Aug 5, 2012, 3:38 PM EDT
Just because fall camp has opened doesn’t mean the Notre Dame coaching staff has stopped recruiting. News broke early Sunday that the Irish welcomed the 19th pledge to their 2013 recruiting class, accepting the commitment of Philadelphia wide receiver Will Fuller.
Fuller, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver, is rated the second best wide receiver in Pennsylvania, behind only Robert Foster, a highly touted national target. He had pledged his commitment early to Penn State, but opened up his recruitment to include Notre Dame, where he visited this weekend with his parents.
Fuller is the third Pennsylvania product in the Irish’s recruiting class, with Alex Anzalone, Mike McGlinchey and Fuller all having offers from the Nittany Lions. With wide receivers James Onwualu and Corey Robinson already profiled as wide receivers, and a few highly-touted wideouts still on the Irish board, Fuller enters Notre Dame as not just a receiver, but an athlete, where he’ll also get a look in the defensive backfield.
As a wideout, Fuller more than holds his own, catching 10 touchdowns during his junior season, and breaking a long-standing Philadelphia city record with an impressive 10 catch, 276 yard performance. Fuller also looks equally adept on the defensive side of the ball, where he looks smooth in coverage and shows excellent ball skills.
IrishSportsDaily.com’s Christian McCollum was able to catch up with Fuller’s high school coach, who talked about how key offensive line coach Harry Hiestand was in Fuller’s recruitment after the Penn State sanctions forced Fuller to open things up.
“Me and Coach Hiestand were talking maybe two, three times a day,” Roman Catholic coach Joe McCourt told ISD. “He just wanted to make sure Will got out to Notre Dame this weekend because that was the game plan. He didn’t want Penn State saying they didn’t want him going out there. Coach Hiestand really did a lot of leg work, talking to his mom and talking to Will to make sure he got out there this weekend.
“Coach Hiestand was the one who took this thing by storm.”
That’s good news for Irish fans, some of whom wondered what Hiestand’s impact would be on recruiting. Fuller’s commitment — pushing this class to 19 recruits before official visits are even allowed — allows the Irish to be very selective with their final handful of offers.
Here’s a look at some highlights from Fuller’s junior season: