Mike: I think ND has a solid shot with Milton Knox if he gets a qualifying test score. Milton is scheduled to visit on Feb. 1, but if he doesn't have a qualifying test score by then, I don't believe the visit will happen. But, if he does qualify, I think the Irish could have a shot. He's been interested in Notre Dame for quite some time and is very good friends with Dayne Crist.
Can you update us on the RB recruiting situation? It seems Cyrus Gray is going to A&M and Knox is an uphill battle versus UCLA.
Mike: The Irish are out on Cyrus Gray. I expect him to publicly commit to A&M very soon. I responded above about Knox.
Mike is there going to be anything special going on on letter of intent day. Like updates galore or Power Hour that afternoon.
Mike: On signing day we just try to update people when the faxes arrive. It's not a situation where we can update and say each fax has come over the minute they come over, but we should be able to update everyone on how the process is moving along. At night we have a Power Hour and try to get a good number of the committed guys on to talk about making their plans official with Notre Dame. It's usually one of the best Power Hours of the year.
Mike, do you know how (Aaron) Nagel or (Steve) Paskorz are developing? They at least have the speed we need at the position.
People quickly forget that Penn State went 3-9 in 2003 and followed that with a 4-7 in 2004. If Notre Dame has a winning record this year I'm sure the Mark May's of the world will be critical of a patsy schedule. Please comment.
Mike: Notre Dame has always been and likely always will be a lightening rod in the national media. It's very vogue to bash the Irish any chance they get. But, Notre Dame also has some benefit from the big spotlight. You have to take the bad with the good. Unfortunately the Irish gave the opposition plenty of ammunition last season.
Love Charlie and think he's great. But why do you think this year and last year we kind of struggled getting elite offensive tackles.
Mike: Good question. The simple answer is they're very hard to find. I think Notre Dame feels like Lane Clelland could be the guy for that position, but I would've kept digging. I think this staff does a tremendous job recruiting, but I have the same fear as you do. There are initial evaluations, but I'd keep digging all year looking for guys because there's always guys who develop late like Taylor Dever. Maybe they did and we didn't know they did. My guess is the staff was happy with those they felt they'd get. They did get four quality linemen, but I'd still like another that I felt had a great shot at playing left tackle.
Do you think we need to add someone else to keep the number 1 class? Mike: Yes, I think Notre Dame will have to add another player, and maybe two, to stay in the hunt for the top spot. It's a big feather in the cap to tell kids you have the No. 1 class or had the No. 1 class the previous year. But I don't think it's so important that you'd waste a scholarship just to take a guy. That would be a 4-5 year mistake, and you likely can get a better guy the next year who could contribute.
Is there any truth to the rumors posted on ESPN about Jonas Gray changing his mind and possibly going to Michigan? Mike: I would take anything the ESPN recruiting guys say about where players are leaning with a grain of salt. Understand that these guys don't call the kids themselves. They also don't call the high school coaches and speak with them. They likely don't speak with many college coaches either because a college coach would have little reason to speak with them. They have zero relationship with the kids or people close to them. So how would they know what's going on? I asked Jonas this the other day when I spoke with him. At that time the rumor was Ohio State. He laughed loudly and said he was 100 percent solid with Notre Dame. There will be a lot of rumors that come out in the next two weeks. I wouldn't believe any of them until we or another credible person/site tells you to worry.
Thoughts on Kapron Lewis-Moore?
Mike: I think Notre Dame has a great shot to land Kapron Lewis-Moore. I kind of liked the aggressive stance A&M took with him. That was probably a smart play on their part. It certainly opened his eyes, but in a good way? What it did do is probably make Kapron decide once and for all if A&M is his school. If he doesn't commit to A&M in the next few days, I'd say the Irish have a great shot to land him.
Looking ahead to 2009, 1. How many are we going to take, and 2, who are a few prospects that we look real good for right now?
It's hard to say how many scholarships Notre Dame will have for 2009 as we don't know how many they'll sign this year, how many fifth-year players will return, or how many players may leave the program on their own. Having said all that, I'd guess Notre Dame will take around 21 or so. It will be a smaller class, but hopefully full of a lot of star power. As for targets Notre Dame looks real good for right now, it's way too early to tell as most haven't even been on campus yet. Very few of the Irish offers have actually been on campus. As they do make trips we'll get a better feel for it. They do seem to have some strong interest from a lot of their top guys, however.
Do you think ND's class is done? Is there much of a chance with (Mike) Martin? Sounds like a long shot.
Mike: It very well could be, but I have to think they'll land one more. I'd say Kapron Lewis-Moore is the most likely. With Mike Martin, they have to get him on campus first. The last I heard he planned to visit, but I expect a fierce battle all week over this. The last thing Michigan wants is for him to visit ND. I don't think we'll know the final answer on that until late in the week. But, if he visits, they have a shot, but they have a lot of ground to make on this. Kenny Page is also a possibility. He announces on Friday. Hopefully we'll have a solid read on where he'll be going before he announces. Keith Wells might also get offered today, so he may be a player. And as we've said, Milton Knox may visit.
Mike do you feel that David Posluszny is under rated as a prospect because of his injuries. Or do you feel he's about where he needs to be as far as a prospect. I'm looking for info on him because you don't hear much about him.
Mike: That's a good question. I think Posluszny is a lot like Hafis Williams. We really don't know much about either because we don't have a lot of film of either. I think Posluszny has good instincts. He seemed to cover well in the film I saw. He seemed to have a leadership quality about him. I saw some promising things on film, but I don't think we have enough to really say how he projects. I do think the injuries have kind of hurt his rating….same with Hafis.
Last year you were anxious about finding real leaders on the offense and defense. Do you have the same concern/level of concern this year?
Mike: To some extent, yes. I think we saw a lot of freshmen kind of step last year like Kerry Neal and Brian Smith. I think Jimmy Clausen showed signs of leadership. Sam Young at least took a solid step in that direction. Still, they're young guys and they'll need to make plays before they'll be leaders. I actually think you'll see more defined leaders this season, but they'll be young guys. The key will be if they can get the older guys to follow.
I am in London on business and have 8 guys in my hotel room listening to this. They have a huge ND club here of British fans and they love your show. They said they will begin listening to you from now on. Thanks for all you do mate!
Mike: Well, since I married and English girl, I have a fondness for the British. My father-in-law is a lumpy, piss-taking bloke with a big mouth. I'm looking forward to seeing him again soon and reminding him why the United States is the greatest country on earth. He'll be folding like Thatcher to Reagan, Blair to Bush. Actually, I'd be glad to meet up with the group for a pint next time I fly into London. Hopefully that happens soon. There's still a great deal I've yet to see in merry ol' England. Hope they continue to listen and tell them to feel free to e-mail us any time to get their Irish fix.