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Irish lose Barr to UCLA

Jan 22, 2010, 7:30 AM EDT

One recruit doesn’t make the sky fall, but Irish fans are reeling after blue-chip athlete Anthony Barr committed to UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel yesterday, canceling his in-home visit with assistant coach Mike Denbrock and turning his back on a family legacy at Notre Dame.

Barr would’ve been the top recruit of Kelly’s first class, and while he’s still in on a handful of top-notch players, the loss of Barr to UCLA has to sting. While Barr’s mother went to St. Mary’s, and his father and uncle starred for the Irish football team, it just wasn’t enough to sway the projected safety/wide receiver/running back/athlete to South Bend.

Before people start calling Kelly to the carpet for missing on a sure-thing, it bears mentioning that Neuheisel had years to develop a relationship with Barr, and held the ultimate trump card — his son Jerry is Barr’s teammate and high school quarterback at Loyola High. Add to that the fact that Barr’s girlfriend is reportedly transferring to Westwood (internet gossip, not fact) and he only had a month-and-a-half to get to know the new coaching staff, and this isn’t that surprising.  

The beat goes on for Kelly though, as he visited other top-target Dietrich Riley, who reportedly posted on his Facebook page that things went “GREAT” with Coach Kelly. He’s also impressed the family of Seantrel Henderson in the past week, bringing by a XXL number 77 Irish jersey that got the family seriously thinking about Notre Dame. Kelly is also trying to organize one last recruiting push, getting a bunch of high-profile and uncommitted recruits to campus next weekend, just days before Signing Day.

  1. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    It’s O.K. Coach K at the end of the day I know you gave it the best shot you had with such little time to work with. You’re still putting ND in the best position to land and I beleive will land guys like J.R. Ferguson and or Christian Jones, Matt James and or Seantrell Henderson, Dietrich Riley and or Corey Cooper or Jeremy Ioane a kid who reminds me a lot of Troy Polomalu and is not even ranked by these recruiting services but plays the safety position and tackles better than most of the guys on ND’S roster last year not named TEO! Check out Jeremy Ioane’s highlights on you tube if you get a chance. But Coach K I have confidence will land by Feb.3 at least 4 least 4 if not all of these guys.

  2. Jake - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Yeah bad news about Barr but the worst news is this will bring out a major rant from Robertg.

  3. Jennifer - Jan 22, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    It was the girlfriend.

  4. Jake - Jan 22, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Bingo. At that age it’s always about the girl.
    Come to think of, at any age it’a about the girl. It’s why Im stuck in Ohio.

  5. TLNDMA - Jan 22, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Next weekend is supposed to be heavy with visits. Anyone know who’s coming?
    Just watched Jeremy Ioane on youtube. Kid plays liked he’s possessed. That would be a good get.

  6. Jennifer - Jan 22, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    We girls like that about ourselves.

  7. sharkey - Jan 22, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    No blame to Kelly or any commited recruits who decide to attend another school. Especially during a major leadership transition. If I were sought after by several major firms and the one I was going to fired all its top staff, I would certainly be looking at other offers.
    No blame to Kelly, either. He wasn’t even given the chance to present himself or his program. Tough for any coach under these circumstances. Good luck to Mr. Barr.

  8. Jake - Jan 22, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Way to late I figured that out. (Sigh). Next stop, Alabama.
    Lord have mercy!

  9. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 22, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    The players expected on campus for a visit are Jeremy Ioane (safety), Matt James (OT), teammate/quarterback Luke Massa, Christian Lombard (OT), Tate Nichols (OT), Daniel Smith (WR), Andrew Hendrix (QB), Austin Collinsworth (DB), and athlete Danny Spond.

  10. TLNDMA - Jan 22, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Have you seen film of Ioane or Spond, what did you think?

  11. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 22, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    I actually looked at a 10 min. highlight on Ioane and I think he is exactly everything ND needs in a safety and given Coach K’s rep as a developer of talent he could end up being a game-changer in the mold of a Troy Polomalu. Now that is the closest comparison I could draw because the two are similar in stature and the way they attack the ball but I’m not saying he’ll come in right away and make an impact like lets say Teo made last year. I have seen a little bit of film on Spond but it was as a QB and I wasn’t as impressed with him playing that position but with his size and athleticism I feel like he is better suited to play safety or linebacker in college even wideout depending on how good his hands are. But I don’t think he is a college QB and he says his first position of choice is to play QB at ND.

  12. TLNDMA - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    I thought the players playing agaist Ioane, on the film I watched, looked like they were afraid of him. He looked to be the kind of player that the other team wanted to avoid. I think he would be a great get.
    Spond is surely not being recuited as a Qb but, looks very athletic and could end up playing at multiple positions, TE LB S WR.

  13. Jan - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    “..too late to figure that out…” you and me both brother Jake!
    Best wishes to Anthony Barr (regardless of his final choice). He is the son of an alum and deserves our well wishes – as we would want for each other’s sons and daughters. Let’s be realistic folks, the college decision hopefully works out as an excellent match for each student including student-athletes. Those of us that have gone through the process with our offspring can appreciate the difficulty in reaching the final choice.
    Let’s remember as we talk about each targeted recruit, that we’re talking about individual living, breathing people. For us this is about a game. For them this is about their lives.
    Anthony had the benefit of the advice from two ND athletes that know both him and the institution from very close observation – the good and the bad, the pros and the cons. I trust that their guidance had more weight that a girlfriend’s influence.
    Then again when my son Phil was choosing colleges……..

  14. AJ Arko - Jan 23, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    It’s not all bad to finish the runner up. If the girl friend thing falls through or his gig at UCLA disspounts, ND must be high on his list for transferring.

  15. Carroll B. Merriman - Feb 7, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    I am loving yout dating adventures.

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