There is a dichotomy to recruiting that only recruitniks really understand. The twin anxieties of waiting for one's favorite player to make a commitment and waiting for another to receive an offer can be positively maddening at times. For Notre Dame fans, last week saw both a commitment made by and an offer extended to players that are favorites of Irish recruiting fans.
Mike Ragone, TE, 6-5, 230, Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, NJ verbally committed to Notre Dame during a press conference at his high school on Monday. Ragone became the fourth Irish verbal commitment for the class of 2007. While the four star prospect claimed that "everything" led him to Notre Dame, there seemed to be three major factors that made him Irish.
"First, Charlie Weis, he's going to be a legendary coach," said Ragone in explaining his commitment. "He's won Super Bowls. The first time I met him he said he only wanted one tight end and he said he wanted me. That made a lot of things good. Second, we'll have the best quarterback in the country going there—Jimmy Clausen. Then it came down to my visit for the spring game. The whole weekend went great for me. It went so good for me that I thought it was time so I pulled the trigger."
Among his three reasons for committing to the Irish one stood out above all others, Charlie Weis. Ragone fervently believes that under Weis, Notre Dame is headed in the right direction. The Irish head coach's reputation for utilizing tight ends in his offense also didn't hurt their chances either.
"It's also a tight end friendly offense," said Ragone. "Everywhere you go you're going to have to compete, so why not compete at Notre Dame."
Ragone continued. "I got an offer from Rutgers before my junior year but I really didn't think about playing football. Then I started getting letters from Notre Dame, I watched them with Charlie Weis and he's done such great things with the program and turned the whole thing around."
In addition to Notre Dame, Ragone has scholarship offers from Penn State, Florida State, Rutgers, Ohio State and USC.
Martez Wilson, DE, 6-4, 235, Simeon Vocational High School, Chicago IL received an offer from Notre Dame following his performance at the Adidas Combine held on the Notre Dame campus on Saturday, April 29. Wilson had hoped that a strong performance would land him an offer and he didn't have to wait long to find out.
"I got good news, he offered," said Wilson of his Sunday afternoon conversation with Charlie Weis. "He was going to tell me when he came to my school but he said it was best to do it today. He said he saw me as an outside linebacker or rush end."
Weis ended the conversation fairly quickly but left instructions for Wilson to call Coach Ianello. In that conversation, Ianello made it clear what he wanted from Wilson.
"I called Coach Ianello and he told me that the next time I call I better be calling to tell them I'm committing. This is the offer I was waiting for."
Wilson names Notre Dame, Michigan and Illinois as his top three and despite his excitement at receiving the Irish offer, he's in no hurry to decide.
"Right now I just want to wait and see what happens. I see what happens over the summer and then take some trips."
Wilson's junior statistics speak volumes for the athleticism of this young man. He registered 99 tackles, 25 for loss, 18 sacks and seven forced fumbles. In addition, he caught 14 passes on offense and scored 5 touchdowns.
These two stories are just a sample of the recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes. If you were a subscriber, you could have also read the following:
Richetti Jones Gets Visit from Notre Dame—Richetti Jones Profile
Ziemba Talks Irish—Lee Ziemba Profile
Irish Interested in Matthews—Casey Matthews Profile
Nothing Going to Slow Him Down—Darrin Walls Update
Perry Has Big Offers—Chris Perry Profile
Weis Visits Kamara—Duval Kamara Profile
Major Wright Talks About Notre Dame—Major Wright Profile
Weis Visits Hemingway—J.R. Hemingway Profile
National Outlook—This Paulus Prefers Carolina Blue
Edwards Looking at Everyone—Lorenzo Edwards Profile
Torrence Adding Offers—Devon Torrence Profile
A Look at Boston College Recruiting—Eagles fine in trenches, thin at skill positions
Robert Hughes at Ohio State Nike Camp—Hughes works out, interviews with Irish Eyes
More Nike Camp Video—Joseph Barksdale and Martez Wilson video
Ronald Johnson Video—Johnson interview