San Antonio, TX – Saturday was the 2005 Us Army All American Bowl on NBC and for the first time since its inception, Notre Dame received a verbal commit on live national TV during this year’s game from Kansas CIty wide receiver standout DJ Hord. After the halftime festivities, Hord was on the sidelines and pulled out a hat with the Notre Dame leprechaun and announced he was going to go to school at Notre Dame.
With David Nelson wavering seriously in his soft commitment to Notre Dame, the addition of DJ Hord (6-1, 190) is excellent news for Notre Dame’s 2005 recruiting class. Hord gives the Irish a legit deep threat who can stretch the field. Hord is a speedster listed with a 100 yard dash time of 10.4 and a 40 time of 4.4. Scout.com has Hord listed as the #10 wide receiver in the nation, the highest ranking from them for a Notre Dame commit since Rhema KcKnight in 2002.
Hord was playing for the winning West team which whopped up on the East 35-3, but didn’t get to make a catch. Reports out of San Antonio during the week however regarding Hord were all very positive and it is clear Notre Dame got an excellent receiver in DJ.
The best part of Hord’s commitment, from a fan’s perspective, might have been the absence of disappointment while watching a top rated recruit announce his choice while Notre Dame was under consideration. I still remember watching Lorenzo Booker make his decision on ESPN and being shocked since reports surfaced that he had committed to the Irish. It’s been a while since Notre Dame got a big commit in front of a large audience and I suspect with Weis in charge it might be a sign of things to come.
The coaching change was a non issue for Hord who said he loved Coach Weis and his interest in the Irish never really wavered. Fellow wide receiver David Nelson however is looking less likely every day. Mattison being at Florida is really helping the Gators chances here, but the Irish are not out of the race yet. Weis and staff will need to get back on Nelson however and secure his commitment.
Nelson along with Hord give Notre Dame another combination like Maurice Stovall and Rhema McKnight gave them in the 2002 class and with competent offensive coaches on campus now, they could have a much bigger impact. While Stovall and McKnight have shown flashes of brilliance, they haven’t lived up to the hype yet. Weis, Haywood, and Ianello can change that this year however.
In other recruiting news. Derrell Hand (6-4, 305), a defensive tackle prospect from the wonderful city of Philadelphia. Hand is almost a must have for Notre Dame in this class. The defensive line has given Notre Dame recruiting problems for years and this year is no different. Lawrence Wilson had given Notre Dame a good start, but like Nelson, he looks less likely each day. Other prospects left on the board are Patrick Kuntz at defensive tackle and Erik Lorig. Lorig was supposed to visit this weekend, but did not make the trip. Kuntz looks fairly likely for Notre Dame, but their margin for error at defensive line is very small.
Should the Irish land Kuntz and offensive line recruit Rafael Eubanks – Charlie Weis will have gone 6 for 6 on his first recruiting weekend at Notre Dame. Hord’s commitment pushed Weis to 4 for 6 joining Michael Turkovich, Paul Duncan, and Ray Herring.