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Irish make their move on Anzalone

May 9, 2012, 7:12 PM EDT

Alex Anzalone

Just days after he stepped away from his commitment to Ohio State, Alex Anzalone welcomed Notre Dame into Wyomissing Area High School as he reopened his recruitment. The top prep player in the state of Pennsylvania, Anzalone has seen his fair share of suitors come through the hallways since he’s distanced himself for the Buckeyes in the wake of a bizarre situation.

Anzalone is no stranger to the Irish, and he attended the Irish Junior Day that saw Notre Dame begin building their 2013 recruiting class. While defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is on the way to visit in the coming days, who the Irish sent to visit raised an eyebrow or two.

Steve Hare of Irish Illustrated.com has the scoop.

With the recruiting door reopened, Notre Dame assistants Chuck Martin and Harry Hiestand visited Wyomissing Area High School on Tuesday, a sign the Irish have a considerable interest in getting Anzalone to South Bend for good.

Martin, Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator, and Hiestand, the Irish’s offensive line coach, weren’t the most logical choices to visit a defensive prospect. But, it’s a telling sign that Notre Dame is willing to line Anzalone up on either side of the ball if he signs with the school in February.

“It went really well, “Anzalone said. “They said I’m top on their recruiting board right now and that it must mean something that an offensive coordinator is coming to your school if you’re a defensive guy.”

Notre Dame wasn’t the first school to introduce to Anzalone the option of playing on offense.

Stanford, Alabama and Florida all expressed an interest in Anzalone lining up as a running back/H-back type of player until he put an end to that discussion.

“They all talked offense until I told them defense,” Anzalone said. “Notre Dame said I could do anything I want.”

A quick look at Anzalone’s junior highlights let you know that the idea of Anzalone playing on the offensive side of the ball is far from a pipe dream. Yet with the Irish looking to replace Manti Te’o after this season, and Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese entering their senior seasons as well, the Irish need to restock an interior of their linebacking corps and have made Anzalone one of their top targets. (Rest easy, both Fox and Calabrese have a fifth year of eligibility remaining.)

Straight from Anzalone’s mouth, the Irish are in the thick of things. Speaking with 247Sports, it’s clear that Anzalone’s visit this spring was one that helped set the tone for the future.

“They just think that I would be a great fit at Notre Dame, that they have players just like me,” Anzalone told 247Sports. “I guess from talking to the other commits, they seem like good guys. There’s obviously a lot of opportunity there academically, that’s a powerful degree. It was voted as the No. 1 undergrad business school and that’s what I want to major in. It’s a great opportunity and the football speaks for itself.”

Irish fans have to feel good that Anzalone’s first visit — and interaction with the players and recruits — were good ones. After trying to assemble a recruiting class that patched together some impressive players from all corners of the country then struggled to hold on to them, building a core group of players from traditional pipelines will likely serve the Irish well in the long run.

After jumping the gun on his commitment to Ohio State, Anzalone will likely be more patient this time around. That should play just fine with the Irish, who will have a welcoming depth chart and (hopefully) a team on the rise working in their favor.

  1. barneysbullet - May 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Just don’t let some fruitcake ND superfan near him…

    • heartofgoldandblue - May 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Yea Nude….
      No hanging around this kid’s neighborhood gym asking questions about him.
      Big talent for a big need, I love this kid.

      • nudeman - May 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Too late … he’s over here right now
        Film at 11

  2. 10of14 - May 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    He is headed right back to OSU. You guys can check my creds; I was the one that told you that Lynch would leave ND while most thought he was a lock after returning from spring break. Urban was thoroughly embarrassed by this whole thing and was said to have told Anzalone he will start at OSU and gave him anything he wanted to return to the program. He (Urban) had to do this or OSU would lose face and have their reputation further tarnished. Think about it; THE Ohio State has a pedophile as a major part of their recruiting team?!? It is not playing out well with parents of recruits, especially with Urban’s “coed” issues at UF.

    • nudeman - May 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      10 of 14
      Maybe he is headed back to tOSU and … maybe not

      Let’s turn this around: What if it was ND he’d decommitted from and BK was trying to woo him back with the “whatever you want” approach?

      Would you feel confident as an ND fan? I wouldn’t

      I don’t know what the stats are on this but I’d have to guess that the success rate of bringing someone back into the fold is relatively low, regardless of the reason for the decommit. Throw in a pedophile, and it gets lower. By a lot.

      Also, from what I read it was his father who was disgusted with what went on. That can’t bode well for tOSU. If I had to bet, your prediction on Lynch aside, I’d say he’s going somewhere else.

      Lastly, I hadn’t heard about Urban’s “coed problem” at UF.
      Doesn’t shock me in the least, but what is the story there?

      • uawlocal1136 - May 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        Nude,

        Let me respond to each of your rather salient points:

        First, you are 100% correct, he is not heading back to OSU. But, TR is. Take that to the bank from a very unreliable source.

        Second, What if TR decommited today (a first in NCAA history for a rising junior…do you know what that means, Nude) and BK was trying to woo him back? Naturally he would take him in a NY minute….shout out there to goat.

        Third, if TR was recruited by a pedophile, would he still decommit, change his mind, be wooded back by BK, transfer nonetheless to Urban land and have a lifelong relationship with a Florida co-ed. I think unequivocally, “YES!”

        Go Irish and buy American made t-shirts at the bookstore.

      • nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        UAW/Goat/Hall Monitor
        I’d like to say “now THAT was funny”, except …
        … it wasn’t. Mostly just weird

        I will respond however
        If TR was caught up in a pedophilia scandal and BK wanted to bring him back my concern would be for the newspaper subscribers in the area.
        I would just want to make sure they still got their morning paper, one way or another. Other than that, whatever TR does is fine by me.

        Hey, has he made it across the Stanford goal line yet?

    • 88irish - May 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Do you think Lynch plays a down at USF? My guess is he sits this year and enters the draft next year….

      • bernhtp - May 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        This would be a huge mistake. All Lynch has on his resume is one season at Notre Dame where he played mostly as backup. While he shows significant promise, he also demonstrated an erratic, fragile and hot-tempered psychology. If he went into the draft next year with a hardship waver, I doubt he would be picked, although a team might use a late pick as a lottery ticket with him.

        By far his best path for his career was to stay at Notre Dame. A distant second is to play and excel at USF. Far down from that is taking his current resume to the NFL.

      • nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        I’d think Lynch will have zero chance of playing this year.
        You can’t xfer because your tool misses your girlfriend and expect a waiver.

        Having said that, I thought guys had to spend at least 3 years in college before going to the draft? Whether Lynch plays or sits this year. he still couldn’t go until after NEXT year, right?

        Frankly, I don’t care though. He’s gone. Like his Momma though. She seems cool. Would have no use for Goat.

      • domer77blowsgoats - May 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        another unprovoked attack, well done

        how about trying this for a week:

        Dedicate the countless hours you spend on this blog to other aspects of your life and maybe they wouldn’t suck as bad…

        and why are we still talking about this quitter??

    • audomer - May 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      10of14

      If you throw enough crap at a wall, eventually some of it will stick

      Since you’re such the prognosticator, what’s the over under on the Obama/Romney game coming up in November?

      • bb90grad - May 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        I’m tired of the rhetoric already. They should combine one’s business sense, the other’s experience (and some minor foreign policy success) to govern as Obamney. Take that, Brangelina and Bennifer.

        Less poliltics leaves more time for football.

  3. midwestirishfan - May 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Good article Keith. Hey, what position does Anzalone play at Wyomissing? Also, the photo in the story — I assume one is Anzalone. Is he the tackler or the ball carrier? Many thanks.

    • msmmh - May 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      MidWest,

      I looked up the school on the internet and the one on the right is Anzalone (#24, in White). Not sure what position he is playing though.

    • wyomissingfootballassociation - May 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      He plays OLB and halfback in a wing-T offense. They move him around a lot – he is very versatile.

      He is in white in the photo sporting Wyomissing’s awesome all-white uniforms.

      You can learn more about the program here – http://www.wyomissingfootballassociation.com

  4. jefmaj - May 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Most of what I’ve heard… Is dad was unhappy Alex committed to tOSU…. Sort of pulled the trigger too quickly… And, has no love for tOSU….

  5. 88irish - May 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Keith,
    Quite the title…. hopefully not the case based on his OSU experience.
    Still think Urban is incapable of running a long standing, clean program…. this is just another
    example. Not buying it.. short term success for OSU long term problems…
    Still think BK doesn’t get enough credit for all he is doing at ND, hope the Irish faithful
    give him a chance.. still take him over Urban, purple face and all.

  6. irishsportstalk - May 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    “There’s obviously a lot of opportunity there academically, that’s a powerful degree. It was voted as the No. 1 undergrad business school and that’s what I want to major in.” – Anzalone

    I don’t know the guy whatsoever buy is he as “sound” as he sounds?

    • wyomissingfootballassociation - May 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      He is a smart kid – so yes he is that “sound”.

      • nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Since your name and posts suggest you know him, where do you think he’ll end up?

      • wyomissingfootballassociation - May 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        We can’t really speculate where Alex will end up – he is a bright kid looking for the right fit. He thought he had found the right fit at OSU, but things have changed.

        Let’s just hope that he leaves for a great school that he feels comfortable with next spring with a PIAA State Championship Gold medal around his neck.

  7. nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED BY REQUEST OF IRISH ILLUSTRATED. NUDEMAN, COPY-AND-PASTING PREMIUM ARTICLES ISN’T OKAY.

    • bernhtp - May 10, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      The kid seems to have a lot of personality. From what I hear, he says that he really, really likes to hit people, which is a great trait for a safety. With cops at off campus parties, not so much.

  8. 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Let’s not forget 2005 – Urban Meyer was the hot item in upcoming coaches, having coached Utah to a perfect record. It was known that he considered the Notre Dame HC job to be the pinnacle. It was also known that his contract @ Utah enabled him to jump to Notre Dame if he wanted to without paying a buyout.

    IMO at that point the powers-that-be at Notre Dame decided that they should get rid of Willingham, who was obviously a flop, and go after Meyer. At that point I think 2 things happened – 1) ND decided they could get Meyer even if they low-balled him and 2) Meyer took a look at the ND roster and foresaw the 2007 season. Notre Dame was never even in the mix for Meyer – he went to Florida and not long after that they won the National Championship. Conspiracy theory? Possibly, but there it is.

    We wound up with Charlie Weis.

    My point is this – Right now Meyer is now one of our favorites for dumping on, for trumpeting our obvious moral superiority, but 7 years ago he was a HOT item.

    That having been said -

    1) This kid Anzalone looks like the real thing and we should go after him.
    2) Meyer should not be held responsible for this creep.
    3) Can you – can ANYONE imagine this creep putting a move on an Ohio State football player?
    4) UAW – Your 9:36 – you seem to have gone off the railing beginning with “what if TR decommitted today” – at that point you lose me. Not that difficult an accomplishment I grant you but still ….
    5) IF I can find American made clothes I get them.

    Prediction – Sometime this season Notre Dame will win a turnaround game, one they were NOT supposed to win, and it will be obvious to one and all that Notre Dame is BACK.

    And in a dorm in South Florida, a young man, 6’6″ tall and 270 lbs, possessed of elite athletic gifts, will be watching this on the tube.

    And he will say quietly to himself just one word – “damn”.

    • nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      I have never understood 2 things, and am hoping you (i hstorian) or someone here in the know can enlighten me:
      1) Why did Ty get canned? I realize the product on the field wasn’t very good, and I know Urban was there for the taking (or so they thought), but Ty was clean and only 3 years into a 5 year deal. They even let Gerry Faust finish his contract. He’d also just brought in Quinn and things were looking slightly better. I’ve heard vague stuff like “the pressure was getting to him”; and he spent too much time on the golf course and didn’t recruit with a lot of vigor. Can anyone add to those points or provide new info?

      2) Same question for Davie. He got them to a BCS game (where they got creamed) although the product on the field wasn’t great. But he was clean (I think) and seems like a passionate guy. He also had just signed a significant contract extension. Then, WHACK.

      Don’t get me wrong: I think both of these guys needed to go. Just wondering what the inside stories are.

      • 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        Why did Ty get canned? He wasn’t winning football games, and ND did NOT look the way they should.

        How should they look? Glad you asked. My answer:

        There was no swagger, there was no “you poor mf’ers – you gotta play NOTRE DAME today and you are gonna get CREAMED!! Same with Davie.

        First we gotta get the respect back.

        Then we gotta get the FEAR back.

        Football is not a contact sport as much as it is a collision sport. And it is a sport of physical domination. There is a guy in a different colored uniform across from you. You knock him on his ass and let him know that you’ll be back.

        I know I am just someone in the cheap seats but the fact is that those of you who remember sitting in the stadium on a lovely fall day LOVED IT when someone pounded the ever-loving dogshit out of someone else. (Uniform unimportant BUT if the pounder was wearing Notre Dame colors so much the better.)

        I remember those days when people not only respected the Notre Dame football team – they feared it. We ALL want that.

        Again

      • domer77blowsgoats - May 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        I cant believe I am reading this – never understood why TW and BD were fired? really?

        Nude –

        1. put the keyboard down please
        2. go outside
        3. get some fresh air
        4. mow the gravel
        5. have your trailer checked for carbon monoxide

      • uawlocal1136 - May 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        Nude/Eddie from Vegas Vacation

        Ouch! Go mow the gravel! Classic. Conjured up past images of rather famous stars of stage and screen. In your case, Vegas Vacation… Congrats, your new Delta Tau Chi name is “Eddie.” Hey, better than “Flounder.”

        And, uh, yeaaahhhhh. You could never understand the termination of Davie and Tyrone. You must be joking. Did you simply nod off during those horrific seasons. Proof of point… Where are they now? This just in, in case you missed it and you did…Davie had lots of blood on his hands regarding the ousting of Lou. He wanted that job and maneuvered to get it. But…to borrow a BK line, he wasn’t an ND RKG. His heart was always with A&M and was open about it. Lots more to that story, snooze boy.

        Here’s and idea…Why not do some research, copy, paste and post. That is one skill you have truly mastered.

        Buy American, Go Irish, Go EDDIE.

      • bernhtp - May 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        While the (past) W-L record is important, the (future) trajectory is far more important. The trajectory under TW was down. His last recruiting class for very poor, which pointed to going down further and faster. He seemed to lack the enormous amount of energy needed for this high profile job. ND decided to cut off what they viewed as the inevitable downward slide before far more damage was done.

        This is not to say that TW didn’t have talent, passion, abilities and a great record elsewhere. He had his fans. I remember sitting next to Allen Pinkett for a long flight during TW’s last season (he was the color guy for Notre Dame Football radio). He was a TW fan and was optimistic about his success, just 3-4 months before TW was fired. Lots of people were surprised, but I think it was the right call. TW’s performance after leaving ND gave more evidence that for whatever reason, TW lost his edge and ability to win.

      • nudeman - May 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        bern,
        Thank you for your usual adult response and excellent post. As opposed to …

        … Goat/UAW, who shows up here AGAIN back to back posts for the 116th time, and “both of them” reference “mow the gravel”. Very clever.

        If you’re gonna’ sport multiple IDs, at least be a little circumspect (goat runs to dictionary.com) in terms of your approach.

      • audomer - May 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Ty got canned because he loved GOLF more than recruiting and he got lamb basted by USC by 30+ every year

  9. 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    correction – change ’2005′ to ‘late 2004 early 2005′

    whoops

  10. 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    domer77blowsgoats –

    1) Love that handle
    2) Your 11:54 a.m. – excellento
    3) I’m going outside to pee and then walk the dog – one of the many advantages of living in the country – the dog gave up trying to mark the territory years ago.
    4) GO IRISH

    • richardsmoker - May 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      you know pal, i read every day, rarely do I comment. but here are some things for you and the nude man and 1 history to think about. goatboy, you seem like a jerk to me. i have not really ever sean you post anything very intresting or worthwile. usually your posts are antognistic and state obvious stuff. or try to be funny but humor it isn’t your thing brother.

      nude man is completely under your skin, brother. he rags on rees too often but many of his posts are interesting. not that i agree with everything but he makes points, expresses opinions, etc . i don’t see you doing that. and the uaw thing is stupid. why not stop that crap? no one is laughing except AT you.

      ihistory, how many times are you going to post “when will they sell thos practise jerseys?” no one has ever answered you. so, hint: no one knows. call the ND bookstore dude.

      burnhtp has the best, most consistently inside stuff.

      ndgoldandblue is cool. so is 9irish. and i like the nude man

      goat you need to find another board.

      • domer77blowsgoats - May 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        thanks dude for the justification of why i post

        and further brother, I’ve been posting on this board since inception, so your small sample size leaves quite a bit to be desired.

        Since the Keith smackdown on comments, I only post positive, football related material until said nudeman decides to make unprovoked attacks, brother, dude

      • richardsmoker - May 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        goat
        lose the uaw thing
        was funny once, maybe, and that was 6 months ago
        and your lousy at disguising it

        or maybe just go away all together
        brother

      • domer77blowsgoats - May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        would if i could – we arent the same login brother dude brother

      • 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        1) What is wrong with asking the question?
        2) When did I last ask the question? It’s been so long that I can’t remember.

      • 1historian - May 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        One more thing – I’m 68 1/2 years old and I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that anyone called me dude.

        Thanks

      • richardsmoker - May 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        i historyman
        well Sir (how’s that, 68 yr old dude?) i don’t have at my fingertips all your posts. that is what i have seen others like mr goat do – pulls out a postt from 4 months ago and says “see? i told you so”
        but i have seen you ask that question sveral times in the middle of compeltely different topics being discussed. i don’t mind personally though. so no problem. your posts are gnerally ok.
        you can see formt the thumbs down below that people are ok with you but goat is getting pounded. people here aren’t stupid, brother

  11. andy44teg - May 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    In the voice of Louis Winthorpe III:

    This reminds me of a chat I had with my squash partner whilst we were taking a steam at the local country club. He and I were reminiscing about the time we were riding in my Rolls Royce down a country lane and I spotted something amiss off in the distance. I told my driver, Coleman, to stop, for there was a nude man standing in a middle of a field with what seemed to be a goat. The goat was on a leash whilst the nude man appeared to be mowing gravel. Lord knows what the nude man and the goat were doing together, so I told Mortimer to get back in the Rolls Royce, and had my driver, Coleman, hurry off as quick as he could. To this day, I’ve never seen that nude man, nor that silly goat since.

    • papadec - May 11, 2012 at 4:01 AM

      andy44 – now that was funny. Thank you.

      • andy44teg - May 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        Thanks…It’s gonna be a long 4 months…gotta do something for entertainment…

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