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Irish land Elijah Shumate at Army All-American Bowl

Jan 7, 2012, 9:14 PM EDT

Elijah Shumate

The Irish reeled in recruit number 18 during the US Army All-American Bowl, when New Jersey’s Elijah Shumate pledged his commitment to Notre Dame. Shumate adds to the Irish’s collection of defensive backs, giving Notre Dame one of the nation’s most physical safeties and another elite player at a position the coaching staff targeted early.

Shumate was always on the Irish’s radar, but wasn’t heavily talked about by recruiting services until a late visit to South Bend after the season. From there, it was clear Shumate, and teammate Yuri Wright, one of the top cornerback recruits in the country, fell in love with Notre Dame, and the result was another late season commitment to defensive coordinator Bob Diaco out of his home state.

Last year, Brian Kelly announced that he was going to target the defensive line and improve his team during recruiting. It didn’t take long to notice guys like Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt, two of the nation’s most impressive recruits and two players that immediately made a difference for Notre Dame.

This year, the Irish needed to replenish the secondary, and guys like Ronald Darby, Tee Shepard, and now Shumate are among the nation’s best players at positions the Notre Dame coaching staff have targeted from day one.

Shumate comes from Don Bosco prep, New Jersey’s best feeder program into college football. Reeling in Shumate not only gives the Irish a safety that can immediately make an impact at the line of scrimmage, but also puts the Irish in the driver’s seat for Wright, who some recruiting services call the nation’s best cornerback, and in-roads at Don Bosco, a place the Irish coaching staff would love to build relationships.

Shumate picked the Irish over 20 other schools that offered him scholarships, with the finalists for his services South Carolina and Rutgers. The Irish targeted Shumate as a safety, but also said they’d be interested in giving him a look at tailback as well. By any measure, he’s considered one of the top safeties in the country.


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  1. kiopta1 - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Keep them coming ND. Also Amir is transferring from USC to ND.

    • NDfan1224 - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:44 PM

      IRISH lost Darby. That sucks!

      • dmacirish - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:27 AM

        your comment is not accurate and the link that you have here is for some rambled sentences saying “irish may have lost darby, not sure, hope we didn’t”. stop with this garbage – i for one will never click on your links again.

  2. papadec - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    With Elijah’s commit today, AND the confirmation that Amir Carlisle is transferring from usc to ND, the class of 2012 recruiting bus is just about full. Yuri Wright might want to think about how much he wants to play, @ the same school, with his friend Elijah. Also, assuming the ND coaching staff doesn’t have reservations regarding Armond Armstead’s health, the brothers might want to jump on board – before the bus leaves the station, and they’re left holding their bags. I’m sure they have plenty of options – BUT, ND is not the only program getting close to their limit – just the best program (IMO).

    • nudeman - Jan 7, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      The Armstead boys just can’t be a package deal. I don’t know how the scholarship numbers stack up right now, and don’t know the nature of the dialogue between ND and them either.

      But if the younger guy is insisting that his brother with only 1 year of eligibility is part of the deal, I’d be inclined to say “no thanks”. Just seems cheesy to me.

  3. nudeman - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    This group of coaches can flat out RECRUIT.
    One has to be impressed at the quality, quantity and depth they’re building on the D side of the ball.

    Next year could be tough with some legit question marks at QB and a very tough schedule. But if they can pound the ball of offense and avoid asking Golson or Hendrix to win the game for them, they could eke out 8-10 wins, thanks to the D.

    Without question, 2013 and beyond look better than ever.

    Wish list now is Garnett, Wright, and Weterkamp. Not sure about Fuller. Obviously would be nice to have him, but he looked less polished as a passer on his highlights than I’d like to see. Great athlete but only 6’0″ and not sure he’s a D-I quality throwing QB.

    • 9irish - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      absolutely right. seems to be a big score every time I turn around. The QB thing still looms so large…fix that and they will be hard to beat. I don’t care which one it is (they were highly recruited guys, too) just somebody to take charge and not make mistakes. They can bring Joe Theisman back for his MBA for all I care.

    • papadec - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:38 AM

      nude – I also would prefer Garnett, Wright, Westercamp & Fuller over the Armstead brothers. BUT, I defer to the people @ ND to know what is best in their regard – they’re doing a great job recruiting.

  4. gtizzo - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Ok Brain Kelly,

    If you solve the turnovers which means solving the QB situation, and the irish can be very solid. I really thought this team was going to break out in Brain Kelly’s 4th or 5th season and with the talent the are putting together it doesn’t look like I’m far off. A big physical safety like Shumate helps against the triple option of Navy because he can double as a linebacker. My advice pick your QB right know, don’t tell anyone, just have an idea and give him 60 of the reps in spring ball. That way it looks like your hold a QB derby, but really you have your guy.

    • domer77blowsgoats - Jan 8, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      Nice pickup for sure.

      However if we are high on guys because of their potential against Navy we might as well just abandon football all together. Really? He can help us beat Navy? FML…

  5. nudeman - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    There is no bigger fan of ND on this board than me. I live and die with them as much as any alum here.
    But having said that, I also am not afraid to speak the truth.

    TRUTH 1: Fantastic job recruiting this year. A+ to date, with several other blue chippers likely to join in.

    TRUTH 2: Defense especially is looking to be very nasty the next few years.

    TRUTH 3: Several here have said something about “just fix the QB problem and we’re on our way”. Agree completely, as now that stands out as the biggest problem area. But …

    TRUTH 4: … The QB problem likely will STILL be a problem in 2012. Rees can’t play. I’m not 100% sold on Hendrix, though he’s better than TR. If EG wins the job, he’s a rookie. He MIGHT be outstanding, right away. But that’s unlikely for any rookie QB at this level.

    TRUTH 5: ND stands a chance of having a down year next year, despite the recruiting haul, because of the QB.

    I only posted this comment of caution because I saw so many comments about the QB which tells me absolutely EVERYONE knows that’s still the 800 lb elephant in the room.

    • 1historian - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      This team is still a work in progress and this is going to take at least one more year, probably two. We have only progressed to the point that we beat teams we are supposed to beat – Purdue, Navy, Air Force, etc. I don’t think we’ll lose at home to Syracuse or Connecticut or South Florida anymore.

      That, of course, is NOT good enough – I’ve been saying for a few years that we need a turning point game, like the 1986 team when they beat USC. I still believe that.

      The 2012 team is 5/8 Kelly recruits, 2013 is 7/8. Kelly seems to have a much better recruiting staff than Weis ever even dreamed of. Getting Carlisle from SC is BIG.

      QB – agreed that it weighs 800 lbs, but it’s a gorilla, not an elephant. IMO Rees is competent for the most part, but that’s about it. Given more of a chance Hendrix could surprise us.

      Which leaves Golson. Golson is Kelly’s 1st QB recruit, which tells me he was recruited specifically for a Kelly type offense. By September 1 he will have been through 2 spring practices, 2 fall practices and 1 season spent on the sidelines watching, gaining weight and winning an award as top scout team player. Granted putting a rookie QB in at starter as risky, but he’ll have Eifert and a host of others to throw to, he’ll have some large talented friends up front to protect him, he’ll have some good people to hand the ball to.

      If not now – when?

    • bernhtp - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      My perspective on 3 and 5 is different. At the very worst, we would have an ostensibly improved Tommy Rees as QB, so I don’t see downside, just upside for next year in the QB department. Before dispensing with Rees, besides slow legs and weak arm, he was prone to many poor judgments – misreads and bad throws that resulted in incompletions and way too many interceptions, as well as taking too many sacks by not being able to extend plays with his feet. This judgment should improve with experience, though I admit it has been slower in coming this year than hoped.

      There is considerable upside in both Hendrix and Golson given their vastly better physical abilities. Time will tell if their football minds catch up with this to give ND a huge boost rather than just a minor one.

      • nudeman - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Ostensibly improved Rees?

        I think the maddening thing with him is that he showed in the last 2 games (Stanf and FSU) that he has NOT improved, despite having started 15+ games. Believe it or not, his arm is not the problem. It’s hardly a rocket, but he can throw a deep ball.

        The problem is that he’s supposedly in there because he’s a coach’s son, makes good calls at the line and reads defenses. Somewhere along the way that proved to be just a bunch of bullish**. His INTs against FSU were criminal.

  6. ndtoronto - Jan 8, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    BK got flat out recruit…..but hopefully this year he learned how not to handle QB’s and finally get someone in there who can do the job game in and game out….anyone know if notre dame has any chance on the wide receiver beckham green?

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