Recruiting week in review.

Notre Dame's offensive line woes have been well documented the last two years. Exactly why the offensive line play has been so poor is a matter of much conjecture, but everyone would agree that, regardless of any other possible factors, bringing in quality recruits is very important to fixing the problem.

During the Charlie Weis era, perhaps no other position on the team has been recruited harder than the offensive line. And the Irish coaching staff continues to emphasize bringing in quality big guys up front. Last week Irish Eyes' Steve Wiltfong spoke to two outstanding offensive linemen, one in the 2009 class and the other in the 2010 class, that Notre Dame has targeted. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Notre Dame recruitniks had all but given up and forgotten Xavier Nixon. Nixon, OT, 6-6, 285, Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, NC is a Scout.com five-star prospect and the number one ranked offensive tackle in the nation. Last week Notre Dame coaches John Latina and Corwin Brown paid the young superstar a visit in an effort to get the Irish back in the race for his signature on signing day.

"The visit went very well," said Fotini Nixon, Xavier's mother. "Coach (Corwin) Brown and coach (John) Latina stopped by Xavier's school for a while. Coach Latina hit the road shortly thereafter and coach Brown hung around and stopped by our house around 6:30 p.m. We hung out for about thirty-five minutes."

Mrs. Nixon continued.

"I feel the visit went very well. I met coach Brown briefly at one of our games when Notre Dame was here playing UNC. This was my first time actually sitting down and having a conversation with him. We had a good visit. He was very pleasant and down to earth."

Prior to the visit Nixon favored Florida, LSU, Miami and North Carolina over Notre Dame and Clemson. Mrs. Nixon didn't really know if Brown's visit changed anything.

"Both Xavier and I think coach Brown is a great guy, very sincere/genuine," said Mrs. Nixon. "As far as Xavier's leader, I can't really speak on it."

Nixon has been concentrating almost solely on football this season in leading his team to the North Carolina Division 4AA championship game against rival and nemesis Richmond High School.

"I can tell you that he has been completely focused on his high school football team," explained Mrs. Nixon. "Xavier has not really spoken to anyone on the phone (media or coaches). Their opportunities to speak with Xavier are when they actually visit his school. I wish I had more information for you, but that's it in a nutshell."

Nixon plans to announce his college decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

While Notre Dame would love to add a player of Xavier Nixon's caliber to this year's recruiting class, they have also begun to focus on the top-flight offensive linemen in the class of 2010. Just last week Matt James, OT, 6-7, 285, St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, OH received a scholarship from the Irish.

"They sent me an e-mail saying to call coach Weis," James explained. "After school, I called up the number and talked to him. He asked if I was interested and I said yes and he said I have an offer from Notre Dame. We talked about me getting up there, maybe for a basketball game this winter."

James enjoyed his sole visit to Notre Dame in November. He also holds scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Stanford, Duke and Akron.

"The academics and tradition are pretty impressive," James said of Notre Dame. "Compared to last year, they are getting better."

In addition to Notre Dame, James has also taken in games at Ohio State and Cincinnati. He's wide open right now with recruiting stating that, "I'm going to wait and see what happens everywhere."

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


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