Oct 26, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT
When Notre Dame fans look back at this year’s loss to Southern Cal, they might be forced to re-catalog the last second heart-breaker to the Trojans. That’s because when it’s all said and done, the Irish might have lost the game on the field, but won the recruiting war off of it.
Earlier this week, Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell took a look at the visitors that the Irish hosted and marveled at how the Irish increased their chances with some of the very best prep prospects in the nation.
Defensive lineman Chris Martin? Sounds rock solid for the Irish. Mammoth left tackle Seantrel Henderson? Now it’s a two-team battle with Ohio State. USC commit Kyle Prater? His family is hoping for him to stay closer to his Illinois home and the Irish impressed them. Defensive tackle Louis Nix? Not so committed to Miami anymore. Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner? Enjoyed his visit to ND better than his trip to Columbus. Farrell didn’t stop there, and thinks the Irish helped themselves with every big-time recruit that stepped on campus.
Now reports come that the Irish got a commitment this weekend from one of the players that Farrell didn‘t think was that impressed during that fateful weekend.
Recruiting guru Tom Lemming spoke with Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune and reports that big-time running back Giovanni Bernard will be committing to the Irish soon. After a quick perusal of the ND recruiting sites, it looks like they’re all scrambling to confirm the news, but Bernard isn’t talking. Which is a good thing for Notre Dame in my opinion.
Even better is that Bernard isn’t the only St. Thomas Aquinas recruit the Irish are pursuing. Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and offensive lineman Brandon Linder are both very high on the Irish coaching staff’s wish list, and before the news on Bernard broke, both were considered better shots to end up in an Irish uniform than Bernard.
The Notre Dame coaching staff has built a pipeline into this Fort Lauderdale high school, where they pulled long-snapper Jordan Cowart and punter Ben Turk from last year, and offensive linemen Dan Wegner and Sam Young in years previous. While running back isn’t one of the Irish’s more pressing needs, playmakers like Bernard — who has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Florida, and Tennesse — certainly can’t hurt.