Jordan Prestwood Commits to Notre Dame

Brian Kelly picked up the second commitment for his first full class at Notre Dame on Monday when highly touted offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood selected the Irish from a pool of scholarship offers featuring some of the nation’s elite programs.

Forget about recruiting rankings since most aren’t released for the class of 2011. Take a look at Prestwood’s list of scholarship offers and you find out all you need to know about what kind of talent Notre Dame just added to its class of 2011.

Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and USC all have offered Prestwood a scholarship to join their programs. So did Cincinnati, Louisville, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
The first group of offers I rattled off is what sticks out though. Nick Saban at Alabama, Urban Meyer at Florida, and Lane Kiffin at USC are considered three of the best recruiters in the country. Brian Kelly just went head to head with all of them and won.

So much for the thought that Kelly wasn’t big time or couldn’t recruit with the big boys.

Prestwood will likely be one of the top rated recruits in the country when Rivals and ESPN both release their rankings. Scout has him as a 4 star prospect and the 18th ranked offensive tackle in the country.
Prestwood selected the Irish because they “stood out above the rest” among his suitors. (more from his presser below)

“When it was all said and done, one school stood out above the rest. One school really made me feel comfortable. It was very important to me that my parents felt just as comfortable as I did. Also, I have traveled with coach Strunk and my family all over the United States. Coach Strunk laid out a plan so I could get to all of my choices long before official visit dates. Without that I would not be able to make this announcement today. The recruiting process is over for me. This is more than a verbal commitment. My decision is final. I will not be recruited anymore.

“I am very happy to announce, along with my mom and dad, that I have decided to play offensive tackle at the University of Notre Dame.

“Coach Kelly is outstanding. Coach Alford did a great job recruiting me. Dave Peloquin gave me an unbelievable tour of Notre Dame. The entire staff is top notch and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick is incredible. Notre Dame is the whole package.

“Before I take questions, my family and I would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family of Matt James. It saddens me that I lost a fellow Notre Dame commit and future Irish teammate.”

Prestwood’s last comment before taking questions speaks volumes about what kind of prospect Notre Dame is getting off the field as well.

Notre Dame now has two commitments for the class of 2011 with Prestwood joining defensive lineman Brad Carrico. With a few weeks remaining before the Blue-Gold game, there is still some time for Kelly and the Irish to pick up a little more steam before the big recruiting weekend that caps off spring practice.

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  1. Here is a post on a different site, sheds a lot of light on why they struggled:

    “Coach Weis’ pedigree was the NFL,” Kelly said. “It was a different way of going about it and it was what he was exposed to. Coach Weis had the NFL pedigree and that big ring on his finger. He coached Tom Brady and led him to a Super Bowl, and he told kids he could do it for them, too. That would be my pitch, too, but I haven’t done that.”

    Instead of selling Notre Dame’s players on a possible future in the NFL, Kelly wants them to appreciate the opportunity they already have.

    “My biggest surprise was the [sense of] entitlement and selfishness,” Kelly said. “I think at the end of the day, there wasn’t a true appreciation for what they had. I know those are harsh terms, but they’re 18, 19 or 20 years old and they’re playing at a school where its existence as a university is because of football. You’re a football player at Notre Dame and you need to appreciate what you have.”

    Kelly’s words haven’t fallen on deaf ears, according to Te’o.

    “It’s definitely true,” Te’o said. “Last year, people were looking forward to graduating and weren’t necessarily taking advantage of the things Notre Dame was offering them. Coach Kelly really helps us realize what we have here, and we’re not just going through the motions anymore. You don’t hear talk about the NFL anymore. You hear guys talking about winning a national championship. That’s a conversation you didn’t hear last year.”

  2. From what I have seen of Kelly’s practices they are intense, attention to detail and he is on them the entire time. I have been a fan since I was three which would be about 77′. I can barley remember Montana playing and I remember the Faust years. I really started watching when Holtz took over when I was about 11 or 12. I see a lot of the same characteristics in Kelly as Holtz had. He doesn’t care about producing pro players, but about producing a good product on the field. Kelly was able to take a Cincy team and go 12-0. They did get throttled by Florida in the bowl game, but there was a huge talent gap. I don’t see a huge talent gap right now. I see a lot of players on the defensive side of the ball that were recruited to play a 3-4 and were forced to play a 4-3 last year. I think the biggest problem with CW was not being the head coach but a O-coordinator. This team is going back to a 3-4 and you will see a huge difference. The talent is there on both sides of the ball. It will be interesting to see the new attitude. I am excited and can’t wait to watch the USC game next year in December.

    1. Yup agree with what you wrote. BK took a UC program which had for years been trying to become big time and did just that, with a fraction of the resources/heritage of ND. And he did it with what would be considered second/third tier talent. But they were in excellent condition and played with intensity. Sort of reminds me of bama’s transformation under Saban. And Saban did all of that with sanctions and not being able to field a full scholie team. If we play with intensity and concentration, we will be far better than what we’ve been under the last few coaches.

  3. I am more impressed with how BK is conducting the practice sessions and the attitude of the football program than recruiting at this point. I believe he will end up with the kids he wants but getting excited before these kids actually commit officially is a waste of energy. February 2011 is a long way off. There will always be some unexpected picks and some jumping ship. ESPN has a great article interview w/ BK that should be required reading for all fans. A link available on ND Nation. I repeat BK was the best guy for the job – a perfect fit for the Irish! Regardless of record this year – it WILL be similar to Holtz’ first year – anyone watching ND football back then knew without a doubt the program was definitely moving in the right direction. A Fighting Irish football team with attitude and committment and the ability to scrap for 60 minutes is what every Irish fan has been waiting for since Bob Davie stepped onto the field for the first time as head coach….

    1. “The Pride and Tradition of Notre Dame Football will not be left to the Weak, Timid, or
      Non Committed”

      Brian Kelly – 2010

  4. Brian Kelly is pushing all the right buttons and doing the right things. He brings a sense of calm & confidence because he has been a college head coach for a long time and knows what it takes to be successful.

    I don’t know how this is going to play out in terms of wins and losses, but ND will be competitive, they will be ranked consistantly, and they will be in the BCS talk more often than not.

    Just like Urban Meyer, Kelly has the know-how and now he has the resources to develop a upper level program. I’m starting to believe that the reason ND has fallen so far is not the academic standards, the schedule, or the lack of a conference. They have simply not had a coach that was this qualified running the show.

    You watch, if this team does anything like Weis and Willingham did their first year, the recruiting floodgates will open like they did for Holtz and ND will be among the college football elite once again.

    When that happens, I’m going to love watching Lou letting Mark May have it.

    1. haha. i can’t wait to shut up that smug sob.

      im not going to dub bk the second coming until we actually play some games, however, if/when i hear that fight song the day of the national championship i might cry tears of joy, like the first time i saw rudy. i was too young to really appreciate the last NC (my first game in south bend was the 93 boston college miracle field goal that looked like it took a left turn in mid air) and for most of my adult life nd football hasn’t seen much success. the anticipation has been building and i can’t wait to root for a team that won’t let me down time and time again. GO IRISH!!!

      1. ted,
        I saw my first game at ND stadium in 1969.(I was 11yrs. old) The glory years if you will. Winning and beating all challengers was the norm back then. I acctually attended the “Rudy” game some years later as well. One of the things that stood out to me, even at that young age, was whether ND won or lost the game, their opponents knew that they had just been in a war. They were tired, battered,and bruised. There was no such thing as a “easy or cheap” win agianst a ND squad back then.
        I’ve taken my son to ND.(He is now 25) Although he likes ND, and respects my beloved Irish, he grew up being a Michigan fan.
        It’s hard to fault him after all, 22 years of lack luster play doesn’t exactly inspire.
        And that brings us to an interesting point. An entire generation of our youth, and young people have never experienced a ND National Championship. Sad, because they win the old fashioned way. Without cheating and without cutting corners so common now a days.
        There is no greater place to win a NC than at ND.
        Yes, I still remember the magic, and the excitement, of a ND National Championship.
        Back then I took it for granted. Thinking that it would go on forever.

        That was a mistake.

        After 22 years of coming up short, and, as you say “being let down” I say that if the Lads can conjure up that magical season just once more, I swear that I will appreciate every special minute of it.
        And in doing so, perhaps my son, like much of today’s youth, will get to witness for themselves what a ND national champion is really all about.
        And why their fans and followers remain so loyal.

        The great thing about heading into a new season is it’s a fresh oppertunity, And I think to my self, could this be the team, could this be our year? It’s happened before. It will happen agian.
        And it will be worth the wait.
        I believe!
        WE ARE ND!

      2. I Believe..lets get this started. say i believe in every post from here until ND wins a championship

  5. Now, we will see if he actually sticks around on Signing Day. far too often these guys “commit” to a place only to back out down the road…something you might expect a 17 year old to do.

    1. @Drew S Way to be the negative Nancy….The point is people all came down on Brian Kelly saying he couldn’t recruit with the big dogs… Obviously he can and you are still hating on him…

      1. Hating on him? What the hell are you smoking, I wanted Kelly hired at ND LAST YEAR, when ND decided to keep Weis for another year.

        This has nothing to do with Kelly, and everything to do with 17 year old kids being fickle. You cannot deny that it happens all the time, player makes an early commit and waivers before LOI day.

  6. Is it just me or does Brian Kelly bring a sense of calm? I have not felt this good/confident about the Irish since 1993.

    1. i feel the same way..very confident…and that’s what the irish need. is the fans giving them confidence which will turn into motivation

      1. I think BK demonstrates confidence in everything he does. Charlie was arrogant and never made you feel like he had things under control. BK has proven himself as a head coach in the college ranks and that he is the man for this job. Words can’t describe how excited I am about the 2010 season!

    2. I’m trying not to get too excited till I see some results on the field. We all felt the same way about Weis before, during, and even after his first season and that ended pretty badly.

      Kelly has been doing all the right things so far though and if he land a couple more elite recruits before the season, any concerns about his recruiting ability will be put to rest. Then it will be up to him and the staff to produce on the field to keep the momentum going.

  7. I’m impressed with the recruiting efforts of Brian Kelly so far. He kept together a decent class, added some good recruits at the end, and is off to a pretty good start so far this year. This kid was getting recruited by some pretty good coaches and chose ND.

    I find it kind of interesting that the 1st two recruits are a DL & OL. Kelly know what it takes to win and is building the lines up.

    1. Agreed. Nothing better than building up the lines to establish winning football.

      Beyond that, teaching the fundamentals of blocking and tackling will get the Irish over the hump in no time.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. BK knows what it takes to win games. Anyone who’s played football knows that games are won and lost in the trenches and BK seems to want to strengthen this part of our team so we can contend for a title. I can’t wait to see BK and the Irish in action this season.

    1. Valid point. It still comes down to Kelly at the end of the day though. When Weis came to ND and came storming out of the gates recruiting people didn’t talk about his assistants, they talked about him.

      Alford is a hell of a coach and if you followed the site during the coaching change, I was more than adamant in support of keeping Alford because of his recruiting skills.

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