Eddie Vanderdoes – DT – 6’3″, 285 lbs (Auburn, CA)
- ESPN: 5-star, #1 DT, #10 overall
- Rivals: 5-star, #2 DT, #21 overall
- 24/7: 5-star, #1 DT, #6 overall
Competition: Alabama, USC, UCLA, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma
Analysis: Notre Dame picked up a huge piece to its recruiting puzzle on Wednesday night when Eddie Vanderdoes faxed in his LOI to Notre Dame as the 24th and final member of this year’s recruiting class. Earlier in the day Notre Dame inadvertently listed Vanderdoes as a signee on their official release before Vanderdoes announced his decision, but by day’s end, it was official that Notre Dame was adding a 5-star defensive tackle to this year’s class.
Only Rivals from the major recruiting services has Vanderdoes not ranked as the top DT in the country and even there he is still listed at #2 making it very clear that all of the services agree that this is a very, very talented recruit. Every major program in the country wanted Vanderdoes but it came down to USC, UCLA, and Alabama on Signing Day. Once a commitment to USC, Vanderdoes picked the Irish in the evening hours east coast time to cap off the best recruiting class Notre Dame has signed in many years.
Vanderdoes will likely see the field early because of his size, strength, and immense talent just as Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch did two seasons ago as true freshmen along the defensive line. Look for big Louis Nix to take Vanderdoes under his wing once he arrives on campus. The two hit it off throughout the recruiting process and Vanderdoes will be groomed to eventually replace Irish Chocolate when he leaves for the NFL either after this season or next.
Notre Dame needed a DT of Vanderdoes’s caliber for this to truly be an elite class and to really start to close the gap between them and the elite SEC programs like Alabama. Well, they got their man at DT and will now have a ton of momentum as the recruiting cycle for the class of 2014 starts to heat up.
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