Irish commits enjoy all star experience

<P>The all star games are a lot of fun for the players but they also can be a gold mine of information for guys like me. I was out mining last night as I spoke to some of the current commits and I found some gold nuggets for you. </P>

The first player I spoke with was Ryan Harris. Harris played left guard for the west and I thought he did an outstanding job when in there. "I had a lot of fun with the guys that are committed to Notre Dame. I really enjoyed hanging out with John Carlson. He is a great guy and he and I became quick friends. We played on the same team so I spent a lot of time with him. There was a lot of talent at the game so it was a good experience to go against those players. I think I did pretty good." Harris did very well. He went up against Mo Dampeer most of the game and he more than held his own against a player that weighs quite a bit more than he does.

I asked Ryan if he talked to the players that were not committed and if he got a read on them. "I think they will get John Sullivan. He likes Notre Dame quite a bit and hung out with all the guys going to Notre Dame the most. They should have a great shot at him. I feel confident they will get a lot of them after talking to them."

So is Ryan excited about going to Notre Dame. "I am so pumped to go and to get started. I hope Coach Mattison and Coach Willingham don't call me because I will go nuts. It was so great to hang out with those guys because Notre Dame is getting some quality guys as well as quality players. I can't wait to get to Notre Dame and to get started."

Tailback prospect Travis Thomas also enjoyed the game. "It was fun, I didn't think we would beat them that bad. We scrimmaged every day and they didn't do a lot of hitting so I think that helped us quite a bit."

I asked Travis what he thought about his performance. "It was hard to get going. It was pretty much a passing showcase. They didn't run the ball that often. It's hard for an offensive line to get together in a short period of time. I still had a lot of fun though."

So who did Travis hang out with? "Pretty much all the committed guys and some guys that I think they will get. Brady Quinn is a real cool guy. I hung out with Mike Jones, John Sullivan, Ambrose Wooden and Abiamiri."

Did Travis get a read on these guys? "All of them talked about going to Notre Dame but I don't thin any are definite. Ambrose said he thought he would go to Notre Dame. Victor Abiamiri talked a lot about Notre Dame but he didn't say he was going there."

Travis said he is itching to get to Notre Dame now. "Just hanging out with those guys was a lot of fun. I am getting anxious to go. I cannot wait to get there."

Tight end prospect John Carlson also attended the game and had a great experience. "Overall, it was a good experience. I looked at it as an experience where I could kind of figure out what I need to work on. I think I need to gain a little weight and get stronger. It was a great experience to kind of judge where you are and where you need to be." I asked John how he felt he stacked up with these guys? "I think I did pretty well. I think I held my own."

Carlson spent a lot of time with Ryan Harris and quick friendship blossomed. "Ryan Harris made the trip worthwhile. He was the highlight of the trip. We spent a lot of time together and I think we have a good friendship now. We talked a lot about the coaches, the atmosphere at Notre Dame and what we think the college experience will be like. It will be a lot of fun hanging out with him."

I asked John if he got a read on any of the uncommitted players at the game. "I was on the west team so there wasn't many players on that team that Notre Dame is recruiting. I didn't talk to a lot of them that much. Just small talk really. I probably should have tried to convince them to come to Notre Dame but I figured my opinion probably wouldn't matter to them. They will go where they feel most comfortable."

John is starting to take this football thing serious. He skipped a basketball game to come and his Dad is his head coach. "Yeah, that was tough to miss. They won without me so that is good."

The last guy I spoke with was the colorful Freddie Parish. Freddie played in the California/Florida game. "I was so happy to be a part of that. I have been watching that game since I was in the 9th grade. To be able to play in that game meant a lot to me."

Freddie played a solid game but his best play was meant for Mark Bradford. "I have known Mark for a while now. I did a little selling (laugh)." I don't think a little selling was accurate. "I did talk to him a lot about it. I kept telling everyone that Mark just committed to Notre Dame. He would laugh and say he wasn't sure about that. I think he likes Coach Willingham a lot and they have a good chance of getting him. We did talk a little about what he should expect from Notre Dame because it is a lot different from being out here."

Freddie and I also talked about Derrick Williams. "He really surprised me a lot. I had no idea how good he was. He really impressed me. I was sitting at lunch today with some of my teammates and we were all talking about how much he impressed us at the game. He should be a great player in college."

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Freddie isn't done selling for Notre Dame. "I want the best players to come with me to Notre Dame. I am excited about Notre Dame so I am trying to get some other excited about it too. I will keep on Mark. I think we have a good shot."

These games are great for information but they are also great for these prospects to get to know their new teammates. Every year, these guys talk about how much fun it is to hang out with their new teammates and that is the best part of the game. I am glad they get the opportunity to do that. Should be an interesting ride until the finish. We got some good scoop out of these guys.


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