back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing season. A number of schools are recruiting Evans and the Irish will likely battle Michigan and Ohio State among others for Evans' signature.

Lakeland, Fla. native Chris Rainey is already being billed as the next Reggie Bush. He certainly doesn't disappoint on film. It's been said head coach Charlie Weis has already visited Rainey's high school in an effort to catch the attention of this top junior prospect. Rainey finished the season with 1,495 yards and 9.5 yards per carry and led his team to victory in the state championship game. The Irish are recruiting Rainey, but will he have an interest in Notre Dame? We'll have to wait and see…

Ohio running back Donnie Evege is another top Midwest prospect. The 5-11, 195-pound Huber Heights, Ohio native already has a couple of offers. Evege can also play corner and has been to Notre Dame on a number of unofficial visits already. We expect Evege to be a guy the Irish pursue pretty heavily this year.

Pflugerville, Texas running back Joseph Reese is another top prospect to keep an eye on. The 6-2, 195-pound speedster finished fifth in the state last season with a 10.5 100 meter time. His brother, Terrell Reese, will be heading to Arizona to play for Mike Stoops in August, but Reese is receiving attention from schools all across the country including Notre Dame. Reese was injured early in the season and logged 546 yards after five games, but many expect him to be one of the top prospects in all of Texas this year.

There will certainly be plenty of new names that will pop up at both positions in the future, but this is a nice list to get you started. Tomorrow we'll take a look at wide receivers and tight end prospects for 2007.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories