Recruiting Week in Review

The combination of the text message ban and the rule prohibiting head coaches from being on the road in May take away two of the Irish coaching staff's most productive recruiting tools and would seemingly provide a huge advantage to schools in talent-rich areas such as Florida, Texas and California.

As a result, Notre Dame's spring game takes on much greater importance. The Irish coaching staff has been working hard to attract top-flight high school players to the Blue-Gold game. Irish Eyes spoke with two of those young men last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

One highly regarded recruit that has already made plans to visit for the 19 April Blue-Gold game is Californian Cierre Wood. Wood, RB, 6-0, 200, Santa Clara High School, Oxnard, CA is a Scout.com four-star prospect and a preseason top 100. He has planned no other spring visits and doesn't seem at all affected by Notre Dame's historically bad year last year.

"I compare them to a young team on the rise," said Wood. "They have a lot of talent. They just have to put it together."

Wood has obviously given much thought to his priorities when choosing a university.

"When you're an athlete and it comes to picking a school, you have three main questions; if you're going to play, do you feel comfortable, and where will I fit in," explained Wood. "Notre Dame, I think, is going to be a comfortable spot, my mom already likes them, and I think I will get a chance to get early playing time there and be able to show what I can do."

Wood's on the field performance netted him a November scholarship offer from Charlie Weis, one of the earliest offers issued by the Irish for the class of 2009. In his junior year, he ran for 2612 yards on only 178 carries. His 14.7 yards per carry average bordered on amazing. He scored 42 touchdowns. Wood also contributed 50 tackles and three interceptions from his cornerback spot on defense and helped lead his team to a CIF Mid-Valley Division championship.

Wood currently owns a 3.5 grade point average and as might be expected from an excellent student attending an academically challenging high school, he has great interest in Notre Dame's academics. He would like to major in architecture.

The Notre Dame coaching staff has returned to some productive recruiting grounds in attempting to fill their linebacker recruiting needs for 2009. Jordan Barrett, LB, 6-2.5, 225, Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, CA hails from the same high school as 2008 Irish signees Dayne Crist and Anthony McDonald. Both have already played a role in Barrett's recruitment. It was Crist that called Barrett and told him that Notre Dame's coaches wanted to talk with him.

"I called (Notre Dame assistant) coach Polian last night and he told me that coach Weis wanted to talk to me today," said Barrett. "So coach Polian texted my linebackers coach and said that coach Weis was available between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning to call. I called him and we talked and he told me he wanted me to play inside linebacker there and he offered me a scholarship."

As the Notre Dame coaching staff watched film of McDonald and Crist, Barrett kept showing up as well. It didn't take the staff long to decide that they wanted to add Barrett to their roster as well.

"I know that they had been by the school a lot to see Dayne and Anthony," Barrett said. "They told me they saw my highlight film and liked what they saw. They were keeping in touch. I was hoping and when they offered I was really excited. I called my dad right away and he was just as excited as I was and we were going crazy."

Apparently, Crist and McDonald also shared Barrett's excitement.

"Anthony and Dayne were really happy for me," said Barrett. "Since they both committed there, they're nagging me, telling me how great it is. They want me to go there, so they were joking around with me. They said it's a great school and coach Weis is an amazing coach. They've told me how they have great facilities and how the school tradition is amazing and hopefully I can go out there and check it out myself."

Barrett reports a 2.8 grade point average, a bench press of 275 pounds and a squat of 425. He hopes to visit South Bend for the first time at the 19 April Blue-Gold game.

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


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