Calls from last night

<P>Notre Dame is trying to finish strong and I spoke to eight players that are left on the board last night. Instead of eight stories, you have one because it will be easier for all involved. </P>

I had a lot of reaching a lot of the players last night. Here are some updates I did last night. You can always find the updates on the message boards as well. I call at night, post them there and then make these updates into a story the next day.

I spoke to Chase Anastasio's Mom last night. She said Coach Groh was visiting last night (Monday). Coach Beemer had already visited last Thursday. She did say this, "I do have something I can tell you, Coach Diedrick is coming on Wed. We are excited, he was here last Tuesday as well."

She also mentioned that she thinks he will have a decision by Friday. Sounds like ND gets the last word unless Va Tech comes in Thursday but I would bet the family would discuss it on Thursday.

There is no question where the parents are leaning (ND) and she said Chase is nearing his decision as well. I feel more and more confident each time I call because of how willing the parents are to tell me anything positive about ND. Always a good sign. I know some of the Virginia and Virginia Tech sites don't think Notre Dame is a player in this but why would he have Coach Diedrick in with the last visit?

I also spoke with Joe Thomas's Dad last night. "Coach Willingham will be here any mintue. We are looking forward to talking to him and I hope Joe gets home soon."

I asked Mr. Thomas how the Kansas visit went. "It went very well. They have an awfully good group of throws athletes there and around the program. He enjoyed talking to them about form and all of that stuff. He had a great time but their football program is not at the same level as Notre Dame and Wisconsin."

I asked Mr. Thomas what Joe's plans were. "Well, we have Coach Willingham coming tonight. I don't think he is going to have any more coaches in after that. We have a lot of coaches calling but I don't think he will have any more coaches come by and I don't think he will be taking another visit. He has a game Friday and a dance on Saturday and I don't think we want him to take time off of school to visit another school. I think he will decide on Wednesday. We will discuss it as a family tomorrow and he will decide on Wednesday."

Mr Thomas said it would come down to factors in both sports. "I think Joe's performance down in San Antonio told him that football was going to play a big part in his decision. Track will also play a big part as well and it will come down to which schools can give him both of what he is looking for."

Mr. Thomas and I spoke about a lot of the schools but I did ask his opinion of which schools he thinks it will come down to. "It's going to be hard but he is looking for the best combination of both. I think it will come down to Notre Dame and Wisconsin because I think both can give him what he is looking for." I asked Mr. Thomas if he thought there was a favorite. "Well, I think I will let Joe tell you that."

Just as we suspected, it's ND and Wisconsin. Willingham has the last visit and his time to shine is right now. I like his chances here. Mr. Thomas said he doubted there would be a press conference. He would call the coaches and then call me. I really can't say for sure but I feel pretty good here.

Ira Guilford has a busy day today. Ira does plan to announce on Wed. on a TV show.

"I have coach Willingham coming tomorrow(Tuesday)and then (he named about 4-5 Ohio State coaches). I will sit down with my family and my coache and they will have some input but it will pretty much be my decision."

ND and Ohio State are the final two. I asked if he thought he would just commit to Ohio State tomorrow. "No, Notre Dame is still very much in the mix." I told Ira that he told me last week that Ohio State was leading has anything changed? "Well, they are leading but it's close."

Hard to say what will happen for sure and it's never over until it's over. Still think he will end up at Ohio State but Ty could pull out the magic.

I also spoke to Mitchell Thomas last night. "I liked it at Georgia. It was nice up there."

I asked Mitchell if he has eliminated anyone yet. "No, I haven't eliminated anyone yet."

Mitchell has a couple in-homes scheduled this week. "I have Georgia and Alabama this week so far." I asked him if he would have Auburn and Notre Dame in as well. "Yeah, I will have them in as well."

Is Notre Dame still in the race? "Yeah, they are still in it."

When will he decide? "I don't know, whenever I feel comfortable. Probably next week sometime."

Mitchell claims all of his schools are equal right now.

I have no clue on this player and if I would guess, I am sure that school would be last on his list. Never been so confused on a player in my 7 years of doing this.

Mike Jones was also home and took my call. "I went really good. I liked it quite a bit. I have Joe Paterno coming tomorrow. Coach Ferentz just left my house so that will be it for head coaches. The only other visit I have is the Tennessee OL coach coming tomorrow."

I asked Mike if he has eliminated anyone at this point. "In my mind, yes I have but I don't want to say it publicly yet. I want to tell those coaches first. Notre Dame is still in it though."

I asked Mike when he planned to decide. "I am just taking it day by day right now. I want to have a decision by Friday or Monday. I don't want to take this to signing day."

I asked Mike if he could give me three schools at this point. "Not yet, I want to speak to the coaches but call me in a few days and I will tell you."

ND still in the race. If I had to guess, I would say ND, IA and Penn State.

I also caught up with LaBrose Hedgemon last night. "It went real well. I liked everything about it. Coach Willingham is a real good coach. He is very focused, like he is on a mission."

I asked LaBrose what his plans are. "I have coaches from Colorado coming tomorrow and Coach Willingham on Wednesday. I will sit down with my parents and make a decision soon."

I asked LaBrose what was going on with Michigan. "They have shown a real interest lately. They want me to come up and visit but I am getting kind of tired of this." Is it safe to say he won't take that visit? "Unless something drastic changes, I don't think I will take a visit there."

So does ND lead at this point? "Yes sir, they do."

Vontez Duff was his host. "He was a real cool guy and I think I fit in very well there with the players and the students."

Unless something strange happens, LaBrose will commit to ND I believe

Now for the bad news. I spoke to Emmanuel Awofadeju last night and he told me that he would probably commit to Stanford today. Coach Milles is supposed to visit him today but Emmanuel give me any indication he was still interested. He told me he want to talk to his coach first but he would probably commit to Stanford today.

I also spoke to Mark Bradford last night. It was not good news. "I am starting to look at other schools harder." LSU, UCLA and Stanford have coaches in this week. ND is not going to be in. In summary, cross him off.

Some possible good news is Tashard Choice has been in contact with Notre Dame lately and remains interested. I will check into that tonight. Tashard is a great kid and would be a nice addition to this class. Top Stories