Recruiting week in review.

After the 28-21 victory over Stanford on Saturday, Notre Dame's record stands at 4-1. After five games last year, the Irish stood at 0-5. Mirroring the turnaround in the record has been the dramatically improved play. The passing game gets better each week, the offensive line has done a good job of protecting Clausen and the defense flies to the football with reckless abandon.

In short, Notre Dame is beginning to play the type of football that gets recruits' attention—and signatures.

Last week another top recruit gave his verbal commitment to Notre Dame and one of the best in the class of 2010 made a visit to South Bend. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Nyshier Oliver, S, 5-10, 170, St. Peter's Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ originally committed to Tennessee back in June, but two months later re-opened his recruitment. The very next day, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis offered Oliver a scholarship. The New Jersey speedster nearly accepted on the spot, but decided to take a bit more time and at least see the university. Last week, the Scout.com four-star safety had seen enough and made his verbal commitment to Notre Dame.

"I wanted to (commit) as soon as I got the offer, but I had to see the place," said Oliver of Notre Dame.

Oliver visited Notre Dame on the weekend of September 13th and formally committed about three weeks later.

"Just everything about the school," said Oliver of why he committed to the Irish. "The tradition. They're on the rise right now and soon Notre Dame is going to be the place to be for student-athletes around the country. Me, my mom and dad spoke to coach Weis last night and told him it was a done deal. He told me welcome to the family and that's all I really wanted to hear."

Oliver continued:

"The campus is beautiful, from Touchdown Jesus, to the stadium, to the Business School, just the whole campus," Oliver exclaimed. "It was a real intimate setting; not that many students, like eight thousand people. It's just a great place. What can I say, it's Notre Dame."

Though Scout.com ranks Oliver as a safety and he plays running back on his high school team, Notre Dame is recruiting him as a wide receiver. He sees Golden Tate as his role model. Like Oliver, Tate played running back in high school, but has developed into one of Notre Dame's biggest threats at the receiver spot.

"He's (Tate) a very talented player," Oliver said. "I kind of see myself like him in a couple of years. Get my body right, get my speed right. I definitely want to strive for what he does."

As a junior, Oliver ran for 1400 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also had four interceptions as a defensive back. His performance led to numerous scholarship offers, but now he's glad it's all over.

"It's great to be completely done, because now for a couple of weeks I've been thinking about it too much," said Oliver. "I'm just happy it's out of the way. I know where I'm going to be next fall and now I can work towards that, get through the season and compete for a state championship and work towards that goal."

Charlie Weis is well known for recruiting players that have the versatility to play different positions. Like most college football programs, the Irish want athletes that can be playmakers. They can figure out their position once they get on campus. Anthony Barr, ATH, 6-4, 225, Loyola High School, Los Angeles, CA fits that description exactly. Coaches see him as a defensive end, linebacker, safety or running back. The Irish coaches just know that he's a tremendous athlete with deep personal ties to Notre Dame.

His father, Tony Brooks and his uncle, Reggie Brooks both played for Notre Dame during their successful run during the 1980's. Barr grew up a Notre Dame fan and visited South Bend for the Stanford game, wanting to learn more about a program he idolized as a child.

"I'm just trying to go and have a good time and see what it's like to be in a game atmosphere," Barr said. "I haven't been to a game in a while. I just want to see what the atmosphere is like on game day."

The Irish have already offered Barr a scholarship, but they face stiff competition for his signature. In addition to Notre Dame, Barr has received scholarship offers from USC, UCLA and Stanford.

Many recruits speak of looking for a school that's got a family atmosphere, and that notion has a very special meaning for Barr.

"They're all about family," Barr said of Notre Dame. "Growing up, family has always been a big importance in the household and I think Notre Dame has a lot of values I grew up with."

Irish special teams coach Brian Polian is recruiting Barr. Polian stays in very frequent contact.

"He's been sending me letters to stay in the back of my head," explained Barr.

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


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