Orlando Sentinel

Signing Day victory: Dexter Williams’ fax is in


Touted running back Dexter Williams just chose Notre Dame in a Signing Day announcement. It’s a huge victory for the Irish coaching staff and particularly Tony Alford, who was long on Williams’ recruitment and out-battled Miami for his pledge.


Winter Garden, FL

Measurables: 6’0″, 200 lbs.

Accolades: 4-Star recruit, No. 8 player in Central Florida, 139th on PrepStar DreamTeam, No. 78 on ESPN’s Top 300.

Other Impressive Offers: Miami, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, USC

Projected Position: Running Back


Quick Take: In Notre Dame’s biggest Signing Day victory, the Irish reel in a prime time running back from Florida, beating Miami for one of their most important recruiting targets. The Irish coaching staff worked hard for Williams, with Tony Alford landing a key running back as the Irish sweated out a tough decision to leave home for the Floridian.

On the field, there is so much to like about Williams. He looks like he was born with a juke button and a built-in speed burst. He’s a natural seeing the hole and hitting it with speed. And he’ll immediately be inserted into a two-deep depth chart that will now have four very talented backs.


What he means to the Irish: A huge get at a big position of need. Williams is a toe-to-toe victory in the state of Florida against a Miami coaching staff that’s among the most “aggressive” recruiters in the country.

The Irish played the integrity game while the Hurricanes staff tweeted weather reports for snowy South Bend. In the end, the student-athlete made a choice based on the best fit for him, and Notre Dame flexed its muscles on the national scene, pulling a back out of Florida even when the Hurricanes had a need at the position as well.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s the official signing video from UND.com.




Faxes in: Brandon Tiassum

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Indianapolis, IN

Measurables: 6’5″, 285 lbs.

Accolades: Indiana 2A All-State, Indianapolis Star Super Team, Semper Fidelis All-American, All-USA Indiana Football team.

Other Impressive Offers: Louisville, Miami, Boston College.

Projected Position: Defensive tackle


Quick Take: You can’t teach the best asset Tiassum brings to the Irish, a big frame and some solid athleticism. That said, he’s a developmental lineman who will need some time in a college weight room to get ready to play football at the next level.

Another one of the best prospects in Indianapolis, Tiassum has the length and size that the Irish coaching staff covets in their defensive linemen and was an early target and commitment by the staff.


What he means to the Irish: Notre Dame is fortifying the depth chart behind Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day. So while Tiassum isn’t likely to be a contributor in 2015, both Day and Jones (who has a fifth-year available) could be gone after this season, turning over a depth chart to some unproven hands.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s a good look at the length and size that Tiassum possesses.


Faxes in: Trevor Ruhland

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Cary, IL

Measurables: 6’4″, 270 lbs.

Accolades: All-USA Illinois team, ESPN Top 300, Tom Lemming Top 300, first-team All-State Chicago Tribune, All-State Illinois coaches, State runner-up

Other Impressive Offers: Cal, Duke, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kentucky

Projected Position: Guard


Quick Take: Ruhland’s a lineman’s lineman. He’s not the biggest, strongest or longest, but he certainly plays with the type of disposition that’ll earn him a lot of fans. An injury suffered during basketball season will slow him down for a few months, but at this point there’s little way Ruhland’s doing anything but redshirting in 2015 regardless.


What he means for the Irish: Another interior body on an offensive line that was built recruiting tackles. Ruhland certainly doesn’t have the prototype length or NFL body that people may clamor for, but comparisons to Chris Watt have been made, and that’s not necessarily the worst thing for Ruhland’s future.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: If you want to enjoy an offensive lineman, just watch the first clip on Ruhland’s seek-and-destroy highlight reel: