If that improvement doesn't take place with the current starters manning the trenches, Notre Dame hopes that the young men waiting in the wings will be the answer in the future. With a bevy of top offensive line recruits on board from the class of 2006, Notre Dame hopes to further load up on top-flight line talent in the class of 2007.
Two players upon whom the Irish are pinning their future running game hopes hail from Florida and Colorado respectively. One made it to South Bend for the Michigan game and the other has an official planned for the UCLA contest. Where do the Irish stand with these two recruits? What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?
Emeka Nwankwo, OL, 6-5, 270, Chaminade Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, FL took his official visit to Notre Dame during the Michigan game and didn't seem negatively affected by the lopsided result.
"Not really, it doesn't affect me much," replied Nwankwo to a question concerning the Michigan loss. "It wasn't too good but you win some and you lose some."
Nwankwo has primarily been focusing upon his own season, but has still found time for some contact with the Irish staff.
"I haven't talked to the Notre Dame coach lately but I texted them," said Nwankwo. "I did talk to them the day after I left, but I've been real focused on the season."
While the talented young Floridian still professes to be impressed with and highly interested in Notre Dame, he also wants to check out the in-state programs of Florida and Florida State before making a decision.
"I don't know when I'll visit Florida but it should be soon," said Nwankwo. "I might just go on an unofficial just to watch a game. We haven't set a date for my decision yet but it should be sometime soon."
After rolling out to a 3-0 start, Chaminade Madonna lost their first game of the season on Saturday to St. Edward High School, Lakewood, Ohio in a battle of nationally ranked high school programs.
While the Notre Dame coaching staff hopes that Nwankwo will represent one piece of Notre Dame's future offensive line puzzle. They're looking to the state of Colorado for another piece, a very large piece. Ryan Miller, OL, 6-7, 280, Columbine High School, Columbine CO has the prototypical size of a big-time college tackle. And while Miller has a Rocky Mountain size pile of offers, he's narrowed his choices to just two.
"It's just ND and CU right now," Miller explained. "I'm about sixty percent Colorado and forty percent ND. I have an official visit scheduled to CU when they play Baylor on October 6. I have an official scheduled to Notre Dame for the UCLA game, and we're bringing the whole gang to that game."
Miller didn't see Notre Dame's loss to Michigan but indicated that the setback didn't really matter to him.
"Every team has one of those games except the '72 Dolphins," responded Miller. "Not many teams go undefeated. It's disappointing for the team that loses, but that just means that you're not perfect and you can work harder at practice to excel."
Miller is keeping in contact with coaches Weis and Oliver. He obviously sees the importance of developing a good rapport with whichever staff for whom he plans to play.
"I've talked with coach Oliver and coach Weis a little bit," said Miller. "I haven't talked to them this week yet. I talk to college coaches on average about twenty minutes or even double that. I don't mind that because it's nice to have chemistry with coaches like that. It's a lot better than a ‘dear prospect' letter."
Miller won't make a decision until he's taken his official visits. Once those are done, he'll likely decide but until then he's just concentrating on his own season.
"We're 2-1," said Ryan of his high school season thus far. "We lost our first game because we weren't ready as a team. I'm having a fairly good year, I can't complain. I'm doing what I can."
These two summaries were just a sample of the Notre Dame recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes.