It's Banquet weekend, and it's time to entertain the future.
Head coach Charlie Weis, his staff and current team and administration are hosting six verbal commits and two potential prospects in the 2009 recruiting class.
Unlike a game weekend, the banquet allows the recruits to interact with the players and coaching staff much better than if they're also preparing to play on Saturday. It's an opportunity for recruits to really see how well they fit in, and get to know the staff and their possible future teammates on a better basis. With no pressure of a game, everyone is generally laid back.
Guest speaker Joe Theismann is a big part of it. A Notre Dame celebrity, on Friday night, he'll paint a great picture of why and how Notre Dame is important to him, and how it's benefited him in the real world. Recruits will try and relate Theismann's thoughts to their own.
For the committed guys, the banquet further insures that these players made the right decision. It allows them to bond amongst themselves, building a foundation for a close-nit class that will benefit the program when they're the key cogs on the field a couple years down the road.
Before leaving, everyone will get one-on-one time with Weis.
Notre Dame fans know plenty about Watt, Martin, Bullard, Eifert, Stockton and Golic. It's all about adding Custis and Opurum to the mix.
Custis, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound four-star defensive end from Columbus, Ohio, will be making his second-ever visit to South Bend. However, this will be his first real look at the Notre Dame program.
Back in September, Custis, his mother and a family friend made the one-day trip for the Michigan game, and they were only on campus for roughly seven or eight hours. Custis currently has Boston College as his leader, with Stanford, Northwestern, Wisconsin and the Irish also in the mix. With that being said, Notre Dame hasn't had the opportunity to really show the St. Francis DeSales standout what it truly has to offer.
Custis and his mother have both said how much Notre Dame reminds them of their current situation at DeSales, with both schools holding the same values. That's a good thing and a great starting point for the Irish coaching staff. Now it's about selling Custis and his mother, who is also attending this weekend, on the whole shebang.
A decision from Custis will come in January after he takes his final visit to Stanford. He will have seen all five of his favorites before committing.
Opurum, who was offered by Notre Dame over the summer, wasn't sure if he wanted to play fullback on the next level. Now that he's open to the idea, he's also open to Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound talent out of Plano, Texas, is looking at the Irish, Florida, Arkansas, Purdue and Kansas. The banquet will be his first official visit, and Opurum has already set dates with Kansas (Dec. 20th), and Florida in the third week of January. He's trying to get things set with the Boilermakers and Razorbacks.
Opurum would give the Irish offense a definite threat as a receiver coming out of the backfield, and like Custis, he has stated that he thinks Notre Dame is moving in the right direction.