The Notre Dame recruiting train continued to steam forward on Saturday with a second commitment in as many days when California defensive lineman Matt Dickerson selected the Irish over UCLA and arch-rival USC.
Dickerson, a 6’5″, 260 lbs defensive lineman out of San Mateo, California, is Notre Dame’s 17th commitment for the class of 2014 and joins Jay Hayes and Andrew Trumbetti along the defensive line in the class.
When Brian Kelly met with the media on Friday to kick off the 2013 fall camp, he told media that it is really hard to find players as perfectly built for the nose tackle position as Louis Nix, but that he felt players could be developed for the position. Dickerson is exactly the type of recruit that Kelly was referring to.
At 6’5″, 270 lbs heading into his senior season for Junipero Serra High School, Dickerson has the size and frame necessary to grow into the nose tackle position at some point in his career even if he starts his collegiate career at strong-side defensive end as he currently is projected at by most of the recruiting services. Unlike Nix he might not be 300+, or well over 300 lbs in Nix’s case, upon enrolling at Notre Dame, but it is not hard to imagine him adding enough mass once Paul Longo gets his hands on him to anchor the middle of the Notre Dame defense.
Notre Dame picked up the commitment from Dickerson after an unofficial visit this weekend as the Irish prepare to pack up and head to Marion, Indiana for Camp Shiloh and the start of fall camp on Monday. Before making his visit to Notre Dame and subsequently committing to the GoldenArmy14, Dickerson picked up scholarship offers from Cal, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA, and USC among others.
Rivals and 247 Sports both rate Dickerson as a 3-star prospect, but ESPN ranks the California native with 4 stars. The offer list above backs up ESPN’s evaluation as well.
For Notre Dame fans, gaining the commitment of Dickerson over UCLA in the same week that Eddie Vanderdoes won his appeal to be eligible to play for the Bruins this fall after signing a LOI with Notre Dame in February is especially sweet.
From a football perspective, the addition of Dickerson to this year’s class should be equally as exciting for Notre Dame fans. Dickerson gives the Notre Dame defensive staff flexibility since he could potentially play any of the three defensive line positions in the Notre Dame defense.
With Dickerson on board, Notre Dame as three definite defensive linemen – Dickerson, Trumbetti, and Hayes – with two other possible linemen in Grant Blankenship and Jonathan Bonner since each could potentially grow into linemen as well. Notre Dame is likely not done recruiting the defensive trenches though. Expect the Irish to continue to heavily pursue the likes of Matt Elam, Soloman Thomas, Thomas Holley, and Lorenzo Carter as they continue to fill out this year’s class.
Notre Dame picked up another commitment this weekend as well when outside linebacker Richard Yeargin selected Notre Dame over Florida. Notre Dame held steady at #6 in Rivals’ team rankings after the addition of Dickerson.