Thursday, November 17, 2005

When It Rains It Pours

It has been an outstanding past few days on the recruiting front for Charlie Weis and the Irish as 3 more prospects verbally committed to Notre Dame, bringing the total number of known verbal commitments to 22.

The first one to commit this week was linebacker Morrice Richardson, a 6'2", 220 lbs linebacker out of Georgia who runs a 4.54 40. Notre Dame beat out Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma among others for his services. Richardson is going to be force at outside linebacker once he puts on at least 15 lbs of muscle. This was also a particularly important signing for Notre Dame, as this is the first linebacker to commit to this year's class.

While Richardson needs to put on weight, the second Notre Dame verbal commitment this week, offensive lineman Chris Stewart, needs to lose some weight. While many at the ND Nation message board are raving about his size (6'5", 340 lbs+), I think he's a bit too big, especially when I saw this picture (#79 in the picture):

That being said, I have full faith that once he spends a few months in the gym with Ruben Mendoza, he's going to be at a size where he will be able to move around and be able to pancake helpless defensive tackles. One of the great things about the Stewart commitment is that he is planning on enrolling for the spring semester, which not only allows him to practice with the team in the spring, and get a head start on his academics, but it also opens up an additional scholarship for this year's class, as Stewart would count against last year's class. Stewart is not the only one enrolling early. Stud running back prospect James Aldridge has already received approval to enroll in the spring, and wide receiver prospect George West is also considering enrolling early. With both Stewart and Aldridge enrolling early (and apparently rooming together), do not be surprised if they are the first two freshman to see the field in 2006.

The other verbal commitment the Irish got this week was Richard Jackson, a 6'2" wide receiver out of Florida who runs a 4.4 40. The Irish beat out Miami for his services. Jackson provides some more depth for the Irish at wide receiver and with all these speed guys Weis has gotten in the past two years at wide receiver (D.J. Hord, George West and Barry Gallup to name a few), I don't think you're going to hear commentators say any time soon that Notre Dame does not have the speed to compete with the top teams in the country.

The recruiting news figures to get better as Weis wraps up his first real recruiting class. Stud offensive line prospect Matt Carufel is strong possibility to commit and the number one tight end in the country, Konrad Reuland, just cancelled his official visit to Iowa this weekend after his visit to Notre Dame last weekend. This recruiting class could shape up to be not only a top five class, but the top class in the country. Not bad for a guy who critics thought wouldn't know how to recruit.