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Bluechipper Noor Davis might be Irish’s next pledge

May 13, 2011, 12:40 AM EDT

Noor Davis

UPDATE — (1:56 EST) Just minutes ago Davis chose Stanford, proving most of the pundits wrong… and in some cases twice. That said, my final thought probably holds true. Expect this to go down to the wire, with the Irish’s visit to Palo Alto at the end of the season possibly playing a determining factor…

I don’t usually make it a habit of posting on the early press-conferences of a recruiting cycle, but Florida outside linebacker Noor Davis seems like a pretty good exception to the rule.

If there’s a player that’s universally beloved amongst college recruiters, Davis qualifies. He’s got an offer list that rivals anybody’s, quite literally. Thanks to some research done by friend of the program BPH, Davis already has offers from Alabama, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC. Or as BPH would put it, 9/10th of the golden list of offers — missing only Texas, a school that rarely reaches out of state for players.

Davis may rank outside the original five-star rankings handed out by Rivals, but if you compare his offer list to any other player Notre Dame has landed in the past decade or so of the modern recruiting era, Davis has better recruiting cohorts than anybody — Jimmy Clausen, Manti Te’o, Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt included.

Of course, there’s good news and bad news. While the good news is many people suspect that Davis has the Irish in his top-two schools, along with local favorite Florida, there’s a ton of divide amongst prognosticators on where he’ll end up next year.

Right now — Irish recruiting sites like IrishSportsDaily.com and IrishIllustrated.com are actually lean towards Florida, with none of them having a true feel on what Davis and his family are thinking. But today, national recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt felt like Davis was headed to Notre Dame.

“I really think right now, I would pick Notre Dame,” Schurburtt said when asked. “Notre Dame was a place he had a wonderful visit. He sort of fits that profile of a Notre Dame kid and I think the Fighting Irish land another big defensive player on Friday when he announces.”

Of course, Schurburtt hedged his bet — feeling only 65 to 70 percent confident, but the Irish are in rarefied air for a guy many people feel is the top outside linebacker in the country.

Coming into Notre Dame, head coach Brian Kelly was known as an offensive mastermind. What people didn’t see coming was Kelly becoming a recruiting juggernaut when it comes to defensive talent.

“I thought their recruiting class was one of the most real in the country last year because of the players they signed on the defensive line,” Schurburtt said, while rattling off names like Lynch, Tuitt, Ishaq Williams and Ben Councell. “When do you ever see Notre Dame go out and get that type of athlete on the defensive line?”

Of course, all of this could be obsolete by the time tomorrow afternoon rolls around. But even if Davis picks the Gators, or other finalists Alabama, Stanford or USC, it likely won’t spell the end of Notre Dame’s sales pitch for Davis. If we learned anything last year, it’s that defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, Chuck Martin, Tony Alford and Mike Elston don’t call off the dogs until Signing Day.

  1. paiten34 - May 13, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Wow. If Davis signs that would be another huge signing. It’s big time for ND to have the D line players plus manti Te’o at inside Backer. Having other big time defensive players will show Davis that ND is building a BCS defense.
    That could be the deciding factor for Davis tomorrow when he gives his verbal commitment.

  2. 1historian - May 13, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Be honest, folks – how many of you can even IMAGINE an article such as this one being written two years ago?

    Kelly is the right man for the job.

  3. nudeman - May 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    What? You don’t think fatso, flashing his SB rings and proclaiming “dramatic schematic advantage” and “I know Tom Brady” was a good recruiter?
    Agree completely on Kelly. Guy is re-building the team the right way, from the trenches. Very excited to see the next 3-4 years of ND football.

  4. nddc21 - May 13, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    This commit would be great, and I would love to see it happen, but what we really need to do is start eyeing a top-line MLB prospect in the next year or 2. Manti won’t be around forever, and while I don’t think he’ll leave early, he will graduate and go on to the NFL. He is the heart and soul of our D, and we need another top-flight MLB to step in and take his place as the team’s leading tackler/head bada**.

    • nddc21 - May 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      Update: via Eric Hansen of SB Trib, Noor Davis picked Stanford. Rats.
      But, as they say, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings… err, till signing day.

  5. notredave - May 14, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    If the kid has ‘chosen’ Stanford, it shows that he cares about his education as well. If it’s education and weather, then we have a fight on our hand. Lol. Kelly and staff are up for the challenge. This isn’t over as we all know. Not by a long-shot.

    Go Irish!!

    • bernhtp - May 14, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      It might boil down to how this season goes. If it’s the epic result we hope for, then the sky is the limit regarding recruits.

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