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Lynch makes it official: Back with the Irish

Jan 15, 2011, 5:25 PM EDT

Aaron Lynch Army Bowl

With his name joining the school directory on Notre Dame’s official website this morning, it was only a matter of time before he made it official. And this afternoon, he did: Aaron Lynch is (once again) committed to Notre Dame.

The good news for Brian Kelly and his staff? Lynch is staying in South Bend, and will attend classes on Tuesday, thus ending a roller-coaster recruitment that will go down in history as one of the bigger wins for Notre Dame in the internet recruiting era.

Lynch’s commitment to Notre Dame is the culmination of a startling turn of events that kicked off when Lynch decided to wear a Notre Dame t-shirt to a workout in San Antonio during U.S. Army All-American week. When asked about the sartorial choice, Lynch insisted it meant nothing, but did express regret with the way he handled his initial de-commitment  from Notre Dame, which happened right after the loss to Tulsa.

But from that day on, luck turned for the Irish, winning their final four games of the season before taking that momentum into recruiting. Lynch will join defensive end Stephon Tuitt at defensive end, and the newly pledged Ishaq Williams as a quarterback tormentor, bringing three elite pass-rushing threats to South Bend in the same recruiting class, a defensive haul that hasn’t been seen in twenty years, when Vinny Cerrato and Lou Holtz were in charge.

Lynch is the 22nd recruit in the 2011 class and arguably its most important. He dominated play at the Army Bowl with his speed and strength and adds an elite pass-rusher with the ability to grow into a true 3-4 defensive end. He’ll immediately join strength coach Paul Longo’s system and being transforming into a defender that can help immediately.

  1. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jan 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Our D is gonna be so……badass. Suddenly Swarbrick’s 2012 schedule doesn’t seem so intimidating.

  2. borromini - Jan 15, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Love the reference to the Holtz/Cerrato hauls from the late 80’s / early 90’s. Would be nice to see the dawn of a similar era.

  3. leroyjenkins31 - Jan 15, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    We’re gonna have a starting front 7 of epic proportions in 2012… Teo, Williams, Lynch and Tuitt!

  4. ndfootballfan4life - Jan 15, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    where does Nix fit into with all these top defensive recruits now coming in? Wasn’t Nix one of the top recruits in ND’s 2010 class?

    • ndbcs2013 - Jan 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM

      I think Nix is still an absolutely critical piece to ND’s future D success. He’s a 350 lb. monster that should anchor the line and be an anti-run tank in the middle. These other guys are the speed rushers that ND had really been lacking for a while, though Fleming and Shembo started to apply more pressure last year. Gotta have both the monster space eaters and the speed freaks on the edge. And I CAN’T WAIT to see ND develop into an elite defense!!

      • ndfootballfan4life - Jan 16, 2011 at 1:42 AM

        thanks, dont know much about Nix, just know hes got alot of hype and hope he doesnt get forgotten with these guys coming in…

      • tedlinko - Jan 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        @ndbcs2013. Don’t worry about that. If there’s one thing we know about BK it’s that he’ll play the guys who earn it. If Nix’ performance matches the hype, he’ll be in there.

        I think the reason you didn’t hear much about him since recruiting season last year is that BK chose not to burn a year of eligibility on this guy.

        That’s another difference between the current regime and the last — strategic long-term thinking. Weis came from the pros where you’ve got 53 guys on the roster and you play whomever you need to, depending on circumstance. But in doing that he wasted years of eligibility on several guys who didn’t make any significant impact as freshmen.

      • bostonjan - Jan 16, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        I’ve read that Nix spend a very valuable year developing his body for this position; and I recall coach Kelly specifically mentioning him in several interviews as doing a great job.

    • whisk3yjack - Jan 16, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      If you’re concerned about these new recruits burying Nix on the depth chart, you shouldn’t. In a 3-4 defense, Nose Tackles and Defensive Ends aren’t interchangeable; Nose Tackles like Nix have to be massive human beings, while DEs tend to be smaller and faster.

      The prospect of Tuitt, Nix, and Lynch on our line with Williams rushing from the Cat position is enough to make me salivate.

  5. vegasmark - Jan 15, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    BIA, you say???

  6. ndbcs2013 - Jan 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Crazy thing – and something I don’t ever remember in recruiting, and certainly not at ND – is that these two guys, Lynch and Williams, both make their decisions and then both will START CLASSES at ND just a couple days later. Thus fantastically improving the likelihood of each of them having impact on the field as freshmen because of the benefits of spring practice and conditioning.

    Following recruiting closely can drive you insane, but this is shaping up to be a great, and VERY important, defensive haul for ND. Kelly basically said that he can scheme a great offense with average players, but that he has got to recruit real talent on defense in order to be successful on that side of the ball. I love the clarity of purpose and strategic thinking that he brings to all things, and he is executing his defensive recruiting battle plan perfectly this year!

    • bostonjan - Jan 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM

      Don’t forget Carrico as a 3rd Early Enrollee and another awesome “power” DE. Add DEs Ethan Johnson + Kona Schwenke plus Kendall Moore (who saved a year of eligibility) = incredible depth and talent at the DE position with Springman developing in the wings.

      At OLB we have Fleming, Flier, Shembo being complemented by Tuitt, Ishaq Williams, Spond (I think).

      At ILB we have Manti and Calabrese being backed by McDonald with Councell, Rabassa, and Grace coming in and pressing for playing time.

      Coach Kelly said his top priority for recruiting was to develop speed and depth on defense – esp at the edges. I’d say that he has exceeded this goal.

      Breasts!!!! Now let’s review the improvement of the secondary……….

      • whisk3yjack - Jan 17, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        You’re incorrect on what position most of those players player. But I do agree with your “Breasts!!!!” comment.

      • bostonjan - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:42 PM

        Ooooops – meant to type “Beasts”. Not sure which player will play which position – impaired with excitement at this incoming class….

        ….just read that Chase Hounshell (DL or OL) committed to the Irish – just keeps getting better and better. Filling needs at every position. I still expect to see Savon Huggins (RB Power Beast) and Troy Niklas go Irish by signing day.

  7. papadec - Jan 15, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Does anyone know which of the other 20 commits will be joining Lynch & Williams for classes & Spring football this week? Seems to me that I saw others were going to do so, as they made their commits known. Thanks.

    • bostonjan - Jan 16, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      5 total early enrollees – I’ve heard that Lynch, Williams, Carrico, and Brindza are sharing a quad AND Golson is sharing a room with Theo Riddick.

  8. notredave - Jan 16, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    @ papadec

    I know that Everett Golson is coming in early as well. This class will win the National Championship!!

    • papadec - Jan 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      Absolutely – 2012 or 2013 or both? GO IRISH !!!!!!!!!!

      • bostonjan - Jan 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        At the risk of jinking us, I see AT LEAST a 9-3 record and BCS Bowl for this upcoming 2011 season – barring serious injuries (aka 2010) – given the influx of talent, return of Michael Floyd, and another year of internalizing the coaches’ schemes. Given the turmoil/changes at opponents’ programs (Mich, Pitt, USC, USC, MD, Stanford), better than 9-3 is not kool-aid induced optimism, IMO.

        2012 and 2013 should be riveting. I dare not dream about the upcoming years…..

        Wake up the echos, GO IRISH.

  9. rcali - Jan 16, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Something tells me that this one isn’t going to end well. Seems a bit unstable.

    • borromini - Jan 17, 2011 at 12:31 AM

      Nah…once he’s enrolled in classes and gets settled, there won’t be any issues.

      • irishbornraised - Dec 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM


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