February 23, 2009 // Notre Dame Recruiting

Introducing the UHND 10 for 2010

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This year I decided to come up with a recruiting top 10 list – a list of 10 prospects that would make the difference between a good class like we had in 2009 and a great class like we had in 2008.  I picked a combination of prospects at positions of need, prospects with strong ties/connections to Notre Dame, and prospects that are just flat out elite prospects that Notre Dame is interested in.  You can follow along with this list at all times by visiting our Top 10 for 2010 Recruiting List.  This page will list the top 10 (which may change depending on performance at summer camps, combines, and senior year games.

Here are the top prospects – listed alphabetically.

1. Anthony Barr – RB/LB
Son of former Notre Dame great Tony Brooks and nephew of Reggie Brooks.  Barr is a very versatile athlete and could really play a number of positions – running back, linebacker, or even defensive end.  Barr has an excellent combination of size and speed for running back and has been a dominant runner on the high school level.  Considering his ties to Notre Dame, seeing Barr anywhere else next year would be a major disappointment.

2. Jake Heaps – QB
Heaps was the first quarterback to be offered by Notre Dame this year which says to me he is Weis’s #1 target right now.  He’s a versatile quarterback and a top many teams boards right now.  This is going to be a very tough fight for Weis.  If Notre Dame has some success early in the season and the offense is clicking, I think we’ll have a shot, but it is going to be tough to pull him out of Washington.

3. Seantrel Henderson – OT
Henderson will be the #1 OT in the country on pretty much everyone’s list next year and will almost certainly be a consensus top 10 recruit regardless of position.  Henderson also hails from the same school which sent Rashon Powers-Neal,  Michael Floyd, Marcus Freeman, and Matt Carufel, and Ryan Harris all within the last decade.  Henderson should be Notre Dame’s #1 target and is a pivotal recruit for the Class of 2010.

4. Brandon Linder – C
Another offensive linemen with numerous ties to Notre Dame.  Four players on Notre Dame’s roster in 2009 attended the same St. Thomas Acquinas HS that Linder will be graduating from next spring.   We didn’t land a center in this year’s class and considering Linder’s ties to Notre Dame this is another recruiting battle Notre Dame has to win in 2010.

5. Christian Lombard – OT (Notre Dame Commitment)
Offensive tackle is the biggest need for this team in 2010 because we missed out on most of our top targets in 2009.  We were very lucky to end up with Zach Martin, but we needed two tackles.  Lombard is already committed and will be one of the jewels of this class.

6. Chris Martin – DE (Notre Dame Commitment)
Defensive line is another huge need for Notre Dame this year and Martin gives Notre Dame the kind of pass rushing threat we’ve been missing for years.  He will need to add some size to be a DE, but his pass rushing skills cannot be discounted one bit.  Martin was allegedly at the top of USC’s board and has committed to the Irish already with plans on enrolling early.

7.  Denzel McCoy – DT
Probably the top target for Notre Dame at defensive tackle this year.  This Georgia DT has offers from just about every elite program already.  Back in September, McCoy told the UGA site TotalUGA.com that he grew up a Notre Dame fan, but we haven’t had much luck pulling elite DT’s out of the South though and in the same interview he mentioned Notre Dame wasn’t a top school for him at the time.  Tenuta is listed as the recruiter for McCoy on Rivals, but I have to imagine that Polian and/or Brown will assisting big time here.

8.  Justin McCay – WR
One of the top wide receivers in the country and already a five star prospect from Scout.  He is coached by former Notre Dame great Tim Grunhard who recently flirted with the idea of coming back to Notre Dame as an offensive graduate assistant.  Hopefully the Grunhard connection can pay off for the Irish because McCray is a game changing receiver.

9. Sean Parker – S
When Byron Moore and Jawanza Starling both spurred Notre Dame for USC on Signing Day, safety immediately became a huge need for next year.  Parker is considered one of the better safeties in next year’s class despite his lack of ideal size for the position at this time.  He recently told ESPN that Notre Dame is his favorite.

10. Reggie Wilson – DE
Another DE with offers from just about every elite school in the country already.  Like Martin, he would give Notre Dame a serious pass rushing threat.   Wilson is from outside of Dallas and will likely be recruited by Tony Alford who Weis said last week will recruit the Dallas area because of his ties to the area.

Obviously this list is highly subjective and since it’s still very early in the process, most of these were educated guesses.  The list gives you an idea of where I think the biggest areas of need in 2010 are though – OT, DE, and DT.  I’ll have a post later on Tuesday ranking the needs by position for the class of 2010.

Comments to this Article

  • Bob Bixby commented on February 24th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I think we are awfully thin in numbers at DB next year; especially safety position. I would put DB as a position of need ahead of the three positions you mention; though adding some quality and numbers at each of those are priorities as well.

    Go Irish !!!!

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  • Josh commented on February 24th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Couldn’t agree more about Henderson. I think having Lombard and Henderson as bookend tackles for 4 years would immediately make ND’s O-line one of the best in the country. Throw in Heaps (or one of several top QBs ND is involved with…see Montana, Nick) and all of the young offensive talent already at Notre Dame, and this class could be the game changer the Irish need to be a legitimate contender.

    I’ll throw Khairi Fortt’s name in there, too. While we have a lot of LB talent already, the truly great schools always have depth and flexibility. He seems like the type of true athlete that would fit Tenuta’s system perfectly. With Te’o likely going on a mission, it can’t hurt to pull in a few more top linebackers.

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  • Zach commented on February 24th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I wonder, how will Manti Teo and his Mission affecting Weis and his recruiting for a LB? Will he a try and secure another one just in case Teo is gone for 2 years?

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  • Frankie V commented on February 24th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    @ Zach

    Even if Te’o takes his mission, we should have enough depth to be able to withstand his absence without it affecting our recruiting strategy. Filer, Poz, McDonald, Fox, Motta, and Calebrese all have at least 3 years of eligibility remaining.

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  • Ted Eberle commented on February 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Josh, good point about Nick Montana. CW has been after Heaps since he was a sophomore, but if he doesn’t go Irish, Nick Montana and Blake Bell would certainly be a strong duo at QB.

    I am wondering if it is likely CW will want two QBs.

    [Reply]

  • Mark commented on February 24th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Of the remaining targets

    1) Henderson
    2) Heaps
    3) Parker
    4) Barr
    5) Cooper
    6) Riley
    7) McKay
    8) Carter
    9) McCoy
    10) Fiedorowicz

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  • valpodoc commented on February 24th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Regarding T’eo. Don’t forget if he leaves on mission fro two years he could come backa trojan. His year of ineligibility will be up.

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  • jason_h537 commented on February 24th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    i do not see Heaps coming to Notre Dame, Montana and Gardner are our best bets at QB. Justin McCray is listed as a LB on rivals. i’m hearing theres a good chance that Barr and Chance Carter ( a solid DE prospect from IL) could commit by the Blue Gold Game

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  • lyle commented on February 25th, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Is Center really a position of need? Mike Golic has four years of eligibility, and freshman Tom Freeman could well be a steal.

    And if Braxston has four years left, as some suggest, we’ll have three credible centers well into the future. Which means that, though signing Brandon Linder would be nice, it’s not urgent.

    It’s a relief that now, compared to just a couple of years ago, when we say ‘position of need’ we’re looking at three years down the road rather than next season.

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  • Frankie V commented on February 25th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    lyle,

    Center is not a position of need but Linder is an elite OL from a school that has sent 4 players to Notre Dame under Weis. So while center isn’t a position of need, Linder is a top recruit because he’s the type of prospect we have to land in order to have another top class.

    [Reply]

  • Jim commented on February 25th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Hard to argue with those choices.
    Would like to see one other DE on this list but it’s hard to take anyone off. Lemonier or Odighizuwa would be great.
    At WR the top of my wish list is Robert Woods but I agree with you that we have a better shot at McCay.

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  • Andy commented on February 25th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I read elsewhere that Linder won’t necessarily play center in college. some actually project him as a tackle. In my book, anyone with that kind of versatility and book of offers would be a huge get.

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  • Mark commented on February 25th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I certainly wouldn’t complain about McCay. Can’t figure out why we haven’t offered Woods, though. Are we conceding him to the Poodle and Slick Rick?
    Would like to see us offer Joyner as well even if he is a Florida lean. You never know what can happen when you get a guy on our campus.

    I actually like our chances with McCoy better than his buddy Jones. Cooper would be great for his versatility and I think we have a good shot at switching him. Parker may be an ND lean and would be a huge get. Not getting a great feeling about Heaps and most reports I’ve heard out of my hometown don’t bode well for our chances with Henderson. Barr and Carter are ours to lose but I doubt we’ll pull either Jeffcoat or Wilson from Big 12 country

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  • jason_h537 commented on February 25th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    not sure why you dont like our chances with jones since his dad played at ND. i hear Henderson loves ND but doesnt want to commit to a school that might fire their coach. if we win hes ours.

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  • Mark commented on February 26th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    @ Jason. Just because dad played there or a guy goes to Cretin doesn’t make him ours. I’ve heard Jones’ top five excludes us and the word out of CDH is that Henderson isn’t that high on ND. My bet would be Ohio State.

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  • Jack commented on March 12th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Linder is a 6’6″ 285 lbs Left Tackle who as a sophmore was the starting center on the Florida 5A state champs. He is a tackle and is being recruited as a tackle that can play center.

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  • Fun Bobby commented on March 24th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Reggie Wilson’s committed to Texas now, so we can cross him off our list.

    [Reply]

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