This year I decided to come up with a recruiting top 10 list – a list of 10 prospects that would make the difference between a good class like we had in 2009 and a great class like we had in 2008. I picked a combination of prospects at positions of need, prospects with strong ties/connections to Notre Dame, and prospects that are just flat out elite prospects that Notre Dame is interested in. You can follow along with this list at all times by visiting our Top 10 for 2010 Recruiting List. This page will list the top 10 (which may change depending on performance at summer camps, combines, and senior year games.
Here are the top prospects – listed alphabetically.
1. Anthony Barr – RB/LB
Son of former Notre Dame great Tony Brooks and nephew of Reggie Brooks. Barr is a very versatile athlete and could really play a number of positions – running back, linebacker, or even defensive end. Barr has an excellent combination of size and speed for running back and has been a dominant runner on the high school level. Considering his ties to Notre Dame, seeing Barr anywhere else next year would be a major disappointment.
2. Jake Heaps – QB
Heaps was the first quarterback to be offered by Notre Dame this year which says to me he is Weis’s #1 target right now. He’s a versatile quarterback and a top many teams boards right now. This is going to be a very tough fight for Weis. If Notre Dame has some success early in the season and the offense is clicking, I think we’ll have a shot, but it is going to be tough to pull him out of Washington.
3. Seantrel Henderson – OT
Henderson will be the #1 OT in the country on pretty much everyone’s list next year and will almost certainly be a consensus top 10 recruit regardless of position. Henderson also hails from the same school which sent Rashon Powers-Neal, Michael Floyd, Marcus Freeman, and Matt Carufel, and Ryan Harris all within the last decade. Henderson should be Notre Dame’s #1 target and is a pivotal recruit for the Class of 2010.
4. Brandon Linder – C
Another offensive linemen with numerous ties to Notre Dame. Four players on Notre Dame’s roster in 2009 attended the same St. Thomas Acquinas HS that Linder will be graduating from next spring. We didn’t land a center in this year’s class and considering Linder’s ties to Notre Dame this is another recruiting battle Notre Dame has to win in 2010.
5. Christian Lombard – OT (Notre Dame Commitment)
Offensive tackle is the biggest need for this team in 2010 because we missed out on most of our top targets in 2009. We were very lucky to end up with Zach Martin, but we needed two tackles. Lombard is already committed and will be one of the jewels of this class.
6. Chris Martin – DE (Notre Dame Commitment)
Defensive line is another huge need for Notre Dame this year and Martin gives Notre Dame the kind of pass rushing threat we’ve been missing for years. He will need to add some size to be a DE, but his pass rushing skills cannot be discounted one bit. Martin was allegedly at the top of USC’s board and has committed to the Irish already with plans on enrolling early.
7. Denzel McCoy – DT
Probably the top target for Notre Dame at defensive tackle this year. This Georgia DT has offers from just about every elite program already. Back in September, McCoy told the UGA site TotalUGA.com that he grew up a Notre Dame fan, but we haven’t had much luck pulling elite DT’s out of the South though and in the same interview he mentioned Notre Dame wasn’t a top school for him at the time. Tenuta is listed as the recruiter for McCoy on Rivals, but I have to imagine that Polian and/or Brown will assisting big time here.
8. Justin McCay – WR
One of the top wide receivers in the country and already a five star prospect from Scout. He is coached by former Notre Dame great Tim Grunhard who recently flirted with the idea of coming back to Notre Dame as an offensive graduate assistant. Hopefully the Grunhard connection can pay off for the Irish because McCray is a game changing receiver.
9. Sean Parker – S
When Byron Moore and Jawanza Starling both spurred Notre Dame for USC on Signing Day, safety immediately became a huge need for next year. Parker is considered one of the better safeties in next year’s class despite his lack of ideal size for the position at this time. He recently told ESPN that Notre Dame is his favorite.
10. Reggie Wilson – DE
Another DE with offers from just about every elite school in the country already. Like Martin, he would give Notre Dame a serious pass rushing threat. Wilson is from outside of Dallas and will likely be recruited by Tony Alford who Weis said last week will recruit the Dallas area because of his ties to the area.
Obviously this list is highly subjective and since it’s still very early in the process, most of these were educated guesses. The list gives you an idea of where I think the biggest areas of need in 2010 are though – OT, DE, and DT. I’ll have a post later on Tuesday ranking the needs by position for the class of 2010.