Irish Stock Report: Cornerbacks

Last season Notre Dame signed two outstanding cornerback prospects in Darrin Walls and Raeshon McNeil. While that is comforting for the time being, Notre Dame needs to sign at least one top corner prospect and another solid player in 2007.

Top teams generally have top cornerback prospects and Notre Dame can't wait three or four years to develop the players that they sign. The Irish need players that are capable of stepping onto the field and contributing as early as their sophomore year. The Irish have already lost out on Gary Gray, who decided to stay home and play for South Carolina, and they are fighting up hill battles for most of the other prospects they tabbed as priorities.

Eric Berry (5-foot-11, 181 pounds):'s No. 1 cornerback prospect has spent most of his career on the offensive side of the ball. He'd like to continue that in college, but he has come to the conclusion that his future is shutting down receivers. His dad played at Tennessee, but that won't play a huge factor in his decision. While he's from SEC country, he is willing to look north. He took a look at Notre Dame early, but recently the Irish have been left out of his top list of schools. Notre Dame can't be all things to all people. Stock: Sell

Ronald Johnson (6-foot-0, 180 pounds):'s No. 2 cornerback prospect, Johnson might be the best player in the Midwest. He hasn't played football for some time due to a knee injury, but he should be good to go by the start of practice. Michigan had a big lead early on, but they have seen that shrink over the last several months. If they rebound from last year's disappointing season, he'll likely end up in Ann Arbor. If they struggle, look out for Ohio State. Johnson is a great kid and he'd thrive at Notre Dame, but he will likely be an admissions casualty. Stock: Sell

Marcus Gilchrist (5-foot-11, 170 pounds):'s No. 9 cornerback prospect. Gilchrist is a dynamic player that has seen his stock blow through the roof. Notre Dame offered him fairly early and Marcus has said that he'd like to take a visit, but that hasn't materialized. He has visited nearly all the schools he is considering, and he'll visit Georgia this weekend. He hinted that a decision would come shortly after that. Bill Lewis has done a great job of recruiting North Carolina, but no visit means no Gilchrist. Stock: Sell

Dionte Allen (5-foot-11, 175 pounds):'s No. 13 cornerback prospect. Allen doesn't get the attention that his friend Ronald Johnson receives, but he has all the offers from top schools to prove that he is nearly as good. Notre Dame has been working overtime on Allen, but like Johnson, Michigan has held a lead for some time. Several teams are threats to Michigan, and Allen has said that the Irish are in his top four. That being said, I don't think that the Irish are in his top three. Stock: Sell

Michael Williams (5-foot-10, 174 pounds):'s No. 29 cornerback prospect. Williams is a safety in the body of a cornerback. He has the ability to play cornerback, but most of his playing time has been at safety. Williams has a ton of family connections to Notre Dame. He has visited South Bend several times. If there is a team that will push Notre Dame it is Michigan. Williams enjoyed his visit to Ann Arbor and they were the first school to offer him a scholarship. This might slip away if the old staff were here, but not with the group Notre Dame has…too much promise with the Irish program. Stock: Buy Top Stories