Notre Dame hasn't put a lid on their 2007 recruiting class, yet the Irish coaching staff has been working hard to identify the top junior prospects. Brendan Beal (6-foot-3.5, 235 pounds) is one of those players and he couldn't turn down an offer to visit Notre Dame for their recent junior day.
"They started recruiting me during the football season," Beal said of his contact with Notre Dame. "I've been getting mail from them daily. Once I started filling out the questionnaires they sent me an invitation to the junior day. Once I got that, it was something I had to go to.
"I met the linebacker coach, coach Polian. I met Corwin Brown. I met coach Rob Ianello and coach Weis. They talked about the ‘3-4' defense and they said that they'd be recruiting more linebackers. Because of my size, speed and athleticism they thought I'd have the ability to play that outside linebacker-defensive end combo.
"They said that they didn't bring in as many guys on defense this year as they wanted to," Beal explained. "So this year they said they were going to put a lot of emphasis in recruiting defensive players. Because they're bringing in a new defensive coordinator, Corwin Brown, they're going to be recruiting a lot of linebackers.
"I ended [the day] with my recruiting coordinator, John Latina, and he told me that they were going to look at my film. He said that he was going to watch it with the linebacker's coach and Coach Weis would watch it also. He said they would try to get out here this month and then we'd go from there. I hope they show interest in me."
Charlie Weis has roots in New Jersey and his name has carried a lot of weight in his home state when it comes to recruiting. Beal definitely feels he can identify with Notre Dame's head coach.
"I definitely think it helps with him being from New Jersey," Beal said. "I had a couple minutes with coach Weis. He coached over at Morristown, so he definitely know what's going on here, so it makes me feel a little more comfortable."
Beal is comfortable with Notre Dame's head coach, but he also realizes that an education from Notre Dame will help him fulfill his long-term goals.
"Notre Dame has tradition," Beal said. "Notre Dame has a name and academics are No.1 for me. Eventually the dream is to go pro, but if you think about it realistically I want to have something to fall back on. I want to be an investment banker on Wall Street. If I want to play big-time football, get an Ivy League education, and get the connections that could put me on Wall Street… that would be Notre Dame."
Beal reported a 4.3 g.p.a.