Friday notes: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting
It seems like many of you are searching for recruiting news. There are plenty of places out there on the net to get your fix, but it might cost you ten bucks a month. It’s money well worth it at a few different sites if you want to know who’s visiting who, and when it’s happening, otherwise you’re stuck with me. I’ll do my best to keep up with the ins and outs of recruiting better over the summer months.
That said, there’s some great free information out there, too. Brian Smith’s blog over at IrishSportsDaily.com has been some great reading the past few weeks, and earlier in the week he put together a great run down of Notre Dame’s recruiting targets and who is likely to receive a scholarship offer this summer, and who might even be ready to pull the trigger and commit.
Here’s a taste:
Two recruits that appear to be the best bets to commit to ND by early July should not surprise anyone. Both of the Dixie products do not hide their affinity for Notre Dame.
Ben Councell, OLB, 6-5, 220, Asheville, N.C., (Reynolds) -- It’s rare to find linebackers with a knack for defending the pass. Councell’s proficiency within that particular area makes him more than just an ordinary linebacker target. The height and wing span will also help Councell adapt to the college game. Councell plans to roam through North Carolina to visit a few schools before sojourning to Notre Dame this summer.Aaron Lynch, DE, 6-6, 245, Cape Coral, Fla., (Island Coast) -- If Lynch inhabits the Notre Dame campus during the month of June, as he plans to do, that will likely be enough for him to conclude his recruitment. Perhaps Lynch will need further proof that Notre Dame should be his future alma mater, but do not expect him to drag his recruitment out past this summer.
While the info isn’t free, Tim Prister of IrishIllustrated takes a look at outside linebacker recruiting. It’s a key position for this year’s recruiting class, with the depth chart heavy on upperclassmen right now.
Smith and Neal are in their final years of eligibility, and Fleming and Filer begin the home stretch of their two remaining seasons with the Irish. The only other scholarship outside linebacker in the spring was sophomore Dan Fox, who did not play as a rookie in ’09.
Help is on the way with the freshman class that arrives for summer school next month. But it’s uncertain as to exactly which of the incoming freshmen will play outside linebacker. Danny Spond appears to be the most likely candidate.
In other words, by the time any of the names on Notre Dame’s outside linebacker recruiting list would arrive in South Bend to begin their collegiate careers, Smith and Neal would be gone, Fleming and Filer would be in their final years of eligibility, and Fox and the freshmen would just be getting started.
Translation: the Irish need at least two outside linebackers in the 2011 recruiting class, and a third probably wouldn’t hurt.
Currently, there are six outside linebacker prospects on Irish Illustrated’s defensive master list. They are Clay Burton from Venice, Fla., Anthony Chickillo from Tampa, Fla., Ben Councell from Asheville, N.C., Christian French from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Anthony Rabasa from Miami, Fla., and Ishaq Williams from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Chickillo has the most impressive offer list of any of the players and is the son of former Miami Hurricane Tony Chickillo. He lacks the size of some of the other guys, but he’s as close to a ready-made football player as the Irish will find. He plans to visit the Irish this summer with his dad and again Tony Alford is on the case.
Councell is a long and lanky player, at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds he has some growing into his body to do, but he’s got a high ceiling and is a raw athlete that has elite speed and is a great student. He lacks the offers that most of the other OLB targets have, but certainly fits the big-skill mold Kelly looks for in edge players.
Speaking of raw athletes, Christian French is one of the more intriguing ones out there. The Iowa native has been clocked in the 4.4s, ridiculous when you see his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame. French logged a 11.18 100 meter time at the prestigious Drake Relays, so his wheels seem legit. His offers are mostly Midwestern, and his position is still in question, but if properly coached up, French could turn into a freakish player off the edge.
Rabasa hails from Miami, playing in a premiere conference and putting up silly numbers. At 6-foot-3, he doesn’t have ideal height, but he’s a terror on the football field, the kind of guy that Brian Kelly and company are making a priority to get. Rabasa has guaranteed Notre Dame an official visit this fall, and he’s already comfortable playing the outside backer position in the 3-4, something he does in high school.
Williams is a truly national recruit, and his raw skill set has colleges coast to coast offering the Brooklyn product. He’s playing things close to the vest, hasn’t scheduled a visit to Notre Dame yet, but would be a major get for the Irish if they can manage to reel him in.
While it isn’t Freekbass, our friends over at HerLoyalSons.com pulled up a cool video that unearthed a tradition that I didn’t know about either: The Irish Trumpets.
It’s not my favorite Irish video, but it’s a really well put together clip that highlights another great tradition. And it won’t get you laughed at by your work colleagues, so that’s a plus.