Recruiting week in review.

According to Scout.com, Notre Dame currently possesses the number one recruiting class in the nation. With nineteen verbal commitments, there are only a few spots left. Almost certainly one of those spots will be taken by a running back. There's also considerable speculation that the Irish would like to land at least one, if not two more offensive linemen.

Last week Irish Eyes' Steve Wiltfong caught up with two prime candidates to take those slots. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

The Notre Dame coaching staff has been actively recruiting the Scout.com four-star and thirteenth ranked running back Carlton Thomas, 5-7, 175, Frostproof High School, Frostproof, FL since March 2007. In fact, they have been overwhelming the dynamic young gamebreaker with a level of attention that has demonstrated to him that he represents one of their top priorities. Thomas recently returned the love when he listed the Irish as one of his co-leaders.

"I just wanted to let them know that they're still up there," explained Thomas. "I'm just real happy and appreciative of them looking at me, giving me that exposure and looking at me that highly."

Thomas said that he stays in regular contact with Bernie Parmalee and periodically receives e-mails from Charlie Weis. The e-mails from Weis mostly remind Thomas how important he is to this Notre Dame recruiting class.

Notre Dame's success on the recruiting trail has not been lost on Thomas. When recently speaking with him, a national recruiting analyst mentioned that the Irish had the number one recruiting class thus far. Thomas went online and checked it out and found it to be true. According to the young Floridian being part of a top-flight class is "…very important to me."

Thomas doesn't spend all of his time waiting for recruiting calls and e-mails. He's spent the offseason working hard to improve himself, both as a player and a leader. He's raised his bench press to 330 pounds and his squat to 450 pounds. More importantly, he's become much more vocal with his teammates.

"I have a lot of experience I can give to my teammates, and I've been giving more encouragement," said Thomas. As hard as he has worked to improve, Thomas will have to compile absolutely stratospheric numbers in order to better last year's performance. He rushed for a Polk County best 2283 yards with 25 touchdowns.

Thomas hasn't finalized plans for his official visit to South Bend, though now appears to be leaning towards the opening weekend against Georgia Tech. He still needs to work everything out with his family and his coaches.

In addition to Notre Dame, Thomas is considering West Virginia, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia.

Notre Dame is also looking south to fill another one of the few remaining slots in the recruiting class of 2008. Kenneth Page, OG, 6-4, 290, A.C. Flora High School, Columbia, SC recently narrowed his list of suitors to ten and the Irish made the cut. In fact, Page has already scheduled his official visit to South Bend for the USC game on the weekend of 20 October.

"I'm very, very excited," said Page of his plans to visit Notre Dame.

Undoubtedly, Notre Dame is excited to get an official visit. Scout.com ranks Page as a four-star prospect and the eleventh best guard in the nation. That weekend also precedes a bye week, so the coaching staff will have even more time to devote to the highly rated Page.

The Irish coaching staff stays in close contact with both Page and his head coach, Robin Bacon. Bill Lewis and Page talk about every other week, Weis sends periodic e-mails to him and Lewis and offensive line coach John Latina check in with Bacon once a week.

"Just a bunch of small talk," Page said of his conversations with the Irish coaching staff. "They're just checking up on me and my family, and still letting me know that they're interested in me."

Page will play mostly tackle this season, though he will see some time at guard. Like most top-rated high school recruits, he will also play on the other side of the ball as well. Page believes he has improved as a player during the offseason.

"I'm bigger, stronger and faster, and more aware of what's going on," said Page. Notre Dame will face stiff competition in earning Page's signature. He is also considering Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida, Stanford, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland.

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

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