AP Photo/Eric Gray
Here we are, less than 24 hours from National Signing Day. Coach Charlie Weis is on the verge of landing arguably Notre Dame’s best recruiting class since 1991. Meanwhile, the Urban Meyers of the world are still hustling to blow that last bit of smoke up some kid’s ass about how ND is irrelevant and doesn’t prepare him for the next level.
I’m assuming most high school recruits have televisions. I’m also assuming most high school recruits watched the NFL playoffs this past month. But for those who might have missed it, allow me to recap…
AFC Wild Card Round, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Two-time Jaguars’ Pro Bowler John Henderson is knocked out of the game on the first series. Derek Landri, a 4th-round pick out of Notre Dame, replaces Henderson at defensive tackle. After throwing the critical block on special teams that sets up a 96-yard kickoff return by Maurice Jones-Drew, Landri goes on to register a sack, an interception, and the game-winning fumble recovery
NFC Divisional Round, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers:
Notre Dame alum Ryan Grant rushes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns, both of which set franchise records for Packers’ post-season games. In a driving snowstorm, with the ghosts of Lambeau looking down upon him, Grant manages a near-superhuman 7.4 yards-per-carry. Grant’s playoff effort caps a 3-month/11-game stretch in which he averages 114 yards from the line of scrimmage per-game, second in the league to only LaDainian Tomlinson.
Super Bowl XLII, New York Giants vs. New England Patriots:
Former ND defensive end Justin Tuck, recently re-signed by the Giants to a 5-year/$30 million deal, makes his case for Super Bowl MVP. Facing the greatest offense in NFL history and a Patriots o-line that’s sending three of its five starters to the Pro Bowl, Tuck accounts for two sacks, two hurries, and a fumble. His performance inspires a Giants defense that will eventually sack, knock down, or hurry Tom Brady an almost obscene 23 times.
Three Notre Dame players.
Three Notre Dame graduates.
Three MVP-caliber performances on the biggest stage in all of professional sports.
Notre Dame isn’t relevant? Justin Tuck has a Super Bowl ring and a college degree that can get him in the door with most Fortune 500 companies. How much more relevant can a university be to a high school student-athlete’s future?