Signing Day: Defense

Headlined by four-star defensive tackle Tyler Stockton and four-star linebacker Zeke Motta, Irish Eyes takes a look at the defensive players signing in Notre Dame's 2009 recruiting haul.

Charlie Weis and his staff were able to land signatures from one defensive tackle, three linebackers, one safety, a punter and a long snapper.

Several other players might've decided to go Irish on National Signing Day, and we've provided profiles for those prospects as well.


Tyler Stockton (4-star)
(U.S. Army All-American)

Height/Weight: 6-foot, 290
Hometown: Princeton, N.J. (The Hun School)
Position: Defensive Tackle

Other Schools Considered: Penn State, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

Senior Year Stats:

Stockton played just four games, making 32 tackles, with nine coming for loss including three sacks. As a junior, he had 68 stops with 24 coming behind the line of scrimmage including nine sacks.


Carlo Calabrese (4-star)
(Hawaiian/Polynesian-Mainland All-Star)

Height/Weight: 6-2, 235
Hometown: Verona, N.J. (Verona High)
Position: Inside Linebacker

Other Schools Considered: Penn State, Boston College, Florida, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Head Coach's Comments: "First time we saw him as a freshman, he had outstanding size and strength," Lou Racioppe said. "You just kind of looked at him, and you thought he had the size that could get him to play on the next level. And then when we really got a chance to watch him play, it became obvious. He is strong, has great instincts, real good quickness and a lot of athletic ability, and he also had that fire you need to get on the next level."

"I just think he has the mentality to go out there and do whatever is necessary to be successful. He's a winner and a great competitor. He has all the tools necessary to be able to play."

Senior Year Stats:

Calabrese racked up 131 tackles and three sacks. He also had 488 yards receiving and four touchdowns to go along with 175 yards rushing.


Dan Fox (3-star)


Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio (St. Ignatius High)
Position: Outside Linebacker

Other Schools Considered: Virginia, Michigan State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Stanford.

Head Coach's Comments: "Danny is a very good athlete, three-sport guy," Charles Kyle said. "He's tall, rangy, can fill out a lot more and can run. Defense is so based on speed these days, that's an important factor. He's a very coachable young man, good student. I think probably the key idea is he's about 6-4, 220, he's got a huge upside to him. Just his frame , you sit there and say he'll be 240, 245, and you'll hardly notice any change. He has so much more to fill out. The growth potential is exciting."

Senior Year Stats:

Fox had 46 solos, 39 assists, 11 tackles for loss, five interceptions, one sack, and one fumble recovery.


Zeke Motta (4-star)
(U.S. Army All-American)

(Hawaiian/Polynesian-Mainland All-Star)

Hometown: Vero Beach, Fla. (Vero Beach High)
Position: Outside Linebacker

Other Schools Considered: Florida, Stanford, Auburn, UCLA, Boston College and Clemson.

Head Coach's Comments: "It boils down to his work ethic," Gary Coggin said. "He had it here, and his Dad was a big part of that. You know you have something special when you have a kid that has the size, speed and desire. The young'n believes in hard work, and the more success he has, the harder he works. And I think that's going to apply for him up at Notre Dame.

"He fell in love with them on his visit, and there wasn't any doubt in his mind that's where he wanted to play ball and get an education."

Senior Year Stats:

Motta had 134 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, seven pass break-ups, three recovered fumbles, three forced fumbles, nine quarterback hurries and three blocked kicks.


E.J. Banks (3-star)
Hometown: Mc Kees Rocks, Pa. (Montour High)
Position: Cornerback

Other Schools Considered: Ohio State, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Louisville, Colorado and Clemson.

Senior Year Stats:

Banks played quarterback in high school. He rushed for 1,015 yards and 14 touchdowns, and threw for 1,027 yards and 10 more scores.


Ben Turk (3-star)

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Position: Punter

Other Schools Considered: Florida, Cincinnati and Alabama.

Head Coach's Comments: "He has a strong leg," George Smith said. "I don't think southern kids like to kick in that cold and the wind up north, but that's not going to affect Ben because of the power he has."

Senior Year Stats:

Turk had 28 punts, for 1,098 yards, a 39.2 avg., a long of 63 with 14 downed inside the 20-yard line.
Jordan Cowart (2-star)


Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Position: Long Snapper
Other Schools Considered: Georgia, Florida, Ohio State and Rutgers.

Head Coach's Comments: "Jordan is as good a long snapper that we've had, and we've had a lot of good ones," George Smith said. "A lot of people don't realize how important a long snapper is, and how they impact the game. I think Jordan is excellent, and he's a student of that art."


NOTE: Manti Te'o, Byron Moore, Jawanza Starling and Marlon Pollard may sign with the Irish today, so we've included a short profile for them as well.

Manti Te'o (5-star)
(UnderArmour All-American)

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou School)
Position: Linebacker

Other Schools Considering: UCLA, USC, BYU and Stanford.








Byron Moore (4-star)
(U.S. Army All-American)

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif. (Nathaniel Narbonne High)
Position: Safety

Other Schools Considering: USC, Colorado and LSU.








Jawanza Starling (4-star)

Hometown: Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln High)
Position: Safety

Other Schools Considering: USC, Florida, Georgia, Stanford and Florida State.








Marlon Pollard (4-star)

Hometown: San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon High)
Position: Cornerback

Other School Considering: UCLA.


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