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Worth Watching: Irish plant recruiting flag in Chicago

Feb 17, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

Nyles MorganAAA AP

If there was a complaint over the past few years of Notre Dame recruiting, it’s that Brian Kelly and his staff didn’t do a good enough job in Illinois. With some elite prospects like Laquon Treadwell, Ty Isaac and Ethan Pocic choosing to go elsewhere, the Irish staff seemed to have lost its luster in an area that used to serve as a pipeline to South Bend.

But Notre Dame reemerged as a player in the Chicagoland area this year, landing three prospects from the Chicago Tribune’s first-team All-State team in Nyles Morgan, Nile Sykes and Nic Weishar. After landing zero of the nine players from Illinois on’s top 247 list, the Irish rebounded nicely, scoring prospects at positions of need on Notre Dame roster, and from Chicagoland schools that once served as feeder programs.

CSN Chicago’s JJ Stankevitz spent some time with “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran, one of the mainstays on the Illinois prep scene, who talked about the work Brian Kelly and the Irish did in this recruiting cycle.

The video is a few days old, but certainly worth a watch if you missed it:




  1. dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Outside of Chris Zorich(great), Bryant young and Oliver Gibson(who was a better pros than college player) I think chicago has been mostly disappointing. Steve filer and who’s the other LB from Morgan park?

    I prefer they plant the flag on TX, FL,LA,GA, CA. Even Hawaii. Illinois is a giant fail.

    • dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      I’d prefer 3star recruits from those states over 4 5 star from IL.

    • mediocrebob - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Darius Fleming was a St Rita’s guy from Chicago I believe.

  2. dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    I hate to say this because I am Chicagoan but chicago doesn’t produce elite athletes in football or basketball anymore. They used to. I blame Rahm Emanuel and Pat Quinn.

    • irishdiver - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      You’re so right on the basketball recruits. Guys like Anthony Davis and Jabari Parker are terribly underwhelming

      • dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        That’s 2 outta 5 million welfarers

      • dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        D rose too

      • dickasman - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:25 PM

        So 3 outta 15million welfarers. Big whoop

    • hyde - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      D Wade

  3. papadec - Feb 17, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Awwwwwww Dickie lighten up. Chicago may be two steps behind Detroit, but both states still produce some damn fine HS athletes.

  4. irishpuma - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    Cody Riggs on campus Monday with his Uncle Bobby Brown former Irish Wideout, not the singer. Tony Rice was there as well so I think It will be Riggs’ prerogative to come to ND!. No one can resist T Rice! BK out of town but will seal the deal by phone tomorrow!!

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      it’s his prerogative. he can do what he wants to do. it’s his prerogative. well done.

      I just read this today; tony rice’s 213 yards passing against W.Va in the ’88 NCG was a career high for him. interesting.

      • irishpuma - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:06 AM

        Yeah T rice dominated without having to throw for 250 a game. They would have one or two deep hits that would give the D fits than just run the option all over them. I was at the 88 NC game in Az, what a game!!! Even though I think the score was 27-21 ND rolled those fools.

  5. getsome99 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:39 AM


    we already have flags planted in those other states.

  6. fitz79 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Don’t forget another Chicagoan, Zbikowski. Saftey, boxer and general bad a**. He recently retired from the NFL cause it bored him and is joining the Chicago Fire Dept.

  7. irishdog80 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    It is no coincidence that most traditional powers come from talent rich states/regions. Michigan and Ohio are in NDs backyard, but have strong in-state teams for ND to beat out. Illinois has Chicago, Peoria and East St. Louis to recruit from and the in-state programs are average at best despite Northwestern’s recent in-roads.

    Historically, ND has had great success with the Catholic programs…Davies and Willingham did not seem to be aware of that connection. Weis did OK making some in-roads with Catholic high schools and now Kelly seems to really get it…NDs “in-state” is Chicago and Catholic high schools around the country. Recruiting is on some level about allocating resources. If you can count on getting most of the best Chicago and Catholic school kids, then you can pick your spots among the other players around the country. Work from a position of strength and know that every year you can count on Chicago and Catholic high schools.

  8. mikes1160 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    McNabb? How did we not land him???

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