Recruiting week in review.

With the arrival of fall camp, recruiting has slowed somewhat. Of course, Irish coaches are still maintaining contact with recruits, but the primary focus has shifted to preparing the team for the season, a season that will unquestionably prove critical for the future of the Notre Dame program.

Several top recruits are undoubtedly playing wait and see to determine whether last year's performance was an anomaly or the true direction of the program. Still, interest from top recruits remains high. Irish Eyes spoke with two of these recruits last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Most Notre Dame recruitniks know the name Nick Kasa. Many had marked him off their recruiting board. Even the Irish coaches seemed to have thought that they had slipped for the Scout.com five-star defensive end. However, all that changed last week when he contacted defensive line coach Jappy Oliver. Kasa, DE, 6-7, 235, Legacy High School, Broomfield, CO wants to make an official visit to South Bend sometime during the season.

He (Oliver) was kind of surprised, but I wanted to call because I heard all these rumors that I didn't like Notre Dame anymore," said Kasa. "I was like what the heck. I wanted to let them know I was still interested and definitely thinking about it."

Kasa has numerous scholarship offers, but is thinking most about five schools. Those five include Notre Dame, Colorado, Florida, Oregon and California.

"I'm not ruling anybody out," explained Kasa. "Obviously Notre Dame is a really good school. I've been thinking about that and thinking a lot about schools. It's really hard to decide if I want to leave here. I do want to leave here, that'd be cool, but there is plusses to staying here. Education, there is a lot of things playing into my decision."

Kasa had hoped to decide before the beginning of his senior season, but since that obviously is not going to happen, he is, instead, planning on taking some official visits. His decision has become even more complex because of his desire to consider his family's wishes as well as his own.

"My dad wants to move to Florida so he's pushing Florida a lot," said Kasa. "We used to live in Tampa. I love Florida too, but it's hot there and it's pretty far away. A ton of people want me to stay here in Colorado and play here and go to CU. Then there is always the kids that are pushing me to the place where they'll see me on TV like a Florida or somewhere prestigious."

Notre Dame is also not without supporters.

"My boss went to Notre Dame on a track scholarship," related Kasa.

Kasa initially believed that he would need to take a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses to qualify academically for Notre Dame. He later found out that was not the case, but rather he only needed four core classes, in which he is currently enrolled. Kasa appreciates the academic advantages offered by a school like Notre Dame.

"Just they have an awesome football team, awesome program," Kasa said in explaining why he is still considering the Irish. "I think they struggled a bit last year, but I'm not going to nit pick that. They're coming back and the education I get there and the alumni system, I heard if you know people there you know everybody, and that will help if I don't make it to the NFL."

As a junior Kasa registered 63 tackles, 20 for loss and eight and one-half sacks as Legacy finished 9-3. That performance not only earned him numerous scholarship offers, but also the choice of playing in either the U.S. Army All-American Bowl or the U.S. Under Armour All-American Bowl.

Notre Dame's performance this season will not only impact undecided 2009 recruits, but should also have a dramatic impact upon 2010 as well. Zach Fogerson is one player that is keeping a close eye on the Irish. Fogerson, FB, 6-1, 215, O'Dea High School, Seattle, WA became a fan of Notre Dame because of their rivalry with USC. While his friends rooted for the Trojans, he cheered for Notre Dame. His loyalty to the Irish bears two meanings since his high school team is also known as the Irish.

"It's just because everyone goes into those games like aw man, we're going to play USC and we're going to get killed," explained Fogerson. "I like the way (Notre Dame) plays every game, every down like it's fourth and one."

Fogerson currently holds a verbal offer from the hometown Washington Huskies, but last week he received three pieces of mail from Notre Dame.

"I just like the atmosphere there," said Fogerson. "I can just tell it's a great place academically and it's just been a childhood dream to play there. I've just been getting like little things of their weight room; I got their schedule and I've been getting stuff about having a good year and stuff like that."

Fogerson has also been hearing from USC, California and Tennessee. Perhaps the attraction to him is that he actually likes playing fullback.

"Though he rushed for 615 yards and six touchdowns, averaging over ten yards per carry, he proudest of the fact that he paved the way for a 2600 yard rusher en route to leading his team to a 13-1 record and a state championship berth. That the 2600 yard rusher was his brother Johri, now a freshman at UW, made it even more special.

"I can say, with a smile on my face, that I had a tailback rush for 2600 yards," Fogerson said. "I like getting the glory, but I'm not just like oh yes I hate this spot because I have to block most of the time."

With the graduation of Johri, Fogerson will become the team's primary ball carrier this season.

Fogerson hopes to visit USC, Cal and Notre Dame this season. He has already been on the Washington and Oregon campuses. He sports a 3.0 g.p.a. in the classroom. In the weight room, he claims a 415 pound squat, and a bench press of 280 pounds. He has been clocked at 4.65 in the forty.

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


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