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Assorted notes before Signing Day

With Notre Dame’s fax machine about 24 hours from burning up, the Irish still are awaiting word on a handful of top recruits. There’ll be plenty of rumors and smoke today, but it’s all likely speculation and rumor, as a dead period is upon us. Here are a few tidbits from the interwebs to hold you over until tomorrow’s fireworks.

* The NFL Scouting Combine invited five Notre Dame players to Indianapolis. Seniors Sam Young, Eric Olsen, and Kyle McCarthy will be joined by quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide receiver Golden Tate at the annual cattle call. I don’t expect much out of Clausen, but part of me thinks that Golden Tate runs, jumps, catches, and does just about everything else there, as his personality doesn’t strike me as the type to worry too much about a slower surface or making the correct strategic move. Young, Olsen, and McCarthy will look to rebound from shaky Senior Bowls, where none of them lit it up down in Mobile.

* Our friends over at Blue-Gray Sky had an excellent write-up on new commit Derek Roback. While many wondered who exactly the Ohio quarterback/athlete was and scoffed at his underwhelming recruiting profile, Roback once projected among the bluest of blue-chips.

From BGS:

Roback is an interesting example of the ups and downs of recruiting coverage. When Roback was in junior high he was a national finalist in the Pepsi Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. He followed that up by being named the Freshman MVP at the National Underclassmen Combine. With these two things to his credit, Rivals then included Roback as one of their Top 10 Sophomores to Watch, along with current 5-star players Seantrel Henderson, Jeff Jeffcoat, and Dillon Baxter (and ND legacy lineman Ian Gray).

Heading into his sophomore season, he moved from quarterback to wide receiver and safety where he had a strong season on the field, being named All-State Honorable Mention. After the season he attended another National Underclassmen Combine, this one in New Jersey, and came away with the overall MVP award. With multiple combine and All-State honors to his name, Roback moved back to quarterback for his junior year with multiple national programs sending him recruiting mail.

The more I read about Roback, the more I really like the offer. While he’s nowhere near the recruit, Roback feels a lot like Jake Locker to me, a stout kid with size and speed and raw ability that needs to be harnessed. Obviously Irish fans would be thrilled if he turned out to be even a tenth of the player Locker is, but I’m all for taking chances on elite high school athletes with the size and speed of Roback.

* Pete Sampson of reports that Michael Floyd had his hearing with the office of Residence Life and likely won’t receive any punishment other than community service for an incident in Minneapolis over Christmas break. Floyd was ticketed for minor consumption and questioned about his involvement in a fight that also saw former high school teammate and Minnesota Gopher Shady Solomon get into hot water.

I had been hearing that Floyd was all-clear for a few weeks, and Sampson’s report likely means that Floyd won’t miss any school or football for the incident, although he is likely to spend a little bit more time at Longo Beach to help him remember the importance of good decision making.