According to IrishEyes.com, Notre Dame has picked up its third five star commitment in the Class of 2008 Tuesday in the form of Chicago native Steve Filer. Notre Dame’s last commitment gives the Irish 12 defensive commits and 19 total and also makes the Irish a perfect three for three in the Chicago area this year.
Filer (6’4”, 220, 4.65) picked Notre Dame over his other finalist, Ohio State, after fielding offers from the likes of Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa, and virtually all of the Midwestern schools. Hs commitment gives Notre Dame two five star defensive players and four linebacker commitments.
In a 3-4 defense, Filer has the frame to be an inside linebacker. At 220 pounds currently, Filer has the frame to add another 20 pounds and be a very disruptive force in the middle of a defense. He has great lateral movement and plays very well sideline to sideline. Filer also has the strength to be able to fight off the blocks that are necessary for a middle linebacker in a 3-4.
Filer is also a very sound tackler and is the kind of playmaker Notre Dame has been lacking at the linebacker position over the last several years. It’s been a long time since Notre Dame landed an inside linebacker who has the ability to step in and make an immediate impact, but Filer fits the bill.
This commitment gives Notre Dame yet another recruiting win over rival Michigan. While the Wolverines may not have been one of Filer’s finalists, they were one of his final three schools before he recently trimmed his list to just the Irish and Buckeyes. Michigan fans may try to downplay Michigan’s interest in Filer or his skill, but the bottom line is that he was one of their top linebacker prospects and Notre Dame was able to beat them.
It also should not be overlooked that Notre Dame was able to keep Filer away from instate Illinois who was a thorn in Notre Dame’s side last year. On top of landing Arrelious Benn, Illinois was able to land the commitment of Chicago native Martez Wilson a season ago. This year, however, Filer’s commitment makes the Irish a perfect three for three with their top Chicago area prospects – Filer, Sean Cywnar, and Darius Fleming.
Charlie Weis has stated in the past that the Chicago area is an area he would like to become a recruiting hotbed for the Irish as it has been in the past. The success Notre Dame has had this year in the area suggests that Weis and staff have made it a major focus this year.
With Filer joining fellow linebackers Darius Fleming, Anthony McDonald, and David Posluzny, its likely Etienne Sabino and Arthur Brown are the only prospects left on the board for the Irish at the position. Brown is highly unlikely at this point, but Sabino still remains a very distinct possibility for this class.
With or without an additional commitment at the position, this year’s crop of linebackers is the most talented and deepest group of backers Notre Dame has recruited in the last decade.