Stock Report: Defense

The past several seasons Notre Dame has struggled on defense, but that doesn't seem to be hurting recruiting. Notre Dame is on pace to have one of their strongest recruiting classes on the defensive side of the ball in a number of years. The Irish are not only filling needs, but they are receiving commitments from their top recruiting targets.

Opposing fans were ripping Notre Dame earlier in the year, when four of the first five commitments to Notre Dame were offensive players. Never mind that it was March, but the word was that Notre Dame couldn't recruit defensive players. Boy, has that refrain been stifled, as seven of the last eight commitments have been defensive players. Most of the recent commitments are recruits those same opposing fans thought would commit to their schools.

With only a handful of scholarships remaining for the 2008 recruiting class, we'll look at the prospects that could finish off this recruiting class.

Marcus Forston: Forston recently said that Notre Dame would get one of his official visits. The question is whether you can add another defensive lineman to this class. Notre Dame already has three interior linemen that have pledged, Brandon Newman, Hafis Williams and Omar Hunter. You certainly continue to recruit Forston, but in the end, it would be difficult for the Notre Dame staff deny a fifth year to a player that could help the Irish win in 2008. Stock: Hold

Kapron Lewis-Moore, Datone Jones, Chancey Aghayere: All three defensive ends are very talented players. Notre Dame will definitely continue to recruit them, but with Ethan Johnson's commitment it would be difficult to find room in this class for another defensive end. If Notre Dame fails to land the wide receivers or the linebackers that they are targeting, then the coaches may be willing to add another player here. Stock: Sell

Steven Filer: Notre Dame fans have placed a lot of expectations on Filer, in terms of his recruitment, and that may be hurting Notre Dame's cause. Filer never promised anyone anything. He never said that he'd commit to Notre Dame as soon as he received his offer. I'm not even certain that he ever listed Notre Dame as his leader. He does like Notre Dame, but he is also going to look at all of his options. There have been rumblings that Michigan is leading for him at this time, but I still think the Irish are on sound footing here. Give the kid a chance, he just might pick Notre Dame in the end. Stock: Buy

Etienne Sabino: Sabino is a kid that would fit in well at Notre Dame. He knows Armando Allen and he's spoken with him about Notre Dame. Although Sabino lives in Miami, he's originally from New York, so it may not be as difficult to pry him from the Florida schools as it normally would be. He is tentatively scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame at the end of July. If he does that, Notre Dame has a real shot to lure him north. Stock: Buy

Arthur Brown: Great player, with a ton of options. He still has Notre Dame among his leaders, but I'm guessing that the Irish are on the bottom half of the leader board. He's talked about visiting Notre Dame at some point in the summer. If he doesn't, I doubt the Irish get one of his official visits. Stock: Sell

Shayne Hale: Hale has always taken my phone calls and we've had a fairly good relationship, but I've never gotten the feeling that Notre Dame really had a shot for him. He recently came out with his top-four and the Irish were missing. My fear is that the Irish will face him once a year. Stock: Sell

Will Compton: Will doesn't have a scholarship offer yet, but if there is a guy that is next in line, he is probably it. Compton is a hard-nosed player with very good speed. He definitely has the ability to compete at Notre Dame. Compton said that there was a point that he'd have to focus on the schools that had offered him. Notre Dame is likely waiting to get a better feel from the linebackers they have already offered. The question is, will the offer come before he has moved on? Stock: Hold

Jeremy Brown: It would be difficult to turn this talented athlete away. With his speed, he could play cornerback or wide receiver. A lot of Irish fans like that combination, but it seems like the Notre Dame coaching staff likes him on the defensive side of the ball. The question is whether the Irish will take three cornerbacks. Stock: Hold

T.J. Bryant: This guys continues to mention Notre Dame and he has since the beginning of recruiting. Without a doubt he is one of the best athletes in the country. He's goes to school in the shadow of Florida State, so pulling Bryant out of Tallahassee is a stretch… but what if? If Notre Dame received one of his official visits, and if Bryant wanted to come to Notre Dame would you take him? It is almost the same question regarding Forston, how could you turn him away? Regardless… Stock: Sell

Dan McCarthy: Dan recently made a swing through three of his top schools, Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Stanford and Penn State are also in the mix, but this will likely come down to Notre Dame and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are having a monster class and there are a lot of reasons to pick them. The same can be said for Notre Dame. In the end, there are too many ties to Notre Dame. Stock: Buy


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