Linebackers: 2010 Class

Notre Dame has a solid group of linebackers already on campus, and with the 2010 recruiting class they will add three new names into the mix. The Irish signed two of the top linebackers in the state of North Carolina, as well and one of the top defensive prospects in the Los Angeles area.

The theme for the Notre Dame defense moving forward will be versatility, and the Irish landed three linebacker prospects in their 2010 recruiting class that have the ability to play several positions in coach Bob Diaco's ‘3-4' defense.

Kendall Moore (6-foot-3, 235-pounds) Southeast Raleigh High School (N.C.)

Brian Kelly's comments: "He's a defensive player for us, that could probably play a couple different positions. He's big and physical. He could be looked at as a tight end as well. He's got the athleticism in space. A guy that will complement our defensive structure. He loves to play the game… great family and someone that I really enjoyed spending time with. He's a guy that's going to help our football team."

Kendall Moore's Profile: As a senior, tallied 120 tackles and 10 sacks on a defense that limited five opponents to a touchdown or less. Moore helped Southeast Raleigh to 10-3 record and the second round of North Carolina state playoffs. Moore is rated as the No. 18 middle linebacker in the country by Scout.com. He is a SuperPrep All-American and ranked the eighth-best player in North Carolina by SuperPrep. He earned All-America accolades at inside linebacker in 2009 from PrepStar and named first-team all-state as senior by NCPreps.com. Moore was named the eighth-best player in North Carolina by Charlotte Observer. As a junior, Moore recorded 125 tackles with seven sacks and added 30 receptions and seven touchdowns as tight end,. As a sophomore, he registered 110 tackles and one interception.

Prince Shembo (6-foot-2, 232-pounds) Adrey Kell High School, (Charlotte, N.C.)

Brian Kelly's comments: He's a young man that can really come off the ball. We really like the way he explodes. Prince is another young man that we had to go re-recruit. We really enjoyed spending time with him and his family. Another guy that can play a few different positions for us, whether it be inside or outside."

Prince Shembo's Profile: Shembo played in only five games during his senior season due to an ankle injury. He was invited to play in Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and helped North Carolina defeat South Carolina 24-14. Shembo was also selected to play in 2010 Offense-Defense Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He is ranked as the No. 42 outside linebacker by Scout.com. He was named a SuperPrep All-American and the 11th-best linebacker nationally. He was ranked as the sixth-best player in North Carolina by SuperPrep, and the ninth-best player in North Carolina by Charlotte Observer. He received honorable mention accolades on the Orlando Sentinel all-Southern Team following his senior season. As a junior, Shembo recorded 86 tackles with nine sacks and added two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. As a sophomore he made 117 tackles and was named to 2007 all-Observer team by the Charlotte Observer. He helped lead the Knights to their first state playoff appearance in 2007. Shembo also competed in basketball and track.

Justin Utupo (6-foot-3, 250-pounds)Lakewood High School (Calif.)

Brian Kelly's comments: "He was named the Lineman of the Year by the L.A. Times. He arrives at the ball with a bad attitude. He plays with a great passion. He told coach Diaco that he's still angry about his last loss of the year. Somebody that will breathe a lot of energy and passion into our defense. He loves to play the game. He plays with a lot of fire."

Justin Utupo's Profile: As a senior, Utupo recorded 67 total tackles, 11.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, 29 tackles for loss and forced four fumbles as a defensive tackle. He also made seven receptions for touchdowns as tight end, as Lancers finished 11-2. He recovered a pair of fumbles to help Lakewood end Long Beach Poly¹s 80-game conference win streak with 21-14 victory, and ensure Lakewood¹s first outright Moore League title since 1974. Utupo played in the Offense-Defense All-American game in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Scout.com ranked Utupo the No. 50 defensive end nationally. He was named a first-team defensive lineman on the California Division I all-state squad and named the Lineman of the Year for 2009 by Los Angeles Times. He was selected as a first-team defensive lineman on the Los Angeles Times All-Star team. He was the defensive player of the year on the all-Southland team named by Los Angeles Times and named Moore League defensive player of the year. As a junior, Utupo made 70 tackles and six sacks, while leading conference in tackles for loss. He was a first-team all-conference selection as defensive lineman in 2008 and helped Lakewood to the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 semifinals.


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