One of the goals of the Irish coaching staff with this recruiting class was to continue to build depth at key positions, especially offensive line and linebacker. Irish Eyes Steve Wiltfong spoke with two Notre Dame targets at those positions, including a recruit who only recently received an offer, last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?
Chris Watt, OG, 6-4, 282, Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, IL has received over twenty scholarship offers to date. The Scout.com four-star prospect is the number two rated offensive guard in the nation. Watt had hoped to narrow his list of potential schools down to a more manageable five by the middle of May, but the demands of school has prevented that from happening. Once he does, however, he has assured Notre Dame that they will be one of the five.
"I'm kind of busy with school," Watt said. "With finals the next two weeks, it's going to be hard to narrow it down. School gets out on May 30th and after that I have a week off to sit down and relax and narrow down schools. But I can tell you right now, Notre Dame is in the top five."
Watt discussed why he was considering the Irish so strongly.
"Just the overall tradition with the program," explained Watt. "I really like coach (John) Latina, he is a great guy and I think I would really excel with him coaching me on the offensive line."
Watt said that right now, the only other school that has made his top five for certain is Ohio State. He is also being recruited heavily by Michigan, Miami, Penn State, Stanford, Virginia, Northwestern and Duke. The Irish have made Watt a top priority and constantly remind him of that.
"They've been telling me through e-mails and when they call me they say that I'm really important to them," said Watt. "Coach (Rob) Ianello came by the school the first day (of the recruiting evaluation period) they were able to come and see us."
Latina has also visited Watt's school and the talented lineman has also spoken to Charlie Weis on the phone.
"He [Weis] was talking about how recruiting was going and just asking me how things are going with school," Watt recounted. "We had a good talk and we just talked about whatever came up. It wasn't any one thing."
Though Watt has been to South Bend three times in recent months, he plans to visit at least once more this summer.
"I talked to coach Ianello about it yesterday, and he was going to give me the dates of the camps and let me know when it would be a good time to come," said Watt.
In addition to Notre Dame, Watt plans to visit Ohio State and Penn State this summer.
Charlie Weis is currently part of a college football coaches' tour of Iraq, but before he left, he took care of one piece of official recruiting business. He offered Dan Fox a scholarship. Fox, LB, 6-4, 217, St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH projects as an outside linebacker. Though Fox had hoped for a scholarship offer, the timing of it came as a bit of a surprise since Fox believed that he would have to perform at one of Notre Dame's one day camps in order to earn his offer. It didn't happen that way because Fox apparently had some very powerful people in his corner.
"I was just hanging out and coach Weis tried to call me a couple of times," said Fox. "So he called the home phone and I missed him, so I called him back. He picked up and told me the stuff he was doing, that he is going to the Middle East and that he is only making one call today for recruiting. Then he said, how would you feel it I offered you a scholarship? I said I'd feel great.
"Coach Weis was just saying how they had this big recruiting meeting and they got to talking and coach (Brian) Polian said he wanted me and coach (Jon) Tenuta said he wanted me and so did coach (Corwin) Brown so he decided to pull the trigger."
Fox was happy to get the offer sooner than later. Still, he plans to attend one of Notre Dame's one day camps in order to familiarize himself better with the program. Two former St. Ignatius players, John Ryan and Robbie Parris are currently on the Irish roster and they have clued Fox in on what to expect.
"They say it's tough for the first couple of years when you're a freshman, but after that, it's a great place to play at," said Fox.
As a junior Fox recorded 42 solo tackles, 19 assists and three interceptions, one he returned for 80 yards and a touchdown against Glenville in the state playoffs. Fox currently holds 18 scholarship offers including offers from Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Stanford and Vanderbilt. In addition to Notre Dame, Fox plans to visit Michigan and Boston College this summer. He hopes to make a decision before his senior season.
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes.
Recruiting week in review.
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