The University of Texas has already gained verbal commitments from four of those top 100 Texans as Southern Cal has from four of the California top 100. Since Notre Dame doesn't possess the luxury of that level of talent in its immediate vicinity, it must successfully develop pipelines to high school programs that produce both quality and a quantity of college recruits. Private Catholic high schools represent one area in which Notre Dame, under Charlie Weis, have built some of those pipelines. Last week, the Irish got another commitment in addition to the opportunity to impress a top-rated recruit. Both hail from private Catholic high schools. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?
Ben Turk, P, 6-0, 185, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL comes from good kicking genes. His uncle, Matt Turk, is currently a punter in the NFL. On Wednesday, 11 June, Turk committed to play football at Notre Dame University.
"I was just thinking it really doesn't get much better than Notre Dame, football-wise and academic-wise," said Turk. "I don't know what else you'd be waiting for."
Turk has actually yet to speak to Weis. The Irish head coach was on vacation when Turk committed, so he called his recruiting coach Bernie Parmalee. It's certainly safe to say that Weis knows of Turk's commitment.
"Coach Parmalee is going to e-mail me on when to call coach Weis," Turk explained. "I still need to talk to him."
Though Turk had a scholarship offer from Cincinnati and was hearing from Alabama, he made his commitment to the Irish, even though he's yet to visit South Bend. Turk indicated that committing sight-unseen wasn't really a problem for him.
"Kind of, but I mean it doesn't really bother me," said Turk when asked about never having visited Notre Dame. "I've heard about the school, I've heard good things. I don't really need to see it."
Notre Dame is really starting to build a very solid pipeline to St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Turk represents the third player from that school that has committed to the Irish during Charlie Weis's tenure as head coach. The other two, Sam Young and Dan Wenger figure to be starters this year.
"I know Sam Young pretty good," said Turk. "Not really so much with Wenger."
As a junior, Turk averaged 41 yards per punt with a long of 58.
The Irish have also attempted to build a solid connection with Catholic high schools in Ohio. They have had some success with St. Ignatius High School and hope to duplicate that with St. Xavier in Cincinnati.
Pat Muldoon, DE, 6-4, 240, St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, OH had actually been to Notre Dame before his visit this last weekend. However that initial trip to South Bend occurred with the Scout.com four-star recruit was in eighth grade and he admits to not remembering much about the university. This time, though, the visit proved to be considerably more memorable.
"I was surprised about everything, shocked," said Muldoon. "The trip was really good. We went and saw all the facilities, toured the campus, talked with the d-line coach (Jappy Oliver), talked with coach (Jon) Tenuta, (Corwin) Brown, coach Weis, pretty much everyone. We also talked to the strength coach and some academic advisers and I learned everything there is to learn about Notre Dame."
Muldoon got some sense of just how much the Irish want him when Charlie Weis unexpectedly showed up, cutting short his vacation just to meet with him. Muldoon originally had been told that Weis would not be there. The Irish head coach's presence represented the highlight of the trip for Muldoon.
"It's pretty good to know that they want me that bad," he said.
Muldoon had a very good conversation with Weis as the Irish head coach explained what Notre Dame was all about.
"At first it started with chit chat about his vacation and family," explained Muldoon. "Then he gave me his background and where they plan on going. He let me ask him some questions and he gave some general thoughts about Notre Dame football. I had most of my questions answered earlier in the day."
The young Ohioan plans to take a couple more visits to narrow down his list, though he was obviously impressed by Notre Dame. He plans to see Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech before making a decision.
"I'm definitely still considering them (Notre Dame)," said Muldoon. "I'm still going to take a couple more visits this month and try and narrow down my list further."
Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta serve as Muldoon's primary recruiters. However, he is also being recruited heavily by a couple of other Notre Dame representatives, 2008 commit Kyle Rudolph and 2009 commit Dan Fox.
"The day after Notre Dame offered, he was texting me," said Muldoon of Rudolph. "I've talked to him a couple times. I've been talking to Dan Fox a decent amount. We talked on the phone I think the day he committed and we've been texting each other. We play St. Ignatius (where Fox plays) every year. St. Ignatius and St. X are similar schools, Catholic schools, good football programs where academics come first. He thinks it would be an easier transition into Notre Dame. He said when he visited there he knew he was going there and everything blew him away."
As a junior Muldoon recorded 75 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception in helping St. Xavier to a state championship. His impressive play has earned him a number of scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the nation. 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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