Offensive linemen, Dan Wenger and Sam Young are two former St. Thomas Aquinas players that will lead the Irish in 2009. Offensive tackle prospect Brandon Linder (6-foot-6, 285-pounds) is the next in line to become one of the nation's top offensive line prospects produced by head coach George Smith.
"Everything has been good," the laid-back Floridian responded when asked about his recruitment. "I'm probably going to take my time making my decision. It probably won't be signing day, but I'll probably make it after my season unless I really know where I want to go to school during my season. I'm just going to take my time, because it's a really important decision. My top schools are Miami, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia, Stanford and FSU.
"I've been to Miami, Florida and Notre Dame. Oklahoma and USC were down here this spring. Oklahoma gave me a verbal offer, but I'm not counting that as an offer right now. USC sounded very interested, and that's a school I'd really like to look at, but we'll see what they have to say. Those are the only two that have jumped out that haven't offered."
USC and Oklahoma might jump into the mix with an offer. Even if those two pass, Linder will have plenty of options. Notre Dame is one, and Brandon has been up to visit on more than one occasion.
"I was up there last summer when I first received their offer," Linder explained. "I went up there just to see everything. Then I went up there for the Notre Dame- Michigan game… that was an awesome experience. I hung out with Sam (Young) and went to Bruno's. I toured the facilities; the Gug is one of the best in the nation. The team atmosphere is one of the best around. The history of the place was absolutely amazing.
"Notre Dame is recruiting me at left tackle. I've talked to coach Verducci once on the phone and he seems like a great guy. Sam thinks the world of him. We're going to sit down and talk, but over the phone he seems like a great guy and very knowledgeable and a guy that I definitely want to get to know. Coach Parmalee has been recruiting me the most and he's a great guy.
"I played center my sophomore year, but last year I played left tackle, and I'll play left tackle this year," Brandon said. "All the schools are recruiting me to play left tackle. I have good feet, I can run block, I'm mean, and I have intensity. What they also like about me is my versatility. I can play so many positions along the line, and I'll play whatever gets me on the field faster. I guess I would prefer left tackle, but it really doesn't matter, I'll play whatever gets me on the field."
Brandon won't make his decision anytime soon, but he will do his homework on the road this summer.
"Miami is in my back yard, so I'll probably go down there a couple times," he said. "I'll hit Florida, Florida State, and Georgia. I'll probably go to Notre Dame and Ohio State. After that I'll probably narrow things down to five or four schools and then shut things down. I'll stay in close contact with those five and gather my thoughts. Then like I said, I'll make my decision during or after my season."