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Friday notes: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting

May 21, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

It seems like many of you are searching for recruiting news. There are plenty of places out there on the net to get your fix, but it might cost you ten bucks a month. It’s money well worth it at a few different sites if you want to know who’s visiting who, and when it’s happening, otherwise you’re stuck with me. I’ll do my best to keep up with the ins and outs of recruiting better over the summer months. 

That said, there’s some great free information out there, too. Brian Smith’s blog over at has been some great reading the past few weeks, and earlier in the week he put together a  great run down of Notre Dame’s recruiting targets and who is likely to receive a scholarship offer this summer, and who might even be ready to pull the trigger and commit. 

Here’s a taste:

Two recruits that appear to be the best bets to commit to ND by early
July should not surprise anyone.  Both of the Dixie products do not
hide their affinity for Notre Dame.

Ben Councell, OLB, 6-5, 220, Asheville, N.C.,
(Reynolds) — It’s rare to find linebackers with a knack for defending
the pass.  Councell’s proficiency within that particular area makes him
more than just an ordinary linebacker target.  The height and wing span
will also help Councell adapt to the college game.  Councell plans to
roam through North Carolina to visit a few schools before sojourning to
Notre Dame this summer.

Aaron Lynch,
DE, 6-6, 245, Cape Coral, Fla., (Island Coast) — If Lynch inhabits the
Notre Dame campus during the month of June, as he plans to do, that
will likely be enough for him to conclude his recruitment.  Perhaps
Lynch will need further proof that Notre Dame should be his future alma
mater, but do not expect him to drag his recruitment out past this

There’s plenty more to dig through, so those of you that are getting on me about recruiting news, that’s one good place to look.


While the info isn’t free, Tim Prister of IrishIllustrated takes a look at outside linebacker recruiting. It’s a key position for this year’s recruiting class, with the depth chart heavy on upperclassmen right now. 

From Prister:

Smith and Neal are in their final years of eligibility,
and Fleming and Filer begin the home stretch of their two remaining
seasons with the Irish. The only other scholarship outside linebacker in
the spring was sophomore Dan Fox, who did not play as a rookie in ’09.

Help is on the way with the freshman class that
arrives for summer school next month. But it’s uncertain as to exactly
which of the incoming freshmen will play outside linebacker. Danny Spond
appears to be the most likely candidate.

In other words, by the time any of the names on
Notre Dame’s outside linebacker recruiting list would arrive in South
Bend to begin their collegiate careers, Smith and Neal would be gone,
Fleming and Filer would be in their final years of eligibility, and Fox
and the freshmen would just be getting started.

Translation: the Irish need at least two outside
linebackers in the 2011 recruiting class, and a third probably wouldn’t

Currently, there are six outside linebacker
prospects on Irish Illustrated’s defensive master list. They are Clay
Burton from Venice, Fla., Anthony Chickillo from Tampa, Fla., Ben
Councell from Asheville, N.C., Christian French from Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
Anthony Rabasa from Miami, Fla., and Ishaq Williams from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Irish would be happy with any one of these guys (or two), and will likely have their shot with most of them. Burton has the Irish in his top two behind leader Clemson, but will be visiting the Irish this June and already has his official visit set for September 11th versus Michigan. He’s also got Tony Alford recruiting him, so the Irish have to feel good about their chances.

Chickillo has the most impressive offer list of any of the players and is the son of former Miami Hurricane Tony Chickillo. He lacks the size of some of the other guys, but he’s as close to a ready-made football player as the Irish will find. He plans to visit the Irish this summer with his dad and again Tony Alford is on the case.

Councell is a long and lanky player, at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds he has some growing into his body to do, but he’s got a high ceiling and is a raw athlete that has elite speed and is a great student. He lacks the offers that most of the other OLB targets have, but certainly fits the big-skill mold Kelly looks for in edge players.

Speaking of raw athletes, Christian French is one of the more intriguing ones out there. The Iowa native has been clocked in the 4.4s, ridiculous when you see his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame. French logged a 11.18 100 meter time at the prestigious Drake Relays, so his wheels seem legit. His offers are mostly Midwestern, and his position is still in question, but if properly coached up, French could turn into a freakish player off the edge. 

Rabasa hails from Miami, playing in a premiere conference and putting up silly numbers. At 6-foot-3, he doesn’t have ideal height, but he’s a terror on the football field, the kind of guy that Brian Kelly and company are making a priority to get. Rabasa has guaranteed Notre Dame an official visit this fall, and he’s already comfortable playing the outside backer position in the 3-4, something he does in high school.

Williams is a truly national recruit, and his raw skill set has colleges coast to coast offering the Brooklyn product. He’s playing things close to the vest, hasn’t scheduled a visit to Notre Dame yet, but would be a major get for the Irish if they can manage to reel him in.


While it isn’t Freekbass, our friends over at pulled up a cool video that unearthed a tradition that I didn’t know about either: The Irish Trumpets.

It’s not my favorite Irish video, but it’s a really well put together clip that highlights another great tradition. And it won’t get you laughed at by your work colleagues, so that’s a plus.

  1. Joe R - May 21, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Anyone who is an ND football fan and been to the campus knows about this tradition. It is shocking a writer covering ND would not know of this and numerous other Band traditions.

  2. Keith Arnold - May 21, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Joe – Sorry to disappoint you. I’ve been to plenty of Notre Dame football games as both a student and a writer, and I’ve never been too up to speed on the traditions of the band. Hope it isn’t too shocking, but I’m more interested in the football.

  3. Don R - May 21, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Been a die-hard fan since 69-70..lived in SB my whole life, Probably haven’t missed 10 plays since 1970..& I’ve never once heard of this band tradition..But it is cool..

  4. willy d - May 21, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Sorry Joe, I’m with Don, 84 grad and annual game visitor for 25 years- never heard of it. But i’ll look for it now- that was awesome. Good summary Keith. OLB is such a key position for us and these seem like some quality recruits.

  5. Ray - May 21, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    Notre Dame fans have to brace themselves for the reality that the 2011 recruiting class could be as small as 18. In a year in which I would have thought that a kicker and a quarterback were luxuries that we could not afford, Coach Kelly and his staff seem intent on signing one of each. With five defensive linemen absolute necessities in my book (only two fully grown defensive linemen recruited in the last two years), we can afford only one more linebacker and one safety, and that still leaves us with room for only one wide receiver and two cornerbacks, assuming we have to sign at least one running back. And subtract one from all that if offensive lineman Richardson is too good to pass up. Remember, nine spots are gone already.
    And let’s not hope for attrition (e.g., Ragone, Rudolph, Floyd). With everybody back, 2012 is our first legitimate shot in years at a national championship. I address recruiting issues on my Web site and blog, All are invited.

  6. Joe D. - May 24, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    How can you NOT get chills listening to that?!

  7. Shazamrock - May 25, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    That more than makes up for that train wreck of a video “We are ND”
    Simple, well done, and classy.

  8. DocHR - May 27, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Great video, thanks for posting! (I’ve been going to games since 1968 and have had season tickets since the stadium expansion, and never heard of this tradition.)

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