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Weis: Best Recruiting in 15 years

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/sports/13747574.htm

    Weis to sign Irish’s best recruiting class in 15 years
    Experts agree Notre Dame has put together a top-5 class.

    Go ahead, Notre Dame football fans. Be excited. Be very excited.

    Results are coming in for this year’s recruiting class and national experts can’t contain their enthusiasm.

    “Notre Dame is putting together one of its best classes in 15 years,†said Tom Lemming, a nationally renowned expert from College Sports TV Network.
    “It’s like old times,†Allen Wallace said. He’s the publisher of SuperPrep Magazine, a national recruiting publication and the recruiting editor for Scout.com, a national Internet recruiting service. “Notre Dame is now expected to challenge for BCS games and its recruiting is coming along in the manner we’re used to seeing Notre Dame.â€

    Notre Dame, which has 28 oral commitments entering Wednesday’s official signing day, has a consensus top-five class. Lemming rates it second behind Florida. Rivals.com, another national Internet recruiting service, has it No. 4 behind Florida, USC and Texas. Scout.com has it fifth behind those schools and Georgia.

    Consider recruiting experts’ five-star rating system, with five stars the best and one the worst. The Irish have a pair of five-star players in running back James Aldridge out of Merrillville High School in Indiana and offensive lineman Sam Young from Florida. They have 10 four-star players. They have 16 players ranked in the top 200 nationally.

    This is a major turnaround from the last few classes under former coach Tyrone Willingham. Current coach Charlie Weis arrived too late to salvage last year’s class, but his impact is obvious this year.

    “The (2005) class was probably the worst ever signed by Notre Dame,†Wallace said. “SuperPrep Magazine ranked it No. 34 nationally. I’ve published SuperPrep since 1985 and I’ve never seen a Notre Dame class that bad. Obviously a lot of it was the coaching transition, but now Notre Dame is headed in a completely different direction.â€

    For that, credit Weis.

    “Notre Dame has a decent staff,†Lemming said, “but Charlie Weis has become bigger than life quickly. It’s amazing to me. He’s been made into sort of a legend without winning a national title. If he does win a national title, I’m sure he’ll be canonized.â€

    Weis has made a big impression on recruits, and it starts with his NFL experience, four Super Bowl rings and offensive genius reputation. After his debut college season, in which the Irish finished 9-3 and played Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, future recruiting results could be even more impressive.
    “Charlie Weis is a much more aggressive recruiter,†Wallace said. “He’s managed to implement his vision of what Notre Dame should be in a more effective way. They’re more organized, they recruit harder and they’ve developed more urgency than Ty Willingham.â€

    Notre Dame’s biggest need comes in the defensive secondary — Ohio State receivers ruthlessly exposed that weakness in its Fiesta Bowl victory.

    The Irish tried targeting that area in recruiting, although more work is needed.
    “They’re bringing in two cornerbacks who could start next year in Raeshon McNeil (and) Darrin Walls,†Lemming said, “but they didn’t address their needs the way they should have. A lot of their talent is on offense. Other than those two cornerbacks and maybe linebacker Toryan Smith, I don’t know of anybody else on defense who is going to help next year.â€
    Wallace is more optimistic.

    “They have some nice secondary people. Sergio Brown is the eighth-best defensive back in the country. Walls is a good-looking corner. He’s the seventh-best cornerback in the country. McNeil looked terrific (in a national high school all-star game). He should really help out. They have some other three- and four-star safeties.â€

    It’s too early to tell which freshmen could make the biggest impact next season. Aldridge, offensive lineman Chris Stewart of Texas and defensive back George West from Oklahoma have already enrolled and will participate in spring practice. And the 6-8, 302-pound Young could dominate in the future, although few offensive linemen thrive as freshmen.

    But no matter when these players contribute, this class indicates Notre Dame is once again a national player.

    “There was a time when Notre Dame routinely recruited top-five classes,†Wallace said. “It seemed like the definition of a high school All-American was somebody Notre Dame was recruiting. Through the 1990s, that feeling kind of died.

    “Under Charlie Weis, the Irish have re-emerged as a confident team that believes in itself and that will pay off in recruiting.â€

    Added Lemming: “People were saying ther was no way Notre Dame could get back to where they were, but they have come back quickly. This class will reflect that.â€

    And you know what? It’s likely just the beginning.

    .
  2. broadwayjoe

    broadwayjoe Rookie

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    I'm sure the kids are looking at the system that Charlie has installed there and I'm sure they believe with their talent and the syatem they are in their chances of going to the league has improved very much so.
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    'Tis true...a LOT of people, on this board and elsewhere, insisted that ND was a lousy job because the alumni expected a top-flight team and it was impossible, simply impossible for a school like that to compete for top recruits nowadays.

    A tip of the cap to Mr. Weis.
  4. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    Whoa! New Jersey Sportsman of the Year sure is on a roll.

    Can't help but notice ... the repeated contrasts with his coachly predecessor. Someone who didn't know better ... could even begin to imagine ... that ND fired Willingham for reasons that had nothing whatever to do with his complexion.
  5. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I am very proud that Charlie was able to be part of the New England Patriots. Brings a smile to my face to know he's bringing back good things to the once mighty Irish fans. Good for him.
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Charlie seems to have found his nitch and his hard work/knowledge of what it takes to win is paying off. As a long time ND fan I am very pleased with what is going on in South Bend and looking forward to next year. Brady Quinn will be a viable Heisman candidate.

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