Stock Update

The Notre Dame football team is about to make its way to the practice field and it a couple days all the attention will be placed on the 2006 season. Before we make the transition, here is an update on several top Notre Dame recruiting targets.

Robert Hughes (5-foot-11, 230 pounds):'s No. 17 running back. He hasn't officially narrowed his choices down, but we think it is likely that he is down to Notre Dame and Illinois. Robert has been to Notre Dame a number of times and he'll make another trip to South Bend in a couple days. If he maintains his hard work in the classroom expect him to end up wearing blue and gold. Stock: Buy

Joe McKnight (6-foot, 190 pounds):'s No. 6 ranked running back. I still haven't had a chance to speak with Joe, so it is difficult to get a good read on his preferences. One has to believe that LSU is going to be a major player, if not the leader for Joe's signature. He camped at USC and they are rumored to be in the mix as well. I recommended a "sell" last time, but there are whispers that Joe has been looking in Notre Dame's direction. I can't recommend a "buy" at this time, but if you have some McKnight stock, you might hold onto it. Stock: Hold

Gerald Jones (5-foot-11, 185 pounds):'s No. 19-rated running back. Jones is a dynamic player that could fit the role of a multi-purpose back, or he could fill a role at wide receiver or even in the defensive backfield. He had planned a summer trip to Notre Dame, but those plans fell through. Instead, Gerald is planning to take an official visit to Notre Dame during the season. Early on Gerald appeared to be excited about Notre Dame, but I think that his interest may be slipping. Stock: Hold

Arrelious Benn (6-2, 190-pounds):'s No. 1 receiver and No. 5 overall prospect. Something I mentioned in the last Stock Report was that rumors would circulate about Benn until he announced, and that is happening. Arrelious set an announcement date and then backed off. He now says that he'll visit Notre Dame, Illinois and Florida State on official visits. Despite the unexpected change in plans, I don't think his college destination will change. Stock: Buy

J.R. Hemingway (6-2, 205-pounds):'s No. 11 receiver. Notre Dame is in this race, but they might have a little too much talent coming in at wide receiver for Hemingway to give them a serious look. Junior will make some trips to the Florida schools, but he might end up with his early favorite, Michigan. He plans on making a decision prior to the start of the season, which means the Irish won't be able to get him on campus for an official visit. Stock: Sell

Lee Ziemba (6-foot-6, 285-pounds):'s No. 6 offensive lineman. People were disappointed that I didn't recommend Ziemba as "buy" in my first Stock Report, but I just didn't feel comfortable with where Notre Dame stood with him. I don't feel any better today, and I think it's likely that he'll end up staying home at Arkansas. I'd like to recommend a "hold" but I think it is wise to get out now. Stock: Sell

Ryan Miller (6-foot-8, 280-pounds)'s No. 4 offensive lineman. Like Ziemba, readers were surprised that Miller wasn't a "buy" recommendation. The in-state Buffalos have always been a team to be concerned with, and I think he has all but decided to play for coach Hawkins. That being said, Ryan won't be making a decision until late. He will take some official visits, so there is time and opportunity. Stock: Hold

James Wilson (6-foot-4, 305-pounds)'s No. 12 offensive lineman. This is a USC and Notre Dame race. I had felt very good about Notre Dame's chances, but there is something that just doesn't sit right with me on this one. I think James would love Notre Dame, but USC has plenty to offer Wilson. This will come down to the wire. I think Notre Dame may be slipping. Stock: Hold

Harrison Smith (6-foot-2, 205-pounds):'s No.18-ranked linebacker. Smith was a "hold" on the last stock report, and that is what my recommendation will remain on this update. Smith might make a decision fairly soon or might wait a bit at take some visits, but Tennessee should be considered the favorite. What intrigues me is that if it was that easy of a decision for Harrison he would have already picked the Vols. The Irish haven't offered additional prospects at this position so they might believe that they have a shot. Stock: Hold

Chris Donald (6-foot-3, 220-pounds): Donald is the only true middle linebacker prospect that the Irish are pursuing. Like Harrison Smith, Donald's decision will come down to the home-state Volunteers and Notre Dame. Donald will be in South Bend this week to see the Notre Dame campus for the first time. For what Chris has told me, his decision has pretty much been made. He will visit South Bend to see what it has to offer, so the Irish have a chance, but I'd say it's a small chance. Stock: Sell

Gary Gray (5-foot-11, 165 pounds):'s No.6 cornerback. Out of left field? More often than not the surprises in recruiting aren't good news, and that was the case for the South Carolina Gamecocks when Gray decided to visit South Bend unofficially last week. Shortly after returning home, Gary de-committed from South Carolina and announced that he would decide between Notre Dame and South Carolina. Before he does that, he'll visit both schools officially. Everything is pointing to Gray eventually picking the Irish. There is a danger of Gray succumbing to the in-state pressure, but I think he'll pick the Irish. Stock: Buy

We'll make the adjustments on the Targets lists as well. Top Stories