(UHND.com) – A season ago Notre Dame had major issues recruiting along the defensive line. Fast forward a season and the Irish already have two after Charlie Weis secured a commitment from New Jersey native Hafis Williams – a Rivals Top 250 prospect – to go along with Sean Cwynar who committed back in March.
Williams (6’4”, 285) figures to start out on the outside as defensive tackle in Notre Dame’s 3-4 defense, but has the type of frame that could allow him to move inside and work the nose tackle position if needed. He’s got great size for a junior in high school, but has enough speed and agility to really be effective working next to the nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.
As a junior in 2006, Williams registered 106 tackles and 6 sacks for his Elizabeth High School squad.
Williams received his offer from Notre Dame in March and prior to committing to Notre Dame, he landed offers from Penn State, Maryland, and Rutgers. Williams was also a recent visitor for the Blue-Gold game.
The class of 2007 included just one true defensive lineman in Ian Williams. Andress Nuss and Emeka Nwankwo will both start off along the defensive line, but both prospects are likely better suited for offensive line at this point. Last year’s recruiting woes along the defensive line have made the position one of the most critical for the Irish in the class of 2008 and so far the Irish are off to a great start with Williams and Cwynar.
Landing one of New Jersey’s top talents is becoming par for the course for Weis – a New Jersey native himself. For years Penn State had great success in the Garden State and with the resurgence of Rutgers under Greg Schianno, the competition in the state has really heated up. To Weis’s credit, he landed Mike Ragone and Duval Kamara last and with Williams in the fold, he has the Irish off to another good start recruiting in Jersey.
With Williams and Cwynar on board, the Irish still need to address their need in the middle of the defensive line at nose tackle where Brandon Newman appears to be one of the top targets. Newman was at the Blue-Gold a few weeks back and would be a very nice compliment to Williams and Cwynar should he choose the Irish.