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Lynch u-turns again, Irish visit on tap

Jan 7, 2011, 6:07 PM EDT

Aaron Lynch

The recruiting saga of Aaron Lynch, one-time Irish commitment, recent Florida State pledge, and soon to be early-enrollee, has taken another u-turn. And this time, it appears it’s in the Irish’s favor.

The last time the Irish and the Seminoles battled for a recruit like this, the guy ended up in the UFL.

Well, maybe we’re skipping a little too far ahead in the story, but Notre Dame fans have to remember the epic recruiting battle for the five-star running back Lorenzo Booker, who had all but committed to the Irish when a last second phone call to Booker by a Seminoles’ assistant coach flipped his decision. As Irish fans looked on in horror, Booker put on a Florida State hat on ESPN, squirting lemon in the eye of both Ty Willingham’s coaching staff and members of ND Nation everywhere.

That Booker never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season at Florida State, bounced out of the NFL to the UFL before resurfacing in Minnesota this season as a kick returner isn’t the point. The point is that Notre Dame and Florida State are once again engaged in battle royal for a blue-chip recruit, and the Irish just might have pulled the rug out from under the Seminoles at the eleventh hour.

As reported early today, Lynch has defied all odds and decided to schedule a recruiting visit to Notre Dame for next weekend. Just days after “getting closure” with wide receivers coach Tony Alford, Lynch has gone the other direction, giving Irish fans reason to salivate that Notre Dame could add Stephon Tuitt, Lynch, and potentially Ishaq Williams to their front seven from the US Army All-American rosters in San Antonio.

Catching up with Lynch in San Antonio, just four days after getting the closure comments from the talented defensive end, here’s what Lynch had to say to Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated:

“I’m all screwed up right now,” Lynch said. “That’s all I gotta say. I’m all screwed up right now.”

Adding to the dilemma, Lynch’s early enrollment at Florida State is seemingly all but off the table, with the spring semester starting in Tallahassee on January 4th.

As for the legendary status of Alford among ND recruitniks, this quote is sure to go to the top of Alford’s resume.

“It’s not like he’s been staying on me, he’s just been a father figure throughout the whole thing,” Lynch said. “He’s just been there the whole time, just talking to me. They’ve just been by my side the whole time. They haven’t given up. A lot of colleges, ‘Oh we don’t have a chance. Well, if you say this we’re going to stop.’ Notre Dame didn’t care, they just kept coming and coming and coming.”

(Score another one against the myth that Brian Kelly and his staff wouldn’t be good recruiters.)

Outside of Alford’s dogged work, you’ve got to wonder what factor Lynch’s arbitrary workout outfit played in this entire swing. If you ever believed in the power of Twitter, consider that early on in San Antonio, Lynch was spotted wearing an ND workout shirt to practice, forcing one writer (this guy) to point and wonder on Twitter. Follow the chain to Sampson, who was actually in San Antonio and spoke with Lynch, who at the time said there was no chance he was coming to South Bend. Who knows what happened after that, but it ended with Lynch scheduling a visit to South Bend next weekend, just days before Notre Dame starts classes and Lynch hypothetically enrolls in school.

Of course, there’s likely a few more twists and turns to this story and Lynch’s decision to visit is far from him actually committing to Notre Dame. As we saw with Booker, these stories often times are anti-climatic. But for the time being, we can all thank Aaron Lynch for keeping things interesting…

  1. whisk3yjack - Jan 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Aside from the A+ recruiting of Alford, methinks Lynch has enjoyed playing opposite Tuitt, and wants to do it for the next 4-5 years for the Irish.

    Can you imagine what our pass rush would be like with Tuitt, Nix, and Lynch on the line, and Ishaq Williams flying off the edge at OLB?

    I think we have a good shot at Brennan Scarlett as well, given USC’s late season swoon and Harbaugh’s bolting for Stanford. Would that give us the best defensive recruiting class in the nation?

    • whisk3yjack - Jan 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Scarlett just committed to Cal. Probably for the best, considering he suffered serious season-ending injuries the last 3 years in a row.

  2. tlndma - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    With some of his grandpas ashes at ND and his mom,I believe in ND’s camp, plus classes already started at FSU, things look good for ND. Reports of his abilities on the field, from San Antonio, have been raves.
    This whole process must be a lot harder for some of these kids, than you or I would think. Ishaq Williams, narrowed his choices down to three schools a month or two ago. Now reports are he still might not be able to pull the trigger tomorrow. He too is another kid that wants to early enroll, that means he should have his bags just about packed, but for where? Is another couple days going to reveal something as yet unknown about a school? What factors will ultimately decide the issue in these kid’s minds?

  3. papadec - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    It makes me proud to see/hear a recruit say “he’s just been a father figure throughout the whole thing…” That says a lot to me about the character of the recruiting staff – treating the kids like human beings, helping them to make a very important decision – not some piece of meat. Whether this kid comes to ND is not as important as how the recruiting staff is perceived by the families now and in the future. That’s my opinion. Thank you Tony Alford for polishing, not tarnishing, the Dome.

  4. 1historian - Jan 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    I hope the kid picks ND and I hope it works for him – on the field and off.

  5. fightinmad35 - Jan 8, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Tough decisions for a very young person to make. I honestly think this young man sees more minutes at ND than at FSU. FSU is reclaiming Florida in a big way recruiting and Lynch is no fool. Not to mention ND has a lot of talent players in the allstar game today, coming off a surprisingly successful season, with a team full of talented and very young players… I’d seriously consider ND if I were a high level recruit. BK has already shown that he will play the best players regardless of experience level. I hope he chooses the Irish but won’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

  6. borromini - Jan 9, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Now it’s inched a bit closer to resolution as Lynch stated after the Army all-star game that he has now decommited from FSU.

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