January 7, 2005 // Recruiting

Weis Faces First Major Recruiting Test

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Notre Dame, Ind (UHND) — The first major recruiting weekend for the Charlie Weis regime looms large this weekend with as many as 13 recruits visiting Notre Dame this weekend. This weekend’s visit list includes 6 players previously committed to the Irish , 6 uncommitted players, and 1 recruited committed elsewhere coming to hear what Weis has to say.

David Grimes, Joey Hiben, David Bruton, Kevin Washington, Scott Smith, and Asaph Schwapp committed to Notre Dame while Tyrone Willingham was in charge of the Irish. Of the 6 Bruton and Washington are listed as soft verbals by TheScout.com. Grimes, Schwapp, Smith, and Hiben are all solid in their commitments however. Bruton and Washington will most likely remain committed to the Irish.

Headlining the rest of the visitors are wide receiver DJ Hord (6-1, 190) and offensive linemen Rafael Eubanks (6-3, 290) and Paul Duncan (6-6, 285). These two positions are always a need for the Irish and these three prospects are all listed as 4 star recruits on both TheScout.com and Rivals.com. Eubanks is committed to Iowa, but is visiting Notre Dame to see what it is like. There is a chance for the Irish to sway him away from the Hawkeyes, but it would take a lot. Duncan and Hord are more open at this point and the Irish have an excellent change at both of them.

Montario Hardesty (6-0, 195) is another 4 star recruit visiting the Irish this weekend. TheScout.com lists Montario as a corner but many schools are recruiting him as a running back. Hardesty is also considering North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee.

Defensive back Ray Herring (5-11, 190) will also be making the trip to South Bend this weekend. Herring has stayed interested in Notre Dame throughout the coaching search and his recent comments in his recruiting diary show he has a lot of interest in the Irish. “Coach Polian is the son of the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts so as a player playing for him, if you’re good enough you’ll at least get a look by the NFL. Not just from his contacts but from the whole staff because of their relationships with people across the NFL. Doesn’t sound too bad!” (rest of the diary).

Local product Patrick Kuntz is visiting Notre Dame this weekend after the previous coaching staff cooled on recruiting him. Weis and staff has been much more aggressive recruiting Kuntz however and the Irish are right in the race. Kuntz was originally going to commit on Christmas Eve, but the offer from Notre Dame held off his announcement. Louisville, Duke, and Indiana are competing for Kuntz along with other big programs Michigan State and Boston College.

Michael Turkovich (6-7, 280) is another recruit who got an offer once Weis took over. Rivals lists Michael as the #29 offensive tackle in the country. Turkovich is considering Boston College, North Carolina St. LSU, and Wisconsin as well as Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a good shot at Turkovich.

Notre Dame fans have to be thrilled about this recruiting weekend. In less than a month, Charlie Weis and his staff have set up a monster recruiting weekend on a weekend that was not originally going to be used. Students won’t be back on campus from winter break, but with two weekends lost to recruiting in December, Weis is using this weekend to get the ball rolling toward Signing Day.

This weekend could also be the last weekend that Weis is able to be on campus for recruiting visits. The Patriots have a bye week this week allowing Weis to be on the Notre Dame campus for this weekend. Next week however the Patriots will be playing and with the team New England has, they could be playing till Super Bowl Sunday (February 6). There is a bye week before the Super Bowl, but whether or not Weis could make it to campus that weekend is not known.

The Notre Dame staff will also be meeting for the first time as an entire staff before the recruits make it to campus. All reports indicate that this staff is more than up to the task of bringing in a good class after it appeared the Irish had lost all momentum during their 6-6 2004 campaign. Bring ‘em home Charlie!

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