Skip to content

Vanderdoes adds final name to Irish recruiting haul

Feb 6, 2013, 10:27 PM EDT

Eddie Vanderdoes

It took until well after dark, but Notre Dame finally landed the last crucial piece they were chasing in this recruiting class. California defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes picked the Irish over Alabama, UCLA and USC Wednesday evening, capping off a historic Irish class at 24.

The U.S. Army All-American announced his choice from a hometown press conference, while thousands watched along — or at least tried to — from their computer. Vanderdoes’ selecting the Irish brings a fourth five-star prospect to South Bend in the ’13 class, with an elite recruit landing at each level of the defense. (Throw in running back Greg Bryant for good mix as well.)

The commitment wraps up a whirlwind recruitment for Brian Kelly and his West Coast ace Mike Denbrock, who fought their way back into the game after Vanderdoes stepped away from his commitment to USC in early December. From there, Notre Dame’s full court press paid off, with the appeal of the Irish defense, the fit in the program, and the program’s ascent all playing a factor.

On the field, Vanderdoes brings elite athleticism and size to the defensive front. With a recruitment helped along by Irish star Louis Nix, Vanderdoes brings 300-pound ready-made size to campus, plus the ability to move sideline-to-sideline. (He played some middle linebacker for his high school this season.)

In the final tally, Notre Dame brought in 24 recruits, a class Brian Kelly called his best ever. For those wondering what the Irish’s resurgent season did for recruiting, consider that Notre Dame signed six players that were once committed to other prestige programs:

Eddie Vanderdoes – USC
Max Redfield – USC
Greg Bryant – Oklahoma
Will Fuller – Penn State
Durham Smythe – Texas
Doug Randolph – Stanford

In years past, it was the Irish losing blue-chip players to the power programs above. But after a 12-1 campaign and a leap back into college football’s elite, the spoils went to the Irish.


  1. dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:29 PM


    • gtizzo - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      Gross…just plain gross.

  2. dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Keith, because I am such a strong supporter of this site, I also clicked on century kitchen and bath banner multiple times!

    Guys click on that century kitchen bath website banner like at least 5 times, would ya? Thank you.

    • 1historian - Feb 8, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      Rich – you’re acting like a little kid jumping up and down and screaming ‘BOOGER’ over and over in the middle of a group of grown-ups just to get attention.

      This is what I meant when I said a few days ago that you’re losing your edge. Perhaps a few quiet days out in the country, perhaps meditation, perhaps prayer will help.

  3. aceinthehole12 - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    What a class..what a class. I like that they also seem to be a tight group already with the whole “Irish Mob 13” thing going on. Hopefully that chemistry gels with the guys already in the locker room. This class has the potential to be something great.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      When You have a soild team already in place it becomes soooooooo much easier to ease these guys in early. Vanderdoes getting snpas with NIX an TUitt around him, he can touch the field this year …. Greg Bryant too …. all these guys, look at Alabama and LSU etc … they have freshmen who are immediate impact players because they step onto great rosters where they can be in a nice role to excell.

      I see this class having plenty of guys seeing the field this year.

      • aceinthehole12 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Exactly. It seems like Nix was HUGE in Vanderdoes signing here.

  4. jerseyshorendfan1 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Who doesn’t love a good Irish mob? Welcome aboard Eddie. Fantastic job by the HC and all assistants. We’ve seen what Kelly and Co. can do with a three star, let’s see what magic they can work with this crop of studs. Should be something special as many of these guys are expected to contribute right away. Can’t wait to see this team evolve.

    • kansasirish - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      🍻’S !

  5. ct111 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Lets see how long he will stay at Notre dame

    • ndbcs2013 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      I will be happy if he stays at ND for only a smidgen as long as you remain stupid. Should easily cover 4 years.

      • 1historian - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:11 AM

        That’s a good one but let’s try to be nice.

  6. ndbcs2013 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Keith – STELLAR job today! Both quantity AND quality features and information! Noticed and greatly appreciated by us all – thank you!

  7. irishpuma - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    EV4= Irish Mocha!

    • bostonjan - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      EV4+ Anchorman

  8. irisheyesinsd - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    This class is phenomenal. So exciting to have such monster talent coming in. Wow! And let’s not forget that we have a lot of starters coming back from a 12-1 team. There is A LOT to look forward to in the fall. The starters are really going to be pushed hard for playing time by these frosh. The competition will only make this team better. Let steel sharpen steel.

    • bostonjan - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      What’s the date of the Blue-Gold Game?

      I can hardly wait…..

    • jsrnd1 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Like and agree with your post…but it is IRON SHARPENS IRON…minor mistake.
      GO IRISH!

  9. fnc111 - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    In 2012 ND had a season similar to 2005. ND is hardly back into the elite. I’ve been played before and it’s not happening this time around, especially when Kelly is gone to the NFL soon. The homerism is crazy in my opinion after getting lucky this past season only to get the opportunity to be embarrassed in January. ND is a long way from elite. ND had the revised #1 recruiting class in the country in 2008. How’d that work out? Talking about recruits like this that won’t even be a factor for two years is reaching at best.

    • thefightinfloyds - Feb 7, 2013 at 4:24 AM

      Whats your measure of elite then? 12-1 with a young team that many agree was a year ahead of schedule and then toss in a great class like this…I do worry about Kelly leaving too soon though. If ND can find a capable replacement it shouldn’t be a problem but Kelly is doing a lot of good things right now, it would be tough to see him go.

      • 1historian - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:07 AM

        You make a good point but if Kelly were to leave (gasp!) with the talent they have now, the talent they have coming in and the talent they have on the recruiting end of the formula there would be a FLOOD of applicants for Kelly’s spot.

    • notredameirish1980 - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      The class of 2008 was offense heavy with little play making ability on the defensive side. This class has 3 play makers on the defensive side that have a high likely-hood of contributing immediately. Add in 2 play makers at running back and excellent refilling of the offensive line, this is a very balanced class that will pay immediate and future dividends. It also provides depth on the defensive line that was sorely lacking. That is not homerism, that is a fact. Curmudgeon be gone!

    • mayo1010 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      dude you are depressed. move away from sharp objects and seek medical attention immediately. ignorant douche!

      • mayo1010 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

        fnc that is!

    • jimbasil - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Right (sarcastically). 12 – 0 regular season and in the NC game. One of the top defenses in the land for two years running and you’re shouting “homerism”? Well, homerism is a lot of what being a fan is but beyond that, the Irish have something to shout about and they brought in some very talented student athletes for 2013 and you’re out there complaining we’re too much like fans of our school. Give me a ^^^^ break.

      Sure, can anyone say any other school is elite other than Bama, LSU? How about TX or OK or USC or OSU or UM? Go ahead name them and their record in 2012.

      How about a cheer for a good day and have the common decency the next time you write to eat crow for your post.

    • runners00 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      FNC — I think that I agree with you in the sense that we haven’t won anything yet. We had a great season — winning at Oklahoma, at Southern Cal, against Stanford, against Michigan, etc — and we have some incredible recruits who are here or are going to be here in the fall.

      I disagree with you that these recruits won’t be a factor for two years. It’s absurd. A healthy Vanderdoes joins the line on day one. Jaylon Smith, assuming he remains healthy, can probably log substantial minutes at this level, as can someone like Greg Bryant.There are others, too, who will get a lot of playing time and push kids who are ahead of them.

      Alabama’s key is to constantly have players pushing other players. If we can do this — if we can get these high quality recruits to successfully enter/manage the existing system, we can continue to have 12-1 seasons. But, to your point, I remember Jimmy Clausen. I remember Dayne Crist. Heck, I remember Ron Powlus. Notre Dame gets a lot of press simply by being Notre Dame. So, getting recruits isn’t a solution. It’s converting high quality recruits into powerful college football players who perform well on the field, in the classroom and in their personal and spiritual lives. Yesterday was a good continuation of the return of Notre Dame football.

      • bb90grad - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        Well said runners. Bama played like 8 LBs in the NC game. The difference is not how many stars per kid, but depth of kids, fit with team chemistry, etc. Love that BK is working on the depth and talent across the board.

  10. yaketyyacc - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    keith, thanks for the sprint reporting. notonly did ND end up with a great group, the young men have already flashed signs of leadership by bonding into the Irish Mob. ready to do some fighting. whew, the competition that is going to take place at spring practice.
    Coach Kelly isn’t about to move on. he has some unfinished business with Alabama.
    Welcome Irish Mob, and wishes for a super year to all of the Notre Dame Foorball Team. THE IRISH ARE COMING

    • tburke9601 - Feb 8, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      This is the third or fourth post where i have seen mention of competition in the spring. Most of these recruits wont set foot on campus till the summer, besides the 5 early enrollee’s. Lets just calm down a little, and see what happens come the fall.

  11. mtmk0586 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Wow, what a class of young men coming in? Great job fb staff.

  12. notredameirish1980 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Great class. Now on to the 5th year invitees. By my count 57 underclassmen on scholarship with 24 signees = 81 scholarships. Nichols appears to be heading for a medical hardship leaves 80 = 5 5th years. If Slaughter wins his appeal, that leaves 4. Watt and Martin for sure, who are the others? Both Fox and Calbrese? What about Tausch or Golic? Nice position to be in finally.

    • 1historian - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:10 AM

      I think of this team now as 7/8 Kelly 1/8 Weis – when Kelly signed on in 2010 Weis had already done some recruiting and then Kelly took over close to NSD and so I think of that first crop as 1/2 Kelly 1/2 Weis.

    • joeschu - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      I don’t see any way they keep Golic. TE isn’t a position of need and there’s a lot of talent ready there. He seems like a good guy, but I just can’t picture him getting another year.

      I also wouldn’t count on Slaughter winning that appeal. I think he’s about to get the Tim Abromitis treatment.

      Fox and Carlo are now locks to be on the team, but I could see some young guys potentially leaping them in the depth chart. One possible scenario is to offer a scholarship to the “preferred walk-on” punter they brought in a few days ago. Another possibility is to ride 1-2 slots below the limit. This isn’t like a Willingham-style roster, so having 1-2 more “slots” to play with for next year could really help build Bama-like momentum.

      • domerboyirish - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        I hate to bring a little doom and gloom to such a successful day but I think we have to figure on the potential of a kid transferring or flat our leaving when we discuss scholarship numbers. We were already deep at safety and now we pick up Redfield. We have three stud QB’s. Who is going to accept watching and not playing? Golson has 3 more years of eligibility! Now look at our backfield. We have talented RB’s. Bring in Bryant and Folston and what would a guy like McDaniel do if he drops off the two-deep?

        Personally I think we are OK at 87 / 88 at the moment. Injuries and transfers will no doubt get us down to 85 by the fall. It seems to happen all the time. No need to panic just yet. The great part is that the talent level is so deep now that the loss of a player or two doesn’t become an instant weakness.

        GO IRISH!

      • papadec - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        joe – isn’t it nice to have all those options?

  13. upthera44 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I realize that class rankings are a bit overblown, but they’re still a nice badge of honor. I was wondering if the latest ESPN and other rankings took Vanderdoes and Folston into account? Because they were two rather big acquisitions and very late in the day, and Notre Dame was ranked 4th already early in the day and didn’t budge later. It seemed like maybe they just didn’t update them, or decided they didn’t want to shift them around again after announcing the “final” class rankings…

    • papadec - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      upthe – when the paperwork came in for Eddie V, Rivals adjusted & moved ND up to #3 last night. I haven’t checked espn or Rivals today – yet.

  14. jimbasil - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    It’s amazing how well these 2013 ND recruits speak. In interviews yesterday and last night, all that were inteviewed spoke well and not like HS kids – but clear headed responses to questions. To a man.

  15. ibleedirish - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Funniest thing about this Vanderdoes thing: Anyone else notice that in the Brian Kelly interview above, its still light out in South Bend? Looks like EV’s name on the press sheet at noon wasn’t such a whoops after all. Huge pick-up! Is it September yet?

  16. 4horsemenrideagain - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    That is my question exactly! Maybe the argument over “elite” status is not such an important distinction, but in the end there is Alabama and then everyone else. So ND is not yet Alabama…well neither is any other team. Oregon is not, neither is Florida, USC or Ole Miss (though based on their haul yesterday, you’d think Ole Miss has just had 10 consecutive 10-win seasons and sent 40 players to the NFL).

    At least EV doesn’t have a USC tatoo on his arm that he has to worry about.

  17. barneysbullet - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Mad props to you, Keith, for that very informative day yesterday. You’re the best!

    Welcome to Notre Dame class of 2013!!!! You put the right hat on! 😉 So pumped about the roster…

    And lastly, please don’t anyone give fnc111 any satisfaction; just a USC fan that had to cry himself to sleep last night because we took some of his toys away.

  18. dudeacow - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Breaking news: ND just picked up preferred walk-on kicker John Chereson.

  19. padomer - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Cool…What are your guy’s thoughts on Brindza? When they picked him up I thought we were getting Adam Vinnateri (spell), as reports said he could routinely hit 50+ yarders. Idk man, he kinda makes me hold my breath. No question he has leg strength, it must’ve been mental, but from the PITT game through the rest of the year I couldn’t watch FGA.

  20. padomer - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I commented earlier on the Max Redfield portion, was wondering if this is the best ND class of recruiting era? Taking in what has been said about the players (and even watchin youtube clips) I’m verrry optimistic…plus the positional balance. That’s the difference between this year’s class and the top 5 classes of the Weis era. In addition, checking out last years recruiting class and watching the videos of a few players I forgot about gives reasons to be optimistic as well. Dav Neal, C Brown n Ferg are dynamite. Dav Neal has very impressive video, and although he struggled to find space this year (prob. b.c of scheme) it’s clear he at least does have elite speed n explosion. Here’s to turnin the corner! GO IRISH!

  21. padomer - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Ahh man, Redfield n Shumate back deep, dang theyre gunna be a nasty duo. LB’s – don’t sleep on Kendall Moore, saw him get PT against Maryland two years ago n he can drop the hammer. Ben Councell, there are so many guys on the roster that ya tend to forget about, or maybe need to be reminded about. Councell, Grace, Hounshell…players like them are now coming through the system, can’t wait to see the competition in camp n can’t wait for another run at glory! Go Irish!

    • ibleedirish - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Good point about Moore, I do tend to forget about him. When watching him in the few spots he’s been in, its hard to believe Calabrese continues to play over him. I just don’t get it. Whatev, in BK I trust. He and his staff have more than earned it.

  22. rpbags - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Wow what a class BK has on the way to ND! Loaded with true raw talent, big running backs, big o line, speed, and getting EV will trun out to be huge for the irish! Any thoughts about qb out there as in do you think one of them will transfer? They all have talent and EG is the starter for sure but i would still like to see Zarie get some playing time at qb and i think Keil may be the one who transfers out but just my humble opinion……..Get job to the staff for all the hard work and i am sure that in 2013 we will see it pay off….Is it September yet…..Cant wait…..LET’S GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • irish4006 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      What makes you wish “Zarie” getting playing time as a true freshman? I don’t think even he expects to see any ‘action’ whatsoever in 2013. There is a not of teams out there that wants to play a true freshman QB if they have other decent choices. Zaire seems like a great kid, but he will have to wait at least 2 years (barring injury to others ahead of him) before seeing any action.

      I think Kiel will see the field quite a bit in 3rd/4th quarter mop-up duty and be a significant threat to take over the following year (if he lives up to his reputation).

      • nudeman - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:36 PM

        I’d rather see Gunner on the field than …

        … never mind

      • bernhtp - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM

        I would be surprised to see Zaire do anything but scout team this year. We’ll get a preview of what Kelly is thinking about the QB logjam in the spring game. Last year he played all four in pretty even rotation, except for Kiel, who got all of the abbreviated second half. Will he play all five? I doubt it. I think we will see an initial cut.

        Predictions for the five:

        Golson: starter
        Rees: initial backup, but fades into mentor wearing a red hat and holding a clipboard.
        Hendrix: special teams. I hope he becomes the PK holder along with duties on kickoffs and punts.
        Kiel: works his way to becoming the #2, ready for mop-up or a Golson injury.
        Zaire: Scout team. I don’t see him doing anything else unless he both really shows prodigious abilities and Everett gets hurt, at which point he would compete for the starting role. They won’t burn his redshirt for a backup role.

        With that said, I love Zaire’s playmaking ability. He looks to be a slightly bigger version of Golson and even more of a run threat. He also has a great personality and is far more comfortable being interviewed.

      • nudeman - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        This seems about right.

        The odd one out is Hendrix who, despite great athletic ability seems to have no future as an ND quarterback. It’s hard to feel badly for him (I don’t) because he most certainly had his chances but just never progressed past that guy who can’t settle down and find receivers. There are only a million of those types. At this point the position switch I advocated for seems to be no more likely than the Cubs winning the WS this year and next.

        Kiel needs to take the step forward that we all think he can because the overwhelming majority of ND fan-dom does not want even a single instance of #11 trotting out when the game is on the line, ever again. He’s capable of a play here/there (as long as that’s a 6 yard pass or a check into a run), but beyond that he just can’t play the position.

        Zaire looks great on film and will look even better after he puts on some more muscle. Great prospect.

      • bernhtp - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I would have liked to see Hendrix significantly progress to take the job because he’s a great kid and really smart. But, as you said, he had his chance and came up a bit short. He can still make big contributions on ST. Andrew will graduate this year, won’t do a fifth year, and will move onto med school where he’ll have a great life. His doctor’s office wall will eventually be adorned with Notre Dame memorabilia, including many photos/videos of him in uniform leading the Irish to the few big plays he had.

        I also don’t think that Tommy will be taking snaps by the end of the season, barring injury or a big disappointment by Kiel. He’ll get a few on his senior day, but that’s about it. His big contribution will be in mentoring the three young guys. He’ll eventually make a great coach at the college and maybe even the pro level.

        This season and beyond belongs to the three young QBs on the roster who have all of the talent needed for years to come. I expect Golson to continue developing and become a very good QB this year. At least one of Kiel and Zaire will live up to their potential. Kelly will make this clear this year to ensure they stick around.

  23. kiopta1 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    247 and rivals have ND at 3 while scout and espn have ND a 4.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!