Thursday, February 07, 2008

Notre Dame Football 2008: Notre Dame (recruiting) #1?

Recruits stay faithful to Weis Irish

The National College Football signing day never fell on Ash Wednesday before, but it somehow seemed appropriate to Charlie Weis and the Irish. For if Notre Dame was to rise from the ashes of one of the school's worst football seasons ever, it would happen largely with the help of the twenty-three stellar freshman.

With an Irish recruiting group that football talent analyst Tom Lemming rated #1, the Chicago Tribune ranked #2, and the ESPN team (led by Notre-Dame-hating commentator Mark May) had the lowest at 9th, the point remains that this group of freshmen should lead the Blue and Gold out of the negative and COULD even lead them back to glory.

Perhaps the most impressive thing concerning these Notre Dame freshmen is not their obvious talent, but the fact that all but one stayed faithful to Our Lady's school (and each other; their cross-country correspondence to one another was legendary) despite the Irish's terrible season and the countless attempts of other college coaches to pry them away from the "Indiana Losers."
My favorite recruit may be 6'3" wide out Michael Floyd of St. Paul, Minnesota. Mike may not be the biggest or fastest recruit at that position, but he's got plenty enough quickness, leaping ability, AND humility to make an instant impact. Furthermore, playing in St. Paul, Minnesota, he is used to catching the pigskin on those cold November days, something these California and Florida recruits often cannot adjust to. In perhaps a preview of things to come, Weis, who commented on each recruit as the signee's highlights played in the background, said every positive thing about Floyd he could—only to find Mike's great catches ran a full two minutes after Charlie had run out of things to say. That got even the usually stoic Chuck to crack up. "All three [Irish receiver reruits] have special skills," Weis later added. "But it was important to get young men that could compete early on." Floyd figures to be one of them, but if a few of the new linemen can actually keep the opponent's linemen from constantly getting their claws on Jimmy Clausen (OR incoming California QB Dayne Crist), it could be an interesting (and inspiring) season indeed.

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