February 3, 2010 // Notre Dame Recruiting

Notre Dame Lands Matt James

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Offensive tackle was one of the biggest needs in the class of 2010 and on National Signing Day, Notre Dame landed one of the nation’s best when Matt James signed a letter of intent to play for the Irish. Notre Dame edged out Ohio State for James’s services to add one of the nation’s elite tackles to what was a thin offensive line haul.

matt-james-nsd

Notre Dame picked up one of the nation's elite OT's on Wednesday in Matt James. (Photo - IconSMI)

Ever since Brian Kelly was named head coach for Notre Dame, the chances of James following him to South Bend looked good. James had been favoring Cincinnati, however, while Kelly was still the head coach of the Bearcats.

In James Notre Dame gets a top 100 national recruit at a major position of need in this class. Offensive tackle has been anything but a sure thing for Notre Dame in recent years.

Notre Dame received the final recruiting visit for James this past weekend and James’s signing now gives the Irish at least five signees from the first big recruiting weekend under Brian Kelly with more possible on Wednesday.

James fits the mold of an offensive lineman in the spread offense perfectly with a tall, lean frame. He is very athletic for such a big prospect and still has room to add weight on his 6’8” frame. As the scouting video shows below, he moves well in space and has the ability to pull in the running game.  (There is an additional video at the end of this post as well).

James joins Christian Lombard and Tate Nichols as members of the offensive line in this class. A fourth member of the class of 2010, Bruce Heggie, could also end up along the offensive line before all is said and done as well.

The addition of James to this class also gives Notre Dame five signees from the state of Ohio this year with James joining quarterbacks Andrew Hendrix and Luke Massa, tight end Alex Welch, and athlete Derek Roback. Notre Dame’s success in Ohio suggests that the Irish will be major players in the state under Brian Kelly – especially since three of five committed to Notre Dame after Kelly was hired.

This was a great pickup for Notre Dame and the Irish could improve their offensive line haul even more if Brian Kelly can pull of a rabbit out of his hat and land Seantrel Henderson as well.

Comments to this Article

  • DeltaIrish commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    BOO-FREAKIN-YAAH….WELCOME TO ND MATT!!!

    [Reply]

  • Evan commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    maybe Seantrel on the other corner?

    [Reply]

  • scav commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I think it’s pretty clear that BK has different recruiting strategies than Charlie. Kelly goes after football players and will decide where to put them later. How many “Athletes” did Weis recruit?

    Weis recruited like a Pro GM, while Kelly is recruiting like a college head coach. From what I’m hearing a reading, Kelly is treating these kids like college students, not professional athletes. This is going to go a long way in future recruiting.

    With the addition of James, this class is pretty good considering the coaching change. I think we will get one or two of the kids from the island state, which will just be icing on the cake.

    I’m pretty excited about the future because for the 1st time since Holtz, we have an experienced college head coach. His staff are all known for their ability to teach and motivate. He has a strength coach that understands what it takes to develop college kids physically. I am always leary of a Stength and Conditioning coach who is not in shape himself (Reuben). This Longo looks pretty fit himself.

    I truly believe that we will not recognize the Irish next year because they are going to be Explosive, Disciplined, and Fundamentally Sound. We haven’t seen that in 15 years.

    2010 is going to be a fun year.

    [Reply]

    DeltaIrish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Explosive, Disciplined and Funadamentally Sound?

    I’m damn glad they will still be wearing the gold helmets….otherwise i wouldnt recognize them.

    I hope you’re right scav and i think you are. I actually like this class and, the cupboard wasnt exactly bare.

    I’m thinkin we are watching the first moments of a revival…dont wanna jump to quick (felt similar when Charlie took over) but I’m definitely more optomistic then I’ve been in years.

    GO ND…BEAT USuckC!!!!

    [Reply]

  • MikeRomo commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Prince Shembo just announced ND as well!!!

    [Reply]

  • DocBinge79 commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Kona Schwenke just sent his in. That makes 23.

    [Reply]

    TexasIrish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    ????? Rivals has Kona signing with BYU.

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    That was just a soft verbal. Kona is Irish!

    [Reply]

  • DeltaIrish commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    SWEET…ANY WORD ON IOANE?

    [Reply]

    teo replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    He’s at Boise today. Too bad for him

    [Reply]

  • bsubronc commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Everybody is reporting he will choose Boise State

    [Reply]

  • MikeRomo commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Cougar Nation says Schwenke signed LOI with ND

    [Reply]

  • jack commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    When CW took over he pulled a class of 15. Kelly has a class of 23. Some of the players are just atheletes with low star ratings. If he can coach them up he has some depth. We will not have to suffer through a 3-9 year beause we have no upper classmen.

    [Reply]

  • jack commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Iona signed with Boise St.

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    How does Boise St. do it? Amazing.

    [Reply]

    Oxygen replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Easy!! Jeremy girlfriend is going there and from what I heard they don’t even a have a scholly for him..

    I would never base a decision like this off of a girl, it’s bad judgement.. Girls are a dime a dozen and come and go in life. What do I know, I’ve never been pussy whipped..

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  • scav commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    The last 3 recruits to commit were all ranked 4 stars, one on DLine, one on Oline, and an Athlete.

    Any questions on Kelly’s ability to recruit?

    I know he has a lot to prove, but I’m really liking what I’m seeing from Kelly and his staff.

    Could this be the start of a similar run like Carroll had at USC without the cheating?

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Not only can he recruit, but he’s a proven college coach that knows how to get the most from his players. Total package.

    [Reply]

    Tommy Irish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I think you hit it spot on!

    [Reply]

    spiceyirish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    If you don’t think ND is somehow not cheating to get recruits then your head is really up your you know what. Every college program is dirty, some are just dirtier than others. My buddy went to KU and he said football and basketball players daily were just given money from boosters. I guarentee the same crap is going on at ND.

    Yes, I’m an ND fan, but don’t tell me they are not cheating/paying these kids.

    [Reply]

    nepachris replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    wow…where to begin? nevermind, not even going there.

    [Reply]

    spiceyirish replied on February 4th, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Because you know I’m right.

    nepachris replied on February 4th, 2010 at 3:04 am

    there is no reason to enter into an arguement with you when you state that you “guarantee the same crap is going on at ND”. show me some proof other than your all too reliable buddy who went to kansas. your statement basically says that every kid that goes to college on an athletic scholarship is handed money by boosters/alumni. do you really think that nobody would notice? do you think all kids were raised with no respect for rules? the way the rules and universities are set-up nowadays, kids do not need the money, everything is provided to them. tuition, room and board, school apparel, tutors, food, facilities, and the list goes on. everywhere, there are “bad apples” out there everywhere. those are the ones that bring sanctions to the university. nd has had their share, but they have learned and you can see it from the types of student-athletes they bring in. look, i am not naive, but to say the kids at nd and every college, for that matter, are being paid is assenine. hell, i bet 75% of usc, florida, and bama athlete-”students” are not even being paid, lol. just because your buddy went to ku and says they were all being paid holds no water.

    Shazamrock replied on February 4th, 2010 at 8:41 am

    SpieyI,
    If you think that ND is compariable to Kentucky then it’s your head that is stuck where the sun don’t shine.
    Don’t you know who their head basketball coach is?
    Only the biggest cheater in the entire NCAA.
    If ND was cheating than they should of done a hell of a lot better than 6-6.
    Why would any one cheat to go 6-6?

    [Reply]

    spiceyirish replied on February 4th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    These students do incredible amounts of publicity for their universities. A football program can pretty much fund a entire athletic department, plus fund other areas of the university. Players know this and boosters know that players know. Players receive $200 there, $200 there. Get a few new outfits. Who can blame them? A lot of them are poor. Plus this can be happening between classes or when a player is going to the grocery store.

    If the NCAA really wanted to crack down on this, then we would see college athletics ruined. Every program has boosters that are paying these players. The heads of the athletic department know about it, but it is hard to control.

    Just realize this is going on.

    Shazamrock replied on February 4th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I realize these things go on.
    Charlie Weis did too. He made it clear to his players the pitfalls that lurk around a major college program. And the issues associated with them. We are not talking about a kid who comes from a poor family and can’t afford a suit to travel in.
    Players at ND do not take cash for anything. Not for gameday tickets, or free meals. They are taught about the dangers of associating with agents, boosters, and alumni. Unlike a team from up north that also wears blue uniforms, we practice within the alotted time. Many of our players ride bicycles around campus, not SUV’s. You won’t find the parents of our top recruites living in a paid condo a few miles from campus.
    We don’t use young 18 and 19 year old girls dress in tight sweatters to help recruit high school seniors.
    ND doesn’t even have it’s own officials for home games.
    We generally use Big East officials.
    USC’s Lame Kiffin, tells top Recruit Sentrel Henderson that the coaches at USC had no knowledge that violations were taking place. That’s BS.
    He’s a liar. Turning a blind eye to violations doesn’t absolve him from his responcibilities as the man in charge.
    I’m not saying that ND is 100% perfect, but we sure the hell aren’t going to be compaired to USC or Kentucky in any way, shape, or form either.
    Charlie Weis did things the right way. Maybe not always popular, but right.

    [Reply]

  • jonnyC commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    “how does boise state do it?”

    ….they win

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Look at BSU’s class thus far…

    [Reply]

  • Drew S commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Damn, losing out on Christian Jones and Ioane sucks.

    [Reply]

    DeltaIrish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    agreed…damn

    [Reply]

  • Ping7Fe commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Where did Christian Jones sign?

    [Reply]

    irisheyestml replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    FSU

    [Reply]

  • teo commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Coach Kelly is scheduled to be on CBS College Sports today at 5:10. Hmm.

    There are at least 10 four-star recruits. Coach Kelly landed a lot of very talented recruits — both at the skilled slots and up front. I feel pretty good going into next season. I don’t get the sense that Charlie left the program in bad shape. It seems that what we need — aside from the talented recruits — is to return to playing very hard. This was a missing ingredient last year. And these talented young guys will help move the program forward.

    [Reply]

    DeltaIrish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Seantrel henderson and atleast one other top recruit is supposed to announce on CBS Colleg Sports this afternoon, though I dont know the exact times….think there could be a connection? (wishful thinking I know) Are other coaches on the program before Coach K…is it just a rundown about several teams? I gotta quit reading this stuff…i think I’m developing psychological problems.

    [Reply]

    IrishChan replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Tell me about it, I haven’t been very productive today. I feel like a little kid sitting in front of the Christmas tree with my brothers and sisters.

    I open a present and get a rush of excitement, then my brother opens one, and i’m pissed I didn’t get the same gift. Lol.

    I was really hoping for Jones, and Jeremy.

    [Reply]

    DeltaIrish replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    you are on the money chan…thats definitely how this feels.

    i’m betting our new toys will be just fine though, even if they don’t shine as much coming out of the box as the neighbor kids’ do.

    irisheyestml replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    The cupboard is definitely bare along the defensive line and with more and more teams playing the spread, we are bare at the db position.

    [Reply]

  • bsubronc commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Joe, what do you mean look at BSU’s class thus far…

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    9 guys, ranked 83rd in the country on Rivals. 2006-2009 no 4 star guys at all. Chris Petersen must be one helluva coach….

    [Reply]

  • bsubronc commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Joe, I think all of are coaches are really good, that is one thing. It also means that the star ranking deal doesn’t mean much.

    [Reply]

    Joe replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Yup, I really respect the BSU program. Seems like Kelly did a similar type job with the unheralded recruits he had at Cincy. Shows that it’s not so much the star rankings but rather the quality of the coaches. Whenever BSU is on tv here in the east coast I try to catch the game. That team knows how to play the game.

    [Reply]

  • bsubronc commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    The 9 guys is because we don’t have any scholarships this year. 4 of those 9 are grayshirting because we only have 5 scholarships. Only 5 seniors on last years team (2 of which contributed)

    [Reply]

  • jack commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I just went back and look at the previous recruiting classes and this one Kelly brought in is not that bad. Other than 2008 CW didn’t pull in a dominant class. Kelly has done a good job keeping the class together and getting some more quality players.

    [Reply]

    teo replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Agreed. He did a very good job of getting top talent. I know everyone focuses on the five star recruits but there are great players who don’t have five stars next to their name and there are many reasons for this.

    Generally, I think Coach did a great job. It would have been nice to land another blue chip, but he has a really good class. Five weeks ago, I doubt most of us thought we would have a top-15 recruiting class, with Charlie leaving and other coaches — recruiters — leaving, too.

    [Reply]

  • scott commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    deitrich riley to ucla

    [Reply]

  • DeltaIrish commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    scout.com is saying riley just signed with ucla…atleast it wasnt usc

    [Reply]

  • scott commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    ucla is cleaning up today. espn has them at #12 now. jumped up 3 spots with just the signing of riley

    [Reply]

  • kellygreenforever commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    ESPNU just annoucned Henderson to USC

    [Reply]

    IrishChan replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Yeah, that’s is what they are saying. I would have rather he went to the OSU.

    [Reply]

  • teo commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    How much did SC pony up for Henderson?

    Seriously, the NCAA needs to slap the school hard for paying off Reggie Bush. I know, it was only a booster or whatever, but until that is taken care of, the recruiting games aren’t fair. It’s hard enough to recruit when you’re a top-tier academic powerhouse. But, to think that SC was permitted to go ahead and pay a guy like Reggie Bush and suffer no consequences is, well, nuts.

    On an even more sour note, we have to get our collective act together because SC had a tremendous year on the recruiting front, despite having a little piece of $#!+ as a head coach. I know we had a good year, but landing a guy like Henderson would have been nice. I would not want to be at Ohio State today, though.

    [Reply]

  • jack commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    SC has had better talent than anyone in the country for the past 5 years and they always seem to loose a game to a lessor team. I truely believe that the pressure cooker goes on Lane Kiffen and not our coach. If he has two losses next year and not playing for the national championship every year they will want him gone.

    [Reply]

  • Joe commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Henderson would have been great, but this is a solid class given the circumstances. Kelly is the five star recruit in this class, and I can’t wait for the season to start!!

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Well Put.

    I was disappointed at the lack of at least one marquis player, but by all means I’ll take a matt james and luke massa.

    I’m just putting this out there: Don’t count out Massa. People counted out Toma as a throw-in with Teo. Toma contributed as a frosh. Toma might not have a real high ceiling, or be an all american, but the kid came to give his best and it shows. I hope Massa can be this year’s delightful surprise.

    [Reply]

  • joey d commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Didn’t ND just loose a five star tackle to graduation??? Hopefully Henderson turns out to be as worthless as Sam Young was.

    I really like the kids that Klly has broght in to South Bend. There is still A LOT of talent on the team that needs to be coached effectively.

    I’m going to laugh my ass off when Kitten officially turns his university into Unlimited Supply of Convicts, or USC for short. Have fun with Snoop Dog!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    2 Things:

    1. Don’t call a 4 year starter worthless. Especially an alum. I’m not saying he lived up to his potential, but he was by no means worthless. And it wasn’t for lack of effort (maybe lack of self discipline with the stupid penalties, but not effort).

    2. I LOVE the nickname for Kiffin’s Konvicts. (Unlimited Supplier of Convicts).

    [Reply]

    joey d replied on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    OK….

    Not worth much!!

    [Reply]

  • joey d commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    MATT JAMES
    CHRISTIAN LOMBARD
    ====================
    STUDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  • kellygreenforever commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Personally I can’t wait to see Louis Nix putting his big atheletic frame at the heart of the defensive front. He will eat blockers allowing linebackers to roam and flow to the ball.

    I live in the Boston area and love the Pats. I see Nix as a body eater the way Wilfork has been. Not so much this year but in years past he occupied multiple blockers so that Vrable and Bruschi could flow to the ball.

    I can see Nix developing in to this type of role quickly giving Teo more space to move.

    As was said above, Kelly is the 5 star of year 1. It looks like he has brought in his RKGs. Let’s hope he takes the current talent and melds it with the incoming class for success greater than 6-6!

    [Reply]

  • Chris commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Any you guys actually watch the tape links for James? I like what BK sees – this kid is a stud – he is on defenders like Tiger Woods on an incoming text message! Like glue and he pancakes a lot of them! The kid as a high school player puts Sam Young to shame. Sam was an absolute bust. This kid has heart and a nasty attitude! GO IRISH – GO BK. The shirt 3 yrs ago was ill timed – this is the year of Return to Glory!

    [Reply]

    Bill Meehan replied on February 4th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    If tiger woods were on top of his texts, we wouldn’t be making tiger woods jokes.

    [Reply]

  • IrishFan commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    All things being sad I think Coach Kelly did a great job in maintaining this class. He said repeatedly in his presser that he is going to go really hard at the 2011 class. I’d say he did alot better then Weis did his first class. I know Weis had less time to work with and I’m glad Kelly came when he did. Look at what Weis scored with his first class in 2005:
    http://notredame.rivals.com//commitlist.asp

    [Reply]

  • StillFighting commented on February 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I am just happy that some of the big recruits that the staff is going after is the line. I know we have some holes to fill with many graduating on the line, but I like the effort to improve the area that controls the line of scrimmage.

    [Reply]

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