No Weekend Off for Irish Coaching Staff

While the Irish football team had the weekend off last weekend, the Irish coaching staff was once again very hard at work working on recruiting. The Irish staff, under head coach Charlie Weis, continues to be one of the hardest working staff's in the country.

While many Irish fans were watching the games and wishing Notre Dame was playing football last weekend, the Irish coaching staff spent a good part of the weekend working on recruiting, both for 2009 prospects and 2010.

The Notre Dame staff spent most of Monday evening speaking with over 30 of Notre Dame's top prospects of 2009. The Irish currently have 14 commitments in the 2009 class, and yes, all 14 had their phone time as well. As a staff, the Irish arranged to speak with all 14 commits, and almost 20 other prospects left on their board for 2009. After the September 1 deadline, the Irish are allowed to make one phone call per week, and they spent their time wisely this week speaking with all of them on one night.

Most people don't understand the organization it takes to arrange such a feat. Considering Notre Dame didn't just get lucky and find all 30 plus prospects at home waiting for their call, a lot of organization went into making sure each prospect got to speak with Irish head coach Charlie Weis, their potential position coach, and their recruiting coach on the first day Notre Dame could speak with them again on Monday.

Notre Dame didn't stop with 2009, however. They did the same thing the following day, Tuesday, by reaching all 11 players that were verbally offered prior to September 1. Monday was the first day the Irish could officially offer 2010 prospects, and all 11 offers went out as well as a few others like Jackson Jeffcoat and Corey Brown. Another offer is likely on the way soon as well.

Why is this important? The Irish staff continues to make recruiting a top priority and appear to be on their way to landing another excellent recruiting class in 2009, and they persist in getting to know many of their elite prospects for 2010 sooner than in previous years.

Two years ago the Irish offered four prospects on Sept. 1: Steve Filer, Trevor Robinson, Michael Floyd, and Dan Buckner. Notre Dame landed three out of those four, and their next official offer out of that class, David Posluszny, also signed with Notre Dame. The Irish landed five-star quarterback Jimmy Clausen a few years ago after he was their only Sept. 1 offer out of his class. Notre Dame has also landed a very large number of their initial offers in many of the recent classes like James Aldridge, Kerry Neal, Mike Ragone, Gary Gray, Dayne Crist, Kyle Rudolph and Robert Blanton just to name a few, who were all early offers and the first prospects offered at their positions.

Getting in on these kids early is important, and the Irish will have offered 14 prospects by the first week of September. Previously, the Filer class of the initial four was the most offers I can remember going out on September 1, so the staff is way ahead of schedule for 2010. More importantly, many of these elite prospects have already been on Notre Dame's campus. Only four out of the current 13 offers have not been on Notre Dame's campus this summer, and six plan to visit Notre Dame next weekend for the Michigan game. My guess is if you track success for Notre Dame in recruiting, the odds of ND landing a player likely doubles if they can get them on campus early. I've never done the math, but the Irish do land a very large amount of players that do take the time to visit campus early in the process.

The Irish only have three top recruits coming in this weekend for the San Diego State game, Jake Golic, Zach Martin and Tyler Eifert.

However, the following weekend, when the Irish play Michigan, is a big recruiting weekend for Notre Dame. 2009 prospects expected to be in on official visits are four-star wide receiver prospect Nyshier Oliver, four-star defensive end Chris Bonds, and three Irish commitments in punter Ben Turk, running back Theo Riddick and defensive back E.J. Banks.

Other possibilities for official visits are four-star defensive end Gabe Ikard and four-star linebacker/fullback Glenn Carson. These have not been confirmed, but the Irish staff is working on getting both players on campus for official visits that weekend.

Others top players are coming on unofficial visits like four-star defensive end Davon Custis, and three current commits, Alex Bullard, Jake Golic and Tyler Eifert.

2010 offers that are expected to be in for Michigan are offensive tackle Brandon Linder, tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, defensive end Chance Carter, offensive lineman Christian Lombard, and linebacker Max Bullough. All five will likely be top 100 players when the rankings come out next spring. Also expected in is one of Ohio's top players, and likely future offer, defensive end Jamel Turner, who also will likely be a top 100 player.

Linder, Fiedorowicz, Carter, Lombard and Bullough have all recently been on Notre Dame's campus , with Carter and Bullough also attending Notre Dame's camp this past June.

Many of the other 2010 prospects who have offers have also visited ND recently like defensive end Chris Martin, offensive lineman James Hurst (camp), wide receiver Corey Cooper and running back/linebacker Anthony Barr (camp). Look for Hurst to be back on campus for the Purdue game, and Anthony Barr is expected back for the Stanford game.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see Chris Martin and Corey Cooper back on campus in the near future, as well as a number of other elite players in the 2010 class as the season winds down.

While the season kicks off on Saturday, recruiting is a year round thing for the Notre Dame coaching staff. I've followed recruiting professionally for the past 12 years, and as a hobby for another 10 plus. I've never seen an Irish coaching staff this far advanced this early in the recruiting process. It will more than likely pay off big for ND in 2010 as Notre Dame appears to be doing quite well for many of their 13-14 offers that are currently out, as well as with a number of other elite 2010 players who have yet to receive offers but will in the future.

More importantly, they have to close out the 2009 class, and the ND staff hasn't forgotten about them. With 14 current commits, the Irish staff can now focus on the small remaining elite prospects, and we'll see the full court press coming their way over the next few months as the Irish put the finishing touches on what appears to be another great class.

The 2008 season is about to begin but there should also be a lot of fireworks on the recruiting trail as well. The hard work this staff has put in will likely pay off in the very near future.


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