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With Ty Isaac to USC, RB focus stays on Ryan Green

May 15, 2012, 2:52 PM EDT


One of the first big running back dominoes came off the recruiting board today, with Illinois running back Ty Isaac committing to USC this morning. Isaac had a final three schools of Notre Dame, Michigan and the Trojans before announcing his commitment via Twitter.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior from Joliet Catholic is a top 20 prospect in the country as rated by Rivals and is listed as their No. 2 running back in the nation. Isaac is listed as a four-star prospect on, and while they’re slightly less bullish on Isaac he’s still ranked the No. 6 back in the country. got Isaac on the record.

“I had a great feeling about USC when I first visited the school and it just felt like me out there,” Isaac told “I went out a second time last week with my Mom for another visit and I felt even stronger about playing for USC and my Mom agreed that it’s a great fit for me. I just really get along great with the coaching staff and the players and everyone around the program at USC. I know that even when I take football out of the picture I’ll be getting a great education and a degree from USC. I really wanted to go to a school that offered the best mix on and off the field and for me that is USC.”

The loss of Isaac, one of the Midwest’s elite skill position players, has to be considered disappointing for Irish fans. But Notre Dame had Isaac on campus multiple times and was in on his recruitment early. The Irish seemed to be fighting an uphill battle from the start as Isaac has long made it public that he wanted to play in a pro-style system. (If there’s a fandom smarting today, it’s got to be Michigan’s, who thought they were in the driver’s seat for Isaac.)

For the Irish, that turns the focus onto Florida’s Ryan Green, long Notre Dame’s top running back prospect. It’s a recruitment that won’t be decided any time soon, and a huge battle for Tony Alford, who’ll be pitted against some of the best programs in the country.

“I’m going to take my time and just make my decision on National Signing Day,” Green told 247 Sports’ Florida State site. “I’ve been talking to my parents and they don’t want me to make an early decision and regret it. They want me to take my time. I could just pull the trigger when I feel comfortable, but most likely it won’t be this summer and I’ll just wait until signing day.”

After some heated recruiting battles between Notre Dame and Florida State over the past two years, expect the Seminoles to battle for Green’s services until the end. In fact, the line for Green might even be longer than the one for Isaac, with Green’s recruiting cohorts more impressive that Isaacs, including programs like Alabama, LSU and Florida.

On tape, Green is a dynamic prospect, comparing favorably to one-time Irish target Keith Marshall, who ended up picking Georgia after visiting Notre Dame. Green is the shorter and more explosive of the two running backs, and his ability to catch the ball in space and home-run speed play into what the Irish are looking for, especially with big back Will Mahone set to enroll this summer.

Green had the Irish pegged his number one school after visiting this spring, and while Florida State has forced its way into the conversation, the Irish still have as good of a chance as any. Bringing in KeiVarae Russell, Mahone and Amir Carlisle last year helps the Irish be more selective this cycle.  But with Isaac’s decision to head to Southern California, the top of the Irish board just narrowed itself down.



  1. canadianndfan - May 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Can’t say this one comes as any suprise…Sucks we lost out on a top back from right in our own back yard though. Looks like BK & Co are really gonna have to continue putting the full court press on Green!

  2. yllibnosredna - May 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    It’d be wonderful to get a guy like Green…Perhaps with a decent/good season (8/9+ wins), ND could secure him. And despite the fact that we are in pretty good shape at running back, it does indeed suck mightily to lose an elite prospect WHO ATTENDS A CATHOLIC SCHOOL from the midwest to our most hated rival on the other side of the country.

    • dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Hey man, once you see the weather and surrounded by all the hott football poon, you turn into a convict real quick, sometimes without you even knowing. You don’t even realize it til 10 years later, then you’re like WTF was I thinking…True Story!

    • bostonjan - May 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      totally agree….I have hopes that we will fair very well with recruits from Catholic schools – especially in the Midwest.

      Looking hard for a Silver Lining……perhaps this will turn into another Amir Carisle situation. Get one year of development @ USC and come away from the “Dark Side” to join the “Good Guys”…

      A guy/fan can hope, can’t he??????

  3. dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM


    • irish4006 - May 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Another totally pointless, ignorant and (almost) random comment from dick. Seriously, dude, get a clue. You may be a subway alum or whatever (I am not going to waste my time speculating what you are), you don’t really know what ND is about. I have not seen one ND student/alumnus who is this stupid. Hint: ND is a hard school to get into, they usually don’t enroll idiots.

      I have seen some some hardcore, right wing nutjobs (I heard a couple of comments on 9/11 like “we should drop a couple of nukes in the Middle East and let them know who they are messing with” even before anyone knew who/what was behind the attack) during my time there; but none so racist or ignorant. You are the reason why I support Keith’s cencorship efforts, not nude or goat. You are just a bad taste in mouth, like really bad sushie.

      • irish4006 - May 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        And, BTW, USC is not a bad school. On field rivalry is one thing, but if you try telling anyone about how bad USC or Michigan (2 other schools on this guys list) is compared to ND, that only shows your ignorance.

      • nudeman - May 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        dick is just a different type of guy
        Some of his stuff is pretty funny
        He’s OK

      • irish4006 - May 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        Some of his stuff is marginally funny – you know the kind where you show only a fraction of your teeth from one side of the mouth, the rest is just garbage. How does picking USC translate into a carwash employee, why is carwash employee a bad thing? Assuming carwash employee = bad education, wouldn’t he then be picking a no academic pressure SEC school, or Ohio State (this one is my favorite, an otherwise great school that is completely blind when it comes to the football program; lying, cheating, helping the athletes cheat, anything goes).

        The kid wanted to go to school that offers good on/off field option and he picked USC over ND. Our football program today is a “little” behind, compared to USC; don’t you agree?

      • dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        Irish, get over it brah. BTW, I agree with your nuke in the middle east comment. Why shouldn’t we? Climb your fat arse back into your trailer you hillbilly.

      • dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 6:33 PM


  4. dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Actually, I’d like to get one of those little midget RB’s….you know statistically they run 4.5 or 4.6 even but once on the football field they can squirt in and out of traffic and run around all over the field like a mouse….where can we find one of them’s?

  5. herringbonesports - May 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    We certainly can’t base this class on the success at the RB position. Top tier incoming freshmen Russell/Mahone seem likely contenders for a redshirt, especially if Davonte Neal is in that RB/Slot mix.

    I think the bigger concern will be in January if the Irish haven’t reeled in multiple DE/OLB types and some true CBs. Green would certainly be nice though … it is still May, right?

    • irish4006 - May 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      LB, CB and WR; although, for the WR position, we do have a bunch of ‘good guys’ on paper. It still remains to be seen who will step up and make us forget MMF. We will soon find out assuming we have someone at QB who is able to make the throws.

      • dickasman - May 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM


      • irish4006 - May 16, 2012 at 12:23 AM

        You sir, are an idiot. You don’t belong on an ND board. No, I am wrong. You don’t belong on any board.

      • notthatconfused - May 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

        Keith- can you please give dick some time off? His lack of class and personal attacks reflect badly on ND, NBC and the (mostly) intelligent discussion here.

  6. barneysbullet - May 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I think domerblowsgoats or that union guy might have changed his sign in to irish4006…

    Hey Keith, I think nude’s last couple comments went through the airport screener while security was checking your “package”… 😉

    (see the Echo chainsaw commercial)

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - May 15, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      The Echo chainsaw commercial referenced above.

    • dillonbigred - May 16, 2012 at 3:19 AM

      NBC has to have better standards than to allow bile like that coming from nudeasman. What is so difficult about posting spirited, funny, or challenging comments about Fighting Irish football?

  7. barneysbullet - May 16, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    Oops…my apologies to nude.

    I meant to point out dickasman’s comments in my last post…not nude’s.

  8. bernhtp - May 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    It occurs to me that too many people spend too much time worrying about what others say and how they say it. Becoming offended is generally a psychological weakness.

    A Notre Dame Football blog is inherently an eclectic and diverse place. ND football attracts not only alumni, but people from all walks of life that express their enthusiasm in various ways. Watch Rudy if you need a lesson.

    Dick is one of the more colorful personalities here. I understand that his means of expression grates against some of you, but just let it go. Give a thumbs-down if you must, but let Keith do his job in defining and enforcing the standards for minimum civility. The rest of us can just relax and talk football.

    • yllibnosredna - May 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      Agree completely with bernhtp on this one. On this particular post, none of dickasman’s comments have struck me as anything but inane, but he has posted a couple things in the past that have made me laugh. Who am I to call out for censorship of anyone? If I don’t like it, I don’t have to give any more than a passing thought before I move on. I think the following quote from Stephen Fry perfectly sums up part of bern’s point:

      ‘It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so f……g what?’ —Stephen Fry

  9. ndgoldandblue - May 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I don’t know…this one that got away doesn’t really feel like one that got away. Frankly, I think the Irish are sitting pretty in the running back category. I would be more upset if Notre Dame lost out on a big-time wide out or corner back. We have our starting running back in Cierre Wood who just so happened to rush for over 1,000 yards last season, and he looked pretty darn good in the spring game. Plus, the guy is technically going to be a senior, but if he wanted (which I suspect he won’t but stranger things have happened), he could come back as a graduate student because of his redshirt year. We also have Theo and super-fast George Atkinson who was incredibly impressive in the spring game, with the exception of his turnovers. And we also have the transfer of Amir Carlisle with Russel, Mahone and Neal coming in as freshmen. I think the Irish are fine at running back.

    • nudeman - May 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Well said.
      As I wrote the other day, Carlisle stands a chance of being lost in the shuffle this year. And he’s not exactly a marginal talent. Highly touted coming out of HS and recruited hard by ND, USC and other top schools. He was in the rotation last year at USC. As a FRESHMAN. That’s pretty impressive.

      Prister and Sampson, on a recent podcast were talking about how many carries GA III would get this year as a #3 RB. They looked back at the last several years and the number comes in at something like 20-30 carries. So Carlisle at #4 stands a chance of not seeing the field much.

      A good problem to have.

      • irish4006 - May 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Are you sure about that order? GA III may be too good to be #3. Also, we haven’t seen what Carlisle is capable of yet. We have, however, seen a lot of Theo and I don’t think he has a lock on that #2 spot. It should still be up for grabs.

        • nudeman - May 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

          Am I “sure”?
          I am sure that is the order RIGHT NOW.
          Could it change? Sure. Injury, or GA III being so off the charts explosive could change that.

          But right now Theo and Cierre are 1-2. Seniors, experienced, and don’t fumble.
          GA III has a little work to do on that last point.

      • irish4006 - May 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        Good points, but I hope things change between now and September. Theo is okay, but we need a little more shock and awe. Like you said, it is a good problem to have when you have a couple of solid players and are still hoping for someone to beat them out…

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - May 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Regardless of how the depth chart at RB shakes out by fall, we will have a lot of fresh legs at the position for every game. Again, a nice problem to have. As to the dickasman comments above, I actually gave him a thumbs up on his first post above, but it went quickly downhill after that. Even so, I say let him post as it adds to the flavor of this site. We can jump on his back whenever he goes “way over the line”.

  11. Keith Arnold - May 16, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    @Dickasman — Please stop. Please. It’s been a good run, but come on, man.

    To get to the discussion here, don’t sleep on Amir. I’ve talked to people inside the program that think he might be the best RB on campus.

    If that’s the case, he’s going to get the ball. And it’ll likely come at the expense of a guy like Robby Toma or Theo.

    • bernhtp - May 16, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Keith, great comment. I previously stated that Amir is too much of a playmaker to keep off the field. He is not the #4 RB that goes from limping with a crutch on the sidelines to sitting on the bench in the fall. Kelly et al will find ways to get him on the field and the ball in his hands.

    • nudeman - May 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM


      Great to be an observer instead of a target in a Keith slap down, for a change
      What’s next? A black President?

      Feeling so good right now, I could just … well, I think I’ll just have me a Schlitz.

  12. barneysbullet - May 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Surely…there’s GOT to be a way to rotate these good HBs onto the field. (on passing downs)

    Maybe five wide sets with 2 legit WRs, Eifert, and your 2 best HBs.


    • nudeman - May 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      I’m not saying Carlisle won’t play. I’m not sure who will get a fair share of snaps and who won’t. But with 4 talented guys and only one ball in the game at any one time, someone is going to be unhappy.

      Someone else said Theo was the likely odd man out.
      I thought all the chatter in Spring was about how beefed up and chiseled he was looking?

      • ndgoldandblue - May 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM

        I agree. I say keep Theo in the slot spot, and rotate him with Robby Toma. I thought Theo looked really solid (and comfortable, I might add) catching balls from the slot receiver position in the spring game. Just give him a couple carries as a running back as well to provide some misdirection. Keep using him primarily as a slot receiver with some work at RB. That way, he’s not taking too many carries away from all the other studs we have at that position.
        I also agree with irish4006. We haven’t seen a whole lot of that shock and awe from Theo. He’s very quick and elusive, but I think Atkinson has more of an upside. Hell, give Atkinson a few reps in the slot as well. He’s got the length for it.

    • bernhtp - May 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Carlisle was certainly set back by his broken leg, but he is an incredibly talented kid. The fact that he was playing as a freshman, and playing very well, at USC says a lot given their incredible historical strength at the RB position. I expect to see Amir on the field a lot this fall.

      My guess is that Cierre may be the only one that won’t occasionally line up in the slot. Theo certainly will and I suspect that Amir and GA3 will too. Then you have Davonte Neal who is certainly another playmaker. I imagine that Keivarae Russell will sit and develop for a year.

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