Thoughts from the all-star game

<P>The Army All-Star game gave us a first hand look at some of the top prospects Notre Dame is recruiting. I was very impressed with all of them and if Notre Dame can land most of them, they should have a very good recruiting class. I also watched the Cal/Florida game and I will give some thoughts on the players I saw in that game as well.</P>

Brady Quinn obviously plays a highly visable position and I am sure everyone was glued to the TV when he was in there. Quinn looked very good throwing the football tonight. He has a strong arm, nice mechanics and sets up in the pocket well. His touchdown throw was a beautiful ball where he put just the right amount of touch on the ball. He appeared accurate and threw a very nice swing pass as well. People need to understand that they were supposed to play only man coverage and once a defense can play all coverages, it will not be as easy for Quinn. I was very impressed with Brady however and the future looks bright.

I was very impressed with Ryan Harris. Harris played guard for the west team and he really looked good in run and pass blocking. Harris played to the whistle and was looking for people to hit. I was really impressed with how he kept his balance and his feet under him. He used his hands very well when pass blocking. Harris is not very big right now. I would guess he is around 265 and when he went against some 290 pound guys, he held his own or got the better of them. He went against Mo Dampeer quite a bit and did the job against him. Ryan Harris might be the biggest pickup they have so far.

Tommy Zbikowski really impressed me as well. He has the quicks and the hips and could play corner. Tom also wanted to hit some people out there which is good to see. As a quarterback, you have to wonder if he has that defensive mentality but he showed me he wanted to hit some people out there. Somehow, the Irish need to get this guy. He should turn out to be a great player.

John Sullivan really impressed me at center. He got a big push inside when run blocking and moved his guy a great distance when engaged. He was mainly used in double teams in pass blocking and he didn't go much man on man but he certainly did his job in pass blocking. He is another that I hope the Irish land.

Victor Abiamiri is just a beast. He dominated while in there. He has excellent quickness and I saw him use about every move a defensive end uses. He used the spin move, the swim move and his quickness is impressive. I sure hope Notre Dame can land this player.

Travis Thomas didn't get much of an opportunity to show what he can do. He had a couple of nice runs where he showed his power and quickness but run blocking wasn't the best in this game although that is to be expected. Thomas looks to be in the Tony Fisher mold which is something the Irish need. He looked very thick and ready to play physically right away.

Ambrose Wooden also impressed me. He has good speed and quickness. I didn't see a lot of throws go his way but he looked the part of a corner when he was in there.

Two guys I didn't get a good look at was Mike Jones and Joe Thomas. It took me 3 quarters to figure out which players they were. I can't really comment because I didn't see enough plays to really get an idea of what type of player they are. I also didn't get a good look at John Carlson.

Greg Olsen should be a great tight end. He is very quick for his size and he is a great blocker as well. He caught one ball that I saw and showed soft hands on that catch. I was really impressed with his blocking.

I also watched the Cal/Florida game. There wasn't a lot of prospects the Irish are recruiting in that game. I did get a look at a few.

Derrick Williams impressed me. They listed him at only 180 pounds but he looked thicker than that. Williams has a real nice burst through the hole. He hits the hole hard and and has good feet running inside the tackles. He looks to be a north/south runner that has natural agility to run inbetween the tackles. I liked him quite a bit.

I was also impressed with the quickness or Brian Dennison. I still have no idea if he can get into Notre Dame and will check on that today. Dennison has good lateral movement and hits the hole very quick. He out ran everyone on one play to the corner of the endzone so he has good speed. I was impressed with him.

Freddie Parish looked good as I expected him to. Freddie covers a lot of ground and he will lower the boom. He made some nice hits and he looked to be every bit as good as I think he will be.

I didn't see Mark Bradford catch a ball in the game. They threw to him a couple of times but I didn't see him catch a ball. It's hard to judge what type of player he is but he got off the line of scrimmage well and was open when they threw it to him.

When watching these games, it's very hard to predict who will be a great player. Some are very obvious but it depends on the position they are playing. It's also hard to focus in on just one player because there is so many good players you want to watch. Overall, I was very impressed with the players Notre Dame is recruiting. If they can land most of them, this should be a very good class. Top Stories