Notre Dame received two commitments on Tuesday when Golden Tate and Ian Williams picked the Irish. Several additional players could be added to Notre Dame's recruiting class with the next several days, while there are some recruits that Irish fans will need patiently wait for their announcement.
Martez Wilson has set December 20 as the date he will announce his decision. He has narrowed his choices down to Illinois, Notre Dame and USC. Notre Dame has been in and out of this race most of the year. He will announce with defensive tackle Josh Brent. With Brent expected to pick Illinois there is no reason to think Wilson will do anything different.
Chris Little hasn't set a date, but in a recent conversation he said that he would announce fairly soon. His decision will come down to Notre Dame, Georgia, Clemson, Florida, and LSU. He is done with all of his in-home visits, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him call a press conference as early as Monday or Tuesday. Notre Dame has done a great job of recruiting him. He'll get a lot of pressure to stay down South, but I think he'll head to South Bend.
Taylor Dever hasn't set a date to announce either, but like Little, that could occur very soon. Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska and Miami are all being considered. Taylor had a visit to Nebraska scheduled for this weekend, but Notre Dame had an in-home visit with him last night. It is entirely possible that he made a decision yesterday.
Harrison Smith hasn't set a date either, but he did say that he wanted to have his announcement done by Christmas. This has been a Notre Dame-Tennessee battle since spring. Smith is catching a ton of flack from the hometown Volunteer fans because they feel he will select the Irish. That pressure isn't improving their chances. Regardless, Smith will eventually pick Notre Dame.
Matt Summers-Gavin recently changed his timetable. He had intended on making his announcement in January, but he now says that it will come before Christmas. Generally when that happens, a player has made his decision. He said that he will choose between Notre Dame and Cal. He'd be a great fit for Notre Dame, but I think he will stay close to home.
U.S. Army All-American game (January 6)
Ben Martin is one of the most important recruits remaining for Notre Dame. He is down to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida, and Tennessee. Coach Fulmer will make a visit to Martin today, and then Ben is done with in-home visits from coaches. Ben hasn't tipped his hand, and contends that all teams are on equal footing. Word coming from Ohio is that he has been a lock for the Buckeyes since birth, but I'm going to make an early prediction and say that they will be disappointed come January 6.
Lorenzo Edwards, like Martin doesn't say a whole lot about his recruitment. He has narrowed his list of choices down to Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, Georgia Tech and Clemson. Also like Ben Martin, his recruitment is very close and he could go in several directions. Most believe it is a three-team race between the Irish, Wolverines and Gators with fans from each team believing they have the advantage. I'm a Notre Dame fan, so I'll do the logical thing and say that Notre Dame will be his choice.
Chris Donald would be my pick for most important recruit left if he were a lineman. He's a player Notre Dame needs badly on defense. Like Harrison Smith, Donald is down to Notre Dame and Tennessee and it has been this way for some time. I was feeling pretty good about Notre Dame's chances until recently. There are three weeks until he announces and anything could happen, but I just don't feel good about this one. I hope I'm wrong, but I think Chris stays home.
Robert Hughes is down to Notre Dame, Illinois, and Ohio State. I believe this is a Notre Dame-Illinois battle. Unlike Martez Wilson, Hughes sees a bigger opportunity at Notre Dame and I expect him pick the Irish.Matt Romine has had Notre Dame at the top of his list for a long time. Oklahoma and Michigan are the main competitors, with Michigan never really entering the mix too heavily. I've said all along that this would come down to a Oklahoma-Notre Dame battle. Romine has been to South Bend five times, but Matt is concerned with the number of offensive linemen the Irish have brought in. Chris Little may influence his decision. If Little picks the Irish, look for Romine to start leaning toward the Sooners.
Michael Williams has been down to Notre Dame and Michigan for a while. He has a lot of ties to Notre Dame and he attended the Notre Dame football camp for several years. Unfortunately, once he went to check out other schools, Michigan probably made the biggest impression on him. I think the choice is Michigan.
Will Blackwell has taken visits to Notre Dame, Florida and LSU. He has said that he will take two more, but he hasn't decided on which two schools he will visit. He is Notre Dame's No.1 priority at this time. The Irish need defensive tackles badly. Will has gone relatively quite the last several weeks and that concerns me. I thought Notre Dame had the advantage, but the more this drags on the harder it will be for him to pick the Irish.
Jason Peters is probably as important as Blackwell. Peters can play either defensive end or defensive tackle. His top schools are Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, LSU, Florida, and Nebraska. He said that the Irish will get a visit. He has taken a trip to Georgia Tech and he really likes the school. Academics are important to Peters. He'll likely take all of his visits, so expect a late announcement.
Major Wright is a big-time player that the Irish need on defense. He's an attitude player. Wright recently trimmed his list of school down to Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and USC. He has visited Ohio State and many think he'll end up there. USC has way too much depth at safety. Florida and Notre Dame have a great shot and they will get a visit.
Joe McKnight has surprisingly listed the Irish as one of his finalists, along with LSU, USC, Clemson, and Florida. I think Clemson has too much young talent in their backfield… same with USC. Florida doesn't give its running backs enough carries. I don't think Notre Dame can pull him north. I think it's eventually LSU.
Malcolm Smith has named the Irish among his top schools for a while, and I've always expected them the fall off. It's the middle of December and the Irish are still hanging around with USC, UCLA, Cal and Penn State. He still has a number of visits to take. He was at Notre Dame for the Michigan game. The loss didn't change his impression of the Irish. It will be tough for Notre Dame to get him from the Trojans, but they have a shot.