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Hendrix in, Prater likely out

Jan 13, 2010, 1:26 PM EDT

A little good news and a little bad news breaking today for Irish fans.

As first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, quarterback Andrew Hendrix has come back into the fold for the Irish, turning down a very attractive Florida offer to stick to his original Irish commitment., where Hendrix wrote a blog during the season, got Hendrix himself on the record about the decision-making process.

From Hendrix:

Before ND fired coach Weis, but many believed he was going to get the boot, I was unsure of the direction Notre Dame was going to take their program. I certainly did not want to be left out in the cold, so I started building a relationship with Florida’s coaches. I scheduled a visit and when Coach Kelly was hired, I went up to ND and talked with him for a long while. I really enjoyed visiting with him and discussing his plans for the program, but my Florida visit was scheduled and why not go visit to make sure I am not missing out on anything…

Leaving Florida, it looked to be set. I decided to let the wine and dine wear off a little, and when I was ready to pull the trigger but I couldn’t. My head was screaming Florida, but my gut was twisted…

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, Notre Dame is the best place for me academically, athletically, and spiritually, I just wanted to make sure that is what I wanted.

Keeping Hendrix on board is a good victory for Kelly and his new staff, and in the long run will likely be a good decision for Hendrix, who looks to be a perfect fit for the new Irish offense.

In the bad news category, it sounds like the hiring of Lane Kiffin means Kyle Prater will stick with his commitment to USC.

ISD’s Steve Wiltfong spoke with Prater’s high school coach, Proviso West’s Famous Hulbert, who sounded pretty sure that Prater is sticking with the Trojans.

“In all likelihood, that’s where he’s headed,” Hulbert told Wiltfong. “When you see someone’s face, you get a vibe. Kyle was very fond of him when he took a trip to Tennessee. A younger energetic guy, he was there at USC when Mike Williams set all those records, and they had their three Heisman Trophy winners. Kyle was excited about the hire and looking forward to talking with Lane Kiffin.

“It’s a better situation for Kyle now, then if Pete Carroll would’ve stayed. In terms of Coach Kiffin throwing the ball more than Jeremy Bates threw the ball in the past, and you add in the fact everyone is on an even playing field. With Kyle getting there next week, in spring ball, Kyle will be learning the plays the same as all the seniors. Everyone is going to be learning just like him. There are no previous relationships with the guys, everyone is starting square one on an even playing field.”

After reading that quote, it sounds like Hulbert considers this a done deal, and those quotes almost feel like a nudge west to his prized pupil.

Doing some research on Hulbert, it turns out he had similar options coming out of high school, when he chose the the Illini over offers from Notre Dame and USC, before a muscle-enzyme disease cut his collegiate career short. Hulbert has a powerful personality, no shortage of confidence, and his opinion probably holds quite a bit of sway on Prater.

Great get by Wiltfong, but it sounds like Prater will be a USC student by next week.

  1. StephenOfTroy - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Interesting article. I like the down-in-the-weeds details, and I agree that the high school coach is a good get (kudos for going the extra mile and even looking up the high school coach’s background, Mr. Arnold!).
    Sounds like Prater is coming to LA, but I don’t count chicks until they hatch. I think Kiffin is a good recruiter and I expect USC’s recruiting dominance to continue; if it does not it won’t have anything to do with the head coach. It will have to do with the rising prominence of other schools in the PAC-10 and SEC.
    It’s interesting to read on a slow Wednesday, but I don’t know how much the blow-by-blow of they-got-that-guy, we-got-this-guy matters in the final analysis. Sort of like the horserace coverage of national politics; the press is usually fixated on minor details and which candidate is up and which is down at a given moment, rather than tracing the arc of the entire campaign.
    USC is loaded with talent, and many of their recruits are listed at Rivals and elsewhere as five-star, blue-chip, can’t-miss kids. But I think about Clay Matthews, who had an outstanding rookie year for the Packers, after being a walk-on at SC. I think Matthews is every bit as good as Cushing, who won the defensive Rookie of the Year. Matthews is the guy who will rip the ball out and take it the other way for 6 on national TV, or make a huge sack or tackle. He just flat-out plays. But he wasn’t a sought-after recruit, even though he comes from a famous football family.
    USC (apparently) got Prater, and ND got Hendrix, but will either of those names matter in two years? Will it be someone no one is watching? There’s no way to know, which I guess is the reason for the blow-by-blow of who’s going where.
    Both ND and USC now have young, energetic, offensive-minded coaches. I don’t think we really got to see what Jeremy Bates wanted to do with the USC offense, since it was his first year, he had a freshman signal-caller, and there were key injuries all year. But I would agree that Kiffin likes to air it out. I wouldn’t say he’s pass-happy, as he called quite a few plays for Reggie Bush and LenDale White, for obvious reasons. But either way, none of the on-paper comparisons will matter as much as what happens when November rolls around and the Irish come to Los Angeles.
    And none of THAT matters at all compared to the news out of Haiti. God bless you all, and try to show your loved ones that they matter. Tomorrow is not promised.

  2. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Kyle I’m feeling your game but not your decision. Ask yourself do you see any of these SoCal receivers in the NFL contributing to their team’s success? Bush is a wide receiver playing running back and Keyshawn is retired! I’m looking at rosters across the league and I see Maurice Stovall, Arnez Battle, Jeff Samardjzia if he wanted to play. But I don’t know when was the last time I saw Mike Williams or even heard from him and Steve Smith can’t even hold Mike Floyd’s jock if he tried and Floyd’s still in college! Furthermore, make that 1 maybe 2 if they’re lucky, Heisman trophy winners bacause Bush will have to give his back.
    P.S. ask Lame Wiffin if they’re still allowed to lease you or your girlfriend that Land Rover you’ve always dreamed of having?

  3. seo - Jan 14, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Would anyone please recommend a good website to find accomodation in Spain. Should I be using the well known rental companies or is there an cheaper method to rent from the owners direct? Thankyou, Dave

  4. Jake - Jan 14, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Contact RobertG. He knows all that stuff.

  5. SEO - Jan 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Good Article. I’m looking forward to your next piece

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