June 19, 2014 // Recruiting

One More Chance for Notre Dame to Impress Justin Hilliard

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Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Notre Dame will be hosting 40+ recruits in the class of 2015 and 2016 combined this weekend for the Irish Invasion, but there won’t be as much of a sense of urgency as there will be with the one recruit who knows the campus the best by now – 5-star linebacker Justin Hilliard.  Hilliard is aiming to make his decision by the end of the month and will be on campus Friday giving the Irish staff one last chance to state their case.

Justin Hilliard has not been a stranger on the Notre Dame campus.  He’s visited Notre Dame a number of times this year including just two weeks ago when his mother made her first trip to South Bend with her much heralded son.  With the Irish Invasion this weekend and number of committed recruits visiting Notre Dame, Hilliard wanted to get one more visit under his belt.

That’s the good news for Notre Dame.  The bad news is that Hilliard will also be visiting Ohio State this weekend on Saturday to give the Buckeyes one last look as well meaning Urban Meyer will get the last word in with Hilliard.

Notre Dame has some things working in it’s favor such as recent commitments from Elijah Taylor and Nick Coleman – both Ohio natives with some ties to Hilliard, but the visit to Ohio State certainly looms large.

Should Brian Kelly and the Irish coaching staff be able to pull off landing Hilliard, the Irish will have quite possibly the best one-two linebacker punch in the same class in some time between Hilliard and Josh Barajas.  If you think about 4-star Asmar Bilal recently stating that Notre Dame is his leader as well, Notre Dame could have the makings of a very special linebacker class on its hands.

Before that has any chance of becoming a reality though, the Irish staff has their work cut out for them.   The Crystal Ball predictions for Hilliard over on 247 Sports and trending way in Ohio State’s favor with the Irish trailing even Michigan and Iowa.  Most would argue though that this is a Notre Dame and Ohio State race.

According to the South Bend Tribune, there will be seven commitments from the class of 2015 on hand this week to aid in the efforts to lure in the likes of Hilliard and other elite uncommitted recruits on campus.  Below are the seven of 13 currently committed recruits from the #ShamrockSoldiers15 who will be participating in the Irish Invasion.

  • Shaun Crawford – CB
  • Nicco Fertitta – S
  • Tristen Hoge – OL
  • Trevor Ruhland – OL
  • Elijah Taylor – DT
  • Brandon Tiassum – DT
  • Jerry Tillery – OL

Kelly and company have an uphill battle on their hands this weekend, but having Hilliard on campus with so many committed prospects this weekend should at least give Notre Dame a fighting chance here.  With Hilliard set to announce in June and just 10 days remaining until the calendar reads July, we won’t have to wait long to find out of their efforts will be enough to add another elite linebacker to the roster.

Comments to this Article

  • drew commented on June 20th, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I am very glad this program is past the handwringing over a single player. The recent QB situation proved this coaching staff can handle it.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 1:19 am

    You are kidding yourself if you don’t think Justin Hilliard is not a must get.The problem is I think he is leaning towards Ohio State. Urban Meyer personally took over recruiting Justin and it appears that it worked.The two most important recruits in this cycle were Cornell and Hilliard and it looking like we will miss out on both with Cornell leaning towards Michigan State.Minus the 12-1 season Notre Dame has to many 8-4 or 9-5 seasons.Playing Alabama showed us how our talent levels stacks up against the elite.

    [Reply]

    Toulmin H. Brown replied on June 27th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    True Alabama looked great but if Tyler Eifert is awarded the catch? A catch which he should have been and both Herbie and Brent said it was a catch and would be reversed? Then ND is in the Alabama red zone and I say would have scored seven to even the game. Notre Dame was not rewarded for its effort early when it mattered. Oklahoma illustrated just how over rated Alabama is in the 2014 Sugar Bowl and OU had a freshman QB to boot!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 27th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Until they start awarding 30 points for catches at the 20 yard line then I don’t see your point.

  • bj commented on June 20th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    ITS NOT THE CORVETTE, WE ALL KNOW THAT SABAN IS A BETTER COACH THAN KELLY, HE PROVED IT, HOW DID HE LOSE THIS GUY, HE SHOULD HAVE HAD JOE MONTANA KISSING HIS ASS, HE HAS BEEN BEHIND THE PLACE HE NEEDS TO BE FOR FOUR YEARS, STUBBORN, MAYBE FINALLY GETTING IT, BUT WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO LOSE THESE GUYS AND BE THE BEST, SHADES OF JERRY FAUST

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 20th, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Great idea bj; however, as I’m sure you aware former players who aren’t employed by the school cannot be involved in the recruiting process.

    [Reply]

    corby replied on June 20th, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Punctuation is your friend. Quit yelling at us and turn off your CapLock key. Your post is idiotic at best.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 20th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    When you type in all caps it makes us pay more attention to you and gives you more credibility. But it would be even better if you cut and pasted more youtube videos.

    [Reply]

  • JD commented on June 20th, 2014 at 8:02 am

    BJ – You’re way off base and a little crazy. Montana was a cry baby because his overrated hack QB sons couldn’t hack it. If his kids didn’t have the last name “Montana” they would have been D3 walk on’s.

    Kelly has things headed in the right direction. Having the program not live or die because of one unproven 17 year old is a good thing.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 1:39 am

    The program is not headed in the right direction. We have had one great year under Kelly and the rest average at best. These elite kids dont want to go and play for a 8-4 team. Notre Dame should be able to get any elite prospect from any Catholic school in the country. Its a reason why we never won a BCS game. Notre Dame MUST start being in the top 5- 6 of the recruiting rankings or else we will never have a chance once these new playoff format kicks off. How many elite kids has Brian Kelly lost in the last 3-4 seasons who have gave their verbal and backed off or even worse actually have been enrolled and wanted to leave. We are not good enough to lose the talent we have lost and be able to play these elite teams in college football. Losing out on Justin Hilliard shouldn’t happen and the same with Cornell. Some of you Irish fans need to wake up. Once January rolls around and we are looking at another 8-9 win season maybe that will show you guys where we need to start getting every single year in recruiting. You can’t have one top5 year and follow that with three top15 in recruiting. Especially with the schedule we play every year.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 21st, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Kenny, any chance you’re a motivational speaker on the side?

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    No, but I did stay at a Holliday Express last night.

    qb2333 replied on June 21st, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    He recuits well particularly going after positions of need and much better player development than Weis. Recruiting ranking is important but not dispositive of performance on the field. Stanford, Michigan St and Oregon never have top 10 classes yet seem to be doing quite well.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I don’t want to sound like I am bagging on Kelly because I am not. I think he is one of the 5 best head coaches in all of college but he needs to start doing better in recruiting. Losing out on Barnett is fine but not on Hilliard and Cornell. I dont care what Stanford and Michigan State does because we are not them. We play top to bottom the toughest schedule every year. When Notre Dame is winning the program recruits itself. Notre Dame is more than capable of being in the top 5 in recruiting every cycle and anything less shouldn’t be acceptable.

    qb2333 replied on June 22nd, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    bottom line I do not agree ND needs a top 5 ranking to succeed. It will obviously help if it did happen every year. Look at Alabama, which is like Kentucky in college basketball. Based on success they recruit way better than everyone else but even those teams get knocked off their perches. Whatever the schedule, Stanford and Oregon are in probably the 2nd toughest conference and they never sniff a top 10 team and sometimes not even top 20 team. Michigan state has been kicking Michigan, Ohio State and Stanford’s rear ends with top 40-50 type classes and 3 stars. Kelly needs to continue to do well in recruiting I agree, but rankings are not science so whether it’s 6 or 12 team ranking doesn’t mean that much as long as they get the right talent to fit the needs and develop it. With success the recruiting will continue to improve

  • Shazamrock commented on June 20th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    -Narrated by Rod Serling-

    “You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of random thoughts and skewed opinions, but of mindless babble, a journey into a wondrous bazaaro-land”

    “That’s the signpost up ahead… You’ve just entered The bj Zone.”
    (queue the music)

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 20th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    A land where nothing ever changes, Ara and Lou never lost a game, green grass everywhere, and of course we hire the Oregon OC.

    [Reply]

    HURLS replied on June 25th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    “Gren grass everywhere”? KELLY’S GOT THAT! (it’s called “field turf”)

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 26th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I implore you to try and keep up Hurls.

  • Woody O’Hardy commented on June 20th, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I think BJ’s shouting rant is BS.

    Let’s see how we end up in 2014. That will be the litmus test.

    Go IRISH!

    Woody

    [Reply]

  • Sad Warrior commented on June 20th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Shazz, we are wondering why this BJ guy gets so much flack and crap for his `rantings’? Being out of the loop deprived us of apparently some good fodder. Some of you indicate that he is clinically insane or at the least an individual consumed with depravity. (Our SF Flight Surgeon agrees that he is in need of some meds and counseling, perhaps even some time in the rubber room might help… In any case this is a great distraction. Some of you guys are truly comedic stars. Thanks for the banter. We love it! We are going to try to pull up the Twilight Zone on Youtube thanks to your rendition of Rod Serling with BJ playing the role Cathy Bates in Misery II!

    Stay safe all. Hooah! Go Irish.

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on June 20th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Warrior,

    “Wondering why he gets so much flack and crap”???

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that it might have something to do with him suggesting that Notre Dame National Champion QB legend, 14 NFL season, 4 time superbowl winner, 3 time Superbowl MVP, 2 time NFL MVP, and first vote inducted NFL Hall of Famer Joseph Clifford (Joe Cool) Montana go kiss someone’s ass.

    Maybe?

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 20th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    What is an “SF Flight Surgeon”? Are you talking about an 18D?

    [Reply]

    Sad Warrior replied on June 20th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    JDH-Special Forces Flight Surgeon. Our 18D’s hold the rank of Medical Sergeant.

    Shazz-now we get why he is being hammered. Deservedly so!

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 20th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I understand that. I’ve just never heard of an 18D being calld a “flight surgeon”. Usually a “flight surgeon” designation is referring to someone who is in the Air Force or Navy. In the Army, I’ve never heard of anyone in an SOF capacity called that. In any case, I believe all “flight surgeons” are medical doctors. 18Ds are not. Didn’t you say you serve in a Ranger Battalion?

    Sad Warrior replied on June 20th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    JDH-two different individuals are being referred to here. One is the FS (no branch is ever directly referred to)who is an MD and the other, 18D,the Medical Sergeant would be a support for the FS. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Jack commented on June 20th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    BJ makes things interesting. To throw some more gasoline on the fire, hey BJ since the NC game showed how Saban was a better coach than BK, I guess Malzone is better than all of them because his offense has made Saban his little bitch. Saban even has cried to the NCSA to make it illegal. Saban, Meyer and the rest of the SEC scum are unable to make it in the pro’s so they go to schools that let them cheat

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on June 20th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    NCAA

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 20th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    maybe you guys can teach him to say:
    “save nick saban’s ass for me”
    go irish

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 20th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Would you settle for Nick Saban’s grass?

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 21st, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Kenny, are you serious?

    There is no such animal as a “must get.” What is the consequence of losing a must get:

    (a) the program folds and becomes a club sport
    (b) seppuku by nervous nellies like you?
    (c) the coaches stop coaching the other 84 players and those players
    stop working to improve.

    And Kenny you are delusional if you think the program is not improving.
    it’s about the goose and not the golden egg. Kelly inherited a mess, physical, personnel, psychological and emotional. This 2014 roster is the best since 1993. All the areas of vulnerability are better than before.

    And let’s not oversell 2012. That team, because of strength in certain areas masked an inexperienced qb and a potentially disastrous makeshift secondary of a frosh, a redshirt frosh, a first year starter and a player who had never produced and became a team leader.

    Tell me Kenny, you started this.

    What, with precision and specificity are the consequences if the Irish do not land the player you naively and emotionally labeled as a “must get?”

    I can’t wait for your response!

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Yes Kelly inherited a mess but he also has been at Notre Dame going on 5 years so you can throw that excuse out the window. There are must gets every year for teams. You don’t think Jaylon Smith was a must get. Hilliard recruitment has been taken over by both Urban Meyer and Brian Kelly. Both head coaches realize how important Hilliard is. Since Brian Kelly has been at Notre Dame how many recruits has he PERSONALLY recruited just by himself? One, and that was Jaylon Smith another “must get”. You can pretend all you want that losing out on Hilliard doesn’t hurt because you know it does. The same thing happened with Vanderdoes when he backed out. We are not good enough or deep enough to lose out on these elite kids. Especially elite kids from Catholic schools. This roster is not the best since 1993, that comment doesn’t even deserve anymore of my time.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    So what year had the best roster since ’93?

    [Reply]

    Kenny Moore replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I don’t know and to be honest I don’t care. This roster is not even better than the roster a couple of seasons ago that finished 12-1. We don’t have anyone to replace Tuitt and Nix and in year 5 that shouldn’t happen. Stop making excuses about how this staff has recruited because it hasn’t been good enough because this staff has been all over the place in recruiting. One year top 5 and the next barely in the top 15. Recruiting is the blood and bones of every major program.

    The difference between Notre Dame and the other elite schools down South is when they graduate players or they get drafted early they have the depth to plug in another 4-5 star kid. We don’t have that type of depth and we should because this is going on 5 years for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. Now that its pretty much a certain that Hilliard will choose Ohio State you can’t brush it off like its fine because its not. Hilliard could have had the same impact as a Manti or a Jaylon Smith and Brian Kelly knows that and that is the reason why he stepped in and took over Justin.

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 21st, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    You honestly do care and you must have an opinion otherwise you wouldn’t say the comment doesn’t deserve anymore of your time.

    Get out of the Holiday Inn Express and let your opinion be heard. There is obviously no right or wrong answer as you can’t really prove this.

  • Michael the Archangel commented on June 21st, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Let me jump in on this.

    With a few excepptions, “Must get” guys are never known to have been “must get” guys until they’ve been around for awhile and prove they truly were (see: Manti Te’o, who really didn’t assure he was one until his last year).

    Consequently, as long as recruiting ratings remain flawed and, at best, an indicator,
    we “must get” the best student-athletes we can, and coach them up.
    K. Russell, Zach Martin and Theo Riddick are three who quickly come to mind that fit this model.
    Kudos to the ND staff for how well they and others have been developed.

    With the rise of Stanford, Wisconsin, and other top scholastic universities, competition for the ever- diminishing outstanding ‘student’-athlete has grown. Plus, many of the outstanding potential HS recruits play in more user-friendly climates than South Bend (California, Texas, Florida,Georgia) or are naturally drawn to their own state’s established programs (Ohio State, Michigan/MSU).
    I’m not making excuses, just pointing out the difficulties ND faces annually.

    Duranko won’t want to hear this, but with our schedule this year and the youth situated for key roles,
    2014, for me, will be more about how this youth develops than whether they win 9 or 11.

    I feel confident the best is yet to come.

    [Reply]

    David Knight replied on June 26th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    If you think about it, how can you make a 18 year old come to your school? You cannot. You can address so many dynamics and show them why it is beneficial to come to Notre dame, but a 18 year old does not always have his priorities right and parents cannot always sway them, correct? Its not lovely weather all year round, it’s not an easy school to attend academically. Naturally drawn to their own state’s schools. definitely. The real difference between Bama and ND was depth. I truly believe BK’s coaching staff is doing a great job at trying, making the effort. The society and attitudes of youth are not the same today as they were 20+ years ago. They can do nothing about that but try.

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 21st, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    On the whole, I would have traded getting Nyles Morgan last February for getting Hilliard now, you know, gun to my head. We were DESPERATE for Morgan. How it turns out remains to be seen.

    Archangel, you have everything correct about 2014/2015. And to lend facts to your position, we only start seniors Koyack and Lombard on offense and Williams and Collinsworth on defense (Riggs maybe). But after a few years of watching this unfold, underneath the Dome and elsewhere, I am astounded at how many times the “year away” team turns out to be better than the “mature” team. Your experience may be different.

    By the way, Archangel, the other fact that buttresses your argument is the new defensive coordinator. Usually it is the second year when the defense figures it out.

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 21st, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Burgs, we will wait with bated breath for the answer.

    Funny thing is people who have are afflicted by habitual obfuscation, dissembly and circumlocution have a devil of a time answering a direct question. I know this, 2012 was a marvel of team achievement. That team had many deficiencies and their great strengths masked some severe
    problem areas. In addition to the areas previously limned, the 2012 offensive line could not hold a candle to the 2014 line, as we shall see.

    “personally recruited just by himself” As in the position coach, coordinator and regional coordinator are not allowed to contact the prospect by any medium. Weird, and ineffective.

    And then there are the Strunk and White issues and the conflation of
    “important” with “must get.” Oh well, we each label ourselves, eventually.

    [Reply]

  • Jack W commented on June 22nd, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Ok so almost everyone here seems to think ND should get every top recruit. So ND will have to change some rules. First, grades don’t matter so just let anyone that can pick up a pencil get in. Second, if they’ve had any run ins with the law, ignore it. Third, have recruiting parties with pretty girls and have them on boats and yachts. Fourth, set up majors like recreational therapy, sports history and arts and crafts. Fifth, a little pot smoking, drunk driving or punching a fellow drunk is no reason to be kicked out of school, just sit them at the start of the game…that’s punishment enough!

    Get off Kelly and understand that we have had only one year with a decent QB. Our offense is going to be awesome this year and next, so our defense will just have to keep us in games. Kelly won with 2 and 3 star players at UC so I’m sure he can win with better athletes.

    [Reply]

    Toulmin H. Brown replied on June 27th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Grades matter. Team chemistry matters too.

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 22nd, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Jack, first I agree with you about this year’s offense. There is a lot of talent. And here is my question for the doubters about the offense:
    Who are the three weakest players on the offense???????

    In recruiting, they are doing a good job of getting in front of the RKGS.

    And they continually try to probe and expand the ambit of their recruiting tactics.

    last year the new recruiter, since departed, did the Golden letter mailing.

    this year, they added the Irish Invasion.

    Next year, unless the Confederates get a rule change, Irish coaches will be at old friend Trent Miles’ camp at Georgia State.

    With the solid roster now, the key is to snag some difference makers.

    I like the incoming class, but we swung and missed on Isaiah McKenzie,
    Michiah Quick and John Smith. Those are the kind of guys who make plays in the BCS championship brackets.

    I think the one area in which we have “arrived” at championship level is the offensive line. Harry is a tortoise, but he really brings in the talent and then coaches them up. Our pipeline is the best I can recall.

    70 days to go…………

    [Reply]

  • Danny commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I think everybody needs to relax and realize the leaps and bounds Kelly has taken this program. Look at the talent that’s coming to South Bend on the offensive line.That kind of front line talent and depth haven’t been here since Holtz was on the sidelines. Gone are the days of one defensive tackle being signed per class and missing four guys we never really had a shot at. How many teams would’ve won games against top ten teams with Tommy at QB? Kelly was able to get to the National Championship game two years ago with a redshirt freshman at quarterback against a brutal schedule. You guys think guys like Jaylon Smith would being wearing an Irish uniform if Charlie was still here? Charlie did some good things to get the program headed in the right direction, but he’s not in Kelly’s league.

    Van Gorder is going to take this defense to the next level. Diaco did a great job, but recruiting defensive players just on measurements is never going to work. I believe some of these three star guys we’ve signed are going to pay dividends down the road. We have plenty of skill position talent on the roster, we just didn’t have a quarterback that could get them the ball in space. There’s always more three star guys drafted every year than five stars. I think we need to realize that Kelly and his staff know how to evaluate talent and more importantly they know how to develop it. I can’t remember the last time we had this many big bodies on the defensive line. A few years ago Pat Kuntz was our only option. We’ve come along ways and we’re only going to get better. We would’ve won at least three more games last year if we would’ve had anybody but Tommy.

    Cornell and Hilliard would be great gets, but its not the end of the world if the go elsewhere. Morgan and Jaylon are going to be fantastic playing the linebacker position’s for ND.

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 6:55 am

    todays clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E7eO2apTt0

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Last week Hilliard Tweeted that he hopes to bring top talent with him to wherever he goes – including five-star running back Damien Harris Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern, four-star tight end Chris Clark of Avon (Conn.) Old Farms and defensive end Jashon Cornell of St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hill.

    [Reply]

  • Jerry Seppanen commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    The recruiting is doing fine. Losing one player isnt the end of the world.

    [Reply]

  • TinySkippyNaNu commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    The three weakest players on offense this year? If we include punt return teams as part of the offense, I’d suggest:

    1.), 2.), and 3.) Whoever returns punts

    BK is right on the money with his recruiting strategies (and results), but punt returns over the past few years have been astoundingly bad. In fact, its astonishing that they’ve won as many games as they have given how miserable they’ve been in this area.

    Talk about playing with one hand tied behind your back…

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Okay, Facts are facts, opinions are opinions and nonsense is nonsense.
    earlier I stated an opinion that the 2014 roster is the best since ’93, and a poster called that nonsense. Upon being pushed he said this roster is not even as good as 2012.
    Well, I want to compare those two.

    First a roster’s strengh is from the top to the bottom, it seems. Last year we learned the importance of depth, and while the season was not pretty it would have been worse had we not been able to throw bodies at the problems with injuries on the DL and LB.

    My opinion is that if the bottom 50 players on the 2014 roster played the bottom 50 players onte 2012 roster, the 014 50 would dumptruck 2012.
    I don’t have a computer to run the monte carlo simulations but I’d go with that.

    WR/OL/CB/S are four areas where the mismatch is striking.

    On the OL we started Mike Golic. I doubt that he would solidly control a second string spot this year. Players like Hegarty, Hanratty and McGovern would have started in some prior years, and Quenton Nelson would probably get as much run as Stanley did in 2012. We have depth now. In 2012 we had NO depth, NADA and it contributed to Kelly’s non-contact decisions before that alleged BCSgame.

    WR. In 2012 we had three participants I greatly respect. Daniel Smith, an outstanding blocker, the gamer Robby Toma and John Goodman. they each contributed, and Christ Brown was forced in as a one trick pony before he was ready to run the full package. In 2014, I do not believe that Smith Toma and Goodman would be in the twodeep and thatBrown would redshirt.

    Cornerback. We really whistled past the graveyard in 2012 at cornerback. Jackson was a firsttime starter, and Russell was a summer convert from wide receiver. Depth? Uh, why do you think that Danny spond stayed on the field and was the de facto nickel back. Behind them were
    Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson, career backups, way back.

    Now we have a mature Russell, and a seasoned veteran in Cody Riggs. but Luke and Butler showed well and they are in their seond years. Farley is a fifth wheel, and Nick Watkins comes in more heralded and with better
    experience at cb than Russell did in 2012. Brown and Atkinson are now the putative 4th stringers, which is appropriate.

    As Safety we had Zeke Motta and Matthias Farley starting. We whistled
    past the graveyard here as well. Farley proved this in 2013.
    NOw we have 5th year Austin Collinsworth, star Max Redfield,
    and experienced backups in Elijah Shumate, Nicky Baratti ad Eilar Hardy.

    Less dramatic, I would take the 2014 QB chart over 2012. Golson is older an more experienced, and while Zaire is just doffing his redshirt,
    I would prefer him over Rees.

    At running back though uncomfortable with just three, I’d take Bryant
    Folston and Maniel over Riddick, enigmatic Cierre Wood and a more enigmatic George Atkinson, though that is up for debate.

    Eifert gives the not to 2012 TE corps, but Niklas and Koyack were just getting their sea legs.

    2012 had all america star power in Nix and Tuitt and we don’t have that.
    but we have Day, Jaylon smith and some athleticism at linebacker.

    Overall, this team is deeper. And the lack of depth in 2012 is nothing but a tribute to their teamwork and effort and how if you work as a team you can compensate for weakness in a couple of areas. 12-0!

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 23rd, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    WHY DONT WE PUT ALL THOSE FORMER ND LEGENDS ON THE PAYROLL AS RECRUITING CONSULTANTS. IS THAT PERMISSIBLE?

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on June 24th, 2014 at 7:06 am

    What’s with all this “WE” stuff?

    Speak for your self nut job!

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on June 24th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    It’s against the NCAA rules

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 24th, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Not only is it against NCAA rules, but what makes you think “Joe Montana” and “ALL THOSE FORMER ND LEGENDS” would have any interest in doing so, even hypothetically. Just because someone played football/graduated from ND does not mean they spend every waking moment obsessing about ND football. There’s a fair chance they have productive lives and don’t live squarely in their past, going catatonic at the thought that ND recruiting may not be where they’d like it.

    Every village needs its idiot and every court needs its jester. Have you thought about applying for a government job, maybe the IRS?

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on June 24th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Now that’s funny!

    I think JDH is the undisputed winner of the Limited Edition bj Corvette!

    But don’t get too excited…

    It only fires on one cylinder, is stuck in neutral, the wheels keep falling off, and it only runs on grass!

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 24th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Haha- Shazam he can keep that ‘Vette! BJ makes about as much sense as a .50 cal. on a Smart Car.

  • bruce johnson commented on June 24th, 2014 at 7:17 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nix2H5CCXpQ

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on June 24th, 2014 at 7:35 am

    That’s better.

    [Reply]

  • JDH commented on June 24th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Here’s a 5-star prospect (according to some sources) that ND just secured.

    http://irish.nbcsports.com/2014/06/24/notre-dame-lands-kicker-justin-yoon/

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 24th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Word is Reggie Ho closed the deal with this kid.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 24th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Any truth to Tillery flipping to LSU as per the comments on the links page provided by JDH? Adding a kicker to lose a top-flight OL isn’t a great trade-off, friends. I know some of you think this is a great class, but it plain isn’t. At least for now it isn’t. If Tillery flips to LSU that would be very disturbing indeed. But, hey, we landed a kicker.

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on June 25th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    SteelFanRob,

    It’s July and ND has had two great classes of Olineman. I am not worried about Oline in this class. The needs for ND in this class are as follows:

    1. D-line
    2. RB
    3. QB
    4. LB
    5. WR

    It is crucial ND gets D-lineman and a RB. QB would be nice, but not many people want to sit for three years. The linebacker out of Ohio is a must get. ND needs a strong front 7 on defense in order to win an NC. They need depth and right now they are only really two deep and need to be 3 deep at every front 7 position.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 25th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Agreed but don’t tell me losing a lineman of Tillery’s quality is just OK with you. That’s BS! Fine. Address the needs you mention but don’t lose any quality recruits already onboard. Time to take a stand BK and Co. No more poaching of our recruits. Go poach a few from others.

  • bruce johnson commented on June 25th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    shazam, burgundy, why cant the school set up a group of paid consultants, ex nd stars to help recruit, bettis, brooks, page, hanratty, quinn, stonebreker, the ropcket, you pick em, no school has a greater collection of respected ex nd football alumni. respectfully submitted

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 25th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    You can’t possibly be this dense. You can’t. So you think that if that is done indirectly, using “paid consultants”, rather than directly by the university, it would be legal?

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on June 25th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Bruce,

    Why wouldn’t every other school under the stars use their famous alumni to recruit. USC got in trouble years ago because Pete Carrol was speaking with Joe McKight with Reggie Bush in his office after he graduated. Reggie actually spoke to McKight and it was cited as a violation. You recruit on your academics, tradition and overall package, not about who went to your school.

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on June 26th, 2014 at 7:16 am

    bj,

    page?

    Alan Page?

    67 year old Alan Page?

    The Honorable Supreme Court Justice, Alan Page?

    …on the ND payroll as a recruiter?

    Seriously???

    Legends like Alan Page are “invited” back to the University from time to time as inspirational and motivational speakers.
    (to students as well as football players)

    That is presented to them as an honor befitting their renowned accomplishments, life time achievements, and impeccable status.

    Anything less would be considered an embarrassment and an insult.

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on June 25th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    SteelFanRob,

    I don’t want to lose any verbal commits, but lineman is an area that ND has recruited well in the past two years. Plus recruiting rankings are potential, and not saying they will pan out. Sam Young was a can’t miss five star recruit. He started all four years, but a dominant offensive lineman he was not. I don’t count any of the any verbal commit or LOI (thanks to our friend Mr. UCLA) until they wear the gold helmet and run out that tunnel.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on June 25th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Jack,

    Tillery is a very talented OL. Losing him in this as of now thin class would hurt. I agree OL is deep. Let’s keep it that way! Totally agree with you on Sam Young, though. I also agree with you on not even a LOI being meaningful any more. We need to now keep the best players in this class and add a few more in the areas you addressed. There’s a Bama recruit we’re closing in on. I’d love to steal one away from Nick Saban!

    Go Irish!

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on June 26th, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    SteelfanRob,

    I would love to steal that recruit, but right now we need a front 7 that can compete with the SEC and that is all I am worried about.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 26th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Absolutely. Not having Vanderdoes hurts really bad! I think that’s the biggest defection and most painful one of the BK era, with all dues respects to Barnett and Co. We are not very experienced in the DL. There’s some talent, but most of it is unproven.

    ND will finish with a top 10-12 class when it’s all said and done. Not bad. But we need to continue to stockpile talent and develop it if we ever want to see our beloved Irish return to consistent prominence. One great season sandwiched around a bunch of 7-5 or 8-4 campaigns is just not good enough.

    Go Irish!

    [Reply]

    duranko replied on June 26th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Rob, your fetish with Saban is both strange and very un-Notre Damey. The help you need may not be available on this site.

    Notre Dame, as alumni know, has had many rivals down through the years, but Notre Dame has succeeded and progressed by marching to the beat of its own elegant drum and not through puerile reactive hatin’ on other opponents.

    The one time the hate-filled
    animosity bubbled over and got out of control the good Fathers sent a message to the frothing-at-the-mouth students by
    suspending the Miami series. Word to the wise.

    Two other factual issues. I thought John Smith and Isaiah McKenzie were bigger losses than Vanderdoew. How many times did you watch Vanderdoes play for UCLA last year? I have my evaluation of him, but I’d enjoy hearing yours first.

    The other issue is the hyperventilation over Tillery. Facts are good, facts are nice. Tillery hobnobbed with Hesburgh on his most recent visit to Notre Dame. You do know that occured and you do know when it occured, right? I mean you do ascertain facts before expressing an opinion, right?

    Christians abide at Notre Dame, and learn the TOUGH part of Christianity. Like not calling people Raca and
    praying for those who do you wrong. You are familiar with that solemn obligation, right?

    You will have more Christian peace if you say a prayer for Saban and Alabama.

    I will right now and for you two.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 26th, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Please document my “fetish” with Saban? Once again your self-righteousness belies your pseudo-Christian palaver. I have no more obsession with Saban or Bama than the average college football fan. I’m willing to wager you’ve brought up Saban or Bama once or twice yourself. Physician heal thyself, duranko! Remove the log from your own eye first before looking at the speck mine. I’d appreciate you dropping your fetish with me and your moral grandstanding.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 26th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I’d suggest that the help you need is at your confessional, duranko, when you confess your smugness and pride. Pride comes before the fall, perhaps you’ve heard. You might also want to confess your need to bear false witness against others.

    Fancy words only masquerade your deep-seated emotional and spiritual issues, duranko.

    I’ll pray for you, though.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on June 27th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    SFR-
    Is it me or is this site getting bizarre to the point of absurdity?

  • Ron Burgundy commented on June 26th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Somebody please check bj’s internet connection because I haven’t seen a YouTube link today.

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 26th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKN9Rr4peLQ

    [Reply]

  • bruce johnson commented on June 27th, 2014 at 8:04 am

    FOR BURGUNDY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDr5vsHddjo

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on June 27th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    JDH,

    duranko’s self-appointed post of vicar of Christ on this site has turned me off for a while. Notice how other regulars like yourself, JC, C-Dog, and others have virtually disappeared. In addition to duranko’s grand-standing platitudes, you have Burgundy’s own brand of slapstick (just don’t ever bring up a serious topic to offend his delicate sensibilities, because he’ll take his ball and leave like a petulant child), you have bj’s ramblings about God knows what at times and endless links to youtube sites, etc.

    I miss the old-days around here when there were heated exchanges about ND football or circling the wagons against trolls line “Anus Eagle.” These days it’s just bizarre, to use your word.

    Notice that all I did was ask a simple question about Tillery. jack responded respectfully enough. But duranko takes a throaway comment by me as an opportunity to get into his bully pulpit to play evangelical preacher and cherry-pick the Bible for his self-aggrandizing purposes.

    I wish I had the time, talent, and treasure to start my own site, not to be another self-appointed guru like duranko, but to allow people like you JDH the forum to comment on serious ND matters.

    Now, watch the utterly predictable duranko say that you and I are trying to dictate terms to others, something of course he’s never, ever done on here!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 27th, 2014 at 11:45 am

    No need to bring me into your little cat fight Roberto.

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on June 28th, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Yeah, there does seem some drifting off point what I believe this site should be about. I’d rather see more content about ND football (or other ND related athletic content) than some of the other non-related content that seems to be getting a lot of posts. Usually this tends to be less during football season so I understand some readers throwing in content not directly related to ND football. I just tend to come on less during the off-season for this very fact. I don’t appoint myself to be site master, I just do what I can, reduce how much I come to the site during off-season.

    I am excited about the upcoming season.

    Go Irish.

    [Reply]

  • Ron Burgundy commented on June 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I realize your on edge waiting for the new planet of the apes movie to come out so I will not get offended by those remarks.

    I am in need of a new fetish or two so if you could look up some of those in your library that would be great.

    Until next time be sure to mix in a salad with those cupcakes. Looking a little thick in the mid section.

    Peace and love.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on June 27th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Hey, Burgundy, given any jobs to unqualified minorities lately? I hear Mike Tomlin might be in need of a job soon. Perhaps you can hire him in you beauty salon. Sounds about the right speed for both of you!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 27th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    If I’m reading between the lines correctly does this mean happy hour is out?

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 27th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Are you treating?!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on June 27th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Always do.

  • St pat commented on June 27th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Don’t think many people read the comments anymore, just a waste of time. This site is going downhill. People come here to read about ND football, not a bunch of nonsense.

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on June 28th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    St. Pat,

    I actually like the fighting, it gives the feel of a holiday dinner. We do talk a lot about ND football, we just see it way differently at times. If you put all of us in a bar to watch a game it could be ugly, but if we eon we would be arm and arm singing the alma mater. We can pick on each other but let a troll from another fan site come on this site, they will get a verbal beat down

    [Reply]

  • Ron Burgundy commented on June 27th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    No standing arm in arm singing the fight song either??

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on June 27th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Only if you’re buying, Burgundy! And it better be the good stuff, don’t be a cheapskate!

    [Reply]

  • Ron Burgundy commented on June 29th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Btw, who’s excited about the upcoming series with UGA?

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on June 29th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Time will tell, Ron Burgundy. Om paper now it looks very exciting, though.

    [Reply]

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