With Anthony Fasano gone and the surprise departure of freshman tight end Joey Hiben, the Irish are thin at a position that had been clogged with bodies for years. Charlie Weis likes to get the tight end involved in the offense, which means Notre Dame needs a player that is capable of getting on the field quickly.
Mike Ragone (6-5, 230-pounds) is that type of player and by the looks of his early offer sheet, the Notre Dame isn't the only team that has been impressed with his abilities.
"I'm doing good," Ragone replied when asked how recruiting was progressing. "I have a lot of offers [in addition to Notre Dame], USC, Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Boston College, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and New Mexico State.
"I just finished wrestling and I want to take some time out, look over my scholarships and take some unofficial visits with my family. We'll make a list and write the pros and cons down from each school.
"My dad just bought tickets, and we're going to Notre Dame's spring game. I'm going to go out to USC after Notre Dame. I want to check the Florida schools out. I'm not really sure, but I'll probably hit Penn State and Ohio State after that. I have a lot of traveling to do."
Ragone has time to travel now that his wrestling season has ended. He was on his way to a state title in the heavyweight division when he suffered a knee injury in the semi-final match of the state meet.
"It was 30 seconds into the match," Ragone described. "He grabbed my ankle and I tried to dive out and it was done from there. It's no big deal. I'm not going to be out for long. I just wasn't able to continue that day. I'm walking all right and bending. I'll be fine.
"I hadn't lost a match all season. I was 36-0. I was on a streak. I wasn't going to lose. I know I wasn't going to lose. You work so hard for where you want to be, but that's the name of the game. I'll learn from it and get over it.
"I'm getting over my injury, which shouldn't take long. Then I'll concentrate on working out, getting stronger, and faster."
As a junior Ragone had 30 receptions for 800 yards and eight touchdowns.