Recruiting week in review.

The Army All-American game represents a watershed point in the recruiting season. Many top players declare their college choice at this venue. Though Notre Dame only picked up one commitment at the game, they had eight of their verbal commitments selected to play. If their performances were any indication, this recruiting class could well be quite special.

The one recruit that did declare for the Irish had been believed to be an Irish lean for quite some time. His formal declaration gave the Notre Dame faithful at least one victory in an otherwise disappointing week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Matt Romine, OL, 6-6, 270, Union High School, Tulsa OK played a big role in the West's 24-7 lopsided victory over the East on Saturday. Romine, who announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame prior to the start of the contest, was in the game for all five of the West's scoring drives. As an added honor, he was named one of the three captains of the West squad prior to the game.

"It was a great honor," said Romine of being named captain. "Whenever they told me on Wednesday I kind of sat back and it kind of sunk in that I was a captain of the West All-American team. Just like being selected for this game, it was a great honor."

Romine played right guard during the game, though he prefers tackle, the position for which the Irish recruited him.

"That's what has me rated at, and I guess that's where they wanted me to play this game," said Romine. "I'm up for that, I'm up for whatever gets me in the game and helps the team. I'm proud of that, that I did what's best for the team."

Not every participant in the game, made his college choice. Several of those are still on Notre Dame's radar including running back Robert Hughes. Hughes, RB, 5-11, 228, Hubbard High School, Chicago, IL, didn't let the stress of making his college decision prevent him from having a great time at the game. Despite some rust early in the week, Hughes quickly found his form. After a couple of days of practice, Irish Eyes caught up with the talented running back.

"Two days in, I think everything is going good," Hughes said. "I feel confident with everybody. I am starting to get used to how the line blocks. I am getting back into the rhythm of everything because our season ended early. I'm very versatile. I can do a mixture of different things. With zone reads and everything, I am good with that."

Not only did Hughes find his form, but he also impressed the coaches with his work ethic and enthusiasm.

"Robert Hughes, I'll tell you what, first off just a character in general," said running backs coach Rob Ambrosino of Sparta, NJ. "The kid is in the front of the line for everything, he wants to be here, he's focused on it; just outstanding ability. I see him more as an inside-zone runner. He's a square shoulder, get up the field, run you over north-south kid. I'm enjoying coaching him."

Hughes enthusiasm for the game even extended to running back punts on the first day of practice. He stepped out of the drill on the second day but had plans to return the next day.

"I was off to the side getting a sip of water, and I am seeing punt balls coming down on my head," said Hughes. "Tomorrow I will get back at it and start catching them again."

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes. Top Stories