Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Milton Knox …

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

… is a Bruin, it seems. Blame his dad. Dangit.

ND NSD Liveblog

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I can’t say I’ll be at my computer all day long (it is Ash Wednesday, after all), but at least through these early morning hours I’ll be posting NSD-related news as it breaks. Stay tuned …

10:20am PST: … and so the liveblog endeth. Congrats to Weis & Co. on an amazing class, and to all the recruits for signing up with an amazing program. Let’s get this train back on the rails!

Check back in this afternoon for Milton Knox’s decision - last I heard, he wants to go to ND but his dad won’t let him …

9:17am PST: In an interview on Rivals Radio this morning, Dayne Crist apparently said that he’s going to enroll at ND in mid-June. I guess that means he’ll be around for summer practice, which is GREAT … [EDIT: Err, not quite. See Grant's helpful comment.]

9:14am PST: Via GoshenGipper:

During his presser CW just mentioned that there are still a few guys out there that are uncommitted so there might be a few surprises, but that he wasn’t counting on it and he wanted to focus his presser on the 23 that have already signed.

Sheesh. A FEW?! Hold on to your hats, folks …

8:54am PST: Word is there is still some uncertainty about what the heck Omar Hunter is going to do with himself. I hope Urbie is having as miserable a time as we all were a month or so ago. Stay tuned …

8:39am PST: Via the Scout liveblog once again, this is the kind of thing that just has to make you smile:

11:28 am EST: Joe Adams just pulled a stunner, spurning USC, where he was a longtime commit, to sign with homestate Arkansas. — Brandon Huffman

There has been a simply unbelievable number of recruits today who’ve sent their LOIs to schools other than the ones they committed to. The fact that ND has managed to avoid this really speaks to the character of their recruits, and to the terrific job the coaches have done of making them feel a part of the team from Day One.

7:53am PST: Steve Filer is in as well. So that’s all for now in the LOI department, pending Milton Knox’s announcement this evening. My kid is up, though, so I’m off to make some breakfast. Get back to work, folks - I’ll be back soon.

7:52am PST: NDNation is reporting that Dayne Crist has faxed in his letter.

7:47am PST: This is worth passing along, for anyone who hasn’t seen it or didn’t notice this particular story. It’s Charlie Weis talking about what recruiting was like this year:

“The biggest highlight for me, personally, is the great player from a distant place that decided to go to another school. Obviously, I can’t say his name. As much as it hurt, I called him and wished him the very best. It turns out the Mom was in our corner, and the next night he called back and asked, ‘You still got that scholarship?’ When I said ‘Yes I do,’ he responded, ‘Well, I came to my senses. I am coming to Notre Dame.’ That was a great feeling that we had handled things the right way.”

It certainly seems like he’s referring to Kapron Lewis-Moore, though at the time he couldn’t mention him by name. Great story …

7:45am PST: Hello out there. Not yet eight in the morning, and already over 1,100 pageloads today. Sheesh.

7:39am PST: From Scout’s Bob Lichtenfels, commenting on the commitment of Kapron Lewis-Moore:

… the race for No. 1 in the Scout.com recruiting rankings narrows.

Ahh yes, the famed MRNC. Standings here and here, btw.

7:35am PST: Damn:

10:27 am EST: Apparently there was a lot of truth to DT Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.) wavering on his Florida commitment. Hunter heard some rumors late yesterday that DL Coach Greg Mattison might be leaving for the Ravens and wavered. Whether Mattison leaves or not is not known at this time (or it could be a bad rumor that got to Hunter) but it did cause a moment of pause for Omar. Hunter just signed with the Gators. — Jamie Newberg

7:33am PST: LOIs are in from Anthony McDonald and Joseph Fauria. Crist and Filer are the only ones left, by my accounting.

7:17am PST: Hafis Williams and Ethan Johnson, done and done.

7:05am PST: Take this FWIW (from the Scout.com live blog):

9:53 am EST: I am hearing some rumblings that five-star D-tackle Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.) may not sign with Florida. Could it be Georgia? Don’t know just yet and I’m trying to track this one down. This could be devastating to the Gators. — Jamie Newberg

One can only dream.

6:50am PST: Expect letters from Steve Filer and Hafis Williams in the next ten minutes or so … that will take care of the non-PSTers.

6:47am PST: In more karma-related news, Florida has lost yet another verbal commitment, as Ramon Buchanon has sent an LOI into Miami (where he had “committed” before he “committed” to Florida). Methinks this is what happens when you keep telling kids who are committed to other programs that verbal commitments aren’t binding … word gets around, you know?

6:38am PST: According to Scout, the idea of being Omar Hunter’s back-up plan was part of what turned Mike Martin off to ND. Never mind that Michigan recruited Hunter as well, of course, and may not have given Martin as much attention if Hunter had committed (or “committed”, as the case may be) to them. Goes to show you the consequences of insincere - or at least less-than-solid - verbal commitments, though … this wouldn’t have been a problem if Omar had just told ND he wasn’t sure in the first place.

6:33am PST: Lewis-Moore’s letter is in, per Rivals.

6:32am PST: In other news, Josh Jenkins snubbed Florida State and Ohio State to stay local and play for West Virginia, and Florida commit Ricky Barnum jumped ship to go play for Michigan. Poetic justice, much? Suck it, Urbie.

6:30am PST: Jonas Gray, check.

6:17am PST: Apparently bad weather in the Midwest might delay the Chicago- and Detroit-area guys …

6:14am PST: Fleming is in …

6:12am PST: We’re still waiting on: Hafis Williams, Jonas Gray, Ethan Johnson, Dayne Crist, Anthony McDonald, Darius Fleming, Steve Filer, and Joseph Fauria. With the exception of Williams, all those guys are in the Central or Pacific time zones, though …

6:09am PST: I’ll well aware that I’m one of those “dorks”, thank you very much.

6:06am PST: Per GoshenGipper, Kapron Lewis-Moore apparently kept himself entertained over the weekend by reading message boards and watching everyone try to figure out who the “secret commit” was. LOL … what a bunch of dorks.

6:01am PST: … and Braxston Cave makes fourteen.

5:57am PST: Lane Clelland, too …

5:55am PST: Kyle Rudolph, David Posluszny, and Dan McCarthy are safely in the fold now … that’s twelve so far, not counting Lewis-Moore.

5:51am PST: Michael Floyd’s letter is in …

5:41am PST: More here on the supposed “mystery” recruit, for all you insatiable rumor-sharks out there.

5:30am PST: Apparently BGI is reporting that Kapron Lewis-Moore will be sending his LOI in shortly. They’re also indicating that he’s the “mystery” recruit whom all the whispers had been about … we’ll see, I guess. If it is him, though, then thanks for ruining Christmas, Tom Lemming!

5:15am PST: Rivals is also reporting that Omar Hunter has faxed his LOI in to the world’s biggest douche Urban Meyer the world’s biggest douche.

5:14am PST: According to Rivals, the following LOIs have all been sent in:

  • Robert Blanton
  • Sean Cwynar
  • Mike Golic Jr.
  • Brandon Newman
  • Trevor Robinson
  • Jamoris Slaughter
  • Deion Walker

4:57am PST: Apparently it has been confirmed that Deion Walker will honor his verbal commitment and enroll at ND in 2008. Whew. He will be on Rivals Radio in about a half an hour.

4:54am PST: A quick update of the morning’s big stories:

  • Apparently Deion Walker is going to be on Rivals Radio in a few minutes “announcing” whether he’s decided to stay at ND or switch his verbal to ND or PSU. Ugh.
  • Mike Golic Jr. signed his LOI on the Mike and Mike Show about a half-hour ago.
  • Milton Knox will announce his decision at 7pm EST; I’m not sure when the official word will be in on Kapron Lewis-Moore.
  • No word yet on the mystery recruit who supposedly offered a super-secret commitment to ND in the last few days … stay tuned.

Kapron Lewis-Moore is Irish!

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

According to a post on Tom Lemming’s blog at the Chicago Sun-Times, Texas LB/DE Kapron Lewis-Moore has decommitted once again from Texas A&M and given his verbal to Notre Dame. There’s no word on this yet from any other sources, but it squares well with much of what has been being rumored over the weekend.

Lewis-Moore is ranked as a three-star player and the #32 defensive end by Scout, and a four-star player and the #13 DE by Rivals. If Lemming is indeed correct, he will be the 23rd member of Notre Dame’s 2008 recruiting class, and the twelfth defensive player. The Roundup will have more details on this story as they become available …

But in the meantime, and however preemptively, welcome to the Notre Dame family, Kapron!

[UPDATE: Apparently it's been confirmed by Pete Sampson. Awesome!]

[ANOTHER UPDATE: The SBT's Bob Wieneke writes:

CSTV recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who also writes a column for the Tribune's Irish Sports Report, reported Sunday that Lewis-Moore has committed to Notre Dame after being committed to Texas A&M. But a family member said Sunday that if there is a change in schools, word of it will come from Lewis-Moore himself.

Huh. I still believe Lemming, though, especially given the apparent confirmation by Sampson.]

[ONE MORE UPDATE: Jeremy Crabtree of Rivals.com says that KLM "is expected to switch from A&M to Notre Dame, but he's not going on the record with his final pick until Wednesday."]

Holy. Freaking. Crap.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Well, maybe it’s just because yesterday was a federal holiday and no one had anything better to than sit at their computers and rumor-monger, but there are TONS of recruiting whispers out there. I repeat: TONS. Including some rather unbelievable news on … well, you’ll just have to read to the bottom to find out. Remember, though, you’d already know all of this stuff and more if you’d been following what was being said on the IrishEnvy boards. But forthwith, a brief rundown of some of the highlights …

Off the Irish radar:

  • California RB/DB Thaddeus Brown, a high school teammate of commits Dayne Crist and Anthony McDonald, was briefly on ND’s radar as a potential recruit for the defensive secondary, but won’t be getting an offer because of academic issues.
  • California DE Datone Jones, currently a UCLA verbal, had a visit to ND scheduled for late January but has since canceled it, apparently because of academic issues once again.
  • No matter what they tell you, believe this: Texas RB Cyrus Gray is going to Texas A&M.
  • Kansas WR/QB Chris Harper has verballed to Oregon.
  • Missouri FB/ILB Will Compton was offered by the Irish, though as a fullback with a chance to play linebacker down the line. Apparently that’s not what he was looking for, and so his scheduled official visit to ND has been canceled. Last I heard he’s announcing today, between Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois.

On the Irish radar:

Well, not quite “finally” …

  • There are … how shall I put it … lots of crazy [EDIT: and probably false. See the article linked here. And remember that I did call them "crazy" - don't hate on the messenger.] rumors flying around on the - yes, you are reading this correctly - Omar Hunter front, as ND’s courtship of him (and his of ND) may not be entirely a thing of the past. I can’t say more now, because much of this seems to be of the If I Told You I’d Have to Shoot You Fast Because My Source Would Be Coming to Shoot Me variety. Let’s just say you should keep your ear to the ground to see if these rumblings turn into a genuine earthquake … and remember, you heard it here first!

Deion Walker is Irish!!

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Wide receiver Deion Walker of Christchurch, Virginia announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame during the Under Armour All-American Bowl this Saturday afternoon. Walker had long been rumored to be a silent verbal or at least a strong Irish lean, and this weekend’s announcement made it all public:

The value of Notre Dame’s academics is excellent, and I have developed a strong relationship with Charlie Weis. He is just a cool guy and really put in a lot of effort calling and recruiting me personally.

Walker is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals, who rank him as the #5 wide receiver and #35 player overall. Scout.com gives him five stars, the #40 overall ranking, and the #7 ranking among wide receiver prospects, and ESPN lists him #34 overall and #8 among wide receivers. He is regarded as a dynamic athlete, but will need to work on adding some strength before he is ready to play at the college level. He joins Mike Floyd and John Goodman as the third wide receiver and 22nd player overall in Notre Dame’s top-ranked recruiting class.

Welcome to the Notre Dame family, Deion!

What’s the deal with Omar Hunter?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

By some basically all accounts he’s scheduled to take an official visit to Florida, and USC looks to be in the mix as well:

Buford defensive tackle Omar Hunter is having second thoughts about his commitment to Notre Dame, his coach said Wednesday.

Coach Jess Simpson said Hunter has not withdrawn his commitment to the Irish - yet. But he is giving strong consideration to both Florida and Southern California - with Florida being the more likely alternative to Notre Dame, Simpson said.

“I think he wants to take the holidays and reconsider things,” Simpson said, “and possibly take a visit to Florida and [USC].”

There has never been a shortage of interest in Hunter, who is rated the second-best high school defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com. The 6-foot-1, 311-pound senior committed to Notre Dame in June, but has apparently become less certain in recent months.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis tried to firm up Hunter’s commitment last week with a personal visit to Buford. And later in the week, USC coach Pete Carroll also showed up, urging Hunter to take another trip out west.

Hunter, who could not be reached for comment, did not have any visits planned as of Wednesday. He visited Florida and USC before committing to the Irish, and has enough time to see both schools again if he wants before signing a letter of intent in February.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Simpson said.

A couple of quick thoughts:

  1. Obviously Omar is entitled to think things through and make sure he makes the best decision for himself and his future. If he feels like he was too hasty in giving his pledge to Notre Dame back in June, then by all means he should own up to that fact and take a closer look at his options now. A verbal commitment is not a marriage vow.
  2. He’s not, however, entitled to mislead the Irish coaching staff about where he stands. What’s bothersome to me about this whole situation is that this isn’t the first time that worries like this have surfaced, and Omar has consistently reiterated that he is committed to ND and doesn’t intend to look elsewhere. Obviously it’s possible that he’s been saying different things to the staff than to the recruiting sites, but if that were so then I’d expect to have seen Weis continue to recruit other players at Hunter’s position. In other words, this could turn out to be a situation that is less like that of Justin Trattou - who was very upfront about the fact that he was taking a visit to Florida because of Rick Minter’s firing - than Greg Little - who was silently committed to North Carolina for months as he put up a charade of being an ND recruit. Obviously Omar’s situation doesn’t look to be THAT shady, but if he’s had his doubts all along, then he shouldn’t have kept them from the people who were expecting his signature on February 7.

Who knows … maybe he’ll change his mind and decide not to make the visits. Maybe he’ll make them and decide to stay at ND. Or maybe he’s gone. In any case, I’m sure the coaching staff isn’t going to let themselves get burned like they did last year. If he’s looking, they’re looking - and heck, last year the decommitment of Trattou was a big part of what got an offer extended to Brian Smith … and we all know how that turned out.

“Whoa, this guy’s an idiot.”

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

In the spirit of this post from Saturday, check out the recent SB Tribune article on John Goodman:

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound wide receiver (maybe) from Fort Wayne, Ind., is as solid in his pledge to coach Charlie Weis and the Irish as the day he committed back in May, possibly more so now than then.

Several schools have tried to sway him since then, including Penn State. After Notre Dame dropped to 0-4, Goodman received a call from a Penn State assistant whose negative approach did little toward that end.

“They definitely tried all the negatives,” Goodman said of the coach whose name he couldn’t recall. “They talked about coach Weis, how he’s a bad coach, he’s a bad recruiter and about how Notre Dame’s doing terribly right now and all that, their stadium’s better. They never really said anything good about themselves, and I was just listening and I was like, ‘Whoa, this guy’s an idiot.’”

He also had some choice words about the players who chose to transfer from ND over the past season:

 “If they’re going to leave like that, leaving an education and that football team, then personally, I think they’re stupid,” Goodman said. “They don’t deserve anything better because you can’t get anything better than Notre Dame.”

Lots of other good stuff too, including the possibility of Goodman, who played QB for his high school team, lining up behind center now and then. (”It sort of is creeping into my thoughts because it could actually happen, and I’m going to be ready for it,” he says.) Read the whole thing.

(HT: GoshenGipper.)

Omar owns Georgia

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Congratulations to Omar Hunter and the Buford Wolves, who brought home the class AA Georgia state championship today with a 50-0 drubbing of Lovett. It was the seventh shutout of the season for Hunter’s defense, as the Wolves brought home their fourth state title since 2001. More here, from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. I’ll have some more details up as they come available.

[UPDATE: More here and here, from the AJC. Per Access North Georgia, the Buford defense held Lovett to 26 first half yards (and 17 rushing) as they jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead, and Omar cried when it was over. The starters were pulled by the middle of the third period. More here, from Jeff Cochran of the Gainesville Times, and also here, including this photo of Hunter and the Buford AD after the game:

And here's a bit more on Omar's emotional state after the game, which the Gainesville Times's Bill Murphy called his #1 moment of the 2007 Georgia H.S. football season:

Buford’s mammoth defensive tackle Omar Hunter was totally swept away by winning the state title against Lovett last Saturday night. While the rest of the Wolves team huddled together and started to celebrate, Hunter took a knee away from the chaos and shed a couple of tears with the magnitude of the team’s accomplishment. It marks Buford’s fifth title in school history (1978, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007). In my opinion, this was the best Wolves team since 2001. That says a lot.

Awesome. I hope you like that feeling, Mr. Hunter. Here's to continuing your winning ways.]

Great stuff. Congratulations, Omar! And fans, in case you missed it, check out this Scout.com video of Omar, from last week’s semi-state victory:

Fully on board

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Via the Chicago Tribune’s Brian Hamilton, here’s some great stuff about the strength of the commitments among ND’s 2008 recruiting class:

Dayne Crist is a part-time Christmas tree salesman in Southern California and a full-time committed recruit for the Notre Dame football team. This means his hour-long break from hawking evergreens is a rare escape from needles, of any kind.

“You know who you’re talking to,” Crist said. “You’re talking to a kid from Los Angeles that’s sitting in the heart of USC country.”

The breadth and depth of the Irish’s miseries this season spared few from collateral damage, and indeed Notre Dame’s ballyhooed recruiting class endured more than a few caustic barbs.

Despite the slings and arrows that accompanied Notre Dame’s outrageous misfortune, though, that class so far is undeterred. Not a single component of what is widely considered the nation’s top talent haul has wavered publicly after the implosion of 2007. (more…)

Trevor Robinson is Irish!!

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The Nebraska Rivals site, HuskersIllustrated.com, reported this afternoon that Elkhorn (Neb.) offensive lineman Trevor Robinson committed to Notre Dame during Charlie Weis’s in-home visit to his family last night. This confirmed a wide range of message board rumblings from last night, including reports by an IrishEnvy poster with strong ties to the Youngstown area that Nebraska head coach (and former Mooney HS quarterbacks coach) Bo Pelini and AD Tom Osborne had failed in a last-ditch effort to win Robinson over.

Robinson’s decision caps a roller-coaster ride of a recruiting process, which included at least ten visits to the Notre Dame campus, a commitment to Nebraska followed by a decommitment that had Irish fans expecting an imminent announcement that he’d be coming to South Bend, and then what seemed like an eternity of (mostly impatient) waiting by fans of both teams. He was one of the first recruits offered this year by the Irish staff.

At 6′6″ and 304 lbs., Robinson is ranked as a four-star recruit by both Scout and Rivals, and is listed as the third-best offensive guard and a top-100 player by both services. He will enroll at Notre Dame early, and start classes this coming January.

Welcome to the Irish family, Trevor! (more…)