Though recruitniks become impatient for commitments, many recruits realize that with eight months until signing day, they can afford to wait for either more offers or that one special offer. The Irish coaching staff is still tirelessly looking at film and clearing players through admissions. More offers are coming almost weekly. Sometimes those offers can pay fairly quick dividends. Last week, a June camp evaluation offer resulted in a verbal commitment. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?
Andrew Nuss, OL, 6-5, 285 pounds (Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn, VA) followed up a visit to South Bend with a verbal commitment to Notre Dame. According to head coach Charlie Weis, Nuss represents the type of player that Notre Dame values. Conversely, Notre Dame and Weis represent the type of coach and program that Nuss covets.
"I did commit," said Nuss after his Notre Dame visit. "It went really well. I met with Coach Weis. He told me the three things they look for: a great guy, a great football player and great grades. He said I fit in that category. He said he's a straightforward guy and that's what I look for in a coach. I got a great vibe and I knew I like Notre Dame a lot. So that was it. I knew I wanted to commit after that."
There's no question that for many recruits, the combination of Weis and Notre Dame University proves to be irresistible. But there are other factors that can and do play into a recruit's decision to choose the Irish. In this case, one of those factors consisted of one of the best offensive line coaches in the business.
"I think [coach Latina] knows his stuff," Nuss enthused. "He's one of the best I've seen and all the coaches say that. Weis says that. I can't wait to get there and play for him. He says he likes what I do and he likes that I can play either tackle or guard. I just got a great vibe talking to him. He's a nice guy."
Nuss continued. "I did all the tours. I met with admissions, Dan Saracino. I met with Coach Latina, Coach (Ruben) Mendoza, Coach (Jappy) Oliver, a professor and then I hung with the players the rest of the day. I basically spoke with the freshman class that just came in."
As impressed as Nuss is with coach Latina, it may well be Oliver with whom he ends up spending most of his time. The Irish coaches have said that if Nuss, who is a relative newcomer to football, continues to progress physically and skill wise, he may even get a look at defensive tackle. Clearly, this appeals to the young Virginian.
"Coach Weis said I might be able to play defense," Nuss said. "He said he liked my film on defense. Then I talked with Coach Oliver and he told me what I had to do in order to play defense: get bigger, bench, squat and get quicker. I'm going to have to work my hardest and I'm going to do that. I would love to play defense but I know that reality of me playing defense is very slim. I'll still do everything I can to get on the field on defense."
Nuss is not the only player who has caught Notre Dame's eye as of late. Malachi Lewis, RB, 6-4, 208 pounds, (Rio Mesa High School, Oxnard, CA) is the 16th ranked running back according to Scout.com. It is his versatility though that has attracted the Irish coaching staff.
"Coach (Brian) Polian came to the school and picked up my film when they were taking other recruiting trips," said Lewis. "He said he wanted to take my tape back because his running back coach had asked about me twice already. I really haven't talked to them about [a position]. He said they were really excited about me as a player and that I didn't have to worry because Notre Dame was going to recruit me."
Though Lewis has scholarship offers from Michigan, Arizona, California, Nebraska and Oregon, he appears to be in no hurry to make a decision. Instead, he wants to wait and see how teams fare during the upcoming season.
"I'm open right now," explained Lewis. "I'm just waiting for the season to start because I want to see what teams do. Things differ from year to year and a dynasty can't be forever."
Lewis plans to take his visits before making any decision. He will consider many factors when deciding upon whom gets an official visit but right now, a team's success seems to be primary.
"I'm going to take my official visits during the season," said Lewis. "Teams will pretty much eliminate themselves by the season they have. I want to go to a winning team that puts themselves in a position to win a national championship. It's a matter of their style of play, what their record is and whether I have a chance to play."
Lewis's outstanding numbers his junior year help explain the recruiting attention he's receiving. He rushed for 2,187 yards and 24 touchdowns.
These summaries represent just a sample of the recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes.