Skill Position Stock Report

Notre Dame is closing in on the end of the season with 18 verbal commitments with at least seven openings available for the 2010 recruiting class. The Irish will need to finish the season strong on the field, in order to finish strong in the recruiting wars. If the Irish are able to win out, they are positioned to have an outstanding recruiting class.

With Jimmy Clausen and Dayne Crist as the only scholarship quarterback on the Irish roster, Notre Dame's goal was to sign two quarterbacks in this recruiting class. With verbal commitments from Tommy Rees of Lake Forest High School (Ill.) and Moeller High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) signal caller Andrew Hendrix this Irish are all set. Rees is considering graduating early, so he can enroll in January.

The Irish also wanted to sign two running backs in this class and they can put a check mark by that item as well. Notre Dame landed the big running back they wanted when Cameron Roberson committed on his official visit for the season opener against Nevada. The Irish then added a huge and somewhat surprising member to the 20101 recruiting class when St. Thomas Aquinas standout Gio Bernard committed a week after taking his official visit to the USC game. The Irish fulfilled their needs with Roberson and Bernard, but there is a possibility that Notre Dame will sign an athlete or two that could get a look at running back and then switch to another position if things didn't work out.

Anthony Barr (6-foot-4, 225-pounds): The son of former Notre Dame running back Tony Brooks, is Scout.com's No. 5 rated running back. The standout athlete from Loyola High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) was initially recruited by the Irish as a linebacker, but the staff has since become open to the idea of giving him a chance to show what he can do with the ball in his hands. Barr is a special athlete that could ultimately play multiple positions on both offense and defense. Barr took his official visit to Notre Dame for the Washington game and had an outstanding visit that only solidified Notre Dame's position. Just recently Barr narrowed his choices down to just two schools; Notre Dame and UCLA. Anthony still wants to visit UCLA before making a decision, that visit may need to until December. While Barr does have sincere interest in the Bruins, I think he's just making sure Notre Dame is where he ultimately wants to be…Buy

Marquis Flowers (6-foot-2, 195-pounds): Scout.com's No. 13 rated safety from Millennium High (Goodyear, Ariz.) had been a primary target for Notre Dame at running back until Bernard pledged to the Irish. That doesn't mean that Flowers will immediately slide to the defensive side of the ball, but it certainly won't bother him in the least. In fact, Flowers has mentioned that he might prefer to play defense once he leaves high school. Flowers visited for Navy and despite the Irish dropping the game, he had a terrific visit and came away very impressed with the entire experience at Notre Dame. That being said, Flowers still has several visits lined up, all on the west coast with ASU, Arizona, UCLA, and USC. One of these things doesn't belong here… Sell

Notre Dame already has commitments from wide receivers Daniel Smith, Bennett Jackson and Tai-ler Jones. The Irish could finish with that group in February and have a very solid receiver class, but there are two Illinois prospects that have the potential to be difference makers.

Kyle Prater (6-2, 203-pounds): Prater visited Notre Dame unofficially when the Irish played USC with his close friend Corey Cooper who was on his official visit to Notre Dame. The No. 2 rated wide receiver by Scout.com from Proviso West High School (Hillside, Ill.) is still holding to his commitment to the USC Trojans, but most believe that is on shaky ground as Prater has taken several visits to other schools, and has official visits set up for Notre Dame (11/21) and Oklahoma (11/28). USC will be Prater's final official visit, and Pete Carroll does know how to close with recruits. Prater is the big prize that would turn a very solid wide receiver class into a great wide receiver class… Buy

Corey Cooper (6-2, 203-pounds): Depending on which recruits sign with Notre Dame in February, Scout.com's No. 15 rated safety could find himself at wide receiver or at safety at Notre Dame. Cooper committed to Illinois well over a year ago, but he has been talking about taking official visits almost as soon as he got off the phone with the Illinois coaches. Notre Dame has always been in the mix and the Irish made a big impression on Cooper when he took his official visit for the USC game. Cooper will likely be back in South Bend in just over a week when the Irish host Connecticut. Cooper is still committed to the Illini, but he does not plan to make another visit to Champaign. Cooper has said that he will visit Arizona, Tennessee and Miami before making his final decision, but none of the dates are set. I rarely ever buy into package deals (See Prater), because they rarely occur, but I'm in the buying mood today… Buy


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