Notre Dame 2007 Recruiting Class: Offense

Notre Dame lost a number of it's top offensive players due to graduation, but the 2007 recruiting class will go a long way toward filling the holes left by Brady Quinn and the other departing players.

Jimmy Clausen; Quarterback; 6-3, 205 pounds, Oaks Christian High School (Westlake Village, Calif.) Scout.com No. 1 ranked quarterback and No.4 ranked prospect nationally. Clausen ended his career at Oaks Christian with a 43-0 record while leading the team to three CIF-Southern Section Division XI state championships. He finished his senior season 194-of-281 (69 percent) for 3,428 yards, 49 touchdowns and six interceptions. He participated in the U.S. Army All-American game. Clausen selected Notre Dame over USC. Clausen graduated early and enrolled at Notre Dame in January.

He will battle Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Zach Frazer for the starting quarterback position this spring. Clausen does everything well as a quarterback. He's very polished, he's accurate and he understands the game. He's watched and grown under his older brothers, Rick and Casey who played at Tennessee. Clausen is the most highly touted quarterback Notre Dame has signed since Ron Powlus.

Armando Allen; Running back, 5-10, 185 pounds (Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School (Hialeah, Fla.) Scout.com's No. 21 ranked running back. Allen broke his tibia in the first game of his senior year and missed the remainder of the season. As a junior he carried the ball 113 times for 1,127 and 13 touchdowns. Also as a junior, Florida's AAAA state champion in the 110-meter hurdles (13.82). He was named to the U.S. Army All-American squad, but did not participate. Allen selected Notre Dame over Florida. Armando graduated early and enrolled at Notre Dame in January.

Allen brings a dimension to the field that Notre Dame hasn't had in a long time… lightening quickness. He can stop and then get up to full speed quickly and he is elusive. He is a Reggie Bush type player. Like Bush, he probably won't get a lot of carries between the tackles, but he can do some damage inside. He catches the ball well, so you can split him out and he is terrific in the return game. He will battle Munir Prince, and fellow recruit Golden Tate for playing time in third down situations.

"We're watching the NFL combines and we see guys running 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 forties, and this kid runs a 4.3-forty right now. Speed, humility, work ethic; he's got the whole package." -- Head coach Jerry Hughes.

Robert Hughes; Running back 5-11, 228 pounds, Hubbard High School (Chicago, Ill.) Scout.com's No. 9 ranked running back and No. 72 ranked prospect nationally. Hughes rushed for over 1,000 yards three consecutive years. As a senior he rushed for 1,780 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was a two-time all-state selection at running back. He participated in the U.S. Army All-American game. Hughes selected Notre Dame over Illinois.

Hughes is the thunder to Allen's lightening. There is no secret to his style; he'd rather run a defender over than around him, but he can make a move. He doesn't have breakaway speed, but he is fast enough to get outside. He's the type of player that can carry the ball 30 times a game and get stronger as the game moves on. His best asset may be his ability to catch the ball. He gets his hands away from his body and is smooth in transition as he turns up field. He is well developed, so he will be capable of playing as a freshman. He'll battle fifth-year senior Travis Thomas and sophomore James Aldridge for carries.

Golden Tate; Running Back/Athlete, 5-11, 185, Pope John Paul II High School, (Hendersonville, Tenn.) Scout.com's No. 37 ranked wide receiver. Two-time Tennessee's Division II "Mr. Football. As a senior, Tate rushed for 1,413 yards and 22 touchdowns, caught 28 passes for 510 yards and six touchdowns. For his career he had 88 touchdowns, over 3,500 yards rushing and over 2,200 yards receiving. Tate selected Notre Dame over Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Alabama.

Tate could play running back, wide receiver as well as defensive back. He'll get his start at Notre Dame in the backfield where he'll battle Munir Prince and Armando Allen for playing time. Tate is probably a little bigger than either of those players, and depending on his development, he could be an every-down back. Golden isn't quite as fast as Allen, but he has very good speed and he is a slippery ballcarrier.

"He's a player that can score from anywhere on the field, in any situation. He's very shifty, he has great vision, he's able to set up cut back lanes, and he has the breakaway speed to turn a potential loss into an 80-yard touchdown. He has tremendous talent, he's very humble and he understands that it could all be gone in a moments notice." – Head coach Jeff Brothers

Duval Kamara; Wide receiver 6-4, 205 pounds, Hoboken High School (N.J.) Scout.com's No. 8 ranked wide receiver and No. 63 ranked prospect nationally. As a senior he caught 26 passes for 628 yards and 9 touchdowns. He finished his high school career with over 2,800 receiving yards and 44 touchdowns. Kamara participated in the U.S. Army All-American game. He selected Notre Dame over USC, Florida, Penn State, Miami, Tennessee and Maryland.

Kamara is similar to former Irish receiver Maurice Stovall, but he's probably a more polished receiver coming out of high school and he's probably a more natural receiver, despite coming from a "wing-T offense. He has good speed and he catches the ball well. He does need to become more aggressive as a receiver, but the talent is there. With the Irish losing Stovall and Jeff Samardzija the past two years, there is room for a tall receiver. Expect Kamara to challenge for playing time the moment he steps on campus.

Mike Ragone; Tight end, 6-5, 230 pounds, Camden Catholic High School (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Scout.com's No.2 ranked tight end and No. 55 ranked prospect nationally. Ragone injured his knee a year ago during the state wrestling tournament. The injury caused him to miss his senior season. As a junior, Ragone caught 46 passes for 560 yards and scored eight touchdowns. Like Armando Allen he was named to the U.S. Army All-American game, but he didn't participate due to his injury. He should be ready to go by the time the team reports for summer school on June 18. Ragone selected Notre Dame over USC, Penn State, Ohio State and Florida State.

Ragone is a big, tough kid that will fit the Notre Dame offense perfectly. He is a very good blocker, but he also possesses tremendous hands and he has above average speed for a tight end. John Carlson has to be considered a lock for the starting tight end position, but Ragone will be in the mix for snaps with sophomores Konrad Reuland and Will Yeatman.

Matt Romine; Offensive tackle, 6-6, 275 pounds, Union High School (Tulsa, Okla.) Scout.com's No. 12 offensive guard. He was a two-time all-state selection. Matt participated in the U.S. Army All-American game.

Matt could play either guard or tackle, but Notre Dame recruited him to play the left tackle spot opposite Sam Young. Romine is technically sound. He has quick feet and he moves them well, setting himself in perfect position to move out the defender. Romine's best asset is that he has a nasty attitude. He will battle Michael Turkovich, Bartley Webb and Paul Duncan for the spot vacated by Ryan Harris at left tackle. He'll need to add some strength, but he may be ready to play by Georgia Tech.

Taylor Dever; Offensive guard, 6-6, 300 pounds, Nevada Union High School (Grass Valley, Calif.) Scout.com's No. 29 ranked offensive tackle. Dever selected Notre Dame over Miami, Nebraska, and Washington.

Dever might be the best story of this recruiting class. He didn't have any offers until Fresno State invited him in October. Two months, and another 13 scholarship offers later he committed to Notre Dame. Notre Dame loved him the moment they saw his film. He's a big kid that has good quickness. He moves his feet well and he can get out and block smaller players. Taylor is versatile. He could play either guard or tackle, although Notre Dame likes him as a guard. With two spots open on the offensive line, he will get a look, but reality says that he will need a year to develop strength and build a college body.

Emeka Nwankwo; Offensive guard, 6-5, 270 pounds Chaminade Madonna College Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) Scout.com's No. 22 offensive tackle. Emeka selected Notre Dame over Florida, and Florida State.

Nwankwo is probably the most athletic lineman in this class. He can really get out to the second level, and he has the ability to block on the corner. He will need to add strength, but he has plenty of room to grow. He's a big, agile kid that likes to play the game. Notre Dame could give him a look on the defensive side of the ball, and he'd like that, but Emeka will likely get his first looks at offensive guard. Like Dever, it will take some time for him to add the strength to play.


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