Irish Add Carlo Calabrese

( – Notre Dame picked up its 5th commitment of the year on Thursday when four star New Jersey linebacker Carlo Calabrese picked the Irish over Boston College. Calabrese became the second defensive commitment for the Irish and had offers from the likes of Florida, Miami, Rutgers, and Pitt.

Read any write up of Calabrese on the internet and the most common term used to describe the New Jersey native is hard-nosed. He’s extremely well built and is much more physically advanced than your average high school linebacker.

To use a common football cliché’, he is very much a “downhill”, aggressive style linebacker who excels at attacking the gap. He’s an explosive hitter who can deliver the highlight reel hits and should be a perfect match with linebacker coach, Jon Tenuta’s philosophies.

There have been some concerns with Calabrese’s speed and quickness, but he has been surprising people along the summer camp circuit with his mobility and speed. Still, pass coverage is going to be one of the areas he will need the most work on at the college level.

Calabrese’s stature and skill set could lead to early playing time. From day one he will be a more than capable run stopper because of his strength and instincts. He could be used as a goal line defender very early in his career as well as on special teams where his style of play will make him a fan favorite.

The Irish got themselves a real throwback style linebacker with the addition of Calabrese. He isn’t going to blow anyone away with his speed when he runs the 40 in shorts at a combine, but when he throws on his pads and steps onto the field, his “football speed” makes up for it. In terms of how he plays the game, he reminds me a bit of Rocky Boiman – just a hardnosed, tough as nails linebacker who doesn’t take a single snap off.

As a junior, he collected 104 tackles and tallied six quarterback sacks playing mainly on the inside in a 4-4 defense for Verona High – the high school alma mater of former Irish standout and current Miami Dolphin Anthony Fasano.

Notre Dame has lacked ideal inside linebackers for any scheme over the last few years and have been forced to play some guys out of position as a result. With the additions of the likes of Anthony McDonald, Steve Filer, and David Pozlousny last year and Calabrese’s addition this year, it appears as though that will not a be problem for too much longer.

Of the five verbal commitments Charlie Weis and staff have received, three of the them hail from the Garden State with Calabrese joining defensive tackle Tyler Stockton and running back Theo Riddick.

After a week in which the Irish two prospects once considered “locks” commit elsewhere, Carlo Calebrese’s commitment came at just the right time. Weis and staff got some momentum going after a slow start with the additions of Jake Golic, Cierre Wood, Stockston, and Riddick, but the commitments of Eric Shrive to Penn State and Jon Budmayr to Wisconsin could have killed that.

Hopefully Calabrese’s pledge will keep the momentum going.

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