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Recruiting update: Quarterback carousel needs to come up Irish

May 17, 2010, 10:00 PM EDT

(Good work by those loyal readers who caught the lack of recruiting update in my AM column this morning… You’ll be rewarded with eternal consciousness, or something equally awesome.)

If there’s a lack of recruiting news, it’s because the Irish coaching staff is blanketing the country during the May evaluation period, getting to the high schools of as many potential recruits as possible.

Here’s the breakdown of the coaching staff and their recruiting regions, just to give you a look into the territories they each cover.

Tony Alford: Central Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Colorado
Kerry Cooks: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona
Mike Denbrock: California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Dakotas, Montana, Idaho
Bob Diaco: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire
Mike Elston: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, South Florida
Tim Hinton: Southern Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Florida
Charley Molnar: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia
Ed Warinner: Northern Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas

If you’ve followed the ins and outs of recruiting at all, this isn’t necessarily a hard and fast breakdown of things. Specifically, Kelly looks to be using his coordinators as recruit-specific guys, doing the same with position coaches working to build relationships with players they’ll be hopefully coaching. Both Molnar and Diaco drop in and out, elevating the importance of a visit, especially during the spring period, when head coaches are unable to take trips.

While there are plenty of positions of need, expect the recruitment of a quarterback to take center stage until the Irish receive a verbal commitment. Here’s a look at the quarterbacks that are candidates to join the uncertain depth chart behind Dayne Crist.

KIEHL FRAZIER — Springdale, Arkansas: Frazier is a truly national recruit, with offers from coast to coast. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback, beating teams with his legs, rocket arm, and even making plays on defense. (Don’t believe me, check out the highlight tape from his personal website.) Frazier seems high on the Irish and Kelly right now, but he and his father are playing things close to the vest, and he’ll see how the cards fall with other elite quarterbacks before making a commitment.

BRAXTON MILLER — Huber Heights, Ohio: Miller profiles as the top prep quarterback in the state of Ohio and he has an offer from the in-state Buckeyes, usually a pretty good sign that a QB is going to end up in Columbus. While Kelly and Miller have known each other since Kelly’s Cincinnati days, it’s looking less and less like Miller will end up in blue and gold next season.

BUBBA STARLING — Gardner, Kansas: If there’s a front-runner for the quarterback spot, it’s Starling, who has already visited Notre Dame twice this spring. That said, while the Irish are in good shape for the dual-threat quarterback’s pledge, Starling’s status as one of the top prospects in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft complicates things. Baseball America profiles Starling as a Top-50 prospect, and depending on his commitment to college football, he could be taken in the top two rounds.

MARQUISE WILLIAMS — Charlotte, NC: While Williams hasn’t set foot on the Notre Dame campus, he’s put the Irish in his top five along with Virginia Tech, North Carolina, LSU and MIchigan. He’s another stud quarterback that has elite offers, a dual-threat signal-caller that is a truly national recruit.

JUSTIN WORLEY — Rock Hill, SC: Worley is the most recent quarterback offer of Kelly and company, and they’ll compete with LSU, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida and Florida State for his signature. The Irish have to gain ground on on both the Tigers and the Vols, but they’ve got Tony Alford and offensive coordinator Charley Molnar on the case as they push for a visit from Worley this summer.  

  1. teberle - May 18, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    Bubba Starling and Kiehl Frazier are my choices. Does anyone believe we would take both of them? I rather doubt that will happen.
    Bubba is one heck of a prospect, but the baseball situation is a concern. With him, I would see the strong possibility that ND would be left with nothing should Bubba jump to baseball even after being at ND for a year or two.
    That leads me to believe the safest bet would be Kiehl Frazier. I am interested to see what the rest of you think about this situation.

  2. Ray McConaghy - May 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    I haven’t yet seen film on Starling, but Teberle’s analysis is sound. Three quarterbacks (four with Spond) last year and a likely small recruiting class this year (maybe only 18) suggest one quarterback at most should be taken this year. Frazier looks like a young (Syracuse days) Donovan McNabb to me, a perfect fit for Kelly’s offense. But he also looked VERY GOOD in those few shots of him on defense. Like Andrew Hendrix, he better beware! Coach Diaco will be lobbying to switch him to defense!
    The fact that a top quarterback is even considering Notre Dame this year after its three-quarterback haul last year is remarkable and a compliment to Coach Kelly and his staff.

  3. Sgt. Moon - May 22, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Frazier looks like a great fit for ND. Great arm, moves well to get out of trouble in the backfield and is very accurate, at least on his hi-lite reel.
    I do wonder what the competition was like. A kid can play great in college and it doesn’t carry over to the NFL. I think the same can be said from high school to college. The competition gets a little tougher. I am not saying that this is the case with Frazier because he does look very good. Looks like he puts the ball right where his receivers want it

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