A Look Notre Dame’s First Ten ’08 Commits

Recruiting news has been fast and furious during this early stages of this young recruiting season. With 10 commitments before the end of April, here is a quick recap of the 10 prospects who have already committed to Notre Dame.

  1. Mike Golic Jr – OL – 6’5″, 265
    Golic was the first commitment of the year for the Irish back in February and was a pretty good start to this year class along the offensive line. He’s got a ton of room to grow and will need to add plenty of weight between now and when he eventually reports to South Bend next summer. The level of competition he plays against is not great so its likely Golic will need to spend a lot of time with offensive line coach John Latina working on his technique. Right now he can just physically dominate his opponents because of superior size – that won’t be the case when he gets to Notre Dame. He’s not the kind of prospect who will come in and immediately challenge for playing time like Sam Young in 2006, but he’s the type of prospect that can really develop into a pretty good lineman for the Irish. Check out a post I made shortly after Golic committed for some more info with quotes from local papers.
  2. John Goodman – WR – 6’3″, 185 – 4.5
    Goodman came to Junior Day back in March and committed along with Braxston Cave shortly after. Because he is a white wide receiver with good height he is automatically going to get comparisons to Jeff Samardzija and strictly based on their high school careers the similarities aren’t completely off base. Samardzija was probably faster than Goodman coming out of high school, but like Samardzija, Goodman is a big and tall target who can use his body well. Goodman grew up watching Notre Dame and jumped at the scholarship offer that Weis extended to him. Getting Goodman was a good start for Notre Dame at wide receiver this year, but Weis will need to add a stretch the field type of receiver or two to compliment Goodman’s skills.
  3. Braxston Cave – OC – 6’4″, 290
    Cave was the second offensive lineman to commit to this year’s class and like Goodman he grew up rooting for the Fighting Irish. Michigan offered Cave right before he committed to Notre Dame and our old buddy Greg Mattison was starting to recruit him for Florida around the same time. Cave will most likely play center for the Irish and at 290 lbs as a junior, he’s got great size. Cave was recently given a three star rating by Scout.com.
  4. Sean Cywnar – DE – 6’3″, 285
    The first really big commitment of the year came from defensive end prospect Sean Cywnar. Cywnar committed to Notre Dame a few days after Junior Day in March and was a major pickup for the Irish after the troubles they’ve had recruiting defensive linemen over the last few years. Cywnar was recently ranked the 92nd overall prospect in Scout’s initial Top 100 released last week. Most recruiting services projected him as a defensive tackle, but int he 3-4 defense, he projects as a defensive end. Cywnar has a really nice burst off the line and has the size and quickness to be very effective from the defensive end position. For some more info on Cywnar with some good quotes about him improving his game check out this post.
  5. Kyle Rudolph – TE – 6’7″, 235 – 4.7
    At the time he committed to Notre Dame, Scout.com listed Rudolph’s weight at 220, but in their recent update his weight is up to 235 which is a good sign. Rudolph was also made a five star prospect by Scout as their 25th overall rated prospect and second rated tight end. This kid is a HUGE target and is a standout basketball player which should give you a little clue about his athleticism. His size will result in a lot of depth chart engineering going on across the Notre Dame boards about him becoming a tackle prospect, but its very likely tight end will be where he stays. We posted some videos of him a few weeks back that are pretty impressive.
  6. David Posluszny – LB – 6’2″, 214 – 4.6
    As the brother of Paul Posluzny, many felt he would be a lock for Penn State, but the Lions slow played the younger Posluszny and he committed to Notre Dame over Easter weekend. He missed most of his senior year because he suffered a separated shoulder and hairline fracture in his collarbone. Prior to his junior year he played primarily safety, but was going to make the move to linebacker before the injuries. Right now, Posluszny is a bit small to play at the weakside inside linebacker spot that he was recruited to play, but he’ll have plenty of time to bulk up. His brother was a bit under sized in high school as well, but he turned out alright. Speaking of Paul, apparently he would have loved to get an offer from the Irish, but unfortunately an offer never came.
  7. Anthony McDonald – LB – 6’3″, 225 – 4.55
    McDonald’s father Mike was a standout for rival USC, but the Trojans slow played Anthony, just as Penn State did Posluszny, and he jumped at the Notre Dame offer. McDonald is the 43rd ranked prospect overall by Scout.com and is a big time talent for Notre Dame. He looks a lot bigger than his listed weight of 220 pounds and has the type of frame that can handle additional weight. He’s got the speed to drop into coverage when needed and is very fundamentally sound. This was a huge pickup for the Irish.
  8. Dayne Crist – QB – 6’5″, 225 – 4.7
    The biggest commit on the offensive side of the ball so far this year came from Scout’s 66th overall prospect – Dayne Crist. Crist committed to the Irish last Thursday over LSU and USC. His commitment was a huge statement for this recruiting class because of the talent and depth Notre Dame already has at quarterback. Weis was able to secure a commitment from one of the West Coast’s top signal callers before the end of April over the likes of USC and LSU despite landing one of the most highly rated quarterbacks to come out of high school in years last year in Jimmy Clausen. Crist is as big as Brady Quinn is now as a junior in high school and can move around pretty well for a guy his size.
  9. Darius Fleming – OLB – 6’3″, 230 – 4.55
    Fleming committed to Notre Dame prior to the Blue-Gold game Saturday after spending a lot of time on campus this spring. Fleming would most likely be a defensive end in a traditional 4-3 defense, but in a 3-4 he projects as an outside linebacker. He is one of ESPN’s Top 150 prospects and as a junior he collected 105 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks. Fleming will fit in very nicely at outside linebacker because he’s got the speed to drop into coverage as well as the ability to rush the passer with his hand on the ground.
  10. Joseph Fauria – TE – 6’8″, 250 – 4.7
    Fauria was also in for the Blue-Gold game and ended his recruiting during the trip. As the second tight end in this class, the Irish are likely done at the position. Like Rudolph, he is a huge target at tight end and will likely be talked about possibly moving to tackle on all of the Notre Dame message boards over the next year. Fauria is the nephew of NFL tight end Christian Fauria who played under Weis with the Patriots.

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