National Outlook

Two years ago, Greg Paulus was considered one of the premier quarterback recruits in the nation. Instead of passing to wide receivers and tight ends, he wound up passing to forwards and centers, as he signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Duke.

Once Greg left for Durham, his younger brother, Mike, took over the reins as the starting quarterback at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y. After a fine junior season, Mike was rated as a four-star prospect by Scout.com and this week he selected Duke's biggest rival as his college destination, the University of North Carolina.

The 6-5, 208 pound Paulus had received scholarship offers from over 30 schools. He had shown a serious interest in Notre Dame, but with Jimmy Clausen's recent commitment there was no room for Paulus in South Bend. So his final decision came down to UNC and USC. Having his brother just ten miles to the east was a big factor in Paulus' decision, as was the strong relationship that he developed with the Tar Heel coaching staff.

Paulus has a big arm and a strong field presence, but because he sat behind his brother until last year, many consider him a bit raw. However, most scouts feel that with more reps and proper coaching at the next level to go along with his impressive physical skills, his potential is limitless.

Paulus will now go to work recruiting star North Carolina athlete Greg Little. The two have developed a friendship and Paulus will do what he can to bring Little to Chapel Hill. However, he will have stiff competition. Little knows recent Virginia commit Peter Lalich very well and he is also being wooed by just about every school in America.

Three other players that Notre Dame had varying degrees of interest in chose other programs this week. Josh Oglesby is a five-star offensive tackle who Notre Dame fans felt could join 2006 signee Sam Young as great bookends on future offensive lines. But this week, the St. Francis, Wis. native decided on Wisconsin.

Oglesby had been close with the Badger coaching staff for quite some time. When he visited Madison for Wisconsin's spring game, he became friendly with Nick Toon, who will enroll at Wisconsin with Oglesby. At 6-8, 312 pounds, Oglesby combines his massive size with great footwork to dominate opponents.

Linebacker Chris Colasanti is another recruit that drew some interest from the Irish, though they never offered him a scholarship. But Penn State did and this week the star at Brother Rice High School in Birmingham, Miss picked the Nittany Lions. Colasanti will look to be the next in a long line of great Penn State linebackers. Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa were other schools to offer the 6-2, 235-pound prospect.

Piqua, Ohio speedster Brandon Saine had also been targeted by Charlie Weis and his staff. But getting him out of Ohio was not going to happen, as Saine picked the Buckeyes on Wednesday. At 6-1, 205-pounds, Saine is big enough to make a defender pay. But it is his blazing speed that sets him apart from other running backs. Saine runs a 4.3 forty-yard-dash and won the sixty-meter-dash at the recent National Scholastic Indoor Championships in a time of 6.79 seconds. Michigan was another school involved with Saine.

Recently, Michigan secured a commitment from five-star quarterback Ryan Mallett. On Wednesday, they got someone he can throw to when wide receiver Martell Webb of Pontiac, Mich chose the Wolverines. The 6-5, 210-pound Webb is definitely a big receiver. He had offers from Michigan State and Western Michigan while receiving interest from Ohio State and Boston College.

Texas A&M also picked up a top running back recruit this week in Pflugerville, Texas native Joseph Reese. Deemed a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Reese rushed for 600 yards and 15 touchdowns before injuring his shoulder in Hendrickson High School's fifth game. Reese looked at Oklahoma and Nebraska as well as the Aggies. In the future, he will compete for playing time at Texas A&M with highly touted running back prospect Bradley Stephens.

Kansas State continued to stockpile commitments this week by adding three more to bring their total to thirteen. Defensive end Tyrone Sonnier and cornerback Kendrick Matthews are teammates at Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas. Head coach Ron Prince also went into Arkansas to grab another corner, A.J. Whitmore of Nashville. Kansas State was the first school to offer a scholarship to each of these players.

Three other cornerbacks made college decisions this week. Daryl Robinson of Philadelphia pledged to West Virginia, Anthony Perkins of Northglenn, Colo selected Colorado, and Jerrard Terrant of Carrollton, Ga went with Georgia Tech.

Of course, Irish fans are well aware by now that four-star tight end Mike Ragone of Cherry Hill, N.J chose Notre Dame on May 1st.


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