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What just happened? A recruiting recap

Feb 3, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

Barring a miracle, the Irish look to have finalized their recruiting class, with 23 recruits joining the 2010 recruiting class.

If you weren’t up and following things from 7:00 AM EST on (or 4:00 AM for us unlucky saps that live on the West Coast), here’s a quick rundown of how the morning went.

The Early Shift:

The first faxes came in just around the 7:00 o’clock hour. Defensive lineman Bruce Heggie from Florida, QB Luke Massa from Cincinnati, and offensive lineman Tate Nichols from Kentucky were the first batch in, with Kentucky wide receiver Austin Collinsworth, Derek Roback, the athlete from Ohio, as well as Ohio quarterback Andrew Hendrix joining the party.

Before the first hour was over, three more names came rolling in with North Carolina linebacker Prince Shembo, wide receiver and South Bend native Daniel Smith, and Ohio tight end Alex Welch. Shembo’s fax was especially nice to hear for Irish fans, as he had wavered a bit when Charlie Weis was fired.

Those nine combined with the already enrolled freshman defensive backs Chris Badger from Utah, Spencer Boyd and Lo Wood of Florida, Illinois quarterback Tommy Rees and Georgia wideout Tai-ler Jones.

Sixteen members down, in just the opening minutes of the morning

The Excellent Coverage:

For those of us that were watching, we also got our first look at the early enrollee freshman, who broke into offensive and defensive groups to do interviews with UND’s Jack Nolan. It was fun to see players for the first time as sleepy college students, dressed like every other varsity athlete in baggy issue-gear, doing their best to balance school, lifting, and sleep, not to mention the fish-out-of-water experience of moving into a dorm at mid-term and jump starting their college career.

It was also a nice touch adding in interviews with Kapron Lewis-Moore and Manti Te’o, two high-profile players that had pretty memorable Signing Day experiences.

Brian Kelly sat down for an early check-in with Jack, and his background in politics was immediately recognizable.

“The early returns are in and we’re pulling our base,” Kelly said. “The Cincinnati area guys — Luke Massa, Tate Nichols, Andrew Hendrix, Austin Collinsworth, Alex Welch. Now we’re starting to get some of the other guys from other areas, like Prince Shembo. I think we’ve done well early in the process with guys we think can contribute to what we’re going to be doing.”

Matt James Lands at Notre Dame:

The biggest news of the day for the Irish was the signing of Matt James. James had come down to Ohio State and Notre Dame, and apparently chose the Irish last night before faxing in his paper work just after 9:00 AM. He gives the Irish a true left tackle, something that’s plagued the Irish for the last few years.

But before the James announcement, the Irish received faxes from Illinois lineman Christian Lombard, New Jersey wide receiver Bennett Jackson, and Florida defensive tackle Louis Nix. Lombard has been committed to the Irish for a long time, and is far from an afterthought in offensive line recruiting, even though James’ decision stole the show. Jackson also looks like he’ll be a player that’ll bring quickness and speed to the offense, and could do very well in the slot of Brian Kelly’s spread.

And beside James, Louis Nix’s signature is one that should make Irish fans the happiest. Any commit that makes a decision to come to Notre Dame without knowing the head coach is truly picking a school for the right reasons, and should be a fan favorite. 

Following up the James announcement, linebacker Kendall Moore’s fax arrived at a quarter past nine. He’s another big time defensive recruit that has the ability to play both inside and outside linebacker. Another blue-chip athlete, this one recruited only by Brian Kelly and his staff joins the fray, with Danny Spond of Littleton, Colorado officially signing with the Irish. Spond was widely recognized as the best athlete playing high school football in Colorado.

The West Coast Faxes arrive:

Two California commitments sent their letters-of-intent into The Gug. Linebacker Justin Utupo, an All-State defensive lineman as a high schooler that was also named Lineman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times sent his fax in around 7:30 Pacific time. Running back Cameron Roberson sent his fax around an hour later, the powerful ball-carrier now the sole running back prospect with Giovanni Bernard deciding to go to North Carolina instead of the Irish.

Irish running back coach Tim Hinton sat down with Jack Nolan and got visibly excited when talking about Roberson. Also sitting down with Nolan were defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, who once again broke down the intricacies of the 3-4 defense, as well as offensive line coach Ed Warinner, outside linebackers coach Kerry Cooks, and defensive backs coach Chuck Martin. Each one of them was a polar opposite from former defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, who certainly wouldn’t win a Mr. Sunshine pageant.

Finally, the Irish received a fax from defensive lineman Kona Schwenke of Hawaii, who became the 23rd recruit and 18th signee from today. Schwenke was a first-team All-State selection that already stands 6-foot-5 and 225-pounds, which gives him plenty of frame to grow into.

The Ones That Got Away:

It wasn’t all good news for the Irish, as some high profile targets decided to go elsewhere. Elite linebacker Christian Jones chose Florida State over Notre Dame live on ESPN, and after looking at the reaction of his father, it was clear that the elder was rooting for his son to play football for the Seminoles, his alma mater.

Likewise Ego Ferguson chose LSU on television, picking the Tigers over the Irish and a few other finalists, to the delight of his family and friends, a few of them dressed with his name printed across their chest.

Illinois safety Corey Cooper chose Nebraska over the Irish and a few other teams, but there were reports that after Charlie Weis was fired, Cooper cooled on the Irish and the new coaching staff cooled on him.

As it stands, the Irish are waiting on safety Dietrich Riley and lineman Seantrel Henderson, two recruits that still consider the Irish as finalists, but don’t realistically have a shot.

All in all, a successful day for Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame football program. There were no defections on Signing Day, and the Irish were able to nab the top recruit on their board, signing Matt James away from the home state Buckeyes. 


  1. Sgt. Moon - Feb 9, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Blah blah blah blah blah blah………
    What does any of your posts have to do with playing football at Notre Dame?
    Do you even take yourself seriously?

  2. robertg - Feb 10, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    1. petey and his staff at usc took us seriously enough to flee usc for the nfl before the ncaa announces its sanctions against usc on 2/21/2010, sanctions which we forced the ncaa to announce by our big wins against the ncaa in the civil courts, for which we have posted the case citations and online links right here at notre dame central so that any really honest and intelligent person could verify the truth of the facts that we have posted right here at notre dame central.
    2. the persons and entities involved in the enron and mci worldcom con operations did not take us seriously at 1st, but we whacked them all with our civil rico cases and took all of their material possesions.
    3 just as one example, jp morgan, the giant investment banking firm, which underwrote the mci worldcom stock offering, turned down our offer to settle with them for $200 mill early in that civil rico litigation, thinking that they could spend us into defeat with legions of expensive defense attorneys.
    when jp morgan finally decided to settle, they had to pay us $2 bill.
    4. all of this information is easily verifiable on the internet.
    5. the fundamental problem with notre dame football has never been the coaching of charlie and his staff or any lack of hard work, talent, and preparation by notre dame’s student athletes.
    6. the problems stem from the fact that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes have always played by the rules and been temporarily cheated out of many wins by the current corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, rankings, and bcs systems which have turned college football into the massive nationwide con operation that it now is and has been for several seasons.
    7. by cleaning the corruption out of college football and replacing the current systems with honest transparent 21st century high tech systems fully accountable to the public, we are making the world of college football safe and honest for notre dame and for charlie and his staff.
    8. we have done the same thing with certain corrupt and dishonest elements in the legal systems of california and every other states with the efects that the access of the public to real justice has been vastly improved and will only continue to get better.
    9. for anyone who does not want to check the facts, they have made their own decisions and will live with the inevitable extremely adverse economic consequences.
    10. for anyone who actually checks out the facts and still cannot understand what we are doing has to do with notre dame football and the university of notre dame, we suggest a brain transplant.
    11. we know that most of these fraudulent vicious personal attacks on me come from certain people who have vested financial interests in in keeping their dishonest and very large cash flows coming in from naive notre dame fans whose money they have been fraudulently taking for many years.
    12. they are justifiably afraid of us and have seen their cash flows decline.
    13. therefore, they keep throwing the same fraudulent garbage at me, hoping to reduce the cancellations which have been pouring in to their so called notre dame fan sites.
    14. we are not backing down, any more than we did when jp morgan threw thousands of high priced defense attorneys at us, along with the usual ad hominen attacks and personal threats before jp morgan finally shelled out $2 bill to settle in the mci worldcom civil rico cases.
    16. these days, when we come across business scams involving jp morgan and other firms which were involved in the enron and/or mci worldcom cases, we just gather the evidence, sent it to the members of the board of directors and they just pay us what we demand and clean the corruption out of their companies, proceses with which we assist them as high tech business consultants, not by acting as their attorneys.
    17. for anyone who is determined to find out the hard way, you have made or will make your decisions and live with the economic consequences.
    18. for people who simply do not have the time to check out the facts to make informed decisions, standing aside and watching what happens is a very intelligent option.
    19. if any of these vicious personal attacks on me had any real bases in fact, those posters would have had the guts and the courage to post their real names and identies and backgrounds online right here at notre dame central, just as i have on many occasions.
    GO IRISH!!!

  3. Keith Arnold - Feb 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Guys —
    Bury this, will you? RobertG, we get your points, very clearly. Everybody else, don’t poke the beehive.

  4. grandpashyena - Feb 10, 2010 at 3:37 PM


  5. Sgt. Moon - Feb 10, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Keith, I understand your frustation regarding Robertg. He makes himself an easy target.It’s very difficult not to comment on his posts. I don’t have any idea what he is talking about, but neither does he.
    I would like a couple of questions answered from Robert. What makes Charlie Weis firing illegal? And how is he, Robert, going to get Weis’s job back? I have more questions for Robert, but I would settle for these two if he would answer them. In plain English please.
    He’s entertaining… In a weird kind of way.
    Also, I would consider posting my real name and background, but I am afraid he would show up at my house.

  6. robertg - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    1. we do not engage in physical violence, unless the opposition intitiates physical violence.
    2. we do engage in economic violence in the civil courts and, as we have stated many times in our posts, we will have no difficulty at all obtaining, by civil court subpoenas, the real names and identities of every person who has posted anything at notre dame central.
    3. every single person who has posted civilly actionable statements directed at me or at us will definitely be seeing one of our process servers at their homes or places of business.
    4. these are choices that certain people made of the own free wills after being repeatedly warned in our posts.
    5. for anyone who just disgrees with us and has so stated in any posts, those individuals do not have anything to be concerned about.
    6. however, those who have intentionally posted material which is civilly actionable will defenitely be seeing our process servers and our civil lawsuits and the very unpleasant economic consequences that go along with all civil litigations.
    GO IRISH!!!

  7. Terry - Feb 15, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Cher Robertg;
    I speak for myself and perhaps for others when I venture to tell you that you have entirely too much discretionary time on hand. And your dislike for Brian Kelly is a matter of record by now, as I am certain you must know. I concede that the occasional tome is interesting and informative, but the majority of them are wordy and boring.
    The diagnosis is simple – you take yourself entirely too seriously. This can lead to ulcers, turf-toe, and – if you’re lucky – the occasional denizen of cyberspace such as myself writing you from the anonymity of cyberspace with some (unsolicited) advice: Read ‘The Coming of Jeeves’ by P.G. Wodehouse. Wodehouse was the English humorist who created the fictional character Jeeves the Butler. My sainted pappy many years ago (don’t ask) introduced me to the work of this gentle genius and I have been reading his works for more than 50 years now.
    His most memorable quote? “All work and no play makes Jack a peh-bah-pom-bahoo!”
    You can thank me later

  8. David Price - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    I think your blog is great. I just added you to my Yahoo News Reader. Found it on Google though. I love the suggestions and just trying to wrap my head around it, it’s mind boggling. Thanks

  9. DocHR - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    Keith: I understand your desire to not block anyone from posting, but robertg is a distraction to everyone. Yes, I can scroll past him, and do, but when I get to another poster, they’ve taken on robertg, and I’m just wasting my time on this blog because it’s hard to pick out the posts that are talking about NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL. Your articles are really good, and the coverage during the season just right (especially the video replays). But the site loses credibility because of the amateurish rantings of robertg.

  10. Shazamrock - Mar 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    I find it interesting to read many points of view. While robertpg
    seems to be well informed he lacks decent blog protocal by constantly monopolizing this web site for his own self indulgents. Most say what they have to say then give the podeum to another.
    Who numbers all their points (and brother are ther many) that they have to say. Does he talk like that in public?
    It’s like the Seinfeld episode with Jimmy who speaks in the third person.
    Jimmy doesn’t like robertcd, robertpd irritates Jimmy. Every time robertrc, posts on of his overbearing rants, Jimmy gets mad. A mad Jimmy is a bad Jimmy.

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