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Behind the scenes of Signing Day: Troy Niklas

Feb 7, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Thanks to some video by, here’s some great behind the scenes video of Troy Niklas, a member of Notre Dame’s incredible defensive line class.

After spending just five minutes with Troy and his family (in the video), it isn’t hard to understand why he’s such a high character kid and also why it was so hard for anybody to have a real understanding of where Troy was planning to go, all the way up until Signing Day morning.

Having an older brother go through the recruiting process probably helped the Niklas family keep the recruiting services at bay, part of why the decision was such a surprise for both ND fans and the coaching staff themselves, with a jovial Brian Kelly interrupting’s live coverage with the news that Niklas was chosing Notre dame.

As you can gather from the video, it sounds as if Niklas will enter Notre Dame with a shot to play on the defensive line as well as at tight end, helping to explain the ‘Big Skill’ designation. If Niklas adds enough weight to his frame, he’d also make an intriguing offensive tackle prospect, with his obvious athleticism and unteachable size giving the coaching staff plenty to work with.

  1. borromini - Feb 7, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Cool kid…no doubt the kind that fits at ND. I’m going to enjoy watching him play.

  2. notredave - Feb 7, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Wise choice son, wise choice. Go Irish!!

  3. oldestguard - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Definition of RKG.

    Nice to keep that Cal pipeline open and flowing.

  4. thepiper3 - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Seems like a high quality, high character kid that Will fit in very well at ND.

    From a football perspective its great to see a kid that just wants to get there and prove that he’s good enough to start….maybe TE, maybe DE, maybe OT….he just wants to play.

    Wining programs are built around a group of absolute studs that are fit for a certain kind of position, and alot of other players that can play multiple positions, that can fill spots and know how to make plays. It’s been a long time since we had multiple position players like this – Troy Niklas, Matthias Farley, Ben Councell, Brad Carrico, Tony Springmann…types that fill holes.

    Dean Smith said it best in ’94. Coming off a Nat’l Title, he had Montross, Reese, Williams and others returning. He had Rasheed Wallace, Stackhouse, and others that were freshmen. In other words he had ~12-14 total studs. He said he “knew we had a problem when the 13th guy on the team said he should be starting”. They lost for the first time before the Sweet 16 in 15yrs with the best collection of talent he ever had.

    You need these types of guys. So glad we got him.

  5. bradwins - Feb 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Winning a national championship is going to be even sweeter knowing that we will have done it with nice, intelligent kids from good families. Beating teams with rosters full of ex-convicts, kids that will have to take a pay cut to play in the NFL and not a single player that could have been accepted at Notre Dame will be one of the best accomplishments in modern sports.

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