Randall Dent: 2009 Prospect

There was a time when Notre Dame's roster was sprinkled with players from Texas. That isn't the case anymore, as there are only a couple players from the Lone Star State. There are several outstanding junior prospects at South Grand Prairie High School (Grand Prairie, Texas) that the Irish are interested in, and the guy that tops the list is defensive lineman, Randall Dent.

South Grand Prairie head coach Dave Fisher generally has five or six players that go onto play Division I football every year, and his junior class full of talented prospects. One of Fisher's top players is Randall Dent (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) and the Irish are already showing interest in him.

"Notre Dame came through during the spring and watched a couple of our practices," coach Fisher responded when asked if the Notre Dame coaches had been recruiting any of his players. "They came through and made note of Randall. They're already aware of him.

"Notre Dame is just like every other Division I school when it comes to sending mail. I get so much mail it wears me out. They've identified some guys at our school and they put them on their mailing list. Something comes from every college around. I have a stack of mail about three inches high every morning and Notre Dame is in there just like everyone else."

The main target for the Irish will be Dent and according to coach Fisher every other college from across the country has the same thought as Notre Dame.

"You can't coach them big, as they say," Fisher commented. "He started for us as a 15-year old sophomore. You don't play many sophomores at this level of football in Texas, but he was good enough to do that and he played the entire year.

"He's a defensive lineman. In a four –man front he's probably a defensive tackle, but we play a three-man front, so he's a defensive end for us. Our defense is set up for the linebackers to make the play, so he doesn't have a lot of stats on the defensive line.

"The No. 1 thing about him is his size for his age," coach Fisher explained." Everyone wants defensive lineman his size. It's all about size and good defensive linemen are the hardest thing to find. He has good feet. He's a big physical guy, and at the same time he moves well. That's another reason he's an attractive prospect. He isn't just a big body that eats up space. He can chase guys down from behind if you don't block him. He chases the football real well. Like I said, he's not just a big nose guard the fills a gap.

"He's a very good tackler. He has a very good defensive line coach, Robert Young. Coach Young played at Mississippi State and then played seven years in the league. So, Randall has a very good position coach that works with him and gives him good instruction on a daily basis."

It's rare to find player that can play both ways at a 5A Texas high school, but coach Fisher is tossing around the idea of giving dent a look on offense.

"We don't play many guys both ways down here," coach Fisher said. "We concentrate on guys being really good on one side of the ball, because they aren't going to be playing on both side of the ball at the next level either. We might use him in our goal line set, or our ‘Jumbo' set next year when he's a senior."

Although the Irish would like to pull Dent north, it has been very difficult to land the top Texas prospects since Mack Brown took over the Longhorn program. That being said, Fisher believes Dent will have an open mind when it comes to his recruitment.

"I think Randall is wide open right now," Fisher said. "I think he'll weigh his options. He's a good academic student, so once he makes a decision on what he'd like to major in, he'll take a look at the most attractive places. He has good parents that are going to make sure he gets a good education along the way. I really think he's wide open and I don't think he's set on any school.

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