Irish in a Battle for McCray

Notre Dame is looking to parlay their successful 2005 football season into a big recruiting payoff. The Irish need to add players that can get after the quarterback and the Irish staff believe they have found one in D'Angelo McCray of Andrew Jackson High School (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Top high school football prospects generally know that they will eventually start hearing from college recruiters. D'Angelo McCray (6-4 265 pounds) is one of those players where it wasn't a matter of if, but when.

"Toward the end of last football season, the end of November early December," McCray responded when asked when his recruitment started heating up. "I knew I was going to get recruited, but I thought it was going to be around May, but it's coming earlier than I expected. I find interesting that all the different coaches that you see on TV, they're actually text messaging me. I just find it funny.

"I have 16 or 17 offers that I know about. The week before signing day I picked up six offers. That was the week a bunch of coaches came up to school. The same week, my coach told me Notre Dame offered."

Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Illinois, and Notre Dame are the offers that McCray could recall. An impressive list, but he isn't at the point where he has started to narrow his choices down.

"Not really," McCray replied when asked if he had a top ten list of schools. "Notre Dame is in my top ten though. I like their defense. They get after the ball. They have an aggressive defense.

"When Notre Dame made the coaching change, coach Weis turned the program around, and that's the kind of program I'm interested in right now. I'm not saying I'm going to start, but I don't want to red-shirt my first year.

"When I first thought about it (Notre Dame), before I talked to my parents, I thought distance would be a problem," McCray said. "But my mom said whatever is going to suit me best, she'll still come to games, so distance won't be a problem. I just talked to her Saturday about that."

McCray plans on taking unofficial visits to the Florida schools because of their proximity. He hasn't decided which schools will get his official visits, but he is certain the Irish will receive one of them.

"My coach told me I had to take one of my visits up there to see the atmosphere, so that is going to be one of my visits for sure," McCray explained. "I haven't really even talked to someone from the school, but I'm going to go up to a game around my bye week. We have a Thursday game the week before that so I'll take a visit that week or on our bye week, the October 7 or the 13th."

As a junior, McCray had 18 receptions for 369 yards and two touchdowns. On defense he complied 52 tackles, 13 sacks and 26 tackles for loss.


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