John, West Lafayette:
I can't help but think that Chris Donald is a silent commit. I know it's not good to speculate, but he said in an interview while talking about ND that "I know some people are going to be mad at me, but I have to make the best decision for myself. They're not going to be playing there I am." Do you agree that it sounds like his mind is made up for ND?
Mike: Well, I could read that one of two ways. It's been said his parents prefer he choose ND. If that's true, maybe his family will be the people he'll disappoint. We have to be careful not to read too much into what is said. Regardless, I do think Notre Dame has made up a lot of ground recently. Will it be enough?
Ryan Miller is coming up for the UCLA game with his whole family. Has Ryan actually been to ND yet? He was on your show a while back and didn't seem that excited about ND, but with the season CU is having and possible coaching controversies if CU goes winless, coupled with the fact that Ryan is bringing "the fam" next weekend all seem like positive signs that things could change with him. Do you think any of these things could persuade him to come to ND?
Mike: Miller has remained steadfast that the Buffaloes lead for his signature. He has been to Notre Dame before. He went there this summer and was impressed. However, I think the Irish will have to impress him a great deal to swing it in their favor. That certainly can happen and has numerous times over the years. I do believe Miller will find that he'll fit in very well with the rest of the ND team.
(Greg) Little may be waiting to find out what NC is going to do about their coaching next year.
Mike: That very well may be the case with Greg Little's delay of his decision. I just think he's confused about what he wants to do. I think both schools are very good schools academically. I guess it depends on if Little wants to be a big fish in a little pond or if he wants to step into the spotlight. Little's never shied away from competition, so I still think there's a good chance the Irish can land him.
You may have addressed this topic before, but how does it work for someone like Jimmy Clausen who arrives at ND in January, but the National Letter of Intent signing day is not until early February? Do January enrollees have a different "signing day?" Do they have to sign at all?
Mike: I'm not certain on this, but I'm sure they even sign a letter of intent. I think they just enroll. I could be wrong, but the idea of the letter of intent is to end the recruiting process before they actually enroll. They're doing that by enrolling. However, I'm not really sure of the actual process.
Loomis, South Bend:
Where do you see George West fitting in next year? He seems to be one of the quickest on the team.
Mike: I think West will definitely be in the mix as a return man, and probably in the mix to take over for Zbikowski as a punt returner if decides to leave for the NFL draft. West certainly will also be in the mix at wide receiver as well.
West is the type of receiver who excels in space. Weis is smart enough to know how to get the West the ball and put him in position to make plays. For West, the challenge will be to show that he can be an every down receiver, and that comes with blocking down field and taking a pounding on inside slants and throws across the middle. If he can show he can take the pounding, he'll be in the mix for a starting spot and every down receiver.
Donnie, Lemont, Ill.:
Do you think we will get Ryan Miller and Joseph Barksdale?
Mike: I think it's too early to say at this point. We'll know a lot more about Miller after this weekend. If the Irish don't pull into the lead after his visit to South Bend, I'd say it would be very unlikely he'll choose ND. With Barksdale, I think there are many, many cards left to be played in that game. The Irish have as good a shot (or better) than anyone else in the game right now.
Mike, what are your thoughts on Harrison Smith? It sounds like he's pretty high on ND. And how do you think he could affect Donald's recruitment?
Mike: I think the Irish have the lead for Harrison Smith, but he hasn't visited Tennessee yet. They are obviously the competition as well. If memory serves me, I think he went to either Auburn or Alabama this weekend. I think it's important for the Irish to continue to recruit him very hard. The big hurdle the Irish must overcome is the Tennessee visit. It might be awhile before he makes up his mind. Harrison told me that he might even wait until the Army All-American game if he were nominated for the game. I don't think Harrison's recruitment will affect Donald's. Smith is now being recruited as a safety.
K.J., Kent Ohio:
Looking into your crystal ball, where will ND rank at the end of the recruiting season? Top 5 or top 2?
Mike: I would say a top 10 ranking is probably assured at this point considering where they stand with many of the top guys. How much further they climb up the ladder on recruiting rankings will depend on how many of these "either/or" battles they win. If they win many of the battles for players like Armando Allen, Ryan Miller, Will Blackwell, Arrelious Benn, Greg Little, Martez Wilson, Joseph Barksdale, Michael Williams and many more, they'll climb up to near the top. I'm not sure they'll land the top spot. I think they'll have to land almost all of their top guys to climb to the No. 1 spot.
Why hasn't ND offered Golden Tate? I heard that he can get into ND. Is that true?
Mike: What I've heard is that Tate still has some work to do to get into Notre Dame. That's not confirmed, because it can't be confirmed, but that is what I hear. However, Notre Dame went to his game this past weekend and that certainly shows they're interested. I wouldn't doubt if he'll be offered fairly soon, but it would likely be a conditional offer based on him passing admissions.
If you have any questions you'd like answered, feel free to e-mail those questions to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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