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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Notre Dame Recruiting Complaints Addressed Here

Even with a slow summer as far as news from Notre Dame Football goes, one issue has bubbled up to the surface for Irish fans.  It has some scratching their heads, others jumping out basement floor windows and still others wailing and grinding their teeth as if they were thrown into the dark of night.
The 2012 Notre Dame Football Recruiting Class.  You can check out the current 12 recruits on the left side of the SAS Blog.

The Issues:

** No quarterback.  There should be a quarterback in every recruiting class so say the pundits.

** No running back.  The Irish are weak on running back with the graduation of Robert Hughes and Armondo Allen.  Plus, the serious injury this spring to Cameron Roberson.  Read about the injury here.

** Only 12 recruits so far while some schools are fast approaching their scholarship quotas.

** Lack of recruitment results in Ohio in the wake of the Tattoo Scandal at OSU.

** The apparent outstanding 2012 recruiting class being built by Brady Hoke and the Skunkbears.  Our second most bitter rivalry.

** Lack of 4 and 5 star recruits.

** Fear that the 2012 recruit class will be a flop after the apparent great success of the 2011 class.  (A theory abounds that a championship team needs two outstanding classes in a row to succeed.)

** A recent less than positive article/interview by Tom Lemming a guy who makes his living reporting and analyzing college recruiting.

** While National Signing Day is not until February most of the highly regarded and sought after recruits have already verbally committed to other schools.

** The alleged waste of scholarships on ‘athletic-types’ and a pure long snapper.  (See Notre Dame Long Snappers below here.)

So what does this all mean?  Let’s take the complaints one at a time.

**** Quarterback.  Notre Dame has four quarterbacks on the books.  Dayne Crist will start and he is a senior with two years of eligibility.  Tommy Rees is a true sophomore.  Andrew Hendrix was a redshirt freshman last year.  Everett Golson is a true freshman.  If you were a hotshot quarterback coming out of high school would you sign up for Notre Dame?  Of course not.  Yes, transfers and injuries are possible but only a fool would want to be a quarterback prospect in the 2012 class.

**** Running back.  Cierre Wood is a junior.  Jonas Gray a senior.  Cameron Roberson cannot be counted on.  We hope and pray he can recover 100%.  Maybe next year.  George Atkinson is coming in as a freshman and does WR and RB.  Brian Kelly has already tapped him as a RB.    Theo Riddick is an ace in the hole.  Yes this position is thin this year and a running back would be very nice addition to the 2012 class.  This position of course receives a lot of down-play because of the Kelly Spread Offensive.  That has scared away some very good running backs this year.  Our enemy schools bring this up in the recruiting process all the time.  Can Kelly come through with the  talent he needs for the future?  This complaint has some validity.  It is worrisome. 

**** July 19 and only 12 recruits.  Kelly will be only able to take about 20 recruits all total.  He’s got 5th years to consider and has to have a scholarship for returning missionary Chris Badger and redshirt Jordan Presswood.  At last count he still had over 100 offers on the table in recruitment land.  However that number is shrinking everyday as more and more recruits are verbally committing earlier and earlier in the recruiting process.  I think we have to assume that Kelly and his staff are trying their best and laying off the golf course.  This is pretty much a wait and see deal.  Look at the last minute additions last year, it was a rare recruiting coup for the entire Notre Dame staff. 

**** Ohio fertile recruiting grounds.  This was a lean year for recruitment and the positions Notre Dame was looking for in Ohio.  This complaint is hogwash.  (Or should it be Hogwarts in honor of J.K. Rolings and her billions.)  

**** Skunkbear recruiting class.  Hoke needs to build his defense and with the addition of Greg Mattison he is going to do it.  He is a very good defensive coordinator and was outstanding at Notre Dame and Florida.  Good for him.  Bring it on Skunkbears.  You were so lucky the last two years in beating us.  Bring it on.  Why worry and complain over the fortunes of someone else’s recruiting efforts?

**** Lack of 4-5 Star Recruits.  Plenty of studies have shown that national championship teams are built on 4-5 Star Recruits.  I like Kelly in his efforts to get every 4-5 Star Recruit that he can, when that fails he goes for the Right Kind of Guy (RKG) who he and his staff can develop, train, and throw into the mix.  Too many other programs just take what’s left at the positions they need and hope for the best.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this issue until it is proven wrong.  I like his physical training program and how he teaches the lads.

**** Two great recruiting classes in a row.  The jury is still out.  You can only answer this complaint after the dust has settled and the BCS games played.

**** Lemming and his dire prediction.  Tom Lemming puts food on the table by his analysis and predictions.  Someone needs to keep track of his crystal ball pronouncements just like those people that predict the number of hurricanes each year.  (See above response.)

**** Highly regarded recruits already committed.  See above comments about RKG, last minute acquisitions to the 2011 recruiting class and 100 offers on the table.

**** Waste of scholarships on athletic-types and long snappers.  Give me a break.  I’ll take a steady long snapper over anybody.  These guys are critical.  I’ll also take a guy who Kelly and company feels is a diamond-in-the-rough who they can develop.

Notre Dame is not in crisis mode over the recruiting class of 2012.  Kelly has invited almost every potential recruit to the ND vs. USC game come October 22.  Let's review the status of the 2012 class after Notre Dame beats USC.

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