Dan Shatz: 2009 Prospect

If Notre Dame can continue to land the top prospects in the Chicago area, as they have since Charlie Weis arrived, they will reclaim a recruiting base they once dominated. Although it is still too early to determine which prospects Notre Dame will target for the 2009 recruiting class, a name that will be on the short-list is offensive lineman Dan Shatz of St. Viator (Arlington Heights, Ill.)

If the is a top lineman in the Chicago area, Notre Dame should have a very good chance at signing the prospect. Dan Shatz (6-foot-2.5, 270) is just starting to hear from colleges, and Notre Dame is one of those schools.

"I really like Notre Dame," Shatz responded when asked about his interest in Notre Dame. "I actually just got a letter from them today. They send me stuff about who they are playing that weekend and why the school is good. I got a media guide as well, so that was kind of cool to get. I've been to a lot of games at Notre Dame. It's a great atmosphere. I love the campus and the stadium.

"I think I'm going to the Air Force game, but it's kind of up in the air. We have to win our next two games to make the play-offs. If we play, I'm not going to be able to make it."

Notre Dame isn't the only school that is showing early interest in Shatz. Penn, Princeton, Northwestern, Kansas State, and Iowa State have begun flooding his mailbox with recruiting material. The fact that anyone is showing interest in Danny this early in the recruiting process speaks volumes about his potential. After his freshman year at Palatine High School Shatz transferred to St. Viator, which meant that he was subject to an Illinois High School Association rule that requires all transfer students to sit out one full season. If Shatz keeps repeating his performances that he's had at several camps, he'll need a warehouse to store all of his mail.

"I play right guard at St. Viator," Shatz explained. "I think I have really good technique. I think that's my strength. I think I have good quickness for my size. My coaches like to pull me a lot. I run track and I run the 100M, the 50M, the 4X100, and I throw some shot put and discus.

"I think coaches have learned about me from the combines and camps. I went to the Illinois camp, Purdue and the Notre Dame elite camp in early June. You get to learn a little information from here or there that's always useful, so I try to pick up a few things at every camp.

"I think they're fun," Shatz said. "When you go to the camps you usually don't know anyone, and I think its great getting to meet different guys that you don't know anything about. I went to the Purdue camp and met some guys, and then I went to another camp and I saw the same guys and eventually I became pretty close with them because we'd see each other at different places. I still talk to them here and there, to find out how their season is going."

One of the players that Danny met will be a familiar name to Notre Dame recruiting fans.

"I actually remember meeting Darius Fleming at a combine at Main South," Shatz said. "That combine was a big deal. There were some really good players there and it was probably the most competitive combine that I went to. Playing against top guys can be intimidating in the beginning, but once you see that you can compete you get comfortable. It got pretty physical, but it was all good. There weren't any hard feelings.

"It thought I did really well that day. You have to get in the mindset that you're going to dominate people. I ended up doing really well, so that probably helped get my name out there. There were a lot of college coaches there. I think there were only three juniors and I was one of them, all the other guys were seniors."

Shatz followed up his combine performance with an impressive showing at the Notre Dame football camp.

"All the Notre Dame coaches were there, which I thought was cool," Shatz explained "I liked coach Latina, I thought he was a really good coach. He really took the time to teach you. He just made the drills so much better because if you didn't do something right, he'd tell you to give it another try. Coach Weis was there, and he'd walk around and talk to everyone and work with guys.

If the Irish coaching staff decides to offer Shatz a scholarship, they probably won't need to spend much time explaining what life is like as a student-athlete at Notre Dame. Not only has Danny made a number of visits to the Notre Dame campus, but he also has someone that will provide him with honest feedback to his questions.

"My cousin is Tom Zbikowski," Shatz said. "That's probably a good link to Notre Dame right there. I brought a bunch of guys to his fight in South Bend. They're all Notre Dame fans, so they were amazed by the whole thing. It was a really good time.

"I've met Jeff Samardzija. Me and Victor Abiamiri know each other real well. I know Trevor Laws, John Sullivan, Ambrose Wooden, and Chinedum Nduwke. When I saw all those guys at the fight they all said they were really surprised by big I had gotten. I don't see them a lot, but it seems like we've been friends for years."

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