Mike's Mailbag

We had more questions left over from Power Hour. I answered most of them here. Keep those questions coming.

Mike....Brendan Beal, Steve Filer, Andrew Sweat & Etienne Sabino who, if any, is your best guess to fall Irish.? Does ND hold a scholarship till the end for Arthur Brown?

Mike: Notre Dame's best bets out of those four would be Steve Filer and Etienne Sabino. I think both have the Irish very high on their list right now. Some think Filer could decide by the end of the summer. If so, the Irish could have a great shot to land him. If it drags on into the fall, the Irish will have serious competition from someone. Sabino has mentioned he'd like to come up for an unofficial this summer. That would be great news for Notre Dame if he did. He also says he plans to visit early for a game. I strongly believe the Irish need to get him on campus a.s.a.p. to make sure they keep his attention. As for Brown, the Irish won't be able to hold a scholarship for Brown if they already have five linebackers committed. It's possible they could by the time Brown decides. It will all depend on how the rest of the class end up unfolding as to if the Irish can wait for Brown's decision. My guess is they'll be done at linebacker before Brown decides.

I have read the trio of Robert Blanton, Jamoris Slaughter and Dan McCarthy are all being recruited as safeties with all expressing great interest in the Irish, how do you see this playing out?

Mike: Robert Blanton and Jamoris Slaughter are being recruited as corner prospects, not safeties. The Irish like both at corner. McCarthy is the only safety the Irish have a real shot at that they've offered at this point. Notre Dame probably won't offer another safety until they have a good idea where McCarthy will end up.

Mike , Do we have any chance at Andrew Sweat?

Mike: The Irish still have a chance, but I'm not sure how good of a chance that might be. Andrew seemed to really like Notre Dame and then went and visited other schools and the Irish dropped a bit. They remain one of his top schools, but right now things seem to be pointing to Ohio State. Still, he hasn't decided yet, and he's said that he now plans to take some visits, so there's something holding him back from making a commitment. If he's still not sure, there's always a chance. I'm sure Notre Dame will continue to recruit him.

Mike, love the show. Where do you think we stand so far with Ryan Williams, and do you think he's our number one target at running back? And if not who is?

Mike: Ryan is a hard read because we've never actually spoken with him. In fact, I'm not sure anyone ever has. He just doesn't seem to want to talk about his recruitment, which I fully understand if he doesn't. I do think Notre Dame has a real shot at him. I couldn't say for sure where the Irish stand, but I do think they're high on his list. I'm not sure who would be their No. 1 target at running back, but he'd definitely be high on their list. I'd say right now he, Carlton Thomas and Cyrus Gray appear to be their best shots at running back.

Mike...assuming Brandon Newman will soon join the fold, that will bring the Irish def tackle catch to 3. Would they still go after Garrett Goebel or hold out for Marcus Forston?

Mike: I think it all depends on who commits first. I think Notre Dame would take a commitment from Goebel or almost anyone they've offered at defensive line for a fourth player along the defensive line. The question will be if they take a fifth D-lineman, which I believe they would depending on who wanted to come. The Irish need defensive lineman in this class, and they're not going to turn away guys they've offered at this point. It's the fifth D-lineman they might get picky about.

How many total scholarships will ND give this year?

Mike: Right now my best guess is 22. That number could change if any transfers happen, or any medical injuries happen. I just don't see Notre Dame taking more than 22 unless something changes on their roster….like a transfer or a medical hardship.

What are our chances with Will Hill?

Mike: I'd say the chances are slim and none. He just doesn't appear to be very interested in Notre Dame at this point. He really hasn't shown any interest.

Mike, where do you think we stand with Jamoris Slaughter? From reading the current article I think we have an excellent chance to land him.

Mike: I think Notre Dame's chances are good with Jamoris. He seemed to really like his trip to ND. I think his parents also really like Notre Dame. I think ND's chances are best if they can get him to commit fairly soon. If it drags on during the fall, I think the Irish will face some stiff competition. He's a fantastic player, and I'm sure the Irish are hoping he'll pull the trigger for them fairly soon.

What would you say the odds would be for ND to land BOTH Mike Floyd and Brice Butler, and do you expect both players to announce before their senior seasons?

Mike: I'd say the chances of that happening is better than average. I think both players like Notre Dame quite a bit. It's possible ND is leading for both. I know Butler really liked his conversations with Jimmy Clausen and I think they remain in contact. Floyd could decide before his season. Butler has said it's possible, but he may want to take some official visits before deciding. I'd say Floyd is more likely to decide before his season.

Mike, how do you foresee the running back situation to play itself out over the course of the season? Specifically, do you think there will be two main guys who get lots of carries each week, and then some situational backs? How do you think Weis will use Schwapp and Schmidt?

Mike: That will be interesting to follow. I think initially you'll see multiple backs. I think Weis will be looking for what's working. I do think Weis prefers to use just a couple of running backs. One main guy, and one change of pace guy. The key will be which back can be effective running, but can also catch the football, and more importantly, pick up the blitz. I really can't predict which guy it will be. That's why I think you'll see multiple backs early while they search for the two types I mentioned above. As for Schwapp and Schmidt, I think they'll both play, but how much depends on them. I don't think we'll see them much at all if they can't lead block well. They'll need to be great blockers to get time on the field. If they don't block well, I think you'll see Weis go to two tight end sets mostly.

Between Pat Kuntz, Chris Stewart and Ian Williams, is that enough depth to rotate and make the d-line effective?

Mike: I assume you mean t nose guard. I think that all depends on what kind of production you'll get from those players. Having three means little if they don't hold their ground while in there. I think Kuntz will give you a lot when he's in there, but I doubt he can hold up for an entire game. We just don't know enough about Stewart or Williams at this point to really say. The good news is Derrell Hand appears to be playing well and stepping at up nose guard as well. They'll need at least two that can give them quality minutes at this position in the fall. I thinking finding that will be the key to how effective Notre Dame's defense is in 2007.

My wife wants me to ask you if you happen to have a job for me. She says I spend too much time on this website not to be getting paid for it. Also just wanting to know a little about yourself.

Mike: I think your wife is in the same boat as a lot of wives…..mine included, but I do get paid for it. I actually don't currently have any jobs available, sorry. As for me, I grew up in the great state of Nebraska, which I dearly love and miss. I went to a Catholic high school in Kearney, Nebraska, and I still think I hold the record for most detentions in both a single year and student career. I'd have to check, but they said it would never be broken. I've been a ND fan as long as I can remember. My dad is/was a ND fan, so that's how it started, but he's been turned to the dark side and now cheers for the Huskers as well. I think if I can ever get him to South Bend, we can turn him back. I somehow stumbled into this job when I ran into my good friend Jamie Newberg chatting one night about recruiting and he got me started in this business. I just turned 39, I have a beautiful English wife (who still hasn't realized that America is the greatest country in the world), and I have the greatest music taste in the world, just ask me.

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