Recruiting week in review.

Sixteen of the twenty-three verbal commitments to the University of Florida in the class of 2007 hail from the state of Florida. Twenty-one of the University of Texas' twenty-two verbal commitments reside in Texas. By contrast, the University of Notre Dame's 2007 class does not include a single player from the state of Indiana.

James Aldridge, Luke Schmidt and Ryan Burkhart were the only Indiana players from the class of 2006. That's three players in two years from their home state. When an in-state player does come along that the Irish can recruit, he obviously becomes a top priority. That just may be the case in the class of 2008. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Junior Bryan Schroeder, RB, 5-10, 215, North Harrison High School, Ramsey, IN put together back to back 2000 yard rushing seasons. Those kinds of numbers are sure to bring college coaches running and they have.

"Indiana's been here, Purdue's been here," said Schroeder's head coach, Jason Mullis. "Kentucky, (Louisville), all of these people have made special visits letting him know they're interested. Georgia Tech is supposed to be coming in some time this month. Those are the big ones. He is getting letters from everywhere. Notre Dame is sending me stuff all the time."

The Irish coaching staff knows Schroeder well, having seen him at a one day camp in South Bend last summer. The Irish really impressed him with what has become an all-too-familiar combination of facilities and Charlie Weis.

"Wow," Schroeder enthused about his visit to Notre Dame. "You've seen it in the movies and on TV and stuff, but I had never been on campus. We worked out in the (Guglielmino Athletics Complex) and took a tour of the stadium and ate in the press box. I got to tour the locker room and touch the Play Like A Champion sign."

Schroeder also received the opportunity to talk to head coach Charlie Weis.

"It was cool, I touched his Super Bowl ring."

Schroeder's numbers at the Nike combine paint the picture of a running back who can do it all, Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside all wrapped in one package. His Sparq rating of 85.76 represented the seventh best at the camp. He bench pressed 185 pounds 22 times, ran the short shuttle in 4.37 seconds and vertical jumped 35.5 inches. Mullis, who undoubtedly knows him as a player better than anyone definitely believes that the camp numbers don't lie.

"Bryan has a nice mixture of speed and power," said Mullis. "He is a 215 pound back but still has that elusiveness and quickness that most 215 pound backs do not have."

Schroeder also recognizes that his game has evolved.

"My sophomore year I was really more of an elusive back, I'd cut and make people miss," Schroeder explained. "This year I added some pounds, hit the weights, and I was running people over. I think I have great vision, and I'm pretty short and if you don't get as low as I am, you don't have a chance of tackling me."

Though Schroeder plays against 3A competition (class 5A is the largest class in the state of Indiana) he has completely dominated that competition the last two years. He currently needs exactly 2000 yards to break the state career rushing mark of 7560 yards.

Though it's very early in the recruiting process, Schroeder currently lists his favorites as Notre Dame, Indiana, Louisville, Purdue and Iowa. He has already visited several universities, including his second visit to Notre Dame last year for the North Carolina game.

"I had been to several college football games and that one seemed like the loudest," Schroeder said. "That was the place that had the most support from its fans. It was a great experience."

Schroeder reports a 2.9 g.p.a. and a dream that many prospective football players in the state of Indiana have.

"I can dream of myself coming out of that tunnel."

With only two Indiana recruits in the last two years, the Irish coaching staff has been forced to range far afield to find players. Their recruitment of the state of Colorado has come up a bit short each of the last two years. In the class of 2006, defensive tackle Butch Lewis opted for Southern Cal and in the class of 2007, offensive tackle Ryan Miller chose to stay home and verballed to the Colorado Buffaloes. Notre Dame hopes to have better luck with linebacker Jon Major. Major, LB, 6-4, 225, Ponderosa High School, Parker, CO carries with him a fearsome reputation as a vicious hitter. At times, he has been known to make the tackle by knocking the lead blocker back into the running back. The fans in the Douglas County Stadium have come to expect just such heroics.

"He's knocked some people for a loop," said head coach Randy Huff. "He'll hit anything in his way. The stadium recognizes who he is."

Apparently Colorado, Washington, Utah and Wisconsin also recognize him as well since they have already offered him scholarships. Major brings with him an impressive set of measurables. He clocked a 4.58 forty and a 4.1 shuttle last year. Those times would be far more common in a safety than a middle linebacker and Huff believes he may be even fast than those times indicate.

"He runs downhill to attack the line of scrimmage, that is one of the best thing he does," said Huff. "What he does better than that is run sideline to sideline. We run a style of defense where he has to read and run."

Perhaps Major' best work is in the classroom where he has compiled an impressive 3.7 g.p.a. He lists his early favorites as Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, Michigan and Ohio State.

Major has taken unofficial visits to Washington, Colorado, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. He was in South Bend for the Penn State game.

"The fans, every player seemed like a celebrity," Major said. "It was very pretty. I liked the dome and all that."

Major could end up committing early somewhere.

"It really doesn't matter to me when I make my decision. It all depends on if I find the place I want to be."

These two summaries are just a sample of the football recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories