Junior Offers Go Out

For some of the day on Tuesday, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis will turn his attention to the class-of-2010 recruiting, where the Irish staff has been able to get a nice head start.

September 1st was the first day Division I programs could officially offer high school juniors a scholarship and send it over in writing. Labor Day provided a slight speed bump in the process on Monday, as the players weren't in school for Weis and other head coaches to talk with them. Yet some of the Notre Dame prospects received emails letting them know where their situation stands.

So far, 10 players have been targeted by Weis and his staff, and deemed worthy of a scholarship offer. That's 10 more guys than Notre Dame offered at this time last year, and all 10 appear to be very high on the program.

With 14 players verbally committed to Notre Dame's 2009 recruiting class, and the Irish in good shape with most of their remaining prospects on the board, Weis and company were able to get a huge jumpstart on recruiting in next year's class.

Here is a look at the players who will pick up written scholarship offers from Notre Dame this week.

Seantrel Henderson: From the same high school that produced former Notre Dame offensive tackle Ryan Harris and current freshman receiver Michael Floyd, the 6-foot-8, 303-pound offensive tackle out of Cretin Derham Hall in Saint Paul, Minn., is one of the best players in the country.

The Irish staff has been a presences in the halls of Cretin Derham Hall for quite some time now, and have been on Henderson for a long time.

Other programs that have offered Henderson are Ohio State, Florida, Wisconsin, UCLA, Boston College, Iowa, North Carolina, and Minnesota.

Christian Lombard: The 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle from Pallatine, Ill., camped at Notre Dame and impressed the Irish staff. He will be back in South Bend for the Michigan game.

"They have amazing facilities," Lombard said. "Phenomenal academics. I like that the coaches, they're really close with their team. I was there when the incoming freshmen were there, and I got to see a little of what they have to go through. I got to sit in the recruiting lounge, and it's an awesome environment, and I really enjoy it up there."

Other schools that have offered Lombard is Michigan, Iowa, Arizona and Illinois.

Corey Cooper: The 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver from Maywood, Ill., plays at Proviso East High, the same school that produced Notre Dame defensive back Sergio Brown.

Cooper remembers watching Brown in high school vividly, as his father, who played at Purdue, is an assistant coach at the school.

Cooper is verbally committed to Illinois, but still camped at Notre Dame and plans on returning this fall for at least one game.

"It was the best campus I've seen," Cooper stated, later adding he likes that ND is close to home. He has also been to Illinois, Michigan State and Indiana. "I liked the weight room. The field was being reconstructed, but it seemed big and nice. And the campus was beautiful."

As a sophomore, Cooper had 35 receptions for around 500 yards and four touchdowns.

James Hurst: The 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle from Plainfield, Ind., is arguably the best player in the Hoosier state. He camped at Notre Dame and received his scholarship offer soon after that.

"First of all, I like their academics," Hurst said. "It's one of the most prestigious schools in the country. You have to be really good, or really smart to get in there.

"The campus is really nice and I like the coaches and the intensity they bring to workouts."

Hurst plans on attending the Purdue game this season. His older brother Nelson is a tight end at Mississippi State.

Chance Carter: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end from Wilmette, Ill., has already been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game. The Loyola Academy standout camped at Notre Dame, and picked up a verbal scholarship offer.

"It's top notch," Carter said. "One of the best schools in the country. Their prestige and academics, and the football is amazing. The facilities are great. Everything about the school is wonderful."

As a sophomore, Carter racked up 33 solos and 31 assists, including five tackles for loss.

Carter will be back on Notre Dame's campus when the Irish host Michigan on Sept. 13th.

Max Bullough: The 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker from St. Francis High in Traverse City, Mich., has strong family ties to Notre Dame and Michigan State.

Bullough's father, two uncles and grandfather played for the Spartans. On the other side of the family, his grandfather Jim Morse, and his son, also named Jim, played for the Irish.

Bullough camped at Notre Dame and has been on the campus several times. He will attend the Irish-Michigan game this season.

"I've been coming there since I was six, seven, eight years old," he said. "I've been coming to games my whole life. It's great. Notre Dame is one of the best in the country. I've been there my whole life, it's one of my favorites."

In helping St. Francis to a 12-2 record and a spot in the state title game last fall, Bullough racked up 147 tackles with 24 of those coming for loss. He has also been offered by Michigan State and Iowa.

C.J. Fiedorowicz: The 6-foot-7, 238-pound tight end from Johnsburg (Ill.) High, has also been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game, and camped at Notre Dame. Fiedorowicz's coach said both of those things were what his player was the most excited about this summer.

"The school was really nice," Fiedorowicz said. "The facilities are nice, the indoor football thing they have. I liked all the coaches.

"I really like Notre Dame."

Last fall, Fiedorowicz caught 65 passes for 1,063 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he also led his team with 73 tackles. If you're thinking he played defensive end because of his size, you'd be wrong. He was Johnsburg's middle linebacker.

Anthony Barr: The 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker prospect from Loyola High in Los Angeles, is the son of former Notre Dame running back Tony Brooks, and the nephew of Reggie Brooks. He camped in South Bend as well, and obviously knows plenty about the Irish program.

Chris Martin: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Martin is an outside linebacker/defensive end prospect from Oakland, Calif., and also holds scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Stanford, California, Colorado and Oregon.

Martin's father is from Bedford, Ind., and the Bishop O'Dowd standout has followed the Notre Dame program for a long time. He made a quick appearance on the Irish campus this summer while in the state visiting some of his Dad's side of the family.

"It was phenomenal, excellent, amazing, wow really," Martin exclaimed. "It was, I'm really excited about it."

Martin has plans to come back with his mother for the Syracuse game this fall. As a sophomore, he racked up 108 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions in being named a first-team sophomore all-state selection.

Jake Heaps: This fall camp, Weis left one of his Notre Dame practices for the first time ever in his four years as head coach, when the 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback from Issaquah, Wash., called.

Weis verbally offered a scholarship, joining Washington, BYU, Washington State, Oregon State, Boise State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Stanford, California, South Carolina and UCLA.

"It was an honor," Heaps said. "I was completely star struck. I was like oh man, you have to be kidding me. It's definitely a great honor when a coach wants to talk to you that bad to leave his own practice. I definitely understand the circumstance of that, and am very honored and grateful he thinks that highly of me.

Heaps says he'll visit Notre Dame for the first time, at some point down the road. Last season, the all-state sophomore threw for 3,103 yards and 31 touchdowns, leading Skyline High to a 14-0 record and the 3-A state championship.

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