Harris is "built around patience"

Notre Dame just signed kicker Brandon Walker on Wednesday, but they may opt to add another leg in the 2008 recruiting class. Kicker Kyle Harris of Hazelwood Central High School (Florissant, Mo.) has a big leg and the Irish have been recruiting him since last fall.

Brandon Walker was recruited to be a kicker, but he also has the potential to take over the punting duties for fifth-year senior Geoff Price. If that were to happen Notre Dame may focus on Kyle Harris (6-foot-2, 175 pounds). Harris is no stranger to Notre Dame and he recently attended a junior day in South Bend.

"I definitely got more informed about the school itself," Harris responded when asked about his junior day experience. "I was up there this past summer for a camp, and then I was up this fall for the UCLA game. When I went up there for the UCLA game, it was gameday and the coaches were quickly running through things, where this time we got more in depth academic-wise. I got a better feel for the school itself and what being a student is all about.

"We got to campus and went into the recruiting room. We talked to some other recruits and socialized a little bit. Then we got in our groups and spoke with the coaches that recruited our area. I was with Jappy Oliver. I think he said it was his first year [recruiting St. Louis] and that he was just getting familiar with that area.

"[I like] the rich history and the academics at Notre Dame," Harris said. "When we were down there for the game it was more centered around football. This time they talked about Notre Dame's graduation rate and stuff like that. There was just some really important academics stuff that stood out to me."

When the recruits met with their positions coach, Harris met with Notre Dame's new defensive coordinator, Corwin Brown and linebackers coach Brian Polian.

"There were two kickers there and they actually put us with the linebackers, so it was coach Polian and coach Brown," Harris explained. "Coach Brown was actually the kicking coach at the last school he was at (Virginia). I had a nice conversation with him, and he does know his stuff about kicking. He emphasized mechanics and the little things. Some coaches will go watch a tape and watch the ball flight. He concentrated more on the small mechanics. He said not to worry about timing right now, instead follow through with your leg speed and get comfortable with kicking off the ground.

"I have kicked off the ground a lot. I've been working with Pat Leahy for the past three years. He kicked for the Jets for a long time. He's a family friend that has developed into my kicking coach. We'll have sessions where I'll kick off the ground and then kick off a tee. We move back and forth."

Since Notre Dame signed a kicker in the past two recruiting classes it is uncertain whether the Irish will pursue another for the 2008 class.

"They would like me to come up for their camp this summer," Harris said. "Other than that they said that they ‘d know by spring ball whether or not if they planned on offering a kicker for the 2008 class.

"To be honest, I'm built around patience. I saw my brother go through the recruiting process in 2003. He kicked also, and signed a partial scholarship at the University of Tennessee-Martin. I learned that you need to be patient and play your cards right."

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