Notre Dame received its first commitment of the 2010 recruiting class from Christian Lombard just after the first of the year. Seven months have passed and 13 players have been added to Notre Dame's 2010 class, but the Irish have not been able to add another offensive lineman. Notre Dame only signed three linemen last year (Chris Watt, Zach Martin, Alex Bullard) so they'll need to add at least three big-men in this class, and four would probably be ideal. There aren't many targets remaining so the Irish will either need to land most of the guys listed below, or get the film out so that they can evaluate more prospects.
Brandon Linder (6-foot-6, 290-pounds): Scout has Brandon listed as the No. #1 center in the country, but everyone is recruiting him to play tackle, and most likely Linder will be able to handle the left flank in college. He is one of three prospects from St. Thomas Aquinas High school (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) that the Irish are pursuing (Giovanni Bernard, Cody Riggs). Linder has visited Notre Dame a couple times and he is friends with Sam Young, a St. Thomas Aquinas graduate and current starting offensive tackle at Notre Dame. Ohio State, Florida and Miami are the competition for Notre Dame. He'll take official visits to all four of his favorites. Brandon is playing things pretty close to the vest, so it's difficult to get a read on him, but the Irish are on solid ground. Hold
Matt James (6-foot-8, 280-pounds): The Irish have landed two commitments from Cincinnati's Greater Catholic League (GCL) in Alex Welch and Andrew Hendrix. It would be a major recruiting statement for them to land a third with James. He wanted to make a decision during the summer, but now it's likely that he'll take some official visits. Ohio State and Cincinnati are the competition for James. While many discounted Cincinnati early on, the Bearcats are a very legitimate contender for his services. James grew up watching the Bearcats, his father played for them and his friend and teammate Luke Massa committed to them in early July. The further into the season this drags, I believe it benefits Notre Dame, but for now… Hold
James Stone (6-foot-5, 297-pounds): It's tough to figure out what Stone is thinking, because the Nashville (Tenn.) native doesn't do many interviews. Few few things that we know about Stone is that he visited Notre Dame for the spring game and his lone scheduled official visit is to Notre Dame (10/17). He has developed a solid relationship with Notre Dame offensive line coach Frank Verducci. Notre Dame has recruited Tennessee very well recently and signed offensive lineman Alex Bullard last year. He's a solid student with a 3.8 core GPA and a 28 ACT. That's the good news. The other side is that he may be a kid that is destined to play in the SEC, with Tennessee, LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt providing the competition for the Irish. Hold
Erik Kohler (6-foot-5, 285-pounds): With all the DI prospects that Oaks Christian High School turns out, you'd think the Irish would have more success landing some of their top prospects, but as it stands Jimmy Clausen is the only one they've been able to bring to South Bend. Kohler seemed to be high on the Irish early, but that seemed to fade with the summer sun. Erik took a visit to Washington and nearly committed to the Huskies. After that visit he stated that visits make a huge impression on him. Fast forward to his recent visit to Notre Dame; Erik liked everything about Notre Dame, but upon returning home, he still had Washington in front of Notre Dame, Cal and UCLA. He is also scheduled to take another unofficial visit to Seattle with teammate and Husky commitment Nick Montana. That just doesn't give me a warm fuzzy. Sell
Arie Kouandjio (6-foot-5, 310-pounds): When Dematha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.) has a highly ranked prospect, Notre Dame is generally a player. The Irish are under consideration, but Kouandjio is also considering another 20 schools. He's taken a lot of unofficial visits, and Notre Dame wasn't on his itinerary, in fact Arie really hasn't mentioned Notre Dame unless he's been interviewed by someone covering Notre Dame. He is still talking to the Notre Dame coaches, so there is a glimmer of hope. We won't need to wait much longer to see where they stand though, as Kouandjio will narrow his list shortly. Sell