Priority No.1

Every year Notre Dame has a position that is a recruiting priority. For the 2007 recruiting class it's no secret that the Irish must sign an elite defensive tackle. Andre Jones of Andress High School (El Paso, Texas) certainly proved that he deserved to be listed among the nations best defensive lineman with his performance at the U.S. Army junior combine.

Andre Jones (6-4, 305) was named to the all-combine team in San Antonio and recently he was listed as one of's Top 100 juniors in the nation. With those credentials, and Notre Dame's needs along the defensive line, the Irish need to make a big impression on Jones.

"Oh yes, they're really up there," Jones responded when asked if he was interested in playing at Notre Dame. "I talked to coach Weis and the defensive line coach Jappy Oliver. They offered me about 2 weeks ago and I already got it in the mail. I was shocked that I was getting the offer. It makes me feel good. I'll have a chance to go in there and play early especially since I'm graduating early. It's a great place to get my education. It really makes me want to go up there.

"I was looking at the depth chart in the book they sent me and they have almost all seniors and a junior on there. That makes me feel like I can go up there and play. I'm graduating early, that gives me a chance to go to spring ball. I talked to coach Oliver about it and he said he'd give me a fair chance.

It's not every recruit that gets a chance to talk to Charlie Weis, but the ones that do certainly are recruiting priorities for Notre Dame.

"He's cool, he's real cool," Jones said when asked his impression of Notre Dame's headman. "He was telling me about the school and he made me feel like they really wanted me and that we could build a strong relationship. He sounded real nice and outgoing. I know they're in need of defensive tackles right now and to be the first defensive tackle that they offered blows my mind. I'm going to have to look into them a lot.

Everything sounds good for Irish fans, but nothing is going to come easily. The national champion Texas Longhorns have their sites set on Jones.

"Texas came out to school and invited me to their junior day, so I'm headed out there February 25," Jones said when asked about his interest in Texas. "I like the program. They just won big. I'm not sure if I'll go there, but I think that's a place I can win at. Their depth chart needs defensive tackles also.

"Notre Dame and Texas are going to be my top two. I'm also considering UTEP, Texas A&M; I'm going to check out Ohio State also. I'm not sure yet, but I think those are the ones," Jones commented. "I grew up in Indianapolis so that's why I want to go to Notre Dame so much. My family is still in Indianapolis, but it's the same thing with Texas. I have family here as well.

Jones listed his offers as Notre Dame, UTEP, New Mexico State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Louisville. Top Stories