Irish Bring in Some Top Talent for Camp

The Notre Dame football staff will hold another football camp starting on Monday, and a number of elite 2009 prospects are expected to attend. Just as important, however, is that the Irish staff has assembled a very impressive group of underclassmen as well.

Irish fans are well aware a good number of Notre Dame's top football prospects for 2009 will be camping at Notre Dame over the next few days and on campus for unofficial visits. Names like Tyler Stockton, Anthony LaLota, E.J. Banks, Zeke Motta, Mike Jones and many others will be campus the next few days.

Familiar 2009 names like Michael Buchanon and Tyquan Hammock will be visiting later in the week and are some names to keep an eye on for a possible offer. Other 2009 names to keep an eye on are wide receivers Justin Chappell and Christian Kuntz. Chappell is from the Cleveland Ohio area and is listed at 5-11, 180 pounds. Speed is his game. Kuntz recently picked up an offer from Penn State after impressing in their camp last week.

Stockton, LaLota and Motta will be on campus for all three days of Notre Dame's camp. Others will just visit for a one-day camp.

With the early commitments of many of the elite players early in the process, a good number of top prospects are committed elsewhere before the Irish could get a chance to get them into camp before their senior season. Knowing this, getting top underclassmen on campus has become more and more important every year, and the Irish coaching staff has done an excellent job of luring some of the best talent in the country into camp.

I've been following Notre Dame recruiting for over 10 years and I can't remember the Irish having as many elite underclassmen in camp as they have this year. Below are some names we've heard will be attending camp. I'm certain there will be more big names that will attend, and every camp usually has a large group of "walk ups," who decide to show up without registering.

One big name to keep an eye on is Anthony Barr. Barr is a big-time prospect from Loyola high school is Lomita Calif. He also happens to be the nephew of former Irish greats Tony and Reggie Brooks. Barr played running back last year, but he's up to 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. I've heard USC has already offered this 2010 prospect. He's expected to attend all three days of Irish camp.

James Hurst is another big offensive lineman from Plainfield, Ind. and is expected to be Indiana's top prospect for 2010. At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, he's already a big guy heading into his junior season and will be in South Bend this week to camp at Notre Dame.

Another 2010 big offensive line prospect attending camp, and I mean BIG, is 6-foot-9, 280-pound Ricky Kodanko. Kodanko is from Green Bay Wisconsin and already has an offer from the Badgers among others.

Traverse City, Mich. linebacker Max Bullough is another name to keep an eye on. At 6-foot-3, 220, he's already opened the eyes of the home state schools and is said to have offers from both Michigan and Michigan State. I could not confirm that, but many expect him to be a top prospect in the Midwest next year.

At the previous camp the Irish hosted 2010 lineman Christian Lombard. The Palentine, Ill. native is said to be the state's top offensive lineman next season. The other guy everyone is talking about from Illinois is Zach Fulton. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman is widely considered the next best lineman behind Lombard. Fulton is from Homewood, Ill. and I believe a teammate of Michael Buchanon—also camping as mentioned earlier.

Another big name is athlete Alex Kenny. The 6-0, 190 pound speedster is from State College, Pa. Kenny plays both wide receiver and running back, and is known for his 4-.37 speed.

Local prospect Danny Smith also will attend Notre Dame's camp again this year. The Clay high school star from South Bend, Ind. starred at Notre Dame's camp last year and is another name to keep an eye on for a possible offer next year. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect stars at receiver for Clay high school in South Bend.

Also expected on campus is C.J Fiedorowitz. Fiedorwitz is widely considered the nation's top tight end prospect for 2010. At 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, the rising star caught 65 passes for almost 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Some say C.J. is the top prospect in all of Illinois next season.

As mentioned earlier, the Irish coaching staff has done an excellent job of bringing in a number of top prospects for 2010 already. A good number have attended camp or will be this week, but another large number have been on campus recently on unofficial visits.

One such name is offensive lineman Brandon Linder, a top prospect from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. who recently visited Notre Dame this past week. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Linder also happens to be a teammate of 2009 punter commitment, Ben Turk.

While a lot of Irish fans are focused on 2009, and rightfully so, just know that the Irish coaching staff has already got a nice start to 2010. A good number of players they'll likely offer in 2010 have already been on Notre Dame's campus. This is, by far, the best job I've seen from the Irish staff on getting a jump on the next recruiting class. They really have done a nice job.

We'll try to reach many of the names above over the next few days and get some feedback on their camp experience.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories