Brian Polian has been one of the more maligned coaches at Notre Dame over the past few seasons, but the job he did with this recruiting class was nothing short of remarkable. According to Rivals recruiting section, Polian was responsible for the following commitments this season:
- Manti Te’o – 5-star LB which USC was all over
- Shaquelle Evans – 4-star WR who previously committed to USC
- Cierre Wood – 4-star (at one time 5-star) RB
- Alex Bullard – 4-star OL pulled out of SEC country
- Dan Fox – 3-star LB from Ohio
- Special Teams recruits Nick Tausch, Ben Turk, and Jordan Cowart
Out of the 17 signed recruits, Polian had a major role in the recruitment of 8 of them. That’s a pretty impressive feat. Polian was also the primary recruiter for Byron Moore and nearly snagged the star safety away from USC.
I know Charlie Weis spent a lot of his time on Te’o as well, but Polian was always mentioned with Weis whenever there was a story about Weis visiting Hawaii. Te’o is the biggest defensive recruit for Notre Dame in a while though so Polian’s involvment deserves some praise. If you have seen the video of the Notre Dame coaches war room to the reaction of the Te’o announcement, it’s clear that the rest of the staff really respected Polian’s efforts since he is the one they all congratulate.
Polian’s efforts haven’t been lost on Weis either. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s presser from Weis on Polian’s efforts.
It’s a really you think about what he’s really done in the last few years now, and this isn’t the first year now that he’s gone into these areas and pulled out top players. He’s really created foundations. When I’m in there, I walk into high schools with him and everyone knows who he is. The high school coaches all know; he’s a bulldog and he goes in there and he’s a grinder. When you go in there, it’s tough, because a lot of people already have their favorites, whether it be USC, Stanford, whoever they are. A lot of those people already have those favorites, but he doesn’t care. Once he finds a guy that fits the criteria that we look for at Notre Dame, which we all know are good kids, that are hypocritical about grades that can play, and showing, for example, going into Englewood. That’s going into Inglewood and getting Shaq, you know, that’s pretty good stuff right there.
Polian might need some work with the X’s and O’s of coaching special teams, but his recruiting prowress the past two seasons has been outstanding and deserves some props.