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Irish set for fantastic recruiting year

<P>I get this question all the time. "Who is going to be next?" Notre Dame fans are very excited right now about their Irish team and rightfully so. We have become a society of instant gratification and forget that those that have patience usually are rewarded. </P>

Notre Dame could probably fill up their scholarship limit tomorrow if they wanted to. The idea is to get the 22 or 23 best players you can get. In order to get those 22-23 best players; the Irish are going to have to be patient. Every recruiting season becomes a game of poker. I am betting on Willingham in this game.

In the spring during May evaluations, most Notre Dame fanatics were in riot mode because Notre Dame hadn't extended many offers to the top prospects in the country. Many fanatics thought Notre Dame would miss out or offend some of these top players because they were waiting to offer a scholarship. We quickly learned that Tyrone Willingham and his staff had a plan and it worked to perfection early in the process.

Notre Dame fans need to consider that he has a plan in place now for how he will handle the remaining 12-13 scholarships. Notre Dame is 8-0 right now and in the hunt for the BCS Championship game. Obviously, there was quite a bit of planning done to get to this point as well. One thing I am convinced of right now about Willingham, he has a plan and he will execute that plan. Notre Dame fans just need to be patient.

Notre Dame is in the hunt right now for all of their top prospects at every position. These top prospects were the same top guys they liked initially and a few new names have surfaced as well. I expect even more new names to surface soon. The Irish staff has done an outstanding job of staying in the hunt with these top prospects and Notre Dame would be considered the leader for many of them.

If Notre Dame plays the game, they should be able to cash in on some of the better prospects later in recruiting season. Playing the game could cost you a player early. Notre Dame might pass on a player in hopes that another will eventually sign. It can come back to haunt you but I am betting on Ty.

5 star running back Reggie Bush has already stated many times that he will likely announce on sign day (oh no, not again, we can't take another one of these). Kenny Scott has told me many times that he will announce in late January or even February. I am going to guess that 5 star linebacker Wesley Jefferson will also decide in late January after he takes all 5 visits. 5 star tight end Greg Olsen has stated he would like to take all 5 visits but I don't expect that happen. Many of the California players end up taking all 5 visits and deciding late in January. If Notre remains in the mix for Mark Bradford and Steve Smith, I expect them to be waiting until late January. Mike Jones and Tom Zbikowski both look like January decisions. Victor Abiamiri and Ambrose Wooden both seem set to take all 5 visits.

As you can see, some of the top names the Irish are recruiting are going to take a while to decide. I am going to guess that the Notre Dame staff will wait this out because they have a good shot to land many of the top prospects they are after. Many Notre Dame fans think that recruiting will likely be all but over in December. The only way that happens is if quite a few guys start to commit early in December. When the slots at each position start to be taken, you will see a flurry of commitments to Notre Dame. If the Irish don't get some early commitments, we could be in for a wild ride until late January. Either way, I am still betting on Ty.


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