Recruiting Week in Review

Just a few years ago the idea that Notre Dame would have issued over sixty scholarship offers and received twelve verbal commitments before the May evaluation period was even half over would have been laughable. But, that is indeed the case. That doesn't mean that this period has become irrelevant.

Despite the plethora of offers and commitments, the Notre Dame coaching staff continues to hit the road, meeting coaches, attending combines and evaluating players. New names continue to pop up on the Irish radar. Irish Eyes caught up with two of those new targets last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Graham Pocic, OL, 6-7, 300, Lemont High School, Lemont, IL earned camp MVP honors at the Purdue Nike Camp. He also caught the attention of the Notre Dame coaching staff.

"Since the Purdue Nike Camp Notre Dame's been talking to me a lot," said Pocic of interest from the Irish coaching staff. "I got the camp MVP for the offensive linemen. There were a lot of speed guys, so there was some pretty good competition."

After his eye-opening performance in West Lafayette, it didn't take Notre Dame coaches Rob Ianello and John Latina long to contact Pocic.

"Right after the combine I got a couple of text messages from coach Latina and coach Ianello saying that I had a great camp and that they're going to be in touch with me soon," said Pocic. "Coach Ianello said that I can be pretty certain that they're going to be interested in me."

Pocic is hardly a new face to the Notre Dame staff. He's camped at South Bend for two years. Still, he seems to understand the process.

"I'm trying to be patient," said Pocic. "They're going to reevaluate all of their prospects at the end of the month, so hopefully I'll be the next offensive lineman that they'll offer."

Pocic has been a long time Irish fan but understands that recruiting is more than about just being a fan. Just as schools are evaluating him, he's also evaluating schools. He plans to trim his list by the end of May.

"They'd definitely be up there but they wouldn't jump out to a lead," Pocic said of Notre Dame. "At the end of the month I'm going to narrow things down. I told Notre Dame that if they're going to be in it that they're going to have to offer by the end of the month. They seemed o.k. with that."

Pocic has done all the right things to make an informed decision. He's visited many of the schools on his list and plans to add at least one more. He's also developed an idea of what he wants from whomever he eventually selects.

"I've been to pretty much every school around her like Notre Dame, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue," explained Pocic. "I went to Louisville last year and I'm going to Penn State before the end of the month. Playing time is definitely important to me. I don't have to play my freshman year, but if there is a situation that I can, I'd like to have that chance. I definitely want to play before my senior year. I'm looking at the mix of the coaching staff, the strength and conditioning coach and guys that are already on the team."

Pocic is currently considering scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Boston College and Colorado.

Another player that has recently caught the eyes of the Irish staff is Morgan Carter. Carter, WR/ATH, 6-4, 200, C.D. Hylton Senior High School, Woodbridge, VA may be cursed by his own versatility. The talented junior athlete throws the discus over 160 feet and qualified for the state meet in the event each of his first two years in high school. In addition, he has currently long jumped over 22 feet and hopes to qualify in that event as well. Just to top things off, he ran a 1:56 800 meters and carries a 3.9 g.p.a. Oh, and he plays a little football too. As a junior, Carter racked up 37 tackles, forced four fumbles, recovered three fumbles and deflected three passes on defense. On offense he hauled in 15 receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball 12 times for 214 yards and two more touchdowns.

It may well be that Carter's athleticism is actually his curse. He has been so indispensable to his team that he's never really settled into a position and been able to put up the eye-popping numbers that attracts the attention of college recruiters. In the past, he's played cornerback, safety and linebacker on defense and wide receiver and running back on offense. This year he's slated to play quarterback.

Carter did impress last week at an elite combine in New Jersey. He worked out at wide receiver and earned MVP honors. He had already caught the eye of Notre Dame coach Ron Powlus but the combine did nothing but improve his stock with the Irish. Carter and Powlus have exchanged some text messages and chat occasionally.

"He (Powlus) let me know after the combine my stock rose with them," said Carter. "They feel like they have a better picture of me. They know what I can do academically and as a person. They can see what I can do at certain positions by watching my film. They can see me do a lot of things at different positions, but they don't know exactly what they want. But they definitely saw what I could do at receiver last week."

With John Goodman already verbally committed to Notre Dame and several other receiver offers issued, Carter's status with the Irish remains a bit murky. Powlus has been completely up front with Carter and for now the versatile athlete seems content to wait.

"Powlus let me know where I was at in the process right now," explained Carter. "It's good he is talking to me and trying to build a relationship with me. I just have to go out there and perform at their camp. I don't think anything is going to change for me until then, but I hope it does."

Carter currently holds scholarship offers from Connecticut, Michigan State and Rutgers.

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

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