Welcome to Notre Dame...

The big day is done. How did we do? Yes we lost two commits on the big day, but ND picked up 18 quality players for the 2007 class. This class included:

Two members of the Parade prep All-America team - Clausen and wide receiver Duval Kamara.

Three players received All-America accolades from USA Today - Clausen, Matt Romine and Golden Tate

Seven players rated among the top 100 nationally by CSTV and Tom Lemming - Clausen (1st), tight end Mike Ragone (33rd), Allen (38th), Gray (54th), wide receiver Duval Kamara (55th), running back Robert Hughes (59th) and Tate (79th).

Seven players rated among the top 100 nationally by Rivals.com - Clausen (1st), Kamara (34th), Allen (52nd), Romine (55th), Hughes (77th), Gray (78th) and Ragone (83rd).

Five players rated among the top 100 nationally by Scout.com - Clausen (4th), Ragone (55th), Kamara (62nd), Hughes (71st) and Gray (72nd).

Ten players rated among the top 150 nationally on the ESPN 150 list - Clausen (9th), Tate (11th), Gray (13th), defensive lineman Kerry Neal (26th), Kamara (36th), Ragone (55th), Romine (85th), defensive lineman Ian Williams (120th), Hughes (140th) and linebacker Brian Smith (150th).

Six players named to National 100 list by Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Allen, Clausen, Gray, Hughes, Kamara and Ragone.

Seven players selected for the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio last month -Clausen, Gray, Hughes, Kamara, linebacker Aaron Nagel, Ragone and Romine.

One player named Gatorade Player of the Year in his home state - defensive back Harrison Smith (Tennessee

So, with that said, it's over. Right?

Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Charlie didn't say that in his presser, but he should have. He is upset, to say the least at the shenanigans of the recruiting period.

Commitment doesn't mean the same thing it once did. I know all us ND fans feel like every one is picking on our players, but that just isn't the case.

Teams lost players yesterday and teams picked up players yesterday. We just happened to lost two pretty big recruits.

Why did we lose the recruits? Was it Poaching by other coaches? Was it our coaches not following through with the commits? In my opinion, it was a mixture of the two.

UNC coaches were relentless in their approach to recruiting Greg Little. Little Remarked yesterday about his decision to choose UNC. "They have a great program in my major, Business Administration, and a lot of guys have done great coming out of UNC with that degree". Does ND have a business administration department?

Once Butch Davis came into the picture, he started working on all the in state recruits that were leaving North Carolina. This is normal practice for any team. You can't let home state guys leave. Recruiting at Notre Dame is a different animal. Recruiting has always and will continue to be a national thing.

Charlie mentioned this in his presser yesterday.

The other thing is, for all those other people who are silent verbals, silent commits, to me they're fair game, just the way my guys are fair game, because that's the way the game is obviously played.

I think it then becomes an ethical question, okay? How exactly do you broach different subjects? I think between Rob and I, our staff, we're going to have to continue to review because we never want to do things the wrong way, but at the same time you have to make sure that everyone's playing the game the same way.

I think the first way, starting on the proactive, is our own view towards people that are committed to us because obviously sometimes what a commitment means doesn't hold much water.

Charlie and Company will now get COMMITMENTS. No more silent, quiet, or verbal. If a Kid is not going to commit, then ND will not commit. So, In my opinion, this is not over. Charlie is taking it personally and I am right behind him.

We did some Poaching ourselves this recruiting season. Brian Smith was an Iowa commit and did not have an offer from us until very late in the game. The Iowa coach told Smith that if he visited ND, he would be going in a different direction. When Smith took the visit, Ferentz got another LB. The big difference is, Brian Smith was upfront with the Iowa Coaching staff. This has made his decision easier to swallow on both ends.

Two things that are certain:

  1. Notre Dame will change the way they recruit by getting commits from guys that want to be there
  2. Until the recruiting climate changes, nothing will change

It is more than obvious that the kids read all the hype about decommits and the recruiting manage' twa's. Mike Ragone stood up at the press conference yesterday and the first thing out of his mouth was, "I will NOT be going to Notre Dame". Of course he was joking, but it's a joke that the coaches should take a long look at.

This recruiting age has the kids looking to ESPN and CSTV and ESPN U and ESPN the Ocho etc. etc. etc.

Martez Wilson, an Illinois commit was interviewed on ESPN and stated that he is "looking forward to playing the game and being on ESPN." I guess that's how Zook got players to commit to a team that hasn't won in years. No school, just ESPN and parties. Champaign is a nice place to visit, but C'mon Ronny, What about Classes and learning? What happened to the days of signing LOI in the principals office with mom and dad there to hug you and send you back to class? Oh yea, ESPN.

Ethics in recruiting is a huge Oxymoron. You cannot have one with the other and you can't have one without the other. What side does ND fall on? I am happy to say that Charlie will always fall on the side of ethics. And that is the way it should be.

This years recruiting class is a great example of that exact notion.

2007 will be a trying time for Irish fans, but when is it not? The schedule is tough for the first 3/4 and then slacks off. I think that an 8-4 or 9-3 season will be a great success. Any better than that is great, but any less would be underachieving. Being young is no excuse to lose games. Unlike the previous ten or so years, The Irish teams of the future will no longer rebuild with 6-6 seasons. The high quality recruits coming in will not allow it. And that is the main difference between Davies/Willingham and Charlie Weis.

No comments:

In order to find his equal, an Irishman is *forced* to talk to God.

In order to find his equal, an Irishman is *forced* to talk to God.