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  1. #21
    Moderator zimmsbg78's Avatar
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    2013: Cornerback Recruiting (free)

    One of the priorities for the class of 2013 will cornerback. Several intriguing prospects will be a part of Notre Dame's search for cornerback talent.

    Just like with the article discussing quarterback and running back recruiting, the following recruits may or may not end up being priorities for the Irish. It's early in the recruiting cycle; today marks one day, in fact, towards the next national signing day. With that said, here are a few interesting notes about the cornerbacks on the 2012 roster.

    Cornerback: Signing Tee Shepard should not be discounted one bit. He's a very special talent. He's the rare skill position player that should honestly set his goal for leaving Notre Dame for the National Football League after year three. He should start next season at some point. The bigger question comes from the young players beyond Shepard. Most important will be Bennett Jackson. The New Jersey product provides the length at 6-0, 190-pounds to fit in well with the Irish defensive scheme, and he provides the physicality also needed to be a good run defender. Notre Dame needs two cornerbacks talented enough to turn loose the plethora of defensive line talent available. The best option appears to be Jackson. He will have competition, however, and that comes from two players that just finished their freshmen seasons at Notre Dame. Josh Atkinson and Jalen Brown also provide the height to play in the Notre Dame scheme at 6-0 and 6-1 respectively. Both players need to get stronger to be every down players, but height cannot be taught. At least one of the sophomores to be need to be ready for major minutes next fall. The other option will be Lo Wood. The junior needs to do well this spring and fall or be passed by the youngsters. Yes, only four cornerbacks on the roster for 2012. That's horrible depth. Six are needed, at least, to provide a normal cornerback depth chart.

    It could be a challenge for the Irish coaching staff to land talented cornerbacks within the class of 2013 if a true freshman and a sophomore or redshirt freshman are the starters. Unfortunately, it appears to be a very bad year for top-notch cornerbacks in the Midwest. Notre Dame will once again fight the distance factor to land top talent. Should be interesting.

    Need: 2-3.

    John Marvin, 6-0, 185, Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Chris Hawkins, 6-0, 170, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Blake McClain, 6-0, 185, Winter Park, FL
    Tatum Taylor, 5-10, 165, Seattle, WA (O'Dea)
    Tre Bell, 5-11, 165, Jersey City, NJ (St. Peter's Prep)
    Kendall Fuller, 6-0, 185, Olney, MD (Our Lady of Good Counsel)
    Mackenzie Alexander, 5-11, 175, Immokalee, FL
    Brian Walker, 5-11, 185, Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek)
    Vernon Hargreaves, 5-10, 180, Tampa, FL (Wharton)
    Eli Woodard, 6-0, 170, Voorhees, NJ (Eastern)

    Final Thoughts: Notre Dame needs to get out of the gate fast by landing at least one cornerback by the end of summer. Scrambling at the end of the recruiting cycle would be too dicey. Additionally, look for a few names from Texas to pop up.

  2. #22
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    Midwest Targets: Indiana

    Brian Kelly and his staff are entering their third full recruiting cycle, and the Irish staff is looking to put together another strong group of prospects. The Notre Dame coaches are looking to counter the average finish to the Class of 2012 with a dynamic haul with the Class of 2013. Kelly and his staff have done an excellent job getting an early start on the current junior class, which should help them get off to a fast start.

    One benefit working in Notre Dameís favor is a deep and talented group of Midwest football players. There are a higher number of impact players in the Midwest than weíve seen in the past few seasons. That should give Notre Dame a foundation to build around as it looks to put together a strong Class of 2013. Even the state of Indiana has a few impact players in it, and the state of Illinois is loaded with talented offensive linemen and a few impact skill players.

    Notre Dameís first commit, Steve Elder, is a Michigan standout and arguably the best of a deep and talented group of Midwest linemen. If Notre Dame is going to put together an elite Class of 2013 recruits it must do well in the Midwest. Over the next week we will break down the top players in the Midwest and talk about where Notre Dame stands in their recruitment.

    Weíll start with the state of Indiana, which has a high number of four-star players in the junior class. There are some players in the group that will not make it to Notre Dame for a number of reasons, but the Irish staff cannot strike out in the state. It must be able to land at least one of the players on this list, and if the staff is able to land two of the top four players on this list it will give the Irish an outstanding foundation to the Class of 2013.

    Here are the top Indiana recruits:

    JAYLON SMITH, OLB, 6-3, 215, FORT WAYNE(BISHOP LUERS)IN

    EARLY OFFERS: Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee

    COACH DíS EVAL: Jaylon Smith is one of the best outside linebackers I have seen in the last couple of classes. He is a five-star athlete and a five-star football player. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds with a great frame he has the build of a linebacker. He has long arms and an athletic frame that should allow him to gain a lot of good weight and add a lot of strength. Right now he is a solid tackler who gives good effort, but with more strength work he could be a punishing hitter at the next level. On the football field he runs like a safety and excels as a big play running back for Bishop Luers. His size, range, and athleticism is perfect for Notre Dameís Dog linebacker position. He can do it all. Smith can drop into coverage and make plays, he is strong against the run, and he has a knack for getting after the quarterback on blitzes. The Bishop Luers standout has excellent sideline-to-sideline speed. He has good initial quickness and a second gear that allows him to quickly close on the football. He also possesses quick feet, great balance, and smooth hips which allows him to change direction with ease. Those traits also allow him to show excellent lateral quickness as he moves in space. With his quick feet and smooth hips he is able to quickly open and turn in coverage. Smith is also a bright and instinctive football player that can quickly redirect and make a play on the football. Not only can he cover but he can also play the football, which should lend to him being a high turnover player at the next level. Smith also shows good play recognition and excellent instincts as a blitzer. As he continues to physically mature his game will only take off even more. There is constantly talk about Notre Dame needing to add more SEC-caliber speed. With Smith, there is an SEC-type athlete playing his high school football in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Teams from all over the country have already offered Smith, and expect the talented juniorís offer list to continue to expand. He will likely be one of the highest ranked players in the country and could easily be a five-star player. He camped at Notre Dame last summer and visited or the USC game. His mother has said she wants him to stay close to home and reportedly has high interest in Notre Dame, which bodes well for the Irish. But Smith is wide open and will ultimately do what is best for him. His older brother Roderick is a sophomore running back at Ohio State and the Buckeyes will be formidable, but Smith maintains that he will not make a decision based on where his brother goes to school. Notre Dame appears to be putting the full court press on Smith and have attended a couple of his basketball games. They need to go after him as hard as they do any player in this class. He is the best player in the state, he is one of the nationís best overall players, and outside linebacker is a big need in the Class of 2013. Smith has built up a strong early relationship with defensive line coach Mike Elston. Notre Dame simply cannot allow him to get out of the state. He could be the cornerstone of this recruiting class.

    TIM KIMBROUGH, ILB, 6-1, 220, INDIANAPOLIS(WARREN CENTRAL)IN

    EARLY OFFERS: Cincinnati, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Purdue

    COACH DíS EVAL: If Notre Dame is looking for measureables than Tim Kimbrough will likely not be a player the Irish staff is high on. If the Notre Dame staff is looking for athletic, physical, and highly productive football players that can make plays they should be all over this in-state standout. As a junior, Kimbrough racked up an impressive 176 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks. Kimbrough is an intelligent player on the field and reads quite well. Once he makes his read he flies downhill and delivers punishing blows. He is a sound tackler and more than willing to take on bigger players in the hole. Kimbrough is a rangy player with good speed and lateral quickness. He has good hips and changes direction with ease. The Warren Central standout has quick and active feet in the box, allowing him to quickly drive downhill and attack the ball carrier. Kimbrough uses his intelligence and quickness to make a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. He also does a good job of keeping his feet light and active, so he is always in position to immediately plant and drive towards his gap once he makes his read. He uses his size to his advantage by constantly being the low man, and his long arms allow him to keep defenders off his body. The only knock one can find with his game is at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds he does not have ideal size for an inside linebacker, but he more than makes up for it.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Kimbroughís recruitment has yet to pick up full steam, but expect that to change relatively soon. Assuming he has the grades for Notre Dame it would be wise for the Irish staff to make a move on Kimbrough sooner rather than later. If they jump in at the same time or after the rest of the national programs it will be much more difficult to land this talented in-state player. Kimbrough was a high school teammate of Class of 2012 signee Sheldon Day, which will certainly help Notre Dameís cause in his recruitment. Teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Florida are starting to show a lot of interest, so it would be smart for Notre Dame to beat them to the punch if he is academically where he needs to be. Adding an in-state player like Kimbrough would be huge for Notre Dame in the Class of 2013. Not only would it give them another standout player from one of the stateís top programs, it would give them a playmaker at a position that is a top need in this class.

    DARIUS LATHAM, OL/DL, 6-6, 280, INDIANAPOLIS(LAWRENCE CENTRAL)IN

    EARLY OFFERS: Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Mississippi, Purdue, Tennessee

    COACH DíS EVAL: There is not much film available on Latham and I have yet to find any of him playing defensive line. Despite that, you can see on the film that is available that Latham possesses certain traits that would most certainly allow him to project on the defensive line at the next level. Latham is a two-way standout and is listed as an offensive lineman by some services and a defensive tackle by others. Latham prefers defensive line and I could see him being that type of player at the next level. His combination of size and athleticism would lend to him playing either tackle or guard for Notre Dame, but he also has the frame and raw tools to develop into a nose guard. Latham is an outstanding basketball player, and if you really want to get a feel for his athleticism go watch him on the basketball court. For a 280-pound athlete he moves very well. He is light on his feet and changes direction well. Although he is tall at 6-foot-5, Latham has a low, squatty build that allows him to play with good leverage on the football field. This trait should allow him to play over the center at the next level. He has good agility and quick feet for a big man. I also love the fact that Latham is active with his feet when he is engaged. He shows a good base when working to the second level and shows a good punch when he works up field. I would like to see him learn to shoot his hands with more authority at the point of attack, and more strength will come once he stops playing basketball. Latham has a bit of a mean streak in him and is not afraid to mix it up inside.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Latham visited Notre Dame during the fall and has maintained an interest in the Irish program. What remains to be seen is whether or not that interest is mutual. As of about a week ago the Irish had not been in much contact with Latham. He has picked up a few offers recently and his offer list is likely to expand. What is not known at this time is whether his offer list is smaller because of the fact he is so busy with basketball or whether or not it has to do with an academic issue. Once his basketball season concludes and he starts making spring visits that should shake itself out. Latham is certainly a player who is talented enough to play for Notre Dame, so it will be interesting to see if or when the Irish pick up their contact with him.

    ELIJAH DANIEL, DE, 6-4, 255, AVON(HS)IN

    EARLY OFFERS: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Marshall, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, South Florida, Tennessee

    COACH DíS EVAL: Avon High School standout Elijah Daniel is not only one of the top players in the state of Indiana, heís one of the top players in the entire Midwest. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds he has the size to play on the edge as either a strongside 4-3 end or a powerful 3-4 outside linebacker. Daniel gets off the line extremely well and is able to quickly shoot gaps and disrupt the offense. He anticipates the snap well and has good short area quickness. Daniel moves quickly in tight areas, a trait that is ideal for an edge rusher. The Avon standout is also an active player that never stops moving his feet and never stops working. He is a high effort player on film and is strong at the point of attack. He hustles from the backside and works hard to get to the quarterback. Daniel possesses quick and active hands which he uses to keep blockers off his body. As he develops better technique his hands will become one of his best assets as a pass rusher. Daniel has good natural strength and is a willing tackler. If he can square up a ball carrier he is going to deliver a punishing blow. He has the ability to develop into a strong two-way player at the next level. While he has good quickness off the ball, he does lack a great second gear. Daniel also tends to play a bit high and is a little stiff through the hips. He is not a natural knee bender and does not change direction as well as some other elite players.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Daniel has shown some early interest in Notre Dame but the odds of him ending up at Notre Dame come Signing Day are very slim. He visited Notre Dame for the USC game and has always spoken highly of the Irish program, but a number of factors will likely prevent the two sides from ever ending up as a compatible pair. He did not move to Indiana until the third grade and has ties to the South. Daniel was born in Alabama and his former foster family still lives in the state. His oldest brother played at Georgia and Daniel seems to have a strong interest in heading South, although he is legitimately open at this time. Keep an eye on Marshall, where his older brother Armonze currently plays. Daniel maintains that the Thundering Herd will be in the mix, although beating programs like Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Tennessee will be very hard to do. Keep an eye on Alabama as a key player in this race should they decide to offer. Daniel also missed time as a junior due to a team suspension.

    TIMOTHY GARDNER, OL, 6-5, 320, INDIANAPOLIS(LAWRENCE CENTRAL)IN

    EARLY OFFERS: Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVAL: No film available.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Gardner is a massive player with a huge frame but still needs to rework his body, that much is obvious from the few interview clips available of him. Gardner claims to have a Notre Dame offer and also says he grew up a Notre Dame fan. He also says that he is still waiting on his ďdream offer.Ē Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston has visited Gardner at school so there does seem to be some mutual interest. He has said he would like to make it up to Notre Dame for a Junior Day, and if that happens his interest in the Irish program will be shown to be legitimate. Gardner said he might consider deciding before the season, but also says the more likely scenario is that he waits until after taking all five officials during the fall. Expect to see Notre Dame stay on Gardner throughout the process, but there is also a chance Notre Dame could meet its needs at the offensive line position well before he is ready to commit.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  3. #23
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    Midwest Targets: Michigan

    Brian Kelly and his staff are entering their third full recruiting cycle, and the Irish staff is looking to put together another strong group of prospects. The Notre Dame coaches are looking to counter the average finish to the Class of 2012 with a dynamic haul with the Class of 2013. Kelly and his staff have done an excellent job getting an early start on the current junior class, which should help them get off to a fast start.

    One benefit working in Notre Dameís favor is a deep and talented group of Midwest football players. There are a higher number of impact players in the Midwest than weíve seen in the past few seasons. That should give Notre Dame a foundation to build around as it looks to put together a strong Class of 2013. Even the state of Indiana has a few impact players in it, and the state of Illinois is loaded with talented offensive linemen and a few impact skill players.

    If Notre Dame is going to put together an elite Class of 2013 recruits it must do well in the Midwest. Over the next week we will break down the top players in the Midwest and talk about where Notre Dame stands in their recruitment.

    Notre Dameís first commit, Steve Elder, is a Michigan standout and arguably the best of a deep and talented group of Midwest linemen. Elmer is one of the two top prospects from the state of Michigan, along with quarterback Shane Morris (Michigan commit). While the Wolverine State is not loaded with elite talent there are a few quality prospects in the state. Notre Dame has been in contact with several players from the state, although Elmer is the only player from the state with an Irish offer at this time.

    Here is a look at the top players from the state of Michigan with Notre Dame interest:

    STEVEN ELMER, OL, 6-6, 300, MIDLAND(HS)MI

    EARLY OFFERS: Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Syracuse, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVAL: Steven Elmer is arguably the top offensive lineman in the country. At the very least he needs to be in the discussion when arguments are being made about who that player is. Elmer combines outstanding size and athleticism, and the scary thing is he is just beginning to tap into his potential. At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Elmer already possesses ideal size and length for the tackle position. When you see him out of pads you realize he is still lean and has an athletic build. Elmer also has relatively thin legs for a 300 pounder and will only get bigger, stronger, and more explosive as he transitions into a college strength and conditioning program. He has good natural strength and is able to shock defensive linemen with his hands, which are quick and strong. His length alone makes him a difficult player to run by on the edge in the pass game. When his technique is correct he is unbeatable on the edge at the high school level. Elmer is an impressive athlete for such a big player, especially one as young as he is. He has outstanding agility, foot quickness, and a solid short area burst. Elmer gets off the line very well and shows impressive quickness when asked to pull and trap. With his fluid hips and quick feet he is able to change direction with ease, another trait that allows him to dominate in pass protection. Elmer is not a natural knee bender and he tends to get too high as he works to the second level, which needs to be worked on. He is also not great in space in the screen game, although his effort and open field speed are good. During the summer circuit he started to develop a bit of a mean streak when battling in one-on-oneís, something that is starting to translate onto the field more. Elmer dominates at the high school level but still has a ways to go from a technique and consistency standpoint, which his actually exciting. Once his technique matches his size and ability he could easily emerge as the top lineman in this class and a legitimate five-star caliber prospect.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Elmer has been considered one of the top players in the 2013 class for some time now. Michigan and Notre Dame got on him early and emerged as his top two teams. Elmer visited Michigan unofficially this past September to watch the Wolverines take on Notre Dame. Despite the Wolverine victory, Elmer committed to Notre Dame less than a week later. He has been solid in his commitment to the Irish ever since. Landing Elmer gives Notre Dame a talented player to build this class around. He is not only one of the highest ranked players in the class he also plays a position of need for Notre Dame. With him living less than four hours away from South Bend there is a good chance Elmer will find himself on campus often during the fall. This can only help Notre Dame when it brings in other talented players from the Class of 2013 for game day visits.

    WYATT SHALLMAN, FB/ILB, 6-3, 245, NOVI(DETROIT CENTRAL CATHOLIC)MI

    EARLY OFFERS: Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse

    COACH DíS EVAL: Wyatt Shallman might be listed as a fullback when he plays offense, but he is more from the Mike Alstott or Jerome Bettis School of Fullback Play than he is from the Lorenzo Neal School. Translation: Shallman is a playmaker at fullback and not primarily a blocker. For such a big runner he shows good agility and stays light on his feet. He is a strong short-yardage and goal line runner who possesses good vision and instincts. Shallman can line up behind center and pound teams as the primary ball carrier in certain situations. He can make defenders miss at the line but he really seems to enjoy putting his shoulder down and running through linebackers and safeties on the second level. He does not have great speed but is quick enough to get to the second level for solid gains. Shallman plays defensive end for Detroit Central Catholic but could also play outside or inside as a linebacker at the next level. He has good agility and quickness off of the ball. Shallman stays light on his feet on defense as well and shows good range and lateral quickness. He is not great at changing directions, something that limits him a bit inside, but the rest of his skills are solid. Shallman is a sound tackler on defense but is not an overly physical player on defense. In fact, he is more physical on offense than he is on defense. He is obviously well coached and has good instincts on defense. He shows good play recognition and sniffs out screens and mis-direction plays. His ability to play on both sides of the ball makes him an intriguing and valuable prospect.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Shallman has been considered a strong Michigan lean for quite some time. In the end that is ultimately where I believe he will end up. But Notre Dame offensive coordinator has given the Irish at least a punchers chance with Shallman if it decides to throw its hat into the mix with an offer. The Irish are recruiting Shallman as a linebacker, where he could play inside or outside in the 3-4 defense. He could also be an effective tight end in the Notre Dame offense. His father went to Grand Valley State and the younger Shallman attended numerous camps at Grand Valley when Martin was the head coach. Martin and Shallmanís father have a good relationship, and that relationship is what gives Notre Dame the small chance it has. Shallman has visited Notre Dame on multiple occasions and could return again this spring and summer. At this point Notre Dame has yet to offer. If the Irish do end up offering Shallman it will likely be a result of feeling its chances with him have improved, something I do not expect to happen when it is all said and done. If he remains uncommitted for some time and schools believe he is no longer a Michigan lock his offer list will likely expand significantly.

    POET THOMAS, DL, 6-6, 300, BEVERLY HILLS(COUNTRY DAY)MI

    EARLY OFFERS: No offers at this time

    COACH DíS EVAL: There is a lot to like about the potential of Poet Thomas. At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds Thomas already has outstanding size. Heís a tad on the pudgy side but has extremely thick legs, broad shoulders, and extremely long arms. If he takes well to a college strength and conditioning program he will become a strong and massive athlete. That alone makes him a prospect worth taking at this point in time in my opinion. Thomas plays over the nose for Country Day and dominates the low level of competition he faces. He plays the game with a lot of energy and really seems to enjoy playing the game of football. For such a big player he shows good quickness off the ball. In fact, his short area quickness and ability to quickly get off the ball projects well for the defensive line at the next level. Thomas also has quick hands and shows good natural strength, although he still needs a lot of work in the weight room. He does a nice job of keeping blockers off his legs and beating cut attempts. Thomas is very disruptive at the high school level thanks to his tremendous size, quickness off the ball, and ability to shoot his hands. His biggest issue right now is the fact he plays the game way too high. Thomas often lifts straight up at the snap. He gets away with it at the high school level because he is so much bigger, quicker, and more talented than his opponents. At the college level this would give him serious problems if not corrected. He is not a natural knee bender and shows some stiffness through the hips, so there are questions about how much lower he could play. There are some tools to work with in this regards, and if Thomas can show the ability to consistently play lower I would expect teams to start coming after him much harder. Thomas also lacks speed once he gets through the first level, but his game would be more about clogging up run lanes so this is not really an issue teams should worry much about.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Thomas has yet to receive any major offers, but a number of schools are keeping an eye on him and watching how he progresses. There is obviously a lot to like about Thomasí game, but he is still very raw. He visited Notre Dame for the Navy game this past October and came away impressed. If Notre Dame gets into the mix with an offer it would have a strong chance to land Thomas, who is more of a project at this point in time, but he is a big project that is certainly worth monitoring.

    CAMERON DILLARD, OL, 6-3, 280, CANTON(HS)MI

    EARLY OFFERS: Arizona, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Oregon, Western Michigan

    COACH DíS EVAL: Cameron Dillardís biggest weakness is obvious as soon as you watch his highlights. At 6-foot-3, barely, he is short for a major Division I offensive lineman. He also lacks the long arms often needed to make for his lack of height. Dillardís lack of height and length limits him to the interior at the next level, where he projects as either a guard or center. Dillard does not allow his lack of ideal size to stop him from dominating at the high school level. He is a relatively strong and squatty blocker with thick legs and a strong base. He does a nice job of coming off the ball hard, keeping his base, and driving his opponent to the ground. Dillard plays the game with a serious mean streak and seems angry when he blocks, something I like in a guard. He will fight to the whistle, and sometimes through the whistle. Dillard shows solid straight-ahead quickness off the snap and does a great job using his natural leverage to constantly win the battle off the line. When defenders try to get underneath him he quickly buries them. He is a little stiff in the hips and might struggle picking up quick stunts at the next level, but it will not be due to a lack of effort.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Despite his lack of ideal size, Dillard has become a bit of a hot prospect of late. After having predominantly MAC offers for most of the year, Dillard has recently added a number of BCS offers. Programs like Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, and Oregon have all jumped into the mix with offers. Dillard has been to Notre Dame on numerous occasions, including being on campus to watch Notre Dame whip Michigan State this past September. Notre Dame had told him in the past he was an inch too short for an offer, but that has not prevented the staff from staying on Dillard. It will be interesting to see if the coaching shakeup changes Notre Dameís view of Dillard. He was recently invited to Notre Dameís next Junior Day, and the Canton High School blocker says he plans to attend.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  4. #24
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    Midwest Targets: Illinois - Part I

    The state of Illinois is especially loaded in the Class of 2013. The offensive line is especially dynamic, but Illinois also has two talented run-throw quarterbacks that have received interest from the Irish staff. Unlike most seasons, Illinois also has two dynamic offensive skill players in running back Ty Isaac and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Notre Dame has not had as much success in Illinois of late as it had in past years, but that trend must reverse a bit this season. Doing so would give Notre Dame a strong foundation in the Class of 2013, especially along the offensive line.

    Here is the first part of our look at the state of Illinois:

    TY ISAAC, RB, 6-2, 215, JOLIET(CATHOLIC)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Syracuse, USC, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Ty Isaac is one of the best running backs in the nation and is the total package. He can rip off big runs, he can work for tough yards, and he can catch the ball like a receiver out of the backfield. As a junior, Isaac rushed for 2629 yards and 42 touchdowns, including a 515-yard performance in the state championship game. Every time the Joliet Catholic standout touches the football he is a threat to score. He is a long strider in the open field, a trait that gives him a solid second gear. Isaac does a nice job keeping a good base and keeping his feet underneath him in the backfield. This prevents his length from becoming a disadvantage as Isaac is always in position to immediately plant and cut vertically through the hole. He does not open up his big strides until he is through the first level and sees a crease. If he is working on the second level in traffic he keeps his base and shows the ability to make defenders miss with his quick, compact movements. Isaac is a smooth runner with strong agility, fluid hips, and impressive balance. He is able to stretch to the perimeter and immediately plant vertically with no wasted motion. He is a fluid runner that is able to weave his way in and out of traffic. His agility and elusiveness makes him very hard to get a clean shot on, which is surprising considering how big he is. Isaac has an outstanding stiff arm on the perimeter and runs with great leg drive between the tackles. On top of having outstanding physical traits, Isaac also has elite running back skills. He shows tremendous vision behind the line and on the second level. He reads well and anticipates extremely well. Isaac has a knack for finding creases in the defense and once he gets a step he is a threat to take it the distance. He runs with good pad level for a tall runner and does a nice job getting narrow as he works through the line. Isaac has very good hands and runs routes like a wide receiver. He can easily line up in the slot or out wide and be a legitimate weapon in the pass game, giving his offense tremendous versatility when he is in the game. Although he is big and strong, Isaac would rather make defenders miss than lower his shoulder and run someone over. He is a tough runner but is not someone who looks for punishment.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Joliet Catholic has been good to Notre Dame in the past, and the Irish hope that will continue with Isaac. Isaac has already become a national recruit and his offer list is going to continue to grow the longer he remains uncommitted. Notre Dame and Michigan are considered two of the early front runners but it does not appear that Isaac is in any hurry to narrow things down. Expect a long and intense battle for his services. Isaac has been on Notre Dameís campus many times and plans to come back during the spring and summer. His interest in Notre Dame is legitimate. They have just as good of a chance at landing Isaac as any other school but are by no means the leader. It appears that Isaac is genuinely open to all schools despite his obvious early interest in the Irish and Wolverines. Notre Dameís strong season on the ground has only helped its chances, and continuing that trend in 2012 would certainly help. It is way too early to start narrowing down a list of favorites, but Notre Dame has certainly placed itself in position to be among the final schools for Isaac when it is all said and done.

    LAQUON TREADWELL, WR, 6-3, 190, CRETE(CRETE-MONEE)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, Vanderbilt

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Illinois wideout Laquon Treadwell reminds me quite a bit of former Notre Dame star receiver Michael Floyd. This is not to say that Treadwell will be the same kind of five-star recruit that Floyd was, but it does mean the two players play the game in similar fashion. After racking up 75 receptions for 1400 yards and hauling in 18 touchdowns as a junior, Treadwell showed he is certainly capable of dominating his competition. Treadwell has outstanding size at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds. He has a long and solid frame that should allow him to get well over 200 pounds and stay agile. He has extremely long arms and very good ball skills, which makes him an extremely difficult target for a quarterback to miss. His throwing zone is very wide and if his quarterback gets the ball anywhere close to him he is going to make the catch. Treadwellís solid agility and body control allows him to make plays on poorly thrown footballs just as easily as he makes grabs that hit him on the money. As he learns to be more consistent catching the ball away from his body he will emerge as one of the best pass catchers in this class. His length, leaping ability, and ball skills should allow him to emerge as dangerous red zone weapon at the next level. He is a powerful runner that breaks a lot of tackles. While he is not a burner, Treadwell does possess enough speed to get deep on opponents. Like Floyd, he is not an overly elusive player but if he gets in space he can make people miss as he picks up extra yards. What most excites me about Treadwell is the fact he shows an impressive understanding of the position for such a young player. He is instinctive and smart on the football field and knows where the weak spots are in the defense. Treadwell shows a natural understanding of how to run routes and get open. Once he refines his technique and learns more of the finer points of the position he should develop into a strong route runner in college. His combination of size and skills make him a matchup nightmare for opponents.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Early on it appeared that Michigan would be the runaway winner in the Treadwell sweepstakes. Over the last couple of months the rest of his list has narrowed the gap and more suitors are going to come calling. Notre Dame has put the full court press on Treadwell, sending head coach Brian Kelly to Crete-Monee to check on the prospect. After Treadwell visited the Notre Dame campus unofficially the Irish put themselves very much in the mix for Treadwell. He plans on visiting Notre Dame for the spring game and he claims that his mother really likes the Notre Dame program. Ohio State and USC offered yesterday, and both programs will likely be serious contenders for his services. If the Irish continue to make Treadwell a priority they will have a shot at picking up his signature next February, but they will have a serious battle on their hands to make that happen. If he drags his recruitment out into the fall it will be interesting to see what impact Notre Dameís quarterback situation has on him and other big time wide receivers.

    MATT ALVITI, QB, 6-0, 180, PARK RIDGE(MAINE SOUTH)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Illinois quarterback Matt Alviti is certainly not the prototype quarterback. He is barely 6-foot-0 tall and the 180 pounds he is listed at might be a tad generous. He is a good athlete and has a good frame, but coaches looking for measureables will not be overly impressed with him. Coaches who are looking for competitors, gamers, and winners will love Alviti. The Maine South quarterback has a good arm for a player with his size. He throws a nice deep ball, he gets the ball up the seams with authority, and heís not afraid to fit the ball into tight windows over the middle. He can make the deeper out throws but he has to put a little bit extra into that pass to make it with a lot of velocity. Alviti throws the ball well on the run and has a quick and compact release from inside the pocket. He has good accuracy but will have to be more consistent with his release point to become a more precise passer. Alviti is a strong athlete that has good speed, solid agility, and he is elusive in the open field. He is fast enough to attack the perimeter of the defense and is quick enough to quickly avoid defenders in the pocket as he steps up for big gains. Alviti is agile and instinctive enough to make defenders miss in space, but I would like to see him be a bit more decisive as a runner. I had a chance to watch Alviti live during the Under Armour Junior Combine in January. During the individual periods he did not blow me away. He was slightly better during the one-on-one periods but again did not blow me away as a pocket passer. When the 7-on-7 portion of the camp started Alviti really stepped up and showed off some serious ability. When it was truly about the competition and making plays he was at his best, which says a lot about him as a quarterback. He is a competitor and when it is time to strap up and go play football he is going to show up well. Alviti is a pure spread quarterback and being in that offense will help shield his lack of height at the next level.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Alviti is going to end things relatively soon. His decision will come down to Notre Dame and Northwestern. He says that Notre Dameís pickup of Gunner Kiel will somewhat impact his decision, but he also realizes he will have to compete wherever he goes. Northwestern did not sign a quarterback in the Class of 2012 and signed only one in the Class of 2011. Just by looking at the depth charts it would appear that Northwestern is in the driverís seat with Alviti. Notre Dame continues to stay on Alviti and is just as involved with him now as it was prior to landing Kiel.

    AARON BAILEY, QB, 6-2, 215, BOLINGBROOK(HS)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Boston College, Colorado State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Aaron Bailey has good size for the quarterback position at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds. He is very raw but has some good tools to work with. He will enter college with a ton of experience. Bailey started at Bolingbrook as a freshman and accounted for over 3000 yards of offense as a junior. Bolingbrook is a triple option offense, similar in style to the system run at Georgia Tech. As a spread quarterback or a pro-style quarterback he will need a great deal of mechanical work. He is not a player who is going to help a team out at quarterback early in his career, at least not as a passer. If a team is in position to take him, sit him, teach him, and be patient with him he certainly would be worth the risk. Bailey throws a nice deep ball and has enough arm strength to make all the throws once he develops better technique and footwork. He throws the ball well on the run and is confident in his arm. Bailey will need a lot of coaching when it comes to footwork, learning to throw in rhythm, and going through progressions from the pocket. He is not a very accurate quarterback at this time, but that has more to do with the system he runs. What makes Bailey such a big time prospect is his ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. He rushed for 1983 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior. Bailey has good speed, impressive agility, and very good vision. He is the type of athlete that could easily play running back, wide receiver, or safety if quarterback does not work out. That alone makes him a valuable recruit for any team.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: I am not certain that Bailey has an actual scholarship offer from Notre Dame. I am relatively certain that Notre Dame is interested in Bailey, but right now the level of interest remains unclear. Bailey has talked about making a trip to Notre Dame sometime this winter or spring. If he makes the time for a trip to South Bend his interest will be more certain. He recently visited Iowa and is also very high on Illinois. Bailey does not seem to be in a hurry to decide so Notre Dame should have a chance to still get in the mix if it chooses to do so. The Irish may want to try to get Bailey to camp this summer. He is a triple option quarterback and although he has tools he is quite raw in regards to running the Notre Dame spread offense.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  5. #25
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    Midwest Targets: Illinois - Part II

    Here is the second part of our look at the state of Illinois:

    KYLE BOSCH, OL, 6-5, 280, WHEATON(ST. FRANCIS)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Alabama, Arizona, Boston College, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, West Virginia

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Wheaton, Illinois native Kyle Bosch brings many positive skills to the game, making it hard to truly decide which are his best attributes. For me, his two best traits are the nastiness with which he plays the game and the swagger he has on the field. Many offensive linemen play with attitude and confidence, traits that Bosch also possesses. What Bosch seems to have on film is a swagger that is often displayed by skill players or linebackers. His versatility is another of his better attributes. Bosch is built well for the guard position, where his squatty build and arm length would be best suited. At 6-foot-5 with solid agility, good technique, and fast hands he could also play tackle if that need arose. I love Boschís frame. He is still relatively thin at 280 pounds and has a nice athletic build. The St. Francis standout has impressive natural strength, but with his frame it is obvious that he is going to get a lot stronger and get up to at least 295-300 pounds. He still has relatively thin legs for such a big player but has a strong lower body, which means he is going to be able to add a lot of lower body strength in college. After a year or two in a college weight room he is going to become an extremely strong and powerful football player. Bosch is a physical and aggressive football player, another reason he is ideally suited for guard. The 6-foot-5 lineman has good agility and possesses good foot quickness. He gets off the line quickly and fires off with good speed when working vertically. There is a little bit of hip stiffness to his game so he does not change direction as quickly as he fires off the line. That might limit his ability to block in space on the edge, which is yet another reason I believe he will excel inside. Bosch is a fundamentally sound player and plays the game with a good base. He has strong and quick hands and knows how to use them. Bosch is also a smart and instinctive football player that does a great job keeping his eyes downfield and his head on a swivel. It is easy to see why schools from all over the country are hot and heavy after this young blocker.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: The relationship between Bosch and Notre Dame has been interesting. The talented Illinois tackle grew up a Notre Dame fan, and when the Irish offered he called it the one offer he had been waiting for. He camped at Notre Dame last summer in hopes of earning an offer, but despite performing quite well at the camp the Irish staff at the time decided to hold off on offering him. Notre Dameís strategy under Charley Molnar and Ed Warinner was to fill up on tackles first and then go after interior players if there was room. Bosch came back to Notre Dame for the South Florida game but the longer Notre Dame waited to offer the closer the gap between the Irish and the other programs became. Under the new offensive leadership the plan of recruiting the offensive line has significantly changed. One of the first things Martin and new line coach Harry Hiestand did together was offer Bosch a scholarship. The St. Francis standout has been shot up to the top of the Irish board for interior players, a group that has a greater priority with the new staff. By hiring Hiestand the Irish gained a coach that had already established a relationship with Bosch. Hiestand offered Bosch at Tennessee and wants him just as badly at Notre Dame. With Hiestand on board and in charge of the line the Irish are back in good shape with Bosch. Bosch plans to visit Notre Dame the weekend of Feb. 17 and would like to make a decision during the summer before his senior season starts, although that is not set in stone. While Notre Dame will be in good position, programs like Alabama, Michigan, and Stanford among others will also have a great shot at landing the four-star lineman.

    ETHAN POCIC, OL, 6-7, 285, LEMONT(TOWNSHIP)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: It is easy to see why Ethan Pocic is considered one of the nationís top offensive linemen. Pocic is big, strong, a solid athlete, and he plays the game with some attitude. This young man seems to thoroughly enjoy putting opponents flat on their backs. Pocic is a finisher that drives his feet hard through the whistle. Pocic has the combination of skills, size, and attitude to excel as both a run blocker and pass blocker at the next level. The Lemont Township standout has great size at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds with very long arms. I really like Pocicís frame and his athletic build. He has a thick frame but also a lean frame, not possessing a lot of the excess body weight that many high school linemen have. With his frame he could easily add another 20-25 pounds of muscle and solid girth without losing any agility or quickness. Pocic knows how to throw his weight around and has a lot of the typical Midwest country boy strength that is often found in Iowa, Michigan, and parts of Illinois. He has a tendency to rely too much on his weight and natural strength to push defenders around, especially in protection. Pocic will have to learn to be more physical with his hands and improve his hand technique off the snap. Once he learns how to better use his hands as a weapon his ability to dominate will only increase. Pocic moves relatively well for a player with such great size. He has solid agility, gets off the line quickly, and does a decent job reacting to double moves. He has issues at times with pure speed players off the edge, but as he learns to use his hands better he will be better prepared to take on and beat the outside speed rush. With the proper technique his length alone would give him the ability to handle most speed rushers at the next level. Pocic keeps a good base in protection and is able to pick up double moves, although he needs to do a bit of a better job of anchoring against power rushers. He does a good job working up to the second level and works well in space, two great assets for him should he come to Notre Dame.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Pocic appears to be wide open at this point, but there seems to be some guidelines about who is going to be on his ďwide openĒ list. Pocic seems to be quite partial to schools from the Midwest, especially programs with strong reputations of building strong lines. The Lemont Township tackle does have legitimate interest in the Notre Dame program, although the Irish are by no means the leader at this time. Pocic camped at Notre Dame last summer, and his strong performance garnered him an immediate offer from the Irish. He returned to South Bend for the USC game in October, where he and 2013 Irish commit Steven Elmer spent time together. Brian Kelly and Chuck Martin have visited his high school and it appears the Irish are putting the full-court press on Pocic and have made him a priority. For Notre Dame, landing Elmer and Pocic would give it arguably the best pair of tackles in the country regardless of what anyone else does. But for that to happen Notre Dame will likely have a few schools to pass. Pocicís older brother, Graham, is a standout center at Illinois. Expect the Illini to certainly be in the mix along with programs like Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Notre Dame will likely be in the mix until the end, but it remains to be seen just who stands out for the physical but soft-spoken tackle.

    COLIN MCGOVERN, OL, 6-6, 285, NEW LENOX(LINCOLN WAY-WEST)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: If we are ranking the four linemen on this list right now McGovern would be behind both Pocic and Bosch in terms of dominance at the high school level. But what I love about McGovern as a prospect is the fact he is just now tapping into his potential. He has as much upside and raw tools as either Pocic or Bosch, who are two of the nationís premier offensive line prospects. If he continues to work he could be outstanding, making McGovern a player that could see his national profile takeoff as more people start to see him on film. McGovern is a very good athlete for such a big and long player. He has good open field speed and quickness off the ball. McGovern has great feet for a lineman and takes small, quick, fast steps out of his stance. He also does a good job driving his feet on contact, which allows him to dominate players off the ball despite the fact he lacks ideal strength at this point. McGovern has good hips for a big guy and is a natural knee bender when his technique is correct. His technique causes him to lunge and lean at times which causes him to bend at the waste more than I would like, but it is a technique issue and not an athletic issue. McGovern has extremely long arms and quick hands. He tends to stick his hands onto defenders rather than shoot them with more force. This is more of an issue in pass protection, but again this is a technique issue. Once his technique improves his hands will likely become a significant weapon for him at the next level. One area where McGovern shows good fundamentals is the great base he plays the game with. He is not an overly strong player but his base and length allows him to play stronger than he is. With his great frame I expect him to make huge strides in the weight room at the next level. That is where his upside truly comes from. McGovern is very good now but has yet to really tap into his strength potential. He will never be a Jake Long-type power player, but once his strength catches up to his athleticism and size McGovern could be special. He is definitely a player to keep an eye on.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: McGovernís recruitment is still in the early stages, largely due to the fact most programs have just recently learned about him. McGovern transferred programs this past season and this past year was his first as a varsity starter. With his name and film starting to get out programs are starting to line up with offers for the late-bloomer. Notre Dame has reached out to McGovern and informed him that as long as his transcripts are in good shape an Irish offer will be coming his way. Other programs like Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State could soon follow suit. When it is all said and done expect McGovernís offer list to be long and impressive. The Lincoln Way-West tackle has been to Notre Dame on several occasions, but he has yet to visit as a recruit. He is hoping to make his way to South Bend in March for his first visit as a prospect. McGovern is still in the very early stages of his recruitment so there are no real early leaders. If Notre Dame makes him a priority they will likely be seriously in the mix, but until an offer comes that cannot be determined. McGovern would like to make his decision before his senior season but also has said he does not want to rush making what is a big decision about his future.

    LOGAN TULEY-TILLMAN, OL, 6-7, 285, PEORIA(MANUAL)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: Alabama, Arkansas, Boston College, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: Logan Tuley-Tillman is one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail. Teams from all over the country are hot and heavy after thus Illinois lineman. It does not take one long to realize why so many schools, including Notre Dame, like him so much. Tuley-Tillman has an outstanding size-athleticism combination. At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds he already has very good size, but there is a ton of room for reshaping of his current frame as well as additional girth. His frame could easily support 310-plus pounds, but the addition of more strength is what he really needs. Tuley-Tillman has a thick lower body and long arms, which should help him as an edge blocker. The Manual standout is a good athlete for such a long player, but in many ways he is still growing into his body. He can move extremely well at times and possesses good speed and strong agility. There are other times where he moves too quickly and starts to lose balance. As he physically matures he will likely grow into his frame more and develop better balance. Tuley-Tillman also needs a lot of work in the weight room, especially with his lower body. He has an outstanding motor and really seems to enjoy playing the game of football. Tuley-Tillman also has a lot of personality and it is obvious on the football field. He plays hard, he is an active player, and he never stops moving on the field. The big issue for him right now is just how raw he is. Everything he does at this point in time is off of natural ability and raw talent. He has quick hands but at this point does not really know how to use them properly. He is agile and quick but does not have good footwork. The moral of the story is this, Tuley-Tillman will need time to grow, develop more strength, and learn how to play the game. But if a school is patient with him and allows him to develop he could be very good.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: My how things have changed in a very short period of time. When Notre Dame offered Tuley-Tillman back in December they immediately jumped into his top two along with Michigan. He visited the campus and fell in love with the school, the tradition, and the program. Since that time the Manual standoutís offer list has exploded and he is now a national recruit. Michigan remains in the top two but are now joined by Alabama. When Tuley-Tillman has talks about schools recently he rarely mentions the Irish at all, making it seem they are now just another school in the pack with him. The raw but talented tackle seems to be enjoying the national exposure and is getting offers from all over the place. It would seem that Notre Dame would have to work extremely hard to get back into the mix with Tuley-Tillman, which they very well may do. Heís a talented player and it would certainly make sense to put in the work, but with players like Elmer, Pocic, and McGovern in the mix the Irish are still in good position at the tackle position. It would make sense for Notre Dame to make a push for him, but Notre Dame also canít afford to spend a lot of time with him unless heís more open to them. If Tuley-Tillman gets back on campus this spring it will show he remains interested and at that point expect to see Notre Dame back in the mix.

    DEVANTE LEE, DE/OLB, 6-6, 225, CHICAGO(SIMEON)IL

    EARLY OFFERS: No early offers

    COACH DíS EVALUATION: No film available at this time.

    WHERE THINGS STAND: Lee has yet to receive any offers and there is really no good film available to see if he is a legitimate prospect. He appears to be athletic and is quite long, but that is really all one can gauge about him at this point. He grew up a huge Notre Dame fan and is not afraid to admit that. In January he was planning on visiting the campus but weather forced him to postpone that trip. He would like to get back on campus soon and will also likely attend Junior Days at Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin during the winter and spring periods. Auburn has also recently starting to reach out to him so his recruitment is starting to pick up a little bit of steam.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  6. #26
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    Michigan picks up four more Class of 2013 commitments | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Michigan picks up four more Class of 2013 commitments

    Michigan's 2013 football class is growing -- quickly.

    The big recruiting weekend has already netted four oral commitments, bringing the class' total to seven, with nearly a year to go until Signing Day.

    All four prospects are among Rivals.comís Top 200 prospects in the class.

    The haul began with Wheaton, Ill., offensive lineman Kyle Bosch (Rivals.com's No. 60 overall prospect), according to TheWolverine.com and GoBlueWolverine.com, then Novi Catholic Central athlete Wyatt Shallman (@Shallmanator49), No. 160 overall, who tweeted that he committed.

    That was followed later this afternoon by the news from Scout.com about Detroit Cass Tech defensive back Jourdan Lewis (No. 167) and Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson (No. 199.)

    All four are rated as four-star recruits by Rivals.com. They join previous commits: Warren DeLaSalle quarterback Shane Morris, Alliance, Ohio cornerback Dymonte Morris and Detroit Crockett tight end Khalid Hill.

    Saturdayís nationally televised Michigan basketball game against Ohio State was an ideal opportunity for the football program to use the spotlight to bring players to campus, even taking them to the ESPN College GameDay festivities on Saturday morning.

    ďThis is kind of a Junior Day type setup,Ē Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt said. ďTheyíve got a number of guys in here, guys theyíve recruited for a long time. When you have these junior days, these things will happen. These are one of the big few times of the year.Ē

  7. #27
    Moderator zimmsbg78's Avatar
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    Rivals.com Football Recruiting - Midwest whispers: Irish in position for Smith (free with video)...........

    With his brother at Ohio State, four-star linebacker Jaylon Smith was pegged to be an early Buckeye-lean, but that was not the vibe he put out on Monday at the Best of the Midwest Combine. Smith talked about stepping out of his brother's shadow (which he has done) and how he would definitely take into consideration how the Buckeyes handle his brother (Rod Smith was switched to linebacker for a time last fall).

    Instead, there seemed to be a very strong Notre Dame vibe with Smith. He is a strong student and specifically mentioned how Notre Dame's offer was a validation of his academic progress. He is attracted to the academic/athletic combination in South Bend and is taking an unofficial visit to that campus next weekend.

    But Smith claims to be wide open, and there is definitely a lot of recruiting yet to be done in his process. New offers came in recently from Oklahoma and USC and he is expected to take long, hard looks at both programs. He is also enamored with an offer he received from national champion Alabama. He also was sporting a Michigan State hat at Monday's combine and spent some time talking with class of 2012 Michigan State signee Josiah Price at the event.

    Florida State is the latest to offer Smith, coming through with its tender on Tuesday evening. More schools will be added to the list until every team that feels it has the slightest chance has made offers because Smith is undoubtedly a national recruit with the ability to play in any system. That he only holds 18 offers now may actually force his recruitment out longer, with teams continuing to be added throughout the spring and summer. Smith sounds determined to take a long, full look at as many schools as possible.
    Another in-state prospect who is considering attending the Spartans' Junior Day is Canton offensive guard Cameron Dillard, who picked up his 17th offer on Tuesday from Florida. Dillard does not yet hold offers from either in-state Big Ten program, but an offer from the Spartans this weekend should make them a strong contender for his services.
    Midwest notes

    With their eight new additions this past weekend, Michigan is up to 11 commitments already in a class that could see as many as 25 by National Signing Day next year. Four of those eight commitments are offensive linemen, but the Wolverines are not yet done at the position in 2013. Look for them to try and add one more. Among uncommitted Midwest prospects Centerville (Ohio) tackle Evan Lisle, Lemont (Ill.) tackle Ethan Pocic and New Lenox (Ill.) Lincoln Way West's Colin McGovern hold offers from the Wolverines.

    Indianapolis (Ind.) North Central four-star lineman Darius Latham added an offer from Florida on Tuesday, after picking up another from Kentucky on Saturday. Florida was active in the Midwest on Tuesday, also extending offers to Cameron Dillard as well as Detroit Country Day defensive tackle/offensive tackle Poet Thomas. The Thomas offer was an interesting one because the 6-6, 295-pound prospect had only picked up one offer previously, and that was from Toledo.

    Florida was previously in with offers to Indiana four-star prospects Jaylon Smith and Elijah Daniel. The 6-4, 253-pound Daniel originally is from the South, and made a visit to Gainesville last fall to take in one of the Gators' home games. Earlier this week, Daniel listed Florida as an early favorite for his services, and its recent offers definitely made an impression on the other Midwest targets.

  8. #28
    Senior Member en dee seattle's Avatar
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    just saw that there's a kid named Dee Liner and he plays. . . DT on the d-line. unfortunately, he's from muscle shoals high school, because scout.com says that his area of improvement is strength.

    Scout.com: Dee Liner Profile

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    Last edited by zimmsbg78; 03-27-2012 at 08:36 AM.

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    Top QB for '13.............


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