Recruiting Week in Review

Recruiting is about relationships. Successful college programs develop great pipelines to successful high school programs. One thing that Charlie Weis and his staff have done very well is to rebuild some of those pipelines that had been allowed to lapse under previous coaching regimes.

Irish Eyes spoke to two young men in the class of 2009 that hail from Notre Dame pipeline areas. The Irish are recruiting both of these talented players. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Should Dan Fox, S, 6-3.5, 215, St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH elect to sign with Notre Dame in 2009, he would join at least two other players from that school on the Irish roster. Wide receiver Robby Parris and outside linebacker John Ryan both hail from St. Iggy's. As a result of those contacts, Fox already knows much about Notre Dame.

Fox visited South Bend for the Duke game. Though he only talked briefly with Irish linebackers coach Brian Polian, Fox liked what he heard.

"He was like, we're really, really interested in you," Fox related. "Keep in touch."

Fox appears to be really, really interested in Notre Dame.

"We got in late Friday," said Fox of his visit to Notre Dame. "We came early on Saturday and watched the players walk into the stadium. That was pretty sweet how they're all dressed up."

Fox also got a tour of the Guglielmino Athletics Complex.

"That was nice," Fox said of the Gug. "That was a really nice facility. I liked the indoor field they got and the weight room was really nice."

After the game, Ryan and Parris introduced him to some of the current Notre Dame players.

"They (Parris and Ryan) were seniors when I was a freshman so they used to push me around," Fox laughed. "So it was nice to see them again."

Though Fox primarily plays a safety position in high school, Notre Dame projects him at linebacker in college. His head coach, twenty-five year veteran Chuck Kyle had nothing but praise for his outstanding junior player. "He plays a strong safety/outside linebacker position we have," explained Kyle. "We play a 3-5. He made a lot of plays this year. We blitz him at times. He has a nice pass rush. Does well in space. I can see how people see him as a linebacker at the next level.

St. Ignatius finished their season at 8-3, falling in the first round of the playoffs to Glenville High School. Fox ran an interception back eighty yards for a touchdown but it wasn't enough in the 26-23 loss. He finished the season with 61 tackles and three interceptions.

Fox also gets the job done in the classroom. He carries a 3.6 g.p.a. Though he has yet to receive any formal scholarship offers he is receiving interest from several major programs in addition to Notre Dame. Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, North Carolina State, Northwestern and Vanderbilt are all showing plenty of interest.

Notre Dame has also had plenty of success over the years in recruiting the state of Minnesota. Current Irish standouts Trevor Laws and John Carlson hail from Minnesota, as does current Notre Dame commit Michael Floyd. The Irish are interested in another player from the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, wide receiver Bryce McNeal. McNeal, WR, 6-2, 180, Breck School, Minneapolis, MN may end up being the number one player in the state for the class of 2009 and many schools, including Notre Dame, have been in contact.

"Right now I'm kind of confused about all the schools coming around," McNeal said. "I want to make sure I get my hands on everything so I know that I like it and I know I can spend four years of my life there."

McNeal has visited Notre Dame's campus. He attended the Duke game and came away impressed.

"It was nice, I liked it a lot," said McNeal. "The coaching staff is very down to earth. I just liked the atmosphere. It felt like home because I'm at a private school right now. The campus is beautiful. Even though they weren't having a great year, the fan support was there and that's a big thing. And it's a really good school and I'm trying to get an education first."

McNeal describes himself as a complete player that can go across the middle or go deep. His coach also speaks very highly of him.

"He has all the skills," said head coach Chris Ohm. "As the head coach, I'm never going to settle, we're going to keep on getting better every day. He has all the tools to become a good Division I wide receiver."

McNeal has taken notice of Notre Dame's success in his home state. He also has made contact with Floyd.

"He's a nice guy," said McNeal of Floyd. "We e-mail sometimes. I try and call him once a week."

McNeal is currently working with a personal trainer six days a week as he prepares for the U.S. Army combine in San Antonio in January. He clocked a 4.45 forty as a Nebraska camp last summer and a similar performance in San Antonio will undoubtedly step up interest in him.

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