The success of the 2005 football season helped Notre Dame recruiting as much, or more than all the effort the Notre Dame coaches put in behind the scenes. And trust me the Notre Dame staff wasn't outworked last year. With that in mind, as the weeks pass in 2006, and the more success the Irish have on the field, the more popular they will be with recruits… and Notre Dame is very popular as it is.
Lets take a look at some of the top offensive recruiting targets as the Spetmeber contact period draws near.
Armando Allen Armando Allen (5-foot-9, 195 pounds): Scout.com's No. 10 ranked running back. Armando suffered a serious knee injury during his first game, a difficult situation for such a great kid. Allen has never allowed himself to get engulfed by the recruiting scene; he works hard and stays humble. Despite the injury, I expect all the schools to stand by their offers. I certainly expect Notre Dame to do so. I don't know Armando well, but it isn't a stretch to say that he's as solid off the field as he is on the field. Nothing has changed with Allen, and I think Notre Dame will be a player until the end. Stock: Buy
Bradley Stephens (5-foot-11, 198 pounds): Scout.com's No. 23 ranked running back. Nothing new to report. Everything depends on how much success Texas A&M has on the field during the 2006 season. A poor year from the Aggies and Bradley gets serious about Notre Dame. Stock: Hold
Golden Tate (6-foot-0, 180 pounds): Scout.com's No. 14 ranked wide receiver. Everyone who has seen this kid's tape wants to know why Notre Dame hasn't offered him a scholarship. I think Tate is an outstanding player, and I'd take him on my team any day. But as of this moment, I'm not the head coach at Notre Dame and Charlie Weis is a smarter than I am. Stock: Hold
Robert Hughes (5-foot 11, 230-pounds): Scout.com's No. 17 ranked running back. If the Irish get out of the gate strong, I don't expect Hughes to leave the Notre Dame scholarship on the table very long. Notre Dame offers him an opportunity to step in and compete for early playing time and Hughes wants to win. He's looking to visit South Bend officially for the football banquet on December 1. I also expect to see Hughes at several games this fall. Hughes is perfect for Weis' offense. I love the kid and he's tough as nails. Buy
Caleb King (5-foot-11, 195 pounds): Scout.com's No. 3 ranked running back. In terms of speed and power, I think King is the best back in the country. He has great balance and he can take a hit. He has mentioned Notre Dame in his list of schools and he has recently mentioned that he would take an official visit to South Bend. Despite all the good vibes coming from King, I think he will get caught by admissions. Sell
Greg Little (6-foot-3, 205 pounds): Scout.com's No. 8 ranked linebacker. I expect rumors circulate until Little announces his college decision on October 6. I've felt the Irish have been in the drives seat for a long time. Ignore the rumors. Buy
Arrelious Benn (6-foot-2, 190 pounds): Scout.com's No. 1 ranked wide receiver. See Greg Little. Ignore the rumors. Buy
Deonte Thompson (5-foot-11, 185 pounds): Scout.com's No. 8 ranked wide receiver. If there is one recruit that has really surprised me it has to be Deonte. I've never felt comfortable with where Notre Dame stood in relation to other schools, but every time he updates his list, the Irish are still there. He's even said that Notre Dame is one school he's certain he'll visit officially. Maybe I've been completely misreading Deonte… maybe not. Sell
Matt Summers-Gavin (6-foot-4, 280 pounds): Scout.com's No. 29 ranked offensive lineman. After speaking with Matt I would have thought Notre Dame would be a heavy favorite if they offered. He is extremely intelligent and at the time I thought he was looking for a Notre Dame experience. I still believe Notre Dame has a very good shot at him, but as the days slip by I grow less confident. He has some very good offers, but he may be waiting for a West Coast powerhouse to send him a scholarship. If they do, ND will be in for a very tough battle. Hold
Chris Little (6-foot-6, 327 pounds): Scout.com's No. 9 ranked offensive lineman. Notre Dame is still in the race, and he has set his official visit to South Bend for the Penn State game. Notre Dame is the only school outside the Southeast and that generally is not a good sign. I've always felt his heart belonged to the Georgia Bulldogs…then again I've been wrong, once. Hold