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  1. One of these guys is Stephon Tuitt

    Jan 31, 2011, 1:22 PM EDT

    Here’s a hint: He’s the giant wearing No. 7 that’s about a head taller than the rest of them. BlueandGold.com had a video crew at the Team USA practices where Tuitt, Matt Hegarty, Anthony Rabasa, and George and Josh Atkinson are practicing with the USA All-Star team, and it’s startling to see just how massive…

  2. Quiet period leads into intrigue

    Jan 30, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT

    Bennett Okotcha

    It’s officially an NCAA quiet period right now, meaning there’ll be little news breaking until Wednesday morning, when faxes begin pouring into the football office at The Gug. (I’ll be getting up at a bizarrely early hour to follow along in the festivities, for your pleasure of course…) While the past few days have added…

  3. Friday notes: Swarbrick, Russ, recruiting and more

    Jan 28, 2011, 5:54 PM EDT

    Jack Swarbrick

    If you’re looking for some insight into the mind of athletic director Jack Swarbrick, the internet has got you covered, as both Eric Hansen and Tim Prister have very good Q&As with the man himself. They are both very much worth the read, but I’ll give you my favorite exchange from each of them: We’ll…

  4. Niklas down to USC and Notre Dame

    Jan 27, 2011, 9:06 PM EDT

    Troy Niklas

    While the Irish already have a stockpile of them in this recruiting class, they’re chasing one more defensive end in recruit Troy Niklas, who is down to Notre Dame and USC as his college choices. He’ll make a decision after visiting Notre Dame this weekend. Niklas, from Southern California powerhouse Servite High, is skipping a…

  5. Six players officially applying for fifth year

    Jan 27, 2011, 7:04 PM EDT

    Harrison Smith

    After weeks of guesswork and number-crunching, Notre Dame announced the members of the football team that will officially apply for a fifth year of school. The six members of the roster are: Harrison Smith, Safety Gary Gray, Cornerback David Ruffer, Kicker Taylor Dever, Tackle Andrew Nuss, Guard Mike Ragone, Tight End We already knew that…

  6. State of the Irish program

    Jan 26, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

    brian-kelly-press-conference

    (Color me in a patriotic mood after watching last night’s State of the Union and Republican Response…) Brian Kelly had about a week on Barack Obama, giving his “State of the Program” speech last Friday, officially putting the 2010 season in the books, while turning his gaze forward to finalizing recruiting as well as preparing…

  7. Clausen and Weis both back to school

    Jan 25, 2011, 1:14 PM EDT

    Clausen Weis

    In many ways, Jimmy Clausen and Charlie Weis had similar journeys through Notre Dame. Both came to South Bend talking a big game. Clausen — flashing some high school bling at the College Football Hall of Fame, while Weis buried himself with talk of “decided schematic advantages” and “6-6 isn’t good enough.” For Weis, his…

  8. Floyd and Smith named captains for 2011

    Jan 24, 2011, 12:18 AM EDT

    Harrison Smith

    Saturday’s Notre Dame Football Awards Show gave us plenty to discuss, but the headline was probably Brian Kelly naming Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith the captains of the 2011 Fighting Irish. For Smith, that means his application for a fifth year has been accepted. For Floyd, it’s a permanent accolade after being named game captain…

  9. Ruffer, QBs, Riddick and Floyd: Kelly recaps Year One

    Jan 22, 2011, 11:21 AM EDT

    Brian Kelly - vs. Michigan

    In between crisscrossing the country reeling in recruits, Brian Kelly returned to South Bend for an important recruiting weekend and the year-end 2010 Football Awards Show. He also took a few minutes to recap season one with the media. (If you’d like to see the entire thing, our friends at UND.com have you covered.) As…

  10. Friday notes: Tuitt, Diaco’s D, Recruiting and more

    Jan 21, 2011, 4:01 PM EDT

    Gary Gray Robert Blanton

    There’s plenty we can talk about, so let’s get it all out there as we enter the final days of the 2011 recruiting season. (Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, new head coach Brady Hoke hasĀ  a semi-vacant coaching staff and only 11 commitments, with some hanging by a thread…) Bravo to Pete Sampson at IrishIllustrated.com for…

  11. What a difference a day makes: Tuitt re-pledges Irish

    Jan 20, 2011, 1:31 AM EDT

    Stephon Tuitt

    Small timey? Not this coaching staff. A day after losing five-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt to home-state Georgia Tech, head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, recruiting coordinator Chuck Martin and defensive line coach Mike Elston arrived at the Tuitt household and didn’t leave until Tuitt was back committed to Notre Dame. IrishSportsDaily.com has…

  12. Rudolph says goodbye to Notre Dame

    Jan 19, 2011, 3:24 PM EDT

    Rudolph

    Already away from campus preparing himself for the poking and prodding that is sure to come in the next few months before April’s NFL Draft, Kyle Rudolph took the time to say goodbye to the student body of Notre Dame in a letter to the editor in today’s Observer. Here’s what he wrote: To my…

  13. Early enrollment brings mixed results for Irish

    Jan 18, 2011, 9:43 PM EDT

    Tulsa v Notre Dame

    We discussed it earlier in the week, but Frank over at UHND had a nice look back at the early entrants into Notre Dame, starting with the opening trio of James Aldridge, George West, and Chris Stewart in January of 2006. It’s been six years of accepting freshman early and before there were Kyle Brindza,…

  14. Stephon Tuitt flips pledge to Georgia Tech

    Jan 18, 2011, 4:45 PM EDT

    Stephon Tuitt

    With Notre Dame on an unprecedented recruiting run, the Irish hit their first speed bump with the de-commitment of defensive end Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt, recently upgraded by Rivals to a five-star recruit, will now stay home in Georgia and play for head coach Paul Johnson. “I think it’s where my heart was the whole time,”…

  15. Chase Hounshell joins Irish recruiting class

    Jan 17, 2011, 10:48 PM EDT

    Chase Hounshell

    Another day, another commitment to the Irish’s 2011 Irish recruiting class. This time, Notre Dame reels in another big body, two-way prospect Chase Hounshell, who will add even more depth to the defensive end position. Hounshell hasn’t been on the Irish’s recruiting radar for that long and was set to early enroll at Florida until…

  16. All-star games help Irish recruits raise stock

    Jan 17, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Courtesy of Asheville Citizen-Times

    If there’s a familiar complaint amongst Irish fans, it’s that once a recruit commits to Notre Dame, his ever-important “star-ranking” seems to drop. Whether its true or not isn’t important (and really, who cares after they sign on the dotted line), but one thing is for certain — that’s not the case this year. After…

  17. Five recruits set to begin classes tomorrow

    Jan 17, 2011, 12:52 PM EDT

    Early Enrollees

    It doesn’t feel that long ago that Chris Stewart, George West and James Aldridge became the first three early-enrollees at Notre Dame. But when university admissions finally opened the door to allow high school seniors the ability to enroll a semester early five years ago, Notre Dame got up to speed with the rest of…

  18. Lynch makes it official: Back with the Irish

    Jan 15, 2011, 5:25 PM EDT

    Aaron Lynch Army Bowl

    With his name joining the school directory on Notre Dame’s official website this morning, it was only a matter of time before he made it official. And this afternoon, he did: Aaron Lynch is (once again) committed to Notre Dame. The good news for Brian Kelly and his staff? Lynch is staying in South Bend,…

  19. Ishaq Williams makes 21 for Irish recruiting

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:52 PM EDT

    IF9L4424.jpg

    Brian Kelly came to Notre Dame promising to win in November. It turns out he’s pretty good in December and January, too. Prized recruit Ishaq Williams became the latest victory for Kelly and his dogged coaching staff, with the blue-chipper from Brooklyn pledging his commitment to Notre Dame this morning, just days before he’s set…

  20. Recruiting — The final countdown

    Jan 13, 2011, 4:36 PM EDT

    Gary Gray Robert Blanton

    Rarely can Irish fans almost sigh in relief when an elite, four-star recruit at a position of need leaves Notre Dame a bridesmaid in a recruiting battle. But when Portland defensive end Brennan Scarlett picked Cal this afternoon instead of the Irish, he helped clear up a complicated scholarship picture for the Notre Dame coaching…