(UHND) — Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts continued to roll this weekend when Ohio defensive end Kallen Wade became the 4 th commitment in this years’ class. Wade, a speed rusher from Cincinnati was scheduled to visit the Irish this weekend and picked Notre Dame over Boston College , Illinois , Ohio State , and Kentucky .
Wade (6-5, 220) brings a lot of speed on the edge for Notre Dame as he is listed with 4.5 speed in the 40. As a junior he collected 13 sacks for Withrow High School in Cincinnati an earned All Ohio, All City , and All Conference honors.
The first 3 commits for Notre Dame were all on the offensive side of the ball (Munir Prince, Barry Gallup, and Zach Frazer) making the commitment of Wade a good start on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line will be an area of focus this recruiting season especially at end where Notre Dame failed to sign a recruit last year. Last year’s recruiting class included Patrick Kuntz and Derrell Hand along the defensive line but both project to be interior linemen.
Wade has a good frame for a defensive end but will need to grow into it. At 220 pounds, some schools wanted Wade as an outside linebacker. With some time in the weight room during his senior year and the off-season prior to his enrollment at Notre Dame he should grow into that speed rush defensive end that the Irish are looking for.
Off the field, Wade also carries a 3.8 GPA in the classroom.
One thing to note is that while he listed in state Ohio State as a favorite, the Buckeyes had yet to offer. An offer from OSU for Wade would have most likely have come this summer. Does this mean anything? Probably not at all since Weis and his staff targeted Wade early and he was high on the Irish throughout his recruiting.
Notre Dame is also targeting Wade’s high school teammate, cornerback Robert Williams (5-11, 165 lbs). Williams has some impressive stats with 12 interceptions last season and a 5 interception game as a sophomore.
The commitment of Wade is continuing the trend that recruiting will be much better than it has been at Notre Dame in some time under Charlie Weis. It’s been some time since Notre Dame has gotten off to such a strong start this early in recruiting.
The next step for this staff will be when they can go out and start getting some of the premier, top 25 recruits to commit to the Irish. Based on the success of the Weis staff at the end of last season and the early returns this year, that time should not be too far off.