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Notre Dame Loses Greenberry on Signing Day

Notre Dame fans have become accustomed to not receiving a lot of good news on Signing Days over the years save for a few surprises here and there, but on National Signing Day Irish fans were hit with one of the most shocking and disappointing pieces of news they’ve ever received on Signing Day when long time commitment and star wide receiver Deontay Greenberry shockingly shunned Notre Dame for Houston.

Greenberry, the cousin of early enrollee Tee Shepard and the jewel of this year’s wide receiver class for the Irish, stunned the recruiting world on Wednesday when he picked of all places Houston to pursue his collegiate career.  Greenberry had made visits to some high profile universities over the last few months, but most felt his commitment was secure and certainly no one considered Houston a serious player for his services.

Notre Dame still signed three potential wide receivers on Wednesday in Chris Brown, Justin Ferguson, and Keivarae Russell are all likely to start their careers at wide receiver, but none of them bring the instant impact ability that Greenberry brought to the table for the Irish making his last minute switch even more shocking.  Many projected the high profile recruit to challenge for a starting position from day one.

This ranks right up there with the Lorenzo Booker and CJ Leak signing day dramas.  In all honesty, this one may even top the Booker and Leak situations because in neither of those cases was the recruit committed to Notre Dame.  In the case of Grennberry, he had been committed to Notre Dame for months and months and the Irish were able to withstand recruiting charges from the likes of USC and UCLA for his services.

In the lone bit of potential good news for Notre Dame, another wide receiver recruit could land in Notre Dame’s lap after Ohio State dropped Davonte Neal as they filled up on scholarships.  Should Notre Dame be Neal’s final destination, the Irish will have done about as well as they could have hoped for in replacing a recruit who decided to change his commitment on Signing Day but right now a signed letter of intent from Neal is far from certain for the Irish with Neal likely to take a few more official visits before deciding.

Other than the Greenberry news, there were no other shockers for the Irish as Notre Dame was unable to swing Brian Poole from Florida or secure a commitment from any of the other remaining prospects they held out slim hope for such as Nelson Agholor who ended up at rival USC.

In all, Notre Dame signed just 16 recruits in this years class and ended up missing out at several key positions after it looked like the Irish would run out of scholarships earlier this month.


  1. Too bad. It happens all the time and now that ND are at or near the top you would think it wouldn’t happen but it does. Let’s hope they have enough backups.
    Their freshman class becomes more important. They better be good. Some will have to probably move into the starting lineup. Go Irish!

  2. Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) join us!!!!!

    • Ty is a stud!! I’ve seen him play a couple of times. He got out scored by Westercamp in the championship, but still put up ridiculous numbers.

  3. dear new nd recruits: you gotta believe

  4. Hey JC,
    I want to let you know that you had a great observation a while back about ND. After losing 8 and being so young, I figured ND was just in a transitional year. Brey is a very good coach and I would never say differntly, but now maybe I will have to use the term great coach. He has turned the corner with this squad and it looks like they will be bringing momentum into March. Now I am very interested in seeing that matchup between the Cuse and ND, the loss of Melo apparently had nothing to do with the win. As you said, just inspiration. Go ND. Final Four ND.

  5. i think he will…he looks pretty explosive

  6. JTRAIN,

    Yes, I’m thinking the same way. There are wholes in the story. Then again, none of us really knows what happened. All we can do is hope and pray that the young man is truly committed.

    What we need to do is move on. He’s at ND. Let’s hope he’s worth the hassle and the wait.

    Go Irish!

  7. Davonte has said he decided on nd last week

    • I read that too. Seems he picked ND last week and before that it was between ND and Arkansas. Apparently the AZ beat writers wanted to keep local interest up by making it seem DN was interested in the home state school. Same article said the supposed family drama that kept DN from the early presser was not about the school he picked. Instead, it was supposedly about which of the family would accompany him to the presser. That type of thing is a pretty common rift among divorced families.

      The fact that DN went around to each class and apologized shows a lot of character. I’m damn pleased to have him in the blue and gold.

  8. the more i read about this the more i am starting to think this whole last minute dad wanting nd pleading with his son to change his mind was fabricated by an arizona beat writer to salvage credibility in his sources. The sources that told him neal was going to zona. Just to make sure that the next time he cites his”sources” people will read. Every article stating that luke neal swayed his son cites the same writer and his “source”…just sayin

  9. Patrick,

    When you can’t make an argument, go for the personal attack. Good job!

    I think you make some valid points about letting things play out. Perhaps this kid is genuinely interested in ND and everyone just got their cables crossed. Let’s hope so.

    BTW: I’ve done my fair share of reading about this kid and his family the last few days. I proffered more facts in one blog post than you have so far. So I’d say that I know more about this case than you do, which probably accounts for you having to resort to personal insults.

    Stay classy, Patrick!

  10. I too have doubts SFR. Hopefully though, this kid will get on campus and immediately start catching some TDs from Golson and he will relaize that ND is the place to be.

  11. Thanks, JTRAIN,

    I don’t recall the last time I’ve been this ambivalent about a top recruit. I just don’t have a good feeling about this one. I can see this kid getting cold feet at the last minute and sitting out a year before playing for Rich Rod at AZ. Hope I’m wrong but something about this case sticks in my craw.

    • I can see where you’re coming from sfr…but i refer to my post earlier that i really do think he made an emotional choice last week. But him or his dad thought it over and nd became the better choice…just my opinion

    • He faxed in his letter of intent already – so it’s not a “verbal.”

      You guys need to just relax and be happy. If he would have went to AZ, you guys would be calling for Kelly’s head and asking why he lost to a top recruit to a lowly program like U of A.

      Instead, he signs with ND and “the sky is falling.” Enjoy the fact a playmaker signed with ND. Enjoy the fact, if he stays on offense, he helps make up for the loss of Greenberry.

      • Patrick,

        Who said anything about a “verbal”? Don’t put words into our mouths. No one is saying the sky is falling

        What has been said, rightly so, is that this kid has left some of us here uneasy. Plus, the stories I’m reading about him elsewhere are not at all settling. For instance, it seems that his father was largely absent from the young man’s life and was a “dead-beat dad.” In which case, if true, it is hardly inspiring confidence if Neal is headed to ND because of his dad and not because he wants to really play for ND.

        If he in fact thought things out and decided that ND was the best all-around choice, which it clearly is, then that’s another story. But if this kid is being forced to come to ND because his erstwhile dad wants him to and he doesn’t, that’s not good. Why? One, Neal may end up transferring. Or, two, he may never live up to his potential because he’s not happy at ND. (BTW: I’ve read that Deion Walker was also pressured by his mom to come to ND. How did that work out with another 5-star WR?) Time will tell.

        For now, let’s be cautiously optimistic.

        Also, Neal doesn’t at all make up for the loss of DG. He’s not the same type of WR. He’s more of a slot receiver like Toma, not an outside guy like Floyd. IF anything, he makes up for the loss of Darby at CB.

        But, then again, there’s really no such things as making up for losing another player. How much better would we all feel if we’d kept Decker, DG, and Darby?!

      • People insinuated nothing was set in some with his commitment. Actually, it was when he faxed his LOI in.

        I’ll put whatever words I want into anyone’s mouth, as a good number of the posters on here need to put their big girl panties on and get off te Monday morning QB chair.

        Bottom line is, you know less about this kid than a man on the moon. You also know less about his role at ND in the next 3-4 years than a psychic.

        Breathe. Let the kid play football. The sun will rise tomorrow.

  12. Chicago tribune

  13. BTW: Is this official? ESPN hasn’t reported on the Neal commit. What are the sources?

  14. On the one hand, I’m happy we got a gifted prospect. On the other, I hope Neal doesn’t become the next Shaq Evans.

    If he wanted to go to AZ, then that’s what he should’ve done. I hope somewhere inside this kid realizes what a privilege it is to go to, play for, and eventually graduate from Our Lady’s university.

    Go Irish!

    • SFR,

      You would think that with the amount of time he took, he should have a clear understanding of what’s expected of a ND student Athlete.

      As you and I both know, ND student athletes are held to a higher standard than most others on and off the field.

      I’m pretty sure there will be some “friction” in the locker room. (At least early on)

      The expectations by the program, the Alums, and fan base can have an effect on young players as well.

      Now throw in the love/hate relationship that the media has with ND and the young man certainly has a lot to deal with.

      Of course, it’s nothing that can’t be resolved with exceptional play on his part.

      Let’s hope he uses it as motivation, and works his butt off to prove himself!

      • Watch out, Shaz, you might be accused by some here of not having “your big girl panties” on. Whatever that supposed clever turn of phrase means! After all, the sign of a keen intellect is how well you resort to name-calling. The approach of the play-ground bully I guess is alive and well in the minds of some people.

        Shaz, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. There’s a lot asked of ND athletes and football players in particular. Neal has certainly not gotten off to an auspicious start. But like you say, that’s nothing a game-winning 100 yd. return for a TD against Michigan, USC, or Oklahoma won’t fix!

        Let’s just hope that everyone puts this behind them the sooner the better.

        Go Irish!

      • Big girl panties on ???

        Now there’s a thought that takes me back!

        The last time that happened I was 18,and those big girl panties belonged to Back Alley Sally.

        There was way too much Tequilla involved, I woke up the next moring with them on my head, and ended up with a hang-over that lasted a week.

        I had almost forgot about that.

        As Bob Hope used to say “Thanks for the Memory’s”

  15. neal is a smart man

  16. Neal is irish!!!!

  17. I don’t understand why he didn’t call the school this morning to tell the administrators that he was no longer holding his press conference. You don’t just pull a “no show.” Common courtesy. He knew damn right well that he wasn’t making his decision. He should have cancelled the shindig.

  18. Also i agree with geoff…come to nd if its really what you want otherwise stay away

  19. My two cents here…apparently this decision was made last week and he was going to announce it today. I am thinking that he chose az because of his cousin’s passing and thought he should stay close to home. Now that the initial shock of the loss has passed maybe he started to second guess the emotional decision he made. He is a teenager afterall. They tend to do that. He may still end up at az but hey, he isn’t deciding what he is having for breakfast here. This is easily the biggest decision he has made in his young life. Yes the press conference was probably a little over the top but how many in the local media were pulling and tugging at him to make this such a big production?? No media would never do such a thing…would they? Either way i still wish him the best wherever he goes and good luck.

  20. I agree with you Rob. I don’t see him as a WR in our offense if he decides to commit to ND, but who knows. I just hope if he does decide to head to South Bend that he really wants to be there…. and it isn’t his father pressuring him. If he doesn’t want to be at ND then he is doing himself a disservice and immediately comes a transfer threat throughout his collegiate career.

  21. Geoff,

    At this point, who cares. I’m not sure this kid is a ND type of character recruit.

    He would certainly help at CB. Would makeup for losing Darby. (How nice would it have been to have both, assuming they were RBKG?) I see him as a CB and return ace. We have too many WRs with his skill set and measurables. What we needed at WR was DG and he jilted us!

  22. Wow, Neal stands up his elementary school and does not show up to make his announcement. Is this good for the Irish? I would think so but I hope this clown makes his decision soon. He has been the center of attention in the recruiting world now for way too long.

    • I work as in admin for an elementary school. If one of my former students asked me to hold a press conference, I would certainly say yes. But if he/she pulled the shit that Neal pulled today, I would ban him/her for life. How selfish and what little disregard this guy has for the time the students and teachers sacrificed for him today. At least show up,apologize for not being ready and explain to the kids why making the right choices are important in life.

      PLEASE stay out of South Bend Mr. Neal!

      • Just read an article stating the reason he didnt show up was a family emergency……….hope everything is ok. After the loss the family just experienced would be terrible if something else tragic happens

      • I hope everything is OK with his family as well. Still, I don’t know what possibly could have happened that didn’t allow him 90 seconds to call the school and cancel. I’m not trying to sound cold here… my heart goes out to the kid and his family if they experienced a tragedy this morning. However, you still need to be responsible for your actions. People can say he is a kid, but lets face it. This is an 18 year old who should be able to pick up a phone and cancel a commitment. That is the right thing to do and the right way to handle yourself.

  23. 9:30 NOT 8:30 mountain time

    Sorry for the mix up.

  24. Hell Mary’s and fingers crossed for us landing Neal.

    GO IRISH!!!

  25. So….
    I read in the D Free Press that Michigan got 5 verbals on the weekend. That brings their total to 8 for 2012.
    Last year they ran up 24 right out of the gate and kept 23 of them by signing day while we held our breath.
    Why is it that cold climate Michigan (the most overrated school in the US of A) and Hokey Pokey who has never been in the limelight for anything, out-recruit the touted Mr. Kelly??
    Does anybody have an opinion?

    • Pretty early in the process…signing day is a whole year away yet

    • I would say the jury is still out on whether he “out-recruited” us yet. None of his players have really stepped on the field yet. Recruiting is about numbers as well and during the Rich Rod era they lost a ton of kids to transfers so there numbers were down. They had more scholly’s then we do to offer.

    • Sharkey,

      Not sure if you have heard the term “Grey Shirt” in college recruiting.

      It’s very popular with the slimeball coaches of D-1 schools like Les Miles and Nick Saban.

      Those guys are alowed to “Over Recruit”, or, sign as many as they wish on National Signing Day, then decide on who they actually want to give an available scholarship to at a later date.

      The 17 or 18 year old who was offered a scholarship before signiing day, only to have it taken away and given to someone else, can ether ask for their release and try for a scholarship with a different school, or they can stay with their backstabber coach and “Grey Shirt”.

      If they Grey Shirt they can workout with the team but must pay their own way.(see Elliot Porter)and sit out a year.

      Many of your bigger douche bag coaches(like Miles and Saban) will take this approch just to keep recruites away from competing schools.

      A Notre Dame education and a scholarship for such, is highly regarded and highly valued.

      None are given out on a whim.
      When ND gives it’s word (scholarship offer) it stands behind it.

      It’s called Integrity…

      Something else that is highly regarded and highly valued at The University of Notre Dame.

    • I’ll agree… While the numbers of commits don’t really matter due to NSD being a whole year away. I will say that Hoke did a fantastic job at keeping his “verbals” solid throughout last year. Will he be able to keep them all again this year? We all know these kids can flip seemingly without notice.

      That being said. I would really like to see Kelly start getting some verbals. If for no other reason than to give me something to read till the blue & gold game. Lol

  26. Add Yale and Tulsa to this list as of this date.

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