Recruiting Week in Review

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL IS BACK! Irish fans hope to see that headline emblazoned across the top of their local newspapers on January 9, 2007, the day after the BCS championship game. Charlie Weis has certainly convinced Fighting Irish fans of the possibility, but it also appears as if he has convinced many of the best high school players as well.

A quick perusal of the Scout.com Top 100 list shows that 35 of the 82 uncommitted players express interest in Notre Dame and at least three more, Armando Allen, Greg Little and Eric Berry, have also demonstrated interest though Notre Dame is not listed on their profile. Irish Eyes spoke to several of that Top 100 last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Notre Dame has offered only a few wide receivers so far but one of them, Duval Kamara, 6-3, 190, Hoboken High School, Hoboken, NJ, surfaced early on the Irish's radar. This talented wide receiver has popped up on many others' radar as well early in the recruiting period.

"I'm not sure how many offers I have," Kamara rather humbly replied to a question concerning the scope of his offers. "I get a lot of coaches texting me. I haven't had time to talk to all of them, but I do talk to some of them."

Though he's being recruited by some of the biggest names in college football, Penn State, USC, Miami and Virginia, he expresses a very high interest in Notre Dame.

"I talk to coach Weis and coach Ianello quite a bit," Duvall said. "I really like both of them. I'm going to their spring game and I'm really looking forward to that. I want to check out the school and meet all the coaches."

Kamara knows exactly what draws him to Notre Dame.

"Charlie Weis," responded Kamara when asked about the attraction to Notre Dame. "Just to be part of that offense would be great."

Kamara put together an outstanding junior season. He caught 43 passes for 930 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. It's a good thing that Kamara puts up such good numbers because he's a player that prefers to let his play do his talking.

"I also like how they do it there," Kamara said of Notre Dame. "They celebrate but there isn't a lot of showboating."

Kamara has been flattered but not overwhelmed by all the recruiting attention. This humble young man seems both surprised and appreciative of the notice he has received.

"I didn't think it would be anything like this," Kamara said. "You hope you're good enough and that schools will offer you. I haven't ever thought about being a five-star prospect or anything like that. I'd feel very fortunate is that happened."

Though Kamara professes no favorites right now he does plan on an early decision, either sometime this summer or, at the latest, during his senior season.

Another Top 100 prospect that the Irish have their eye on is Will Blackwell, DT, 6-4, 290, West Monroe High School, LA. Blackwell has yet to receive an offer but is confident one will be coming.

"I believe in myself and I believe I have the capability to get an offer from Notre Dame," said Blackwell. "I haven't been in touch with them enough to get an offer. We sent film. I've been academically qualified…I have good grades, so all that is in my favor."

Blackwell certainly has the pedigree to be an outstanding football player.

"My grandfather has coached in high school, college…ever since my mother was born," said Blackwell. "It's in my blood. It's all I've ever known. My grandfather is the defensive coordinator. My grandfather has taught me since day one—technique, technique. I'm more the technician. I think I do a good job of putting myself in the right place."

With his grandfather both on the coaching staff and a very good friend of the head coach, Blackwell can be certain that his best interests are being protected.

"They're going to try and keep me protected and keep me safe," explained Blackwell. "Right now we're not looking to make a decision. We're trying to play it cool and see who all we can stay in contact with. I should probably give Notre Dame a call in the next couple weeks."

As much as Blackwell likes Notre Dame, like most players growing up in Louisiana he professes great affection for the hometown school, LSU.

"I'm a family guy and I want my family there to watch me play," said Blackwell of the attraction of LSU. "That will factor into the decision. But if it's somewhere I really like, my family will support me."

Blackwell currently holds offers from LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Auburn.

Blackwell registered a very solid junior season, recording 80 tackles and 8 sacks. He also has recorded very solid numbers in the classroom thus far, compiling a 3.5 g.p.a.. and has a qualifying score of 24 on his ACT.


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