With the laptop finally back from the shop, I logged onto the internet last night to see that it was a tough weekend for Notre Dame recruiting. The Irish lost two key commitments from their recruiting class — dropping the number to 16 — with defensive end/linebacker Blake Lueders switching his commitment to Stanford after an official visit this weekend and running back Gio Bernard making official his free agent status after his visit to North Carolina.
The loss of Lueders stings the Irish and will likely make it two years in a row where the Irish failed to reel in a defensive end recruit. Lueders, who met with familiar faces Brian Polian and Randy Hart at Stanford, thought Palo Alto was a better fit for him.
“It’s hard to explain,” Lueders told Irish Illustrated. “I like the academic side of it a little bit better. The campus, the weather, the football. I guess the culture of the football program. The social scene. The whole deal. It was really tough. They’re obviously two great schools, two places that I would’ve loved to go to. But you can only choose one, so I chose Stanford.”
Meanwhile, across the country Gio Bernard was taking his fifth and final visit, spending the weekend in Chapel Hill. While some message boards are hinting that Bernard eliminating the Irish, it sounds like Gio’s decision will come down to Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Oregon State. Whatever decision he makes, it’ll be done in an understated manor.
“I’m basically undecided right now,” Bernard told CarolinaBlue.com. “I’m looking around trying to figure it out and find what’s best for me. I don’t really have a plan, I’m just taking it day by day. In a way I still consider myself a commit but in a way I don’t either. It will probably get out even before then. I’m not doing the whole hat trick thing.”
Running back isn’t a true position of need, but Bernard is a promising player and you never want to lose somebody in the final week of recruiting.