Nix Headlines D-Line Haul

Recruiting defensive linemen for the 2010 class was an adventure. The Irish landed one commitment while they were searching for a new head coach and two prospects that were offered just days before signing day.

Louis Nix is the headliner of the defensive line signees. Nix is the top defensive tackles in the state of Florida and will play nose tackle for the Irish. In addition to Nix, the Irish also signed two defensive ends in Bruce Heggie and Kona Schwenke. Both prospects received late scholarship offers from Notre Dame and made their recruiting visits on last weekend in January.

Bruce Heggie (6-foot-4, 240-pounds) from Mount Dora High School, Sorrento, Fla.:

Brian Kelly's comments: "He is a defensive lineman, but also played tight end. He's a young man that has great versatility for us. Very good student. Very productive, he was an under-recruited player and somebody we had our eye on in Cincinnati. When it worked out that the numbers weren't in our favor on the defensive line, we felt that he was a guy that could do a number of things for us with his size; just a smart, tough football player. His dad played at Florida State. Again, a man that can do a lot of things for us. He's going to be a big, rangy player for us. He could play on the offensive line, and he could definitely play some defensive tackle for us as well.

Bruce Heggie Profile: Heggie played both offense and defense as senior. He caught 16 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns and tallied four sacks as defensive end. He was a first-team all-Lake/Sumter Counties selection as offensive lineman/tight end following senior campaign by the Orlando Sentinel. He was named one of top 100 players in Central Florida prior to senior year by the Orlando Sentinel. He received honorable mention all-area accolades from Southlake Press following the 2009 season. Heggie ranks 10th in his senior class academically with 4.2 grade-point average and he was an academic all-state selection in 2009.

Louis Nix (6-foot-3, 315-pounds) from William Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla.:

Brian Kelly's comments: "He played in the Under Armour All-America game and a guy that was heavily recruited. He gives us some size in the middle. A young man that we really enjoyed recruiting… he's a great character kid. I think he'll be a real asset and a guy that can come in and compete right away. He's explosive inside.

Louis Nix Profile: As a senior, Nix made 50 tackles and 10 sacks He is rated the ninth-best defensive tackle in country and 102nd-best prospect nationally by Scout.com and was named a SuperPrep All-American and eighth-best defensive tackle nationally. Nix was named to Florida Super 75 and to Jacksonville Super 24 teams by Jacksonville Times-Union as a senior. He is rated 59th nationally on Sporting News Top 100 list. He was named a 2009 all-First Coast pick as defensive lineman by Jacksonville Times-Union. Nix was selected to play in Under Armour All-America Game. He was selected to the Jacksonville Times-Union Super 11 squad prior to his senior season and was labeled ³most disruptive² player in First Coast. Nix was named to the Super Southeast 120 team by Mobile Press-Register and he is ranked the 108th player nationally by SI.com/TAKKLE. He was rated on the Offense-Defense Top 250 list and rated 75th nationally by The Kickoff Top 120. He tallied 60 tackles and 10 sacks as junior and named second-team all-First Coast by Jacksonville Times-Union.

Kona Schwenke (6-foot-4, 227-pounds) from Kahuku School, Hauula, Hawaii:

Brian Kelly's comments: "We were out in Hawaii looking at another young man, and it was one of those things were your attention now is focused on someone else. We had such a need at 6-foot-4, 227-pounds, that outside guy that can come off the edge, and Kona gives us that. I think he's been elevated to the No. 1 player in the state of Hawaii and that certainly worked out pretty well for us last year with Manti Te'o. Now adding Kona Schwenke, I thought was a very, very important get for us. A young man that we're excited to have in our program.

Kona Schwenke Profile: Schwenke was name first-team Hawaii all-state for 2009 as a defensive lineman. He was named second-team all-state by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He helped lead his team to the Hawaii state championship game and a 12-1 record. Kahuku's only loss was in the Division I title game to Kamehameha. Schwenke participated in 2009 Hawaii/Polynesia vs. Mainland Bowl. He was selected to Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 team. He is one of 14 defensive linemen from 11 Western states selected to the Western 100 team. He was selected Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East defensive player of year for 2009 as Kahuku claimed OIA crown. He had six tackles, four for loss, and two sacks, in Kahuku¹s 24-20 victory over Leilehua to earn 2009 OIA Red Conference title. He is one of four finalists for 2009 Island Sports Media Athlete of the Year award.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories