Eddie Vanderdoes

Vanderdoes adds final name to Irish recruiting haul


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.


Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”