Recruiting week in review.

Assistant coaches that can coach and recruit are worth their proverbial weight in gold in college football. Being a good recruiter doesn't often just mean being persuasive with seventeen and eighteen year old athletes. Good recruiting skills also involve forming strong relationships with high school coaches and being able to demonstrate one's own bona fides in the game.

Fortunately, Notre Dame has a coaching staff filled with just such coaches and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Holding together last year's number two class (almost certainly number one once actual enrollees are measured) represented a feat of skill that only the very best coaching staffs in American could pull off. And they're at it again with the class of 2009. Two top recruits have Notre Dame on their radar because of the excellence of two Irish assistants. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Notre Dame assistant coach and offensive coordinator Michael Haywood has a relationship with Bastrop (LA) High School head football coach Brad Bradshaw that dates back to Haywood's assistant coaching days with LSU and Texas. Notre Dame fans hopes that Haywood's relationship with Bradshaw and his previous successes in recruiting his players will continue.

Rueben Randle, WR, 6-3, 200, Bastrop High School, Bastrop, LA is a five-star prospect and one of the top wide receivers in the nation. He holds more scholarship offers than he can count and has now added one from Notre Dame to the mix. Bradshaw says that Notre Dame has gained Randle's attention.

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

Notre Dame didn't offer Randle until they got a chance to see his film during the May evaluation period. Once they viewed it, though, they obviously liked what they saw.

"He (Charlie Weis) was just saying he watched my film and he liked what he saw and that he was offering me," said Randle. "He was just telling me about the tradition of the school, the alumni and everything. I'm interested; just the good tradition with the school. They've got a lot of good players up there; they've been doing a good job recruiting. They're a top program."

As a junior, Randle hauled in 55 passes for 1058 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added three punt returns for scores. With his help, Bastrop won its third straight state championship.

Randle hopes to narrow his choices somewhat by the end of the summer. That could prove to be quite a chore for the talented, but quiet star receiver.

"Just the roundness," said Randle of what he is looking for in a school. He also emphasized that distance would not be a factor.

If it was Haywood's high school connections that got Notre Dame in the door in Louisiana, it was defensive Corwin Brown's professional resume that got the Irish in the door with Mike Jones. Jones, S, 6-2.5, 197, Edgewater High School, Orlando, FL is a four-star safety and will shortly be offered by Notre Dame.

Jones has grown quite accustomed to seeing college recruiters come through his high school. However, he knew something was different when his father showed up in the middle of the day. As it turns out, his father, Aaron Jones played professional football with Brown and the Notre Dame defensive coordinator gave his old friend a call when he came to town. The younger Jones was surprised, but pleased to see his father at school.

"I was just smiling," said Mike. "I didn't know he was there. He had played with my dad or whatever, so then he came up to the school and told my dad they were going to offer me. My dad was just saying that Brown was a good guy."

However, Notre Dame isn't going to offer Jones because Brown is a friend to his father. Like dad, the younger Jones can play and play well. Though his season was cut in half by a separated shoulder, the younger Jones still racked up 56 tackles, eight sacks, 10 pass deflections and caused four fumbles.

"They were saying they liked my style of play," said Jones. "They say they like my game speed and stuff." Jones has been clocked at 4.5 in the forty- yard dash.

Though Jones had only been receiving mail before, he now has a business card and numbers to call. "I know that they're a real prestigious school," Jones said. "They had a great recruiting class year, so you know the team is going to be good."

Jones lists his early favorites as Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and Auburn. He hopes to make a verbal commitment sometime during his senior season.

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