May 21, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT
For the past few days, rumors have been swirling about high-profile prospect Eddie Vanderdoes. The blue-chip defensive lineman, who made the dramatic decision to sign with Notre Dame on Signing Day, is reportedly having some second thoughts on that commitment.
What that entails – or if it’s actually true – is anyone’s guess.
Vanderdoes himself has been radio silent throughout the week and a source close to the situation says the family has gone into a media lock down. But the Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson, who hosted Vanderdoes’ signing day ceremony back in February, addressed some of the rumors and added a few interesting wrinkles to the alleged dust-up.
Speculation about Vanderdoes ranged from character concerns to an academic fall out. Vanderdoes’ coaches continued to rave about his upstanding character on Monday, and his father Eddie Vanderdoes on Monday night texted of his son, “One thing I can tell you is grades or eligibility is not and has never been an issue.”
He added in the text, “let people speculate, but you will be the first to know, as always, when it’s time to let people know.”
Said Placer football coach Joey Montoya of his star player’s character, “Absolutely he’s gold. He is a selfless teammate and is highly dependable. I love that kid.”
As for grades, Montoya said Vanderdoes is fine academically, “for Placer and the NCAA, he is for sure.”
Davidson also went on to mention an administrative mistake that happened at the Signing Day that set the internet ablaze back in February. During Brian Kelly’s afternoon press conference, Vanderdoes’ name was mistakenly included on the initial list of signed players, when Vanderdoes had yet to announce his commitment.
While the school collected any misprinted documents and released new ones without Vanderdoes’ name on them, the damage was done on social media, where a few reporters mentioned the snafu.
(Whether or not that mistake has anything to do with the current situation isn’t exactly clear, but you’d hope that minor flub is water under the bridge by now.)
Losing Vanderdoes would be a tough blow to the Irish recruiting class, as he was one of the top defensive linemen in the country and another huge pick up for Bob Diaco and Mike Elston. Set to enroll at Notre Dame in late June, some are reporting that UCLA has been involved in a full court press for Vanderdoes’ services, though how that’s possible in light of NCAA recruiting regulations is anyone’s guess.
Interesting to note in the snippet from Davidson is the exact wording used in certain quotes. Some had speculated that Vanderdoes is dealing with an eligibility issue, though Placer football coach refuted that. Kind of.
Davidson carefully selected his words, quoting Montoya that Vanderdoes is in the clear academically, “for Placer and the NCAA, he is for sure.”
Conspicuously absent from that quote is Notre Dame, a school with a different set of eligibility requirements than most schools Vanderdoes was considering.
Again, no comments have come from Brian Kelly or his coaching staff. That leaves us with many playing the always dangerous game of throwing scenarios against the wall, with the hopes that one of them comes true and proves somebody right.
At 6-foot-3, 300-pounds, Vanderdoes would be a valuable player in the Irish defensive line rotation, working in with All-American candidates Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt and rising sophomore Sheldon Day.
Whether or not that ends up happening, we’ll likely find out in June.