Haywood Taps Bastrop Connection

Notre Dame assistant coach Mike Haywood goes a ways back with Bastrop (La.) High head coach Brad Bradshaw.

While working as an assistant coach at LSU and Texas, Haywood recruited quite a few of Bradshaw's players.

"I've known Mike a long time," Bradshaw said. "Mike has always been able to come in here and recruit well."

Notre Dame nation certainly hopes that will hold true once again.

Haywood and the rest of the Irish coaching staff have their eyes on another one of Bradshaw's boys. So does the rest of the college football universe.

The talent everyone is eyeing is five-star receiver Rueben Randle.

Randle said he has too many scholarship offers to count. Notre Dame joined the mix last week.

"I think he is going to try and visit up there this summer," Bradshaw said. "Our kids obviously know who Notre Dame is, but they've never seen it other than on television. I think he is going to catch Michigan and Notre Dame on the same weekend."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Randle has offers from the likes of USC, Alabama, LSU, Florida and Tennessee. He wasn't hearing much from Notre Dame, until the evaluation period began about a month ago. Since then, Haywood came by the school a couple weeks ago, and head coach Charlie Weis offered last week.

"He was just saying he watched my film and he liked what he saw, and that he was offering me," Randle said.

"He was just telling me about the tradition of the school, about the alumni and everything."

Receivers coach Rob Ianello was by to see Randle on Tuesday.

"I'm interested," Randle stated. He has a 3.5 GPA. "Just the good tradition with the school. They got a lot of good players up there, they've been doing a good job recruiting. They're a top program."

This past season, Randle used his 4.47 speed in the 40-yard dash to catch 55 passes for 1,058 yards and 11 touchdowns. The first-team all-state player also had three punt returns for scores in helping lead Bastrop to a third-straight state championship.

Randle would like to narrow down a list of favorites by the end of summer. He has yet to begin calling college coaches, and knows it's going to be quite a process in narrowing things down.

"Just a roundness," the quiet Randle said of what he is looking for in a school, adding that distance will not be a problem.

Randle has visited LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole' Miss. He is hoping to see plenty of campuses this summer.

"Notre Dame is one of the schools he is going to look at," Bradshaw said. "He is going to take some visits this summer so he can narrow it down some."


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