Notre Dame, IN (UHND) — The Blue Gold weekend is quickly becoming a great recruiting tool for Notre Dame and head coach Charlie Weis. A year ago Notre Dame picked up commitments from Darius Fleming and Joseph Fauria, and this past weekend Weis secured pledges from five star running back Cierre Wood and four star defensive tackle Tyler Stockton.
Wood, a 6’0″, 200 pound running back out of Oxnard, California, had reduced his list of schools to UCLA and Notre Dame before making the trip to South Bend this weekend to take in the annual Blue-Gold game and saw enough to decide Notre Dame was the place for him.
Both Rivals.com and Scout.com list Wood as a five star prospect, which would make him one of the top 25 or so prospects regardless of position. He is an all around back who can bang it inside or bust it outside for a long run.
He also catches the ball well out of the backfield and has very good speed. He doesn’t have the track speed of an Armando Allen or Golden Tate, but he has very good football speed. Wood is also a very good return man and should be able to compete for playing time in the return game from day one.
Wood’s commitment was huge for Notre Dame for a number of reasons. First, it’s amazing that Weis was able to get a five star running back to commit this early after a 3-9 season in which the offense was ranked at the bottom of the NCAA standings in most statistical categories.
Second, the Irish were able to go into Southern California and get an elite recruit right out from under USC’s nose for the third straight year. Two years ago it was Jimmy Clausen and last year it was Dayne Crist.
The other Irish commitment this weekend came from New Jersey native Tyler Stockton. Stockton, a 6’1″, 290 lbs defensive tackle, is the first commitment on the defensive side of the ball for this year. Rivals lists him as a four star prospect while Scout has yet to assign a star rating to him.
Stockton had offers from the likes of Penn State, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Tennessee, Cal, West Virginia, and North Carolina and was hearing from a number of other big time programs such as USC and Florida.
Stockton is a great fit for the Notre Dame defense. He has the frame to bulk up and be a prototypical NT in a 3-4 defense and the athleticism to play defensive tackle in a 4-3.
In past years Notre Dame has had a hard time getting defensive linemen to come to South Bend, but times seem to changing in that department for the Irish. After landing an impressive haul along the defensive line in last year’s recruiting class, Notre Dame is off to a fantastic start with Stockton this year.
When watching him perform, the word disruptive pretty much sums up Stockton’s style of play. He is extremely quick off the land and is very powerful for a high school defensive tackle. He is very a very disruptive force in the middle and acts as much more than a “space eater” — he’s a very good pass rusher and will make a lot of plays.
Both commitments where huge for the Irish since running backs and defensive tackles are two positions where you can never have enough playmakers.
Check out the UHND Blog later tonight for some additional information on Both Cierre Wood and Tyler Stockton.