Recruiting week in review.

The old adage, "the games are won in the trenches," has been around so long because it's true. Against Pitt, Notre Dame got outrushed 178-115, a statistic the Irish coaches would like to turn around. In order to accomplish that, Notre Dame is going to need to continue to bring in outstanding offensive and defensive linemen.

Last week, Irish Eyes Steve Wiltfong spoke with two members of the class of 2010 that could play a role in that change. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Beau Allen, DT, 6-3, 288, Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka, MN received a visit last week from Irish recruiting coordinator and wide receivers' coach Rob Ianello. Actually, Ianello just visited Allen's school since recruiting rules prevents contact between coaches and players. However, Ianello did leave a handwritten note for Allen.

"It was just the usual mail telling me about their previous game, who their next game is against and game invitations," informed Allen. "Coach Ianello was at my school I guess last week, so he gave me a handwritten note saying he likes what he saw. That's pretty cool. It is nice to see he is checking up on me. That's pretty exciting."

Allen has caught the eye of many programs other than Notre Dame. He currently holds scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa and is hearing from the rest of the Big Ten. He has also heard from more distant programs such as UCLA, Oregon, Alabama and North Carolina.

Allen, who maintains a separate file folder on each university that has contacted him, not only excels on the field, but also in the classroom. He is currently enrolled in three AP classes and maintains a 3.3 grade point average. Obviously, academics are important to him now and will remain so at the next level.

"I try and keep my grades up, that's really important to me," related Allen. "I try and challenge myself with my course load. That's one thing I'm working for."

Allen is also a student of the game and prefers Big Ten-style Midwest power football to the spread.

"I like the style of football in the Big Ten and obviously Notre Dame also," said Allen. "You have to keep them in there. I've been watching them a lot lately. I'm not a fan of the spread offenses. As a d-lineman, I hate going against the spread. I like the Power I."

Allen, who has never been to Notre Dame, hopes to make it to South Bend for the Irish's last home game against Syracuse.

"I'm pretty interested in them," Allen said. "They're a good school having a good year. I've been talking to my parents. It's a little bit of a trip, but I'm going to try and get down for a game this year. I just know it's a historic program with a lot of good tradition, a lot of good players have come out of there."

Allen camped last summer at each of the schools that have offered him. He planned to attend a one-day camp at Notre Dame but could not make it in. He does plan to camp in South Bend next summer.

If Allen can fill a need on the defensive line, the Irish hope that Matt James can do the same on the offensive line. James, OL, 6-7, 285, St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, OH figures to be one of the top offensive linemen in the class of 2010. He has recently, and rather reluctantly, turned his attention to recruiting. James had hoped that a run in the Ohio state football playoffs would delay his attention to recruiting, but that didn't happen.

"I was planning on getting to state and playing all fifteen games like we did last year," explained James. "But this year got cut short to ten games. We had a lot of things that happened. The only bright side I saw with our season is now I have time to look through schools and at schools I wouldn't have been able to if I was still playing."

Irish Eyes spoke with James as he prepared to take an unofficial visit for the Pitt game. Though he did not have an Irish scholarship offer, there was a pretty good chance that he would leave with one. Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Stanford, Duke, Cincinnati and Akron have already offered him.. Notre Dame assistant coach Jon Tenuta has been recruiting James and staying in weekly contact with him. Tenuta attended James' game against St. Ignatius and Notre Dame commit Dan Fox.

"I really want to see the campus," James stated. "I heard it's beautiful. I also want to meet some of the coaches. I'm not sure if I'll be able to or not, but if I can, it'd be great."

James plans to also take unofficial visits to Ohio State, Cincinnati and LSU when his family vacations in New Orleans for spring break. He doesn't know yet when he'll make his college decision.

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


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