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Niklas down to USC and Notre Dame

Jan 27, 2011, 9:06 PM EDT

Troy Niklas

While the Irish already have a stockpile of them in this recruiting class, they’re chasing one more defensive end in recruit Troy Niklas, who is down to Notre Dame and USC as his college choices. He’ll make a decision after visiting Notre Dame this weekend.

Niklas, from Southern California powerhouse Servite High, is skipping a high school basketball game on Friday to take his official visit to South Bend, according to the Orange County Register.

While keeping a low profile in the online recruiting world, Niklas has been down to three schools, Stanford, USC, and Notre Dame for quite some time. But Niklas reported that he wasn’t accepted through admissions in Palo Alto, leaving the Trojans and Irish the only teams standing.

Earlier this month, Niklas was named the Los Angeles Times’ Lineman of the Year. Here’s more from the Times, who profiled Niklas:

From the moment Troy Niklas stepped on campus at Anaheim Servite, he had the look of a future All-American. He was physically imposing because of his size and willingness to work hard day and night. In the weight room, people would see him and predict greatness.

In his senior year, everything came together for the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Niklas, who has been chosen The Times’ lineman of the year.

He was a two-way starter, playing offensive guard and defensive tackle, and he was the player opposing teams had to try to neutralize. He came through again and again for Servite, which went 14-1 and won its second consecutive Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship.

The co-lineman of the year in the Trinity League, Niklas has scholarship offers from Stanford, Notre Dame and USC.

“He’s physically a dominant player,” Coach Troy Thomas said. “And I think he’s going to be a great college player.”

If the Irish land Niklas, that’ll make back-to-back L.A. Times linemen of the year, after Irish freshman Justin Utupo won the coveted award last year.

  1. oldestguard - Jan 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Hope he enjoys his visit and we hear some good news soon.

  2. scardino - Jan 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Well, nobody can say that Notre Dame will be wanting for decent defensive ends.

    • borromini - Jan 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      But the Irish are wanting in big athletic players and Niklas could become a valuable OL or TE rather than DE.

      • papadec - Jan 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Absolutely right. I expect some of them will become just that – by way of the weight room.

  3. tibeachguy - Jan 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Any word on Savon Huggins? Heard he was going to make his decision on the 28th, today?

    • scardino - Jan 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      He will announce at 5:00 pm ET today.

      • tibeachguy - Jan 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        Any hints out there?? Sure would like to see a top running back to ice the 2011 recruiting year….GO IRISH!!!

    • scardino - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      Rutgers, it is.

  4. scardino - Jan 28, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Most reports I have seen are giving Rutgers a slight edge but everyone is saying it is still a toss-up.

  5. 1historian - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Even if the total stays at 23 I would venture that those who questioned whether or not Coach Kelly and his staff had the ability to recruit at the top level have had their questions answered.

    Way to go, Coach.

  6. tibeachguy - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Damn, he did go Rutgers…..still a great recruiting class….GO IRISH!!

  7. papadec - Jan 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Not to sound like sour grapes – I never felt the Huggins family had any real interest in ND. I wish the kid the best of luck – playing in your backyard has its advantages. I’d rather get Niklas & the Long Snapper Haynes; plus fill the roster with the 5th year guys who have given blood, sweat & tears during the tough times, for the Irish. I expect one or two of our current QBs to transfer. There are some very strong RBs in the 2012 recruiting class.

  8. papadec - Feb 1, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Okotcha to Oklahoma, Haynes to OSU – any news on Niklas? Other final visit switches taking place around the country. Things are very noisy for a supposed “quiet” period. Anybody coming our way?

  9. salkinj - Feb 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    High School Spotlight Signing Day Special Live at 12pm on foxsportswest.com is when Troy will announce/make his decision.

    • papadec - Feb 1, 2011 at 11:50 PM

      Thank you. I was just wondering if anything came out after the visit – like Okotcha and his visit to OU, and some of the other last minute flips around the country. One advantage of being on the west coast is being able to see a few hours worth of the shows before going to work. Have to get up early – but still can see a few hours worth.

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